Don’t be an MOT failure

According to a report issued by The Telegraph this week, spring is the busiest time of the year for MOT tests with 3.62 million vehicles heading to test centres this March alone.
Remarkably more than 830,000 of those failed their test. The situation looks even bleaker when we consider that in the year 2012/13 a staggering 40% of 26.9m cars that took the test failed. That’s an awful lot of dangerous cars running around on our roads!MoT-certificate image
However, the good news is that many of these failures can be avoided with a few simple regular basic checks. Using analysis of the test results from motoring journalist Honest John, here are the five most common MOT failures along with some advice on how to avoid them:

1. Headlamp aim – 17% failure rate – Badly adjusted headlamps not only reduce your safety as you may not be able to see where you’re going properly, but perhaps more importantly, they can blind oncoming drivers. Thankfully this problem, the biggest reason for MOT failures, can be easily fixed by any competent mechanic in a matter of minutes.

2. Tyre tread depth – 14% failure rate – The minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm and failure to adhere to these can result in hefty fines, penalty points as well as the obvious safety risks. Of course, tyre wear can be exacerbated if wheels aren’t correctly aligned so it’s important to have your alignment regularly checked so that your tyres wear evenly across the tread.

Mot3. Registration plate lamp – 14% failure rate – Not only is this easy to spot and check by yourself, it’s also remarkably quick and cheap to fix.

4. Wipers – 12% failure rate – After the wettest winter ever on record, you couldn’t need more of an incentive to make sure your wipers work properly. If they leave smears, squeak or are so old they’re starting to perish, it’s time to think about replacing them.

5. Brake lights – 11% failure rate – If you don’t want the car behind you to crash into you, then it’s essential that all of your brake lights are in good working order. You may need someone to give you a hand to check these are all working, but it’ll be worth the effort.

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