Police highlight the most common (and dangerous) car faults

21st Feb, 2022

Here’s something scary: over 1 million registered UK cars have failed their MOT due to new DVSA criteria introduced in May 2018. That might not sound like much in itself – cars fail on technicalities all the time – but somewhat worryingly, about a third of those (32%) were deemed an immediate threat to public safety. That’s over thirty thousand cars driving around with a fault serious enough to pose a danger.

If that wasn’t unsettling enough, Northumbria Police have recently released figures that showed that more than half of all the vehicles they stopped were found to have dangerous faults. So it turns out there are a lot more dangerous cars driving about than we first thought! Now here’s the main question – is your car one of them? Here, we’ve summed up some of the common issues highlighted. If you encounter any of them, you’ll generally want to get them looked at ASAP. And if they look like they’ll cost a bomb to fix, it might be worth asking yourself – is it time to scrap my car?

Driving With Bald Tyres & Other Dangers

Now, we’ll start with a particularly common but often overlooked fault – dodgy tyres. If left unattended for too long, a dodgy tyre can pose serious risks – not just to your wallet, but also your safety, and that of other road users around you. The most common issues can include things like tyres being under/over inflated, worn out treads, cracks and punctures. A good way of ensuring your tyre tread is up to scratch is to use a 20p piece – we covered what you need to do in our post about how to prepare for an MOT test.

Vehicle Fire Extinguishers

Let’s be honest, going up in flames is not an everyday worry for the vast majority of us, but just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s always vital to keep your fire extinguisher in working order – even if you think you’ll never use it. For most cars, a 1kg or 2kg ABC dry powder unit is usually sufficient, these can be found in most good DIY/motoring stores. To avoid any damage during travel, make sure your unit is secured to a bracket, and is kept out of direct sunlight (in other words, stick it in the boot).


Brake Fluid, Engine Oil & Other Leaking fluids on Vehicles

Your car carries a variety of different fluids which serve a variety of different functions. You probably hardly think about them, but they’re all absolutely necessary for your car to function properly (and pass its MOT test). So if you suspect any kind of leak, don’t dismiss it offhand – it might be more serious than you think!

If you suspect a leak, the first thing to do is to slot a piece of cardboard underneath where you think the leak is seeping from, and leave it overnight. Check it first thing in the morning. If it’s dry, you’ll probably be OK, but it’s never a bad idea to check it into a garage just in case. Nobody wants to discover they were wrong about a leak at 70mph!

So, what should you look out for if the cardboard was marked? Well, serious leaks include brake fluid (a light yellowish colour that gets darker) and engine oil (brownish). If you spot any of these, without question get your car checked out as soon as possible. Next on your priority list after that should be coolants and water washer fluid – both of which are equally safety-critical, but in slightly different ways. Long story short – if you’ve got any kind of leak, take it to a professional and drive it as little as possible in the meantime. It’s just not worth the risk.

Faulty & Dangerous Brakes

We’ll spare you the detailed lecture on this one – we don’t need to tell you how important your brakes are. You use them every day, no matter your experience or skill. (And if you don’t, you really shouldn’t have a licence.) Problems with your brakes are generally pretty obvious, but if you’re concerned, then a few signs to look out for include:

• Abnormal grinding/screeching sounds
• A vibrating brake pedal
• A burning smell emitting from near your tyres
• Brake warning light (obviously)

You know the drill: if you suspect any issues with your brakes, get them sorted as quickly as possible. Nobody loves a life-or-death situation on their morning commute.

Now, as you may have sussed already, unfortunately the most safety-critical repairs also tend to be the most expensive ones. Sometimes, they can even outweigh the cost of your car. So, should you find yourself on the receiving end of a particularly large quote, or a less-than-stellar MOT test result, and you’re unsure whether it’s worth the hassle (not to mention the cost) to get it all sorted, that’s where we can help right here at Scrap Car Network! We make it simple and easy to scrap your car, and get maximum cash in the process. Just enter your reg and postcode into the fields on our site and we’ll get you an instant quote before you can say scrap my car. Curious to find out how much yours is worth?

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial