Whilst there are many issues which could result in MOT failure, you may be surprised by some of the car problems which rarely lead to a fail. 

Read on and learn the 7 things that you probably won’t fail your MOT for. 


Car Body Dents

Your car’s bodywork will be checked during an MOT test, but you will only fail the test if there is a great deal of corrosion or damage to the vehicle, or sharp edges 

An MOT tester will look to ensure that body parts are secure and will stay in place when driving, and so cosmetic damage like car body dents or scratches may be permissible.  

Your vehicle won’t fail its MOT if the doors open and close properly - even if there is a dent in the wing. The front doors should open from the inside and outside, and the rear doors need to open so that the rear seat belts can be tested.  

As long as it is not deemed dangerous, then a dented bumper will not result in MOT failure.  


Coolant Leak

Surprisingly, an engine coolant or screen wash fluid leak will not result in MOT failure.

This will only lead to MOT failure if a pool of liquid forms on the floor within five minutes that is more than 75mm in diameter, or if many leaks are leaking fluid at the same time. 


Cracked Windscreen

Your car’s windscreen will be checked for chips and cracks - as long as these chips or cracks are less than 10mm in the driver’s line of vision, then you probably won’t fail your MOT.  

The same is true of any crack less than 40mm located elsewhere on the area of the windscreen which is cleaned by the windscreen wipers 

Even so, it is important that you have any cracks or chips in your windscreen repaired as soon as possible, as these could evolve into a much more serious issue. 


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General Repair


Gearbox Problems

The gearbox, clutch and engine - apart from emissions - will not be checked during an MOT test. Even if your gearbox is producing a grumbling noise, this will not result in MOT failure. 

However, you should have a professional mechanic locate the source of the grumbling sound for you soon, as it could suggest there is a problem with your car’s transmission.  


Holes in the Exhaust

Your car’s exhaust will only fail an MOT if there is a major leak, emissions levels are deemed to be unsafe or if there is a part missing from the catalytic converter or diesel particulate filter (DPF).

You may receive an advisory notice if there is corrosion or a minor leak which could lead to problems in future. Provided there is no major leak of exhaust gases, then your vehicle should pass the MOT test.  

If there is a hole in your exhaust, then you will need to have a new one fitted. 


Worn Brake Pads

Given that your car’s brakes are regularly in use, it makes sense that your brake pads will wear out over time. When your car's brake pads wear out, this can make braking more of a challenge.

That being said, unless your car’s brake pads have worn out past the 1.5mm level, your car won’t fail its MOT. 

If your brake pads are approaching this limit, then you may receive an advisory warning telling you to replace the brake pads as soon as possible.  

Generally speaking, most mechanics will recommend replacing brake pads if the pad friction material has worn to 3mm of thickness.  

Your brake pads should last for 50,000 miles with regular maintenance and care, but this can vary depending on your driving style, where you tend to drive, and the number of passengers you regularly transport.  


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Front Brakes (Pads)


Worn Tyres

As your car’s tyres wear away over time, they can struggle to grip the road surface, making aquaplaning in wet weather more likely. The driver will find it harder to control the vehicle, as worn tyres may lose traction more regularly, and this can lead to increased braking distances.  

The legal tread depth minimum is 1.6mm, so your car’s tyres will pass the MOT so long as their tread depth is above this limit.  

Even if your tyres pass the MOT in this state, you should always plan to replace your tyres as close to the 3mm mark as possible - otherwise the braking performance of the tyre will be impacted.  


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If your MOT is due to expire, be sure to book your next MOT test at your earliest convenience.  


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To give your vehicle the best chance of passing the test, consider conducting a pre-MOT check. This can help you to spot potential issues with your vehicle and give you time to fix them before the test.