Top Signs Your Vehicle Might Fail the MOT Test

Facing the dreaded MOT test? It’s like the automotive health check we all nervously anticipate. Before you send your vehicle into the scrutinizing spotlight, it’s wise to be the Sherlock Holmes of car clues. There are subtle whispers, hints, and sometimes glaring red flags your car might be waving, signaling a potential MOT hiccup. From flickering lights to mysterious noises, these signs are like Morse code from your vehicle, saying, “Hey, pay attention!” Buckle up as Car and Bike Magic decode the top signals that your four-wheeled companion might be gearing up for a rocky MOT journey.

Disco Dash Lights:

Picture this: your car’s dashboard turns into a disco floor with an unexpected light show. Those warning lights start flickering like they’ve got the rhythm of Saturday night fever. It’s not a funky feature; it’s your car giving you a heads-up. Those little glowing symbols might be telling you, “Hey, we’ve got issues, and the MOT inspectors are going to notice.” Ignoring the disco dash lights could be like sending an invitation for your car to flunk the MOT dance. So, when the dashboard disco starts, it’s time to play detective and figure out what your car is grooving about before the MOT spotlight hits.

Clunky Serenade:

Ever been on a car ride that sounded more like a clunky serenade than a smooth journey? If your vehicle starts belting out clunks, squeaks, and mysterious noises, it’s like the automotive version of hitting a wrong note. Your car isn’t trying out for a talent show; it might be composing a symphony of issues, especially if you’re gearing up for an upcoming MOT test. These auditory red flags are like a musical warning, saying, “Listen up! Something’s not right, and the MOT inspectors might hear it too.” So, when your car starts serenading you with sounds that weren’t on the playlist, it’s probably time to take a closer listen before those offbeat notes become a MOT-testing headache.

Tire Tango:

Imagine your car tires deciding to trade their usual coordinated dance moves for a mismatched tango routine. Uneven tire wear is like your vehicle attempting ballroom dancing in different shoes – it just doesn’t work. If you notice one tire doing the cha-cha while the others are waltzing, it’s a sign that your wheels might be practicing the wrong steps, and the MOT stage is no place for a tire tango. This uneven wear is like your car’s way of signaling, “Hey, I might struggle to keep up with the MOT inspection, so let’s address this tire tango before the big performance.” So, before the MOT judges check your moves, ensure your tires are in sync and ready for a smooth inspection dance.

Disco Lights Redux:

  1. Funky Blinking Lights: If your dashboard starts looking like a disco floor with lights flashing to their own beat, it’s not a party—it’s a signal.
  2. Inconsistent Illumination: Flickering lights aren’t a design feature. They might be your car’s Morse code for “Trouble ahead, especially during the MOT.”
  3. Colorful Warnings: Different colored lights popping up? It’s not a light show; it’s your car’s way of saying, “Listen up, we’ve got issues!”
  4. Dance of the Symbols: Each blinking symbol has a story, and it’s not a happy one. Decode the disco dash before the MOT inspectors hit the dance floor.
  5. Ignored Invitation: Ignoring these warning lights is like RSVPing to a failed MOT party. Your car is trying to tell you it needs attention before the big inspection event.
  6. Pre-MOT Check: Before the disco lights steal the show, take your car for a pre-MOT check. Fixing the issues early can save you from a MOT test meltdown.

Brake Drama:

When your brakes start sounding less like a reliable stopping force and more like they’re auditioning for a soap opera, that’s brake drama unfolding. Those unexpected squeaks, clatters, and gossip-like whispers are your car’s way of dropping hints that it might not be ready for the MOT red carpet. It’s like your brakes are saying, “Hey, we’ve got a plot twist, and it involves a potential role in an MOT failure.” Ignoring the brake drama is akin to letting the drama escalate. So, before your car’s brakes become the stars of a MOT breakdown, it’s advisable to listen to their theatrical whispers and address the performance issues. After all, a smooth brake performance is crucial for a happy ending at the MOT inspection stage.

Exhaust Smoke Signals:

Imagine your car’s exhaust pipe becoming a smoke signal artist, puffing out more than just the usual transparent vapor. When your exhaust starts blowing colored smoke rings, it’s not practicing for a circus act; it’s sending distress signals about potential MOT troubles. Whether it’s a subtle grey or a dramatic black cloud, each puff is like your car saying, “Houston, we have a problem, and it involves the upcoming MOT test.” Ignoring this smoky SOS is like pretending your car is just practicing its vape tricks. Before your vehicle turns into a chimney at the MOT inspection, it’s time to decipher the smoke signals and address the issues, ensuring your car is ready for a clean performance on MOT day.

Windscreen Web:

When your car’s windscreen starts resembling a spider’s masterpiece, with cracks forming a tangled web, it’s not just an aesthetic issue; it could be a plot twist in your MOT saga. It’s like your car telling you, “Hey, we’ve got a narrative developing, and it involves potential MOT complications.” Ignoring the web of cracks is akin to underestimating their impact. Your windscreen isn’t just a barrier against bugs and the wind; it’s a crucial player in the MOT inspection. So, before your vehicle’s windscreen becomes the protagonist in a MOT failure story, it’s wise to mend the cracks and ensure that your car’s front view is crystal clear for its MOT close-up.

Headlight Hide-and-Seek:

  1. Shadow Play: Are your headlights playing an unexpected game of hide-and-seek, casting shadows where they shouldn’t? It’s not mood lighting; it’s a sign your car might be playing hard to get with the MOT inspectors.
  2. Dimming Dilemma: If your headlights are pulling a disappearing act or suddenly losing their brightness, it’s not a magic trick—it’s a potential MOT performance hiccup.
  3. Wandering Aimlessly: Headlights with a mind of their own, pointing in different directions? Your car might be sending a signal that its spotlight control needs some backstage attention before the MOT stage.
  4. Inconsistent Illumination: Ever feel like your headlights are having a mood swing, shining brighter one moment and dimmer the next? Your car might be practicing a light-based Morse code for “Fix me before the MOT!”
  5. Alignment Anomalies: Headlights misaligned like a poorly rehearsed dance routine? It’s not just an aesthetic concern; it’s a signal your car might be stumbling into MOT trouble.
  6. Check the Bulbs: Before the MOT spotlight shines on your car, check those bulbs. A simple bulb replacement might be the encore your headlights need for a dazzling MOT performance.

Fluid Leaks:

Ever spotted mysterious puddles under your parked car and felt like your vehicle was leaving cryptic messages on the pavement? Those fluid leaks aren’t just minor inconveniences; they’re your car’s way of waving a red flag, especially when the MOT inspection is on the horizon. Whether it’s a pool of rainbow-colored liquids or a simple water ring, these leaks might be signaling potential issues that could lead to an MOT disappointment. Ignoring these automotive messages is like pretending your car is playing a harmless water sport. Before the MOT inspectors turn into detectives, it’s smart to decode these fluid leaks and address the underlying problems, ensuring your car stays dry and drama-free during its MOT performance.


What is the most common fail on a MOT?

The most common MOT failure is related to lighting and signaling issues, including faulty bulbs, improper alignment, or malfunctioning indicators.

What will make an MOT fail?

Various factors can lead to an MOT failure, including issues with lights, brakes, tires, exhaust emissions, and structural integrity.

Which warning lights are MOT failures?

Illuminated warning lights, such as the ABS, airbag, or engine management lights, can result in an MOT failure if they indicate a significant issue with the corresponding system.

What do they look for on an MOT test?

During an MOT test, inspectors evaluate the safety, roadworthiness, and emissions of a vehicle, checking components like lights, brakes, tires, suspension, and exhaust systems.

What is bad on an MOT?

Anything that compromises safety, such as faulty lights, brakes, or excessive emissions, can be deemed bad and result in an MOT failure.


In the intricate dance of preparing your vehicle for the MOT spotlight, recognizing these warning signs is your backstage pass to a smoother performance. Whether it’s the disco lights on the dashboard, the brake drama, or the tire tango, addressing these issues before the MOT test ensures your car is ready for its moment on the inspection stage. Remember, a proactive approach to those clunks, leaks, and whispers not only saves you from potential failures but also keeps your journey on the road of safety and compliance. So, tune up your vehicle, fix those issues, and roll confidently into the MOT test, knowing your car is set to steal the show.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *