MOT time is always stressful; we don’t want to be left with a huge bill to fix our car. Besides, it was working fine yesterday, so how can it suddenly be an MOT failure? The reality is simple: things wear out. And as such, those things can spell an MOT fail. But if they stop your car from passing, don’t fret; it’s not the end of the world. Here are ten examples of MOT fail items that you shouldn’t get stressed out over.
Absolutely no need to panic here, bulbs blow, it’s part of their little life. The sure-fire way to avoid this is to have a walk around your car before the MOT and make sure everything is in order. Still, if you’re caught out in the MOT, don’t panic. It’ll cost a few quid for a new bulb and about 15mins labour to change it.
This one sounds bad, as it’ll usually say “insufficient brake force” or something similar. It’s not the end of the world. Most handbrakes can be adjusted in a matter of minutes. If the brakes are worn, consider it a good thing that you’re finding out in a test station, not on the road or a steep hill!
Much like bulbs, you can check your tyres beforehand. However, the garage may spot less obvious issues like uneven wear. Okay, so it’s not going to be cheap, but you can’t change a tyre at home, so the garage is the best place. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a booking slot – it’s already there. Just make sure you ask to see the old tyres, too. That way you know what you’re paying for.
4) Wheel bearing
Wheel bearings, when they fail, can lead to an accident. The bearing carries the weight of the car and lets the wheel spin freely. It’s an important part. By the time it’s making a noise, it’s already too far gone. However, the garage will be able to catch it early by checking for play in the wheel. Plus, they’re best equipped to repair it quickly for around £150.
The smallest blow in your exhaust, caused by a rusty hole or broken joint, is bad news. It will affect your car’s performance and over time, get a lot worse and a lot nosier. It will also affect the emissions, meaning a fail. Changing an exhaust is a dirty, horrible job. So the garage is the best place. Also, an OE (original equipment) exhaust isn’t nearly as pricey as you’d think. So don’t panic!
6) Light aim
Again, this sounds drastic. Your headlights aren’t even pointing the right way, what a dilemma! Well, not really. The garage can adjust them into line in a few minutes, and they have all the correct equipment to stop you blinding other road users. Plus, most garages won’t charge you to sort it.
7) Chipped screen
A pain, granted. But you can avoid this altogether quite simply. Is the chip with in the area swept by the windscreen wipers? Is it on the driver’s side? Probably an MOT fail. Get your insurer on the phone, pay a small excess (that normally won’t hurt your NCB) and get a new one fitted beforehand. Pass guaranteed!
8) Washers and wipers
You’d be surprised how many cars fail on this, which is silly. A set of wipers is £20 from a spares shop, and filling the washer bottle takes a few seconds. You could always buy a spare set of wipers and keep them in the boot, so if it does fail, you can just ask the garage to fit them. They probably won’t even charge you.
9) Number plates
If your number plate is worn out, say the backing is coming away, it will fail. Getting a new one is a faff. You have to get your logbook, got to the parts shop, fill in a form, order the plate, wait for it, it’s arduous. The garage, however, because it’s a MOT station, can just phone up and order one. The garage failing your car on a plate is actually easier than you having to get a new one yourself. Should only be £20 for a pair, too.
10) Brake lines
Another common fail, this. Brake lines corrode and that can be bad news, for obvious reasons. A fail on this is actually a blessing in disguise, so don’t be disheartened. The only negative is that it can be a pricey job, but once it’s done, you’re set. A top tip would be to ask the garage to spray the new lines with underseal for extra protection.