Car Safety Inspection. It can be a headache, but it’s a very necessary one. Everything from standard passenger vehicles to trailers and commercial vehicles need state safety inspection passed to continue use on the road. Rules vary from state to state and differs in degrees of condition expectation. In Maryland, it’s extensive and done every two years. Find yourself sweating thinking about taking your car in to have looked over? Worried about whether it will pass or not? Here are some tips and signs to look for to keep your car passed safety inspection and on the road!
Common Warning lights
Engine warning lights. The first were employed by the Hudson Motor Company in the mid-30s, and simply signaled a catastrophic failure or breakdown in the engine was about to occur according to Blaine Auto Care. Because nowadays, warning lights detect a great deal of items. From tire pressure to rod knocks, modern engines can detect even slight changes to its own health thanks to new technology. An engine light on is an automatic failure of inspection and needs to be addressed in order to pass. The issue presented here is the variety of seriousness and issue that could be occurring. If you have an engine light on, here are some very simple diagnostics you can try on your own:
Check the engine gas cap
Yup, something as simple as a gas cap being loose or damaged can cause a vapor leak, which your car will detect. If your engine light is on and only has been recently, check and make sure it is tight. That may have been the issue, driving for a few minutes should cause it to shut off. If not, it’s still a good idea to check the condition of the gas cap for cracks or chips that could cause vapor leakage.
Check your spark plugs and wires
Your spark plug wires can wear out and rot as your vehicle ages, which will cause an imbalance of power sent to your engine’s cylinders. However, something as severe as a knock or misfires in the cylinder can be caused by faulty wires and should be checked regularly. If the area of concern is a misfire or other cylinder-related issues, the next item to check is spark plugs themselves. Because you need to check your spark plug for corrosion and for a proper “gap” to verify they haven’t fouled.
East Coast Rust!
It’s no secret that the climate we live in here on the east coast is wet, cold, and bad for cars. As a result, between road salt, heavy rain and snow and the biggest favorite: potholes, our cars sure take a beating out here. But how much rust will cause failure? If your car has a small area of rust with no holes, it most likely holds no safety issues if you can verify that’s all there is. But a rusted-out frame or serious structural damage? That will cause complete failure and may require replacement of your vehicle entirely if severe enough!
The most common areas to check for rust are around the rear of the wheel wells that see a lot of exposure to water and debris from the road. Also, the other most common place to check is your muffler and undercarriage, which has the most exposure to the road elements entirely. Check the areas for excessive rust, holes, weak couplings or cracks and wear.
These aren’t all the items to check for before safety inspection, but they are quite common and can be the only barrier between you and a pass! We hope you found this article helpful and enjoyable. But please check out our other blogs where we have a plethora of automotive information you may find helpful. Drive safe and enjoy!