• MoT failure – because of a dangling air freshener
• What checks can you carry out to avoid MoT disappointment?
• Spend time to avoid unnecessary frustration
Air fresheners can be the difference between MoT pass or failure – what other unusual but simple things should you look out for when preparing your vehicle for the annual test?
The annual MoT may be a day that you see marked in the calendar that fills you with dread. If you haven’t followed your vehicle’s service intervals or ignored warning lights on the dashboard, your nervousness is likely justified.
If, however, you’ve stuck to your vehicle’s regular service advice, resolved any warning light issues, you’ll probably drive to the MoT test centre confident that your vehicle will pass with no issues whatsoever.
Imagine the scenario: you’re called to the service counter to hear the workshop manager’s verdict. You’re expecting to receive the keys and drive away satisfied that your vehicle is free to travel the roads again for another 12 months – only to be told that it has actually failed because of a dangling air freshener!
While it may sound trivial, a dangling air freshener can impede the driver’s view and, therefore, compromise the safety of you, your passengers and other motorists. According to data published by the RAC in August 2020, 7.2% of failures were contributable to the driver’s view – only behind lights & signals (18.9%), suspension (13%), brakes (10%) and tyres (7.7%).
While most modern vehicles will alert you to many issues, from tyre pressures to the engine management, there are some checks that you need to attend to yourself, before your vehicle goes through its annual test.
These are items that you may not even know existed on a MoT checklist, like the air freshener example, but they are just as important as ensuring tyres are within the 1.6mm depth and your lights are working.
Below are several examples of why a vehicle can fail its MoT – but which can be easily rectified:
1. Air freshener
The main topic of the article, while the MoT tester may appreciate sitting in a pleasant-smelling cabin, it won’t detract them from the fact they can be obtrusive and put you and others in danger; therefore, should it be deemed unsafe, the tester is likely to fail the vehicle.
The same rule is applied to any dangling accessories, such as fluffy dice or your favourite sports’ team jersey, hanging off the rear-view mirror.
Your vehicle should be kept clean and tidy, both inside and out, because if a MoT tester can’t carry out their duties effectively down to clutter, they could refuse to proceed with the test.
3. Number plates
As mentioned earlier, there are warning lights for just about everything on a modern vehicle. However, there is no such caution if the licence plate is mucky, broken or missing altogether. Handing the keys over to a MoT tester with the registration illegible will result in a fail.
While waiting for your vehicle’s MoT to be completed, you might hear a lot of beeping of horns – and for good reason, as that is part of the check. Therefore, before leaving home and driving to the test centre, give your horn a good honk!
While quirky, these are basic and serious checks that you should carry out before handing over your vehicle to the MoT tester. In the year from May 2018, according to Green Flag, 10 million cars failed their MoT – almost a third of vehicles tested in the 12-month period.
While there are some jobs that are best left to a technician, such as replacing a car horn, there are ways you can help stop yourself from becoming a statistic and will allow you to drive your car away immediately, safe in the knowledge that your vehicle is roadworthy for another year.
Do your bit and you may not look at the calendar with so much fear next time. Also, if your vehicle’s dashboard does light up, consult a professional technician at the earliest opportunity.