Tyres Fail MOT: Common Reasons and Solutions

Tyres are an essential component of any vehicle, and their condition is critical to road safety. As such, they are one of the most checked items during a vehicle’s annual MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. However, despite the importance of tyres, they remain a common cause of MOT failure.

According to the latest data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), tyres are the second most common reason for MOT failures in the UK, after lighting and signaling issues. In 2019, over 2.2 million vehicles failed their MOT due to tyre-related issues, such as insufficient tread depth, damage, or incorrect inflation. This represents around 13% of all MOT failures.

It is essential to understand why tyres fail MOT tests and how to prevent it from happening. In this article, we will explore the most common tyre-related MOT failures, explain what the requirements are, and provide tips on how to ensure your tyres pass the test.

Understanding MOT

MOT Overview

As car owners, we are legally required to have our vehicles undergo an annual MOT test to ensure that they meet the minimum safety and environmental standards set by the government. MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, which is the government department responsible for regulating road transport in the UK.

During an MOT test, a qualified inspector will examine various components of the vehicle, including the tyres, brakes, lights, and emissions. The inspection is designed to identify any faults or defects that could pose a risk to the driver, passengers, or other road users.

If the vehicle passes the MOT test, a certificate will be issued, which is valid for 12 months from the date of the test. If the vehicle fails the test, the owner will be notified of the reasons for the failure and will need to have the necessary repairs carried out before a new MOT test can be performed.

Tyre Regulations for MOT

One of the key components that are inspected during an MOT test is the tyres. The tyres are responsible for providing grip and stability on the road, and as such, they must be in good condition to ensure the safety of the driver and other road users.

The following are some of the key regulations that tyres must meet to pass an MOT test:

  • Tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tyre tread pattern. This can be checked using a tread depth gauge or by examining the wear indicators on the tyre itself.
  • Tyres must be free from any cuts, bulges, or other damage that could compromise their structural integrity.
  • The tyres must be the correct size and type for the vehicle, as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Tyres must be inflated to the correct pressure, as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

It is important to note that failing to meet any of these regulations could result in the vehicle failing its MOT test. As such, it is essential to ensure that your tyres are in good condition and meet the necessary regulations before taking your vehicle for an MOT test.

Common Reasons Tyres Fail MOT

When it comes to the MOT test, the condition of your tyres is an important factor that can determine whether your vehicle passes or fails the test. Here are some common reasons why tyres fail the MOT test.

Tread Depth Below Legal Limit

One of the most common reasons why tyres fail the MOT test is due to the tread depth being below the legal limit of 1.6mm. This is because tyres with low tread depth can affect the vehicle’s braking distance, grip and handling, especially in wet conditions. To check the tread depth, you can use a tread depth gauge or the built-in tread wear indicators on the tyre. If the tread depth is below the legal limit, it’s time to replace your tyres.

Tyre Damage

Another common reason why tyres fail the MOT test is due to damage such as cuts, bulges, and punctures. This is because damaged tyres can affect the structural integrity of the tyre and increase the risk of a blowout. It’s important to regularly inspect your tyres for any signs of damage and replace them if necessary.

Tyre Age

Tyres also have a maximum age limit, and if they exceed this limit, they can fail the MOT test. The age limit for tyres is typically 10 years from the date of manufacture, regardless of the amount of tread remaining. This is because tyres can deteriorate over time due to factors such as exposure to sunlight and heat. It’s important to check the age of your tyres and replace them if they are approaching or have exceeded the maximum age limit.

By keeping these common reasons in mind, you can ensure that your tyres are in good condition and pass the MOT test. Remember to regularly check your tyres for tread depth, damage, and age to ensure your safety on the road.

Visual Inspection During MOT

During an MOT, we conduct a thorough visual inspection of the tyres to ensure they meet the required standards. This inspection includes checking the tyre condition and wheel alignment.

Tyre Condition Check

The condition of the tyres is a crucial factor in determining whether they pass or fail the MOT. We check the tyres for any signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or cracks. These can weaken the tyre’s structure and increase the risk of a blowout.

Additionally, we check the tyre tread depth to ensure it meets the legal requirements. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre’s width and around the entire circumference.

If we find any issues with the tyre’s condition or tread depth, we will advise the vehicle owner to replace the tyres before driving the vehicle.

Wheel Alignment Inspection

During the MOT, we also check the wheel alignment of the vehicle. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven tyre wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and affect the vehicle’s handling.

We use specialist equipment to check the wheel alignment, which involves measuring the angles of the wheels in relation to each other and the vehicle’s centreline. If we find any issues with the wheel alignment, we will advise the vehicle owner to get it corrected before driving the vehicle.

Overall, the visual inspection during the MOT is an essential part of ensuring the safety and roadworthiness of the vehicle. By checking the tyre condition and wheel alignment, we can identify any potential issues and advise the vehicle owner accordingly.

Tyre Pressure and MOT

Checking Tyre Pressure

When it comes to MOT, tyre pressure is a crucial factor to consider. We recommend checking your tyre pressure regularly, at least once a month, to ensure they are at the correct level. You can find the recommended pressure for your tyres in your vehicle manual or on the tyre placard, which is usually located inside the driver’s door or fuel flap.

To check your tyre pressure, you will need a tyre pressure gauge. Simply remove the valve cap from the tyre, attach the gauge to the valve and take a reading. If the pressure is too low, you can inflate the tyre with a pump. If the pressure is too high, you will need to release some air from the tyre.

Impact of Incorrect Pressure

Incorrect tyre pressure can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance and safety. If your tyres are underinflated, they will wear more quickly and can lead to poor fuel economy. On the other hand, overinflated tyres can cause the vehicle to handle poorly and increase the risk of a blowout.

When it comes to MOT, incorrect tyre pressure can also result in a failure. If your tyres are significantly underinflated or overinflated, they will fail the MOT test. It is important to note that the minimum legal tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, so make sure to check the tread depth as well as the pressure.

In summary, checking your tyre pressure regularly is essential for both your vehicle’s performance and safety, as well as passing the MOT test. Always make sure to inflate your tyres to the correct pressure and check the tread depth to avoid any potential failures.

Repair and Replacement

Tyre Repair Standards

When it comes to repairing a damaged tyre, it’s important to follow the correct standards to ensure the safety of the vehicle and its passengers. At our garage, we follow the British Standard BS AU 159f:1997 for the repair of tyres. This standard outlines the proper procedures and guidelines for repairing punctures, cuts, and other types of damage to a tyre.

We inspect the tyre thoroughly to determine whether it is safe to repair or if it needs to be replaced. If the damage is within the repairable area and meets the requirements of the standard, we will proceed with the repair. We use high-quality patches and plugs to ensure a strong and lasting repair.

It’s worth noting that not all tyre repairs are possible. If the damage is too severe, or if the tyre has been driven on while flat, it may not be safe to repair and will need to be replaced.

Choosing Replacement Tyres

When it’s time to replace a tyre, it’s important to choose the right one for your vehicle. We recommend selecting a tyre that matches the specifications of your vehicle, including the size, load index, and speed rating. It’s also important to consider the type of driving you do and the weather conditions you typically encounter.

There are many different tyre brands and models available, each with their own features and benefits. We can help you select the right tyre for your needs and budget. We only stock tyres from reputable brands that meet our high standards for quality and safety.

In addition to selecting the right tyre, it’s important to have it installed correctly. We use state-of-the-art equipment and follow the proper procedures to ensure a safe and secure installation. We also perform a wheel alignment to ensure that your vehicle handles properly and your tyres wear evenly.

Remember, regular tyre maintenance is crucial for ensuring your safety on the road. We recommend checking your tyre pressure and tread depth regularly, and having your tyres inspected by a professional at least once a year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the minimum tread depth requirements for tyres on an MOT test?

The legal minimum tread depth for tyres on a car or light commercial vehicle is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre tread, around the entire circumference. Tyres with less than 1.6mm of tread depth will fail an MOT.

Can a tyre with a screw or puncture cause an MOT failure?

A tyre with a screw or puncture may fail an MOT if it causes the tyre to be below the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, or if it is deemed to be a danger to other road users.

What constitutes tyre sidewall damage severe enough to fail an MOT?

Tyre sidewall damage that exposes the tyre’s cords or ply, or that causes a lump, bulge, or tear in the sidewall, will likely result in an MOT failure.

How can I check my tyres to ensure they meet MOT standards?

You can use a tread depth gauge to measure your tyre tread depth. Alternatively, you can use the 20p test, which involves inserting a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, the tyre may be close to or below the legal minimum tread depth.

Are there specific conditions under which a repaired tyre might fail an MOT?

A repaired tyre may fail an MOT if the repair is not deemed to be of a satisfactory standard, or if the repair is located in a specific area of the tyre.

What tyre conditions are considered an advisory note during an MOT assessment?

Tyre conditions that are considered an advisory note during an MOT assessment include uneven wear, cuts, bulges, and lumps. These conditions do not result in an MOT failure but may need to be monitored or repaired in the future.