Every year, car owners of non-exempt vehicles must take them to a garage for an MOT test. Alongside paying for insurance, tax, and fuel, the MOT test is a legal requirement for vehicle ownership. However, it is incredibly easy to fail the test and end up with MOT repairs if you don’t know what to expect. This guide has the six most common MOT repairs that can mean a re-test is necessary so that you can hopefully avoid them the next time your appointment comes around.
The MOT test is simply a way to legally prove that your vehicle is roadworthy. It stands for Ministry of Transport and was created so that road safety is easier to control. If your vehicle does not have a complete MOT pass, it will be flagged, you won’t be insured, and you may face a fine. With that in mind, here are the most common MOT repairs that you need to know about before you send your car in for a full check-up and assessment.
If just one of your headlight bulbs is not working properly, your car will not pass the MOT. Visibility is a key part of driving safely, and that is why your headlights must be fully functional for the test to be signed off as a pass. Newer cars should warn you if there is a bulb failure, and you can pick up replacement bulbs from any auto parts store plus have them installed easily too.
Every tyre has a legal limit, and if yours has less than the minimum tread of 1.6mm on any part of the tyre or it is not inflated correctly, the garage will issue an immediate fail. A damaged tyre is a leading cause of road accidents, and puts you, passengers, and fellow road users, at risk when left undetected or unresolved. If you know that it has been a while since you last checked them, make sure this job is done before your car goes into the garage. Don’t forget, that buying part-worn tyres is acceptable if you are struggling to budget for four brand-new additions.
It goes without saying that brakes are a major safety feature for any vehicle because they are the only thing between you and not being able to stop while driving. Brakes have pads and discs and each of these parts needs regular checks to ensure everything is working correctly and there are no signs of wear and tear. The last thing you want is a faulty brake because this is an incredibly scary experience to live through and may even be life-changing.
A worn-out, loose steering rack will also be an automatic fail. You can make sure that steering fluid is always at the correct level, but this alone is not enough. Pay attention to how your car feels when you drive because losing control happens more often than you might think if a steering fault is present. This will all be thoroughly checked during an MOT test, and if any problems are flagged they will need rectifying before a retest takes place.
It is highly advisable to keep a close eye on the condition of your windscreen. If there are cracks, chips, or even scratches this can reduce your capacity to see clearly while driving, which is potentially dangerous. It doesn’t take much for the smallest chip to turn into a major problem, so don’t ignore it. Your mechanic certainly won’t, and it will mean your vehicle is not put through the test until it is sorted out. Thankfully, the sooner you take action, the smaller the cost will be as smaller chips are cheaper to fix than replacing the entire windscreen, so that is why it pays to be vigilant in this area.
The suspension affects how a car handles and responds to road conditions. If yours is out of kilter, then there will be distinctive signs that you can watch out for. For instance, when the suspension starts to go wrong, your car may not steer week, or roll around more than usual. Or, you might notice that it continues to bounce after going over a bump in the road. These are big clues that something is not quite right, and it will vary in cost depending on the make and model of the vehicle being fixed.
If the mechanic calls you and delivers bad news, what happens next? To remain ‘roadworthy’ the vehicle must be retested with the MOT repairs complete. So you will need to get the work done to keep driving legally. You can opt for a same-day service repair job at the garage, which will usually include a complementary re-test certificate, or price up the work elsewhere and take it back once everything is in order.
It never hurts to have some top maintenance tips in your pocket for preserving the lifespan of your vehicle. These will help you make sure the general health of your car is where it needs to be and make things like passing an MOT far easier when the time comes. Try to do the following things.
These tips are all about how to be a responsible car owner and simple things that will make life easier in the bigger picture, with fewer MOT repairs to look forward to. If something feels wrong with your car, it is worth getting it checked out. The longer you leave a problem, the higher the cost will be when you actually get around to taking it in and getting it fixed.
The six common repair jobs listed above are not the only things out there, but they are the ones that come up most frequently. Your vehicle needs this certificate if you want to drive it legally, so the process is definitely worth your time and energy.