5 Services for common car inspection failures

By Camelia Maftei

As one of the many givens in this world, your vehicle MOT is something you will need to take into account each year as soon as your car is over 3 years old. In our experience, this can become a nerve-wracking experience for drivers, feeling somewhat similar to spinning a roulette wheel to find out what fixes and remedial work may be required if you're faced with a car inspection failure.

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However, years of experience tell us that there are many easy and simple ways to service your car that can prevent many of the most common causes of an MOT or car inspection failure. Here, we cover 5 of the most common failures and how to easily address these before they become a problem.

Lights and signals

Perhaps the most common cause of a car inspection failure is faulty lights or signals. More often than not, this will be a simple fix that involves replacing a blown bulb. It is always worth doing a regular check of your lights by walking around the car with the lights activated. To check the rear brake lights, either ask a friend to stand behind the car while you test them or use the reflection in a window to check for yourself.

Sometimes, however, a light will fail due to the internal electrics rather than the bulb itself. While this can sometimes be a simple fix involving a loose wire connection, it can also be caused by a wide range of electrical complications that are difficult to diagnose by inspection alone For this reason, it is always worth taking your car to a garage for a full check-up using specialist equipment to confirm the root cause of the faulty light or signal.


You may not notice it until it is not working, but suspension is an essential part of the vehicle that improves your road driving experience without you realising it. It can also be hard to tell initially when a fault is present or developing, such as failing shock absorber or a damaged spring.

You can pay close attention yourself to any unusual sounds or bumps while driving, especially when performing manoeuvres, and look at the car while it is stationary to see if it sits level. Any unevenness may be a sign of a suspension issue. However, the easiest way to keep the suspension in good working order is to take your car for a regular service where qualified fitters can more thoroughly check for any early signs of issues.


Despite being such a fundamental feature of vehicle safety, the early warning signs of brake difficulties can be hard to spot. The brake pads will wear naturally and gradually over time through use, so it is important to listen out for any grinding or squealing sounds that can indicate a worn out brakepad (by the time you hear this, it may have damaged the disc). Pay attention as well to how the car behaves when braking to see if it pulls at all to one side, as this can be another indicator.

As with suspension, in our experience, the safest way to look after your brakes is to take your car for regular servicing where professionals can inspect the brake pads, discs and handbrake in greater detail and quickly fix any issues before they become dangerous.

Windows and wipers

While it may seem less fundamental to the function of the car, your windows and wipers determine your ability to see the road and any obstructions or problems can be a cause for MOT failure. This may be small cracks or chips, often hard to notice at first, that need addressing before they progress into larger damage to the windscreen. The wiper blades will also naturally wear down with time and use, so need to be replaced regularly to effectively clear rain and water from your field of vision.

Most wiper blade issues can be solved by changing the blades themselves, which are detachable from the mechanical arm attached to the car. However, in our experience, issues with the windscreen itself are best dealt with by a specialist who can properly diagnose and address the problem before it develops into something more serious. It is also always worth keeping your screen wash fluid topped up to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris that can both obscure your vision and potentially damage the glass over time.


As the point of contact with the road, it makes sense that tyres are another vital part of the car that can cause car inspection failures. Their importance is seen in laws governing tyre tread depth, as anything below the 1.6mm minimum can result in a fine and points on your licence. Check using a 20p coin and if you can see the outer edge, your tyre tread is dangerously below the threshold and the tyre needs changing immediately.

Other issues to check for are any scratches, bumps or unevenness on the tyre as these can potentially lead to a flat tyre or blowout. Regularly top up the air levels in your tyre to improve performance as well as safety, and if you notice yourself filling this up more often than usual, it might be time to get your tyres checked for damage.

Also important is the suitability and fit of the tyre, both for your vehicle and for your driving needs. Does it have the right combination of wet grip and fuel efficiency for the conditions you expect to be driving in and the amount you usually use your vehicle? With so many different options to consider from leading manufacturers such as Pirelli, Falken and Bridgestone, speaking with our tyre professionals is the quickest and easiest way to get expert advice on the treads and patterns best suited for you.

Our qualified fitters are also vehicle experts, offering comprehensive servicing in our nationwide network of garages, so the best way to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently is to book a free check-up online or contact your local Protyre garage for expert advice.

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About the author

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By Camelia Maftei
Camelia leads Protyre's customer service team and is skilled in customer communications.
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