Tyres, brakes and lighting make up the most common reasons for one in six cars failing their first MOT test, according to Honest John, the Daily Telegraph Motoring column.
Based on analysis of more than 400m MOT records from the DVSA, the report claims that tyres account for 101,000 failures (second only to lighting, which led to 169,000 rejections).
Yet tyres are one of the easiest parts of the vehicle to check and replace ahead of an MOT and are can therefore be eliminated as a cause of failure.
One way to be certain they will not fail the inspection is to ask a garage to do a pre-test tyre check, but this will incur an additional cost and the checks are easy to make yourself. Just follow these steps:
Size and Type
Ensure the tyres are the correct size for the vehicle by comparing the tyre size printed on the sidewall (eg 195/55R16) against the front and rear tyre sizes specified in the vehicle handbook. Each tyre must match the opposite tyre on both of the axles.
The legal minimum tread depth limit is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the entire circumference. Tyres with tread depth lower than this will constitute a fail. Checking tyre tread depth is simple and you do not need any mechanical expertise or specialist equipment to do so, instead follow this procedure: locate the tread wear indicator bars built into every tyre. These cross ribs are evenly spaced around the circumference of the tyre in its main longitudinal grooves. You can hardly see them when the tyre is new, but they gradually begin to appear as the tread wears down. If more than one or two of these are visible, it indicates the tread has worn down to approximately 1.6mm and the tyre needs replacing. Check each tyre at several points around the circumference to get an accurate result. If just one part of one tyre is illegal, the vehicle will fail the test.
The general condition of your tyres will also be under scrutiny during the test, so it is important to look for signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, punctures or the cord or ply showing through. It is possible to legally repair a punctured tyre so that it will pass the test. etyres offer a mobile puncture repair service with prices starting from just £25, which can be a fraction of cost of a brand new tyre.
Two additional factors to be aware of are that:
1. Spare wheels and tyres are NOT inspected
2. Vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2012 will be checked to make sure the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is working. A faulty TPMS will lead to an automatic fail
MOT failures can be end up costing time and hassle, as well as money, so it is worth investing a few minutes ahead of the test to check your tyres before submitting your vehicle for its test.
Denna Bowman, Head Office