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Tyres can cause you to fail your MOT

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If your tyres aren’t up to scratch, you’ll fail your MOT test

As the leading tyre fitter in Reigate, my team and I have experienced pretty much everything a garage can at AJS Tyres. Like us, you may not be surprised to know that 17% of MOT fails are because of faulty lights, or that defective breaks account for another 7%. 

But you may be shocked to learn that a staggering 14% of MOT fails are down to worn or damaged tyres. This very worrying, especially since it doesn’t have to be this way. Good tyres are essential for safe driving, since they’re the only part of your vehicle that makes contact with the road. It’s no wonder they’re strictly checked during your MOT.

Word to the wise. If you want to ensure your tyres aren’t failed during an MOT, take a look at my simple yet important tyre safety tips. With over 30 years experience of providing automotive and tyre expertise, and conducting countless MOTs, I should know.

Tyre tread wear and tear

Did you know that the minimum legal tyre tread depth in the UK is just 1.6mm, and yet so many motorists drive with tyres with even less tread? As a tyre expert, I – as well as tyre manufacturer General Tires and the DVLA – recommend you have at least 3mm of tread depth. Why? Because good tyre treads help your car to grip the road better, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate with more control.

To avoid an MOT fail due to insufficient tread, you can check the depth by simply inserting a 20p coin into it. Do this across the length of your tyre. If you can see any part of the coin’s outer rim, your tread is less than the legal 1.6mm minimum, and you’re vehicle will fail it’s MOT. You can also spot the tell tale signs of tyre wear from smooth, shiny patches on the tyre’s surface. It’s worth noting that tyre wear can occur unevenly, resulting in some of your tyre having good tread, but not all. This is still enough to fail your MOT, so to avoid uneven tyre wear make sure your tyre pressures are correct. Not only will your tyres be safer, they’ll be more fuel efficient too.

Tyre sidewall damage

Another common cause of MOT tyre fails is cuts, nicks, bulges and bubbles on the tyre sidewalls. Your sidewalls are vital to driver safety, since they absorb all the pressure that is exerted on your tyres. Any damage to your tyre sidewalls puts you at risk of a blowout, increasing the chances of a serious accident. If your tyres are found to have any sidewall  damage, your vehicle will fail its MOT. 

Here are my five tips on how to avoid tyre sidewall damage:

1. Avoid scuffing against kerbs

If your tyres regularly come into contact with the kerb – such as when parking – I know from experience that you will most likely incur sidewall damage. Avoid this as much as possible.

2. Avoid driving into potholes

Okay, we all know that these days this is often easier said than done, but it’s vital to do so since the extreme impact of driving through potholes will ultimately compromise the integrity of your tyres. It’s also worth noting that this can also adversely affect your vehicle’s suspension, another common reason for MOT fails.

3. Maintain correct tyre pressures

The correct pressure keeps your tyres inflated at the optimum level, ensuring they perform at their best. Under-inflated tyres result in the sidewalls being exposed to more severe stress levels, increasing the chances of tyre damage.

4. Clean your tyres

If you walked through really dirty water, you wouldn’t leave your footwear uncleaned, would you? The same should be true of your tyres. Prolonged exposure to oil and solvents in puddles – or if spilled on your tyres – will result in a softening of your tyre’s compound, increasing the chances of sidewall damage.

5. Look out for sharp objects

Nails and glass are commonly found to be embedded into both tyre sidewalls and the tread. If any sharp object is discovered during an MOT inspection, your tyres will fail. If left to linger, sharp objects can cause lasting damage to your tyres, including punctures and sidewall damage. The sooner you prise these out, the less chance of significant damage.

I tell all my customers that if you want to avoid tyre damage, undertake regular inspections. It will not only improve your driver safety, it’ll also help ensure your tyres aren’t responsible for an MOT fail.

TPMS failure equals MOT failure

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems – TPMS – are found in more and more vehicles than ever before, but if this malfunctions it will cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. Malfunction through faulty or outdated internal batteries is a common reason, but not the only one. While TPMS technology is designed to monitor tyre pressures and alert the driver when either too high or too low, not all motorists realise that when a vehicle’s tyres are replaced or reinflated, the TPMS may need to be reset. 

If the tyre pressures monitored via TPMS are found to be different to that recorded during a manual inspection, you’ll fail your MOT.

Speak to the expert and avoid MOT tyre fails

If you’re unsure whether your tyres will pass an MOT, come along to AJS Tyres and speak to your unrivalled local tyre experts. We’ll offer you impartial advice, and can provide you with great deals on General Tire products, as well as expert fitting services.

Book online or telephone us on 01737 241370. We’ll help ensure you avoid an MOT tyre fail.

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