Van fleets should ensure they carry out preventative brake maintenance to reduce the risk of MOT failures, according to ATS Euromaster.

The vehicle servicing company said that nearly 30% of van MOT failures did so because of a braking defect.

It said that with van lifecycles often extended beyond four and five years, plus harder usage through double-shifting to meet increased demand for home, vans were more likely to pick up defects.

ATS operation director Mark Holland said: “An astonishing 29.3% of vans failed their MOT thanks to a brake defect of some manner. We expect this percentage to increase as this data was from 2020 – and vans have been working harder and longer since the pandemic, fuelled by the increase in the home delivery market.”

ATS says that when a service identifies issues that might need dealing with a couple of months later, rather than leaving it, fleet managers should recognise the vehicle downtime cost of a further visit to the service bays and approve brake rectification during the services.

Advice issued by ATS to van fleets includes regularly changing brake fluid, and not changing just brake pads when discs are an advisory, as this will result in the pads potentially being changed again prematurely when the discs go below spec.

Fleets are also advised to watch out for warped and scored/pitted discs, and not to dismiss squealing or noisy brakes as these could be a sign of major issues developing.

A van pulling to one side under braking is also a potential sign of major problems, and ATS also advises that dashboard warning lights should not be ignored.

Holland added that ATS’s Digital Vehicle Health Check could help identify brake issue in advance.