Drivers have been warned not to ignore an often-forgotten car part which could lead to them failing their MOT.

The fuel cap seals off the tank once petrol or diesel has been pumped in, ensuring dangerous fumes don’t escape.

Many drivers don’t give it a second thought while filling up their car or van on the forecourt.

But one expert has highlighted how even minor damage could cause a big headache when it comes to passing your annual vehicle safety check.

Graham Conway from Select Van Leasing explained: “There are numerous things that can mean you don’t pass an MOT and have to book in for expensive repair work before a retest.

Worcester News:

“But there are also some minor ones that are particularly annoying if they come up in the failure column - including broken bulbs and worn-out wiper blades.

“One of the most often ignored is the fuel cap, which despite being used regularly flies very much under the radar for the majority of motorists.

“Modern cars and vans have spring-loaded caps that self-seal once the fuel pump nozzle has been removed.

“But if they crack, or the rubber seal around them is damaged, fumes can seep out and pose a real danger. You can understand why it’s on the MOT checklist. And you might also see a warning light on your dashboard telling you that something is wrong with your car’s Evaporative emission control systems (EVAP), which stops harmful fumes from leaking into the atmosphere.

“It’s normal to detect some smell of fuel when you fill up, but if it persists and is noticeable at times when the cap is closed then it is definitely worth getting it fixed.”

Ignoring the problem is not only dangerous, it could hit you in the pocket. An MOT costs around £54 so if you have to rebook following repair work, the bill for testing alone is already in three figures.

It’s also worth factoring in that you will be forced to have the issues fixed immediately, rather than allowing you to shop around for the best price.

Select Van Leasing’s Mr Conway highlighted some other overlooked factors that could cause a vehicle to fail an MOT.

He said: “Filling up your screenwash is one of the easier motoring maintenance tasks and a bottle costs as little as £2, but if you don’t do it that will lead to a failure.

“Halford’s will replace and fit new wiper blades for less than £20 so it would be foolish to ignore streaky and squeaky old ones that will also wreck your chances of an MOT pass.

“Likewise, frayed seat belts, broken number plate lights and even air fresheners dangling from your rearview mirror have the potential to cause you problems and cost you money.

“Obviously, addressing any problems when they occur and keeping up with the manufacturer’s recommended servicing programme are the best ways to ensure you will pass your MOT without any issues.

“But if your test is approaching it’s also a good idea to run through the checklist to see if there are any you can sort out ahead of time - such as replacing bulbs and tyres - to ensure your vehicle sails through the test.”