Why You Will Fail the NCT (Part 2)

11 Jun 2015

Why You Will Fail the NCT (Part 2)

As we recently highlighted, the same four items keep coming top of the list for NCT failure each year:  Front Suspension, Tyres, Headlights, and Brake Lines/Hoses.

We’ve dealt with the suspension and tyres so now let’s see if we can improve your chance of passing the test by making sure your headlamps and brakes are in tip-top shape. Your car will be much safer– which is what the NCT is designed to do – and it will save you a possible €28 in re-test fees.

Headlamp Aim


We have all suffered from the glare of a mis-aligned headlight. It can momentarily blind us. But think of what it means for the person driving the car. They are probably not able to see big tracts of road/roadside. There are many cars driving on just one headlight. Many others are badly directed. It is a real danger and can land you in trouble with the Gardai. 

How will I know if something is wrong?

That’s a good question because it should be fairly obvious. But headlights comprise the No. 3 biggest cause of NCT failure. We just don’t check. Again there is a simple solution.

  1. Check all lights, not just headlights, regularly. It is only a matter of turning them on and walking around your car.
  2. Check for cracks or broken lights – front and back. It is easy to overlook a rear light.
  3. Turn on the indicators and check they are all working. It only takes a few minutes every so often but it means you are always well lit.
  4. We are talking about headlight but it is also worth having someone press the brake pedal to check the red lights are working?
  5. Your garage will test the alignment of your lights easily and quickly. Worth doing on a regular basis because they can ‘slip’ quite quickly.

TIP!  Check your dim and full-beam are working by aiming them at a clear wall. But do not take this as showing they are properly aligned. You need absolutely level ground and a proper way of checking. Leave that to your garage. 

Brake Lines/Hoses check_your_brakes

We won’t insult your intelligence by pointing out how vital your car’s brakes are. But faults in brake lines and hoses constitute the other big reason for cars failing the NCT

How will you know if something is wrong?

  1. The harsh fact is it might be too late to find out – unless you have your braking system checked regularly. This is vital.
  2. You may notice a softness in the pedal when you brake – they call it ‘fade’. That suggests there is something wrong.
  3. Check your brake fluid levels every week without fail. If there is any sign of them getting lower you need to have it checked by a garage.
  4. Get your mechanic to check for wear and tear on brake pads. Leave nothing to chance.
  5. Make sure your handbrake is 100 per cent effective.

 TIP! Always check the ground where your car is parked for tell-tale signs of leakages (brakes, cooling system etc) under the engine compartments especially .

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