Electric cars still need MOTs in the same way that ICE vehicles do – as soon as your EV is over three years old it will need to pass the test every year to ensure the car is road safe.
Of course, an electric car’s MOT will differ slightly to an ICE vehicle’s MOT. All the same parts will be checked, such as the seatbelts, lights, windscreen and wipers, and tyres, but aspects that an EV does not have, such as an exhaust and transmission, do not need to be checked.
Here are some of the reasons why your electric car may fail its MOT, and how to avoid that from happening.
According to our research, tyres are responsible for 22% of all electric vehicle MOT failures, compared to 12% for all fuel types.
Electric vehicles tend to be on average 20-30% heavier than ICE vehicles, which means most of that weight is borne by the tyres. This can lead to uneven and quick wear, which could lead to you failing your MOT. It is dangerous and illegal to drive with bald tyres – this is classed as tread with a tread depth of 1.6mm.
Ensure you check all your tyres before your MOT to ensure that they are road legal. Have them inflated if they need it – this can be done quickly and inexpensively at a petrol station. If your tread is wearing thin, have them changed before your MOT, or be prepared to fail your MOT.
Your electric vehicle uses a process called regenerative braking. This process means that the wear on your brake pads and discs are minimised, as they are not used as often.
However, some drivers mistake this for not being used at all, which is not the case. Your pads and discs are still used and worn down when you drive your electric car, even with regenerative braking. If you are having your EV serviced at the correct intervals, your mechanic will check your pads and discs and advise you to when they need replacing.
Have a quick check of your brakes before your MOT. If they feel any different or you notice less stopping power, take them to a garage as soon as you can – do not risk driving with potentially faulty breaks. You may be able to tell through a visual inspection if the pads need replacing. If there appears to be less than 3mm of pad left, or any visible damage on the disc, consider having them changed before your MOT.
The third biggest MOT failure reason of all time isn’t dependant on your engine type. Your windscreen wipers not effectively clearing your windscreen are a common reason for MOT failure: EV, and ICE. If the blades don’t clear water from the windscreen or leaves dirty smears across the glass obscuring your vision, you could be in for a failure.
Luckily, windscreen wipers are an inexpensive, quick, and simple fix that anyone can complete before their MOT to ensure a pass. You can buy windscreen wipers online or from any automotive shop and you can fit them easily, in under ten minutes.
Of course, both ICE and electric cars use their lights. If your headlight or brake lights are dim or out, you’ll fail your MOT straight away. Changing bulbs is simple and a quick fix to avoid an MOT failure.
It is not just the brightness of the headlights, either – incorrect aim of the headlamps is the top MOT failure across all vehicle types. This can usually happen after you’ve had a headlamp bulb replaced, so it is worth checking this before your MOT.
Shine your headlamps against a flat surface such as a garage door or wall and ensure they aren’t too high or a low. You can adjust your lights by using a screwdriver to adjust the aim with the headlight adjustment screws.
While issues with the battery and the wirings often affect ICE vehicles also, it is incredibly important to ensure everything electrical is in good working order on your electric vehicle.
Faulty high-voltage cabling, insecure or damaged batteries, and exposed wiring can all result in an MOT failure. These issues can also cause the EV’s battery’s lifespan to diminish more quickly than expected. This is an expensive fix, so it is important to stay on top of your car’s wires and cables.
Damage and malfunctions with the electric motor can cause your EV to fail its MOT.
If your electric motor has overheated and failed, you will not pass the MOT. Same as if your have noticed any leaks or short circuits – your electric motor needs to be in perfect condition for your EV to pass its MOT.
Your charging system is incredibly important – if it is broken, you cannot charge your car, and therefore you are unable to drive it.
If you have any issues with your charging system, you should have it looked at before your MOT. Any damaged cables or faulty charging ports should be replaced and fixed. You should have no problems charging your car.
Your BMS is responsible for monitoring and managing the performance and the health of your battery. It is incredibly important, and if it is malfunctioning or damaged you will fail your MOT.
If you suspect your battery management system is failing, get in touch with your local electric car mechanic and have them take a look.
If you are unsure of when your MOT is, you can use our free MOT checker.
If your EV’s MOT is due soon, use BookMyGarage to compare all the EV-friendly garages in your local area. You can sort by price, distance, availability, reviews, and location. We never ask for any kind of pre-payment or deposit, and you can book any time of day or night. Join the millions of drivers who have saved money on their MOT.
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