The Most Common MOT Failures

Most Common MOT Failures

So, your car’s failed the MOT. Oh no, what a nightmare!

​​When your car fails the MOT test, it can be for any number of reasons – and sometimes, they’re really quick, easy fixes. Other times, they take a little more work.

But what are the most common MOT failures? Let’s run through some of the ones we see most often. Which ones could you fix yourself?

What are the most common MOT failures?

This list isn’t exhaustive (no pun intended) – but these are just a few of the most common MOT failures we see at We Only Do MOTs.

Lights cause the most MOT failures

By far, the most common MOT failure is lights and signals.

This is mostly down to blown bulbs, which can be a cheap and easy fix – unless your car has specialist lighting, compound LED arrays, or sealed lighting units.

Number plate lights, indicators and brake lights need to be considered, too. Failed or incorrect wiring, as well as blown fuses, can cause lights and signals to behave in unusual ways.

Check your lights are all working before booking your MOT. At We Only Do MOTs we carry out minor repairs such as bulb changes free of charge, meaning you don’t have to go to a repair centre or spend extra cash (T&Cs apply).

Worn tyres

Another issue we see a lot of is worn tyres, and this can be really dangerous. Usually, people just do not notice that their tread has worn down past the minimum limit when they come for their MOT, and this results in a failure.

The tread needs to be a minimum of 1.6mm deep across the centre three quarters of each tyre, and the tyres need to be free of cuts and lumps.

If your tyres are worn below the minimum level, get them changed immediately – MOT or not!

Uneven wear can be a sign of poor alignment or a symptom of our next issue; suspension problems.


Your car’s suspension system isn’t just there to keep your bottom comfy on bumpy roads – it keeps your wheels in firm contact with the road, and prevents your car from becoming unstable around corners or under heavy braking.

In short, it’s an essential safety feature, and broken suspension can cause accidents.

In areas like ours, notorious for potholes, we see a fair few suspension problems, so it has become one of the most common MOT failures that we see. And it can be trick to know what you’re looking for as a driver – but something will often feel or sound a little bit off.

Clunking on bumps or excessive bobbing when pushed can be signs of a suspension problem that needs attention.

Wipers and windshields

If you can’t see, you can’t drive. But many drivers still try! We’ve seen it all; satnavs and phone holders positioned at eye level, chips in the windshield glass that obscure crucial viewing, and full-on spiderweb cracks.

All of these vision-impairing issues can cause your vehicle to fail the MOT.

Keep everything you possibly can out of your eye line, and get chips repaired as soon as you notice them; it’s often cheaper than replacing your whole windshield when it cracks!

And don’t forget your wipers, because they’re essential equipment; nicked, greasy or worn wipers are ineffective. So clean the blades before your MOT, or replace them if they’re no longer working as expected.

Book your MOT

Book your MOT test in Eastleigh today, with We Only Do MOTs. We promise to provide an impartial, independent MOT to everyone – and will carry out most minor repairs for free!

Send your message to or call us on 023 8064 7180

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