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Five Common Causes For MOT Failure

An MOT in the UK is a mandatory safety certificate for your vehicle. It’s essential for reducing road hazards and limiting emissions. Due to the requirement of a yearly pass, almost all car owners will experience an MOT failure at some point in their motoring career. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of five common issues that can cause failure, how to anticipate them, and where they originate.

Brake Pads

Your braking system is the only thing standing between you and an accident on the road. They’re under constant strain and are arguably the most important component of your car. As a result, your brake pads require regular replacement. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know when your pads are past their best. However, you can usually tell by poor braking performance or grinding sounds.

We recommend having your brake pads replaced regularly for safety purposes, but especially before an MOT to avoid failure.

Lights & Indicators

Bulbs are a common cause of MOT failure. This is because they only have a certain lifespan, and inevitably will require replacement.

Depending on how often you drive at night, and how regularly you check your rear brake lights, will affect whether they cause an MOT fail. It’s advisable to keep an eye on whether your lights are working properly for visibility and road safety. Headlights are fairly self-explanatory. However, rear lights can be difficult to assess yourself. This can be resolved by reversing close to a wall in the dark and applying your brakes and indicators to notice the reflection.


Tyres are an important part of your vehicle. They provide grip and handling to a car, ensuring safe mobility. However, the nature of car tyres is that they wear down and there is a minimum legal requirement for the tread that needs to be upheld. 1.6mm, or the thickness of a 20p is the depth you should look out for in order to avoid an MOT failure.

Suspensions Issues

A regular cause of MOT failure is suspension issues. This particular problem is often overlooked and difficult to diagnose. That’s because of the many moving parts that often come under extended amounts of strain. Springs, shocks, boots and socket joints can all rust, corrode or break, causing an MOT failure.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to anticipate these issues unless they’re severe. Crunching, clunking and excessive squeaking can be signs to look out for. If you do discover any of these, book your car in for servicing ahead of your MOT.

Windscreen Chips

There are regulations around driver visibility that affects a technician’s ability to pass an MOT.

Windscreen chips happen often, and can easily be fixed with a third-party service. However, they need to be within certain areas, and minimal enough to avoid a complete windscreen replacement. If you experience a chip within 300mm of the edge of your screen, or in direct line of the driver’s vision, then the windscreen needs to be replaced.

If left alone, windscreen chips can cause an MOT failure. Don’t let that happen to you.

Contact AMS Tyres For Professional MOTs

At AMS Tyres, we offer comprehensive MOT checks from skilled professionals. Our team are fully qualified and experienced with the latest technology to ensure a functional, safe vehicle after every inspection. For more information, get in touch with us today.

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