car from front

There are over 265 million cars on the roadways of America. Keeping these cars in good working order is a lot easier said than done. Around 17 states in America require residents to pass annual car safety inspections. With these inspections, state officials and even the owners of the car can detect problems before they do too much damage.

If you have never had to be involved in one of these car inspections, you may be a bit apprehensive. Instead of dreading this process, you need to educate yourself regarding what to expect. Figuring out the answer to the question what do they check in a car inspection will set your mind at ease.

The following are some of the things you need to know about car inspections and what state officials will check.

Functional Lights are a Must

Most car owners take important parts of their car for granted. If you are like most people, you just expect things like your headlights and tail lights to work. Generally, drivers don’t inspect these lights on a regular basis.

This means that when one of these lights go out, you may not notice for some time. Professionals inspecting your car will check to ensure both the lights and the lenses on your vehicle are functioning properly. Without vital lights like turn signals or headlights, you can become a danger to the motorists around you.

Being unable to signal which way you are about to turn substantially increases your chances of being involved in a car accident. If one of these lights is out, your main goal should be getting it replaced as quickly as possible.

The Condition of Your Braking System

Bringing a car to a complete stop is something most people do without much thought. The only way this process can happen is with the cooperation of various parts on your vehicle. Things like brake pads, rotors and calipers will have to function flawlessly in order for you to bring your vehicle to a stop.

Often times, inspectors will remove one or more of your wheels to get a firsthand look at your braking components. If they notice that your brake pads are worn down to the metal, they will advise you to get them changed. Driving around with worn-out brake pads is a recipe for disaster.

Failing to address the braking problems found by these inspectors can create issues with your insurance company. Insurance companies who provide policies to customers in states where these safety inspections are mandatory want to see the reports generated by officials. If your car is deemed unsafe to drive by the inspector, getting positive inspection reports will be impossible.

Are the Vehicle’s Steering Components Working Well?

Before power steering systems were invented, navigating roadways was difficult for drivers. Power steering systems make turning the steering wheel much easier. However, when the pumps that operate these systems cease to work, they can cause a lot of problems.

One of the main things an inspector will look at when popping your hood is the condition of the power steering pump. Not only will they look for power steering leaks, but they will also look at the condition of the belt.

If the belt looks worn out, the inspector may recommend you replace it. Waiting until the belt completely breaks to take action may leave you stranded on the side of the road. Working with a knowledgeable mechanic can help you get the new belt in place in a hurry.

Inspectors Will Take a Look at Your Tires

While a car has a number of important parts, none are quite as important as the tires. If the tires on a vehicle are worn, it will be hard to stay safe while behind the wheel. Typically, an inspector will look at both the tread on the tires and the air pressure. By using a specialized gauge, inspectors will be able to assess whether or not the tires in question are properly inflated.

Operating a vehicle with improperly inflated tires can be dangerous. Not only will these under-inflated tires wear faster, but they can also reduce stopping power. While new tires can be expensive, they are a great investment.

What Do They Check in a Car Inspection? Definitely the Windshield

The scope of a car inspection will vary based on the state you live in. However, most inspectors will thoroughly inspect a vehicle’s windshield. These inspections will be done to ensure the windshield is not cracked, chipped or damaged.

Trying to operate a vehicle with a damaged windshield is very dangerous. Not only will cracks and chips make it difficult for a driver to see, they can also cause structural integrity issues.

The more cracks a windshield has, the higher the chance will become of it collapsing in the event of a collision. Getting a damaged windshield replaced can help to keep you and the passengers on the roadways you travel safe.

Warning Lights Will be Checked

Ignoring check engine or SRS lights can be dangerous. These lights are designed to provide drivers with a warning that something it wrong with their vehicle.

If your entire instrument cluster is littered with illuminated warning lights, you need to get them fixed before having it inspected. Mechanics will have the diagnostic equipment needed to figure out what needs to be fixed to get these warning lights to go off.

Don’t Skip Your Inspection

Now that you know the answer to the question what do they check in a car inspection, you need to get this inspection done. Skipping your appointment to have your vehicle inspected can lead to big problems developing.

Are you looking for more car advice? If so, check out the rest of the blogs on our website.