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Car tips & advice | 27.05.2014 - 16:34

What You Need to Do for Your Car to Pass Inspection

Make sure your car is ready for safety and emissions testing with these simple tips.

In many states cars must pass an annual inspection and emissions test in order to legally drive on the road. There are several things you, as the car owner, can do in advance to ensure that your car passes its inspection on the first try. Replacing worn tires and brakes, fixing a cracked windshield, replacing burnt out exterior lights, and updating your registration and insurance information will expedite the inspection process and keep the overall cost as low as possible.


Replace Worn Tires

Worn tires and brakes are sure to cause an expensive snag in any state inspection. Tires should be replaced when the tread is down below 1/16 of an inch. Use the penny test as an easy way to estimate when your tires need replaced.


Fix a Cracked Windshield

A minor crack in your windshield may not cause your car to fail its inspection, but a major crack that is in your line of vision while driving will. There are some companies that can patch a small crack in your windshield while larger cracks might cause the windshield to need replaced. Whatever the case, make sure you take care of it before your inspection appointment to avoid a costly remedy and a possible re-inspection fee.


Replace Burnt Out Lights

Replacing burnt out headlights is relatively simple and inexpensive so it makes sense to do this before your car's inspection. Look in your owner's manual for the type of bulb you might need and for specific replacement instructions (techniques vary based on the make and model of your vehicle).


Update Your Registration and Insurance

Finally, making sure your registration and insurance information is up to date will ensure that you don't fail your inspection due to a lack of correct paperwork. You should have a current insurance policy, as it is illegal to drive without auto insurance in most states. You should also verify that your car's registration is up to date and that you have not only the signed paper to prove its validity, but that you also have the current sticker on your license plate.


In conclusion, paying attention to the status of these four items will help your car pass inspection quickly and inexpensively. Replacing worn tires and brakes, fixing a cracked windshield, replacing burnt out lights, and updating registration and insurance information prior to your inspection will help ensure that your car will be legally drivable for at least another year.


Information credited to Speedy Brake and Apollo Muffler, vehicle diagnostic services in Calgary.

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