If you recently bought a car, moved to Maryland or received a Safety Equipment Rsepair Order (SERO), you are likely in need of a vehicle inspection. Although this is not required yearly, these are the main scenarios in Maryland that necessitate a safety inspection.
It may sound stressful, but bringing your car in for an inspection does not have to be a hassle. You can be prepared for your next inspection appointment by knowing what to expect, the top reasons your car might fail, and what to do if your car fails inspection.
1. What’s More Important Than Being Able to Start Your Car?
What’s more important than being able to start your car? That’s right, being able to stop your car. We rely on brakes to keep us safe on the road, but we should never take them for granted. Brakes wear out just like any other feature on a car and they can deteriorate quickly because of their frequency of use.
During an inspection, the mechanic will remove at least two tires and check your brake pad thickness, check for brake fluid leaks and make sure the brake pedal is operating properly. One reason brakes can fail inspection is if there is any metal-on-metal contact.
2. That Pesky Check Engine Light
If you’ve been driving around trying to ignore your check engine light, it’s time to pay attention to it. Your car will fail inspection if your check engine light is glowing on your dashboard.
It may feel stressful to bring your car in to find out why your check engine light is on, but it’s an important safety measure to take. It is possible the light is just on because of a faulty gas cap, but it could indicate more serious issues as well. A mechanic will be able to tell you why the light has turned on and how to get it to turn off again.
3. Tire Safety – A Crucial Element of Vehicle Inspection
Another important piece of the vehicle inspection process is the quality of your tires. Just because your tires are still getting you from point A to point B, does not mean they are keeping you safe along the way. Worn out tires are a recipe for disaster.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were over 700 tire-related fatalities in 2017. For a long time the NHTSA claimed that only around 200 fatalities per year were tire-related, but in recent years they have found that number is almost quadruple their original stance.
During your vehicle safety inspection, they will check the depth of your tire tread to make sure it is at least 2/32”. Remember that regularly bringing your car in for a tire rotation can prolong the life of your tires and keep you safe on the road.
4. Window Tinting – For the Extra Mysterious Car Owners
Window tinting has several benefits, including glare reduction, protecting the interior from sun damage and can even prevent crime by deterring theft. However, it’s important to make sure your window tinting is legal.
Your windows must allow at least 35% of the light to pass through in order to pass inspection. Some cars are manufactured with a built-in tint, so make sure you know what percent of light is coming through already. This will save you a headache when it’s time for your inspection, as removing window tint is a hassle.
5. Lights, Bulbs, Lenses, Oh My!
When it comes to lights and your car, there are many factors to consider. There are lights on your dashboard, turns signals, headlights, taillights and more, depending on your vehicle. All of these lights must be functional to pass inspection. Another reason your car might fail inspection is if your headlight or taillight lenses are broken. If you car does fail inspection due to a dead bulb, luckily it’s not usually an expensive fix.
Your car’s lights also have to be adjusted to meet state and federal regulations. We’ve all been blinded by another car’s headlights and wondered, “is that even legal?” and the answer could be that it’s not. There are laws in Maryland that regulate the brightness and color of car lights.
There are many other features checked during a safety inspection. Some issues include windshield wipers, horn, steering, mirrors, seat belts and much more. When you get your vehicle inspected at National Budget Muffler, plan for it to take about 1.5 hours. We are here for you if your car does fail the inspection. We will create a repair quote tailored to you and let you decide how you want to proceed.
Fail Vehicle Inspection in Maryland ?
To schedule your vehicle inspection, simply call the National Budget Muffler location that is nearest to you or for more information go to our vehicle inspection page!
Bel Air: 410-836-1706
Havre De Grace: 410-939-8460