Owning your own vehicle can give you an overwhelming sense of independence, but there are also elements of accountability and responsibility as well. On top of having valid car insurance that you pay for monthly, there are yearly requirements that the state gives you in order to ensure that your vehicle is road worthy. Going without a yearly state inspection might end up costing you a lot in the long run, as you must have a valid inspection in order to have your car registered which is required by law. While you definitely do not want to get caught without an inspection, going back into the shop after you have failed the first one can be a frustrating and avoidable waste of time and money. Here are a few common things that will cause your car to fail an inspection test that you can easily fix before hand.
If you are needing to get new tires but you also need a yearly inspection, I would recommend you go ahead and invest in the tires first. Major and deadly traffic accidents can and do occur due to bad tires, so this is something that will stop you from getting the sticker you need.
Your tire is legally considered worn out when the tread reaches 2/32 of an inch. If you are like most people and can’t eyeball such an obscure number, there is a tried and true test to check. Put a penny upside down in one of the tread grooves of your tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tire is worn out and you need to replace it immediately.
One of the quickest ways your car gets knocked out of alignment is by hitting a big bump really hard or several smaller bumps over time. Either way, if your alignment is way out, then you probably will not pass your inspection test. If your alignment is out of whack and you need to get your car inspected, go ahead and invest the $60 or so to get it taken care of.
If you have a massive crack or some other obstruction, you might not pass your inspection test. Your windshield needs to be easy to see out of, especially from the driver’s side. If anything is obstructing your vision in any way, you will not pass the inspection. Getting a new windshield will cost you anywhere from $200-$400 depending on the vehicle.
If your check engine light is on but you don’t know why, you might want to find the source of the problem before going into your inspection. Many auto shops or stores will do a diagnostic test on your engine free of charge. and they can tell you what is causing your dashboard to light up with warning signals. Often, it is a really easy fix like tightening your gas gap, but if it isn’t, at least you prepared and know what to have your mechanic fix before the inspection.