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Pass first time: How to avoid the most common MOT fails

Nearly 50% of all cars that fail an MOT do so because of small faults that could be avoided by simple, at-home car maintenance. These problems are easy to correct, and fixing them before taking the car in for its MOT could help you pass first time and avoid garage costs.
To help, Ring, the automotive specialist in bulbs, battery care and tyre care, has some advice on the simple things that can be done to avoid an MOT fail.

Lights and signalling – 17.8% failure rate

4.5m cars fail because of lamps, reflectors and electrics every year. Doing a quick bulb check before you take the vehicle to the garage could avoid an MOT fail. Make sure you check all the exterior bulbs – this includes the side light, indicator, tail light and number plate lights. The registration plate lamp being out accounts for 4.5% of MOT fails.
When it comes to headlamps, there are plenty of options out there, including upgrades to help bulbs last longer or put more light on road for safer driving. We recommend you always replace bulbs in pairs, to ensure the light output is equal from both headlights. Ring stocks a range of bulbs, including long life versions, and for headlamps, try Xenon150 bulbs (nationwide – SSP £39.99), which put up to 150% more light on road without compromising on life.

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Tyre condition – 7.5% failure rate

Well maintained tyres are essential to ensure safe driving – and neglecting them could mean a failed MOT. The legal requirement for tyre tread on passenger vehicles up to eight seats is 1.6mm, but studies show that when the tread drops below 3mm, stopping distance begins to be significantly affected.

Checking tyre tread is easy and requires a simple depth gauge. However, to ensure your tyres are both safe and helping cut down fuel consumption, drivers need to check the pressure as well. For adigital gauge that gives accurate readings on a large backlit screen, records the correct pressure and has an integrated LED light, Ring suggests the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre Pressure and Tread Depth Gauge. This is easy to store in the car and easy to use, wherever you are. Available nationwide, SSP £24.99.

While there is no legal requirement for tyre pressure, under- or over-inflated tyres will reduce the traction between the tyre and the road, making driving less safe and less fuel efficient. For easy pressure top ups, try the Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator, with preset for accurate inflation. This inflator can inflate a 13” tyre from flat to 35PSI in under 2 minutes – making top ups quick and simple.