In what is essentially an annual checkup for your car, car inspections provide a chance to check how healthy your car is. Let’s break down everything you need to know about vehicle checkups and how to fulfill your search for “car inspections near me”.
What is a Car Inspection?
A car inspection is a state required evaluation of a motor vehicle to ensure that it is safe being driven for both the driver and for surrounding people. These annual inspections are not only completed for safety reasons, but also to check for emissions. That means making sure the car is not leaking or exhausting any dangerous materials onto the road and into the atmosphere.
If you’re a new car owner or just starting to drive, your car’s inspection sticker will be found on the driver side windshield, placed from the inside of the car. This sticker allows police and mechanics to verify that the car was inspected within the last 12 months. This sticker is also known as your car’s registration.
After completing an inspection, you will receive a temporary registration while the formal registration is mailed to you from the DMV.
Why Do We Have Car Inspections?
Auto inspections serve many important purposes in our society.
For starters, it allows the state government to verify their records of drivers. The inspection process allows motor vehicle departments to see if drivers are still on the road, driving the same car, and doing so safely. By implementing these inspections, it provides a record of who is driving what vehicle so license plates can be properly verified with the owner.
The main reason for car inspections is for safety precautions. Cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles are complex mechanical machines. They have thousands of moving parts which need to be working in sync in order for the vehicle to function properly. Even if just one or two small parts aren’t working as they should, it could lead to other problems in the car. Given inspections only happen once per year, there is plenty of time for these problems to arise.
Another reason is to check for emissions. If you drive a gas powered car, then your engine emits pollutants into the air by burning gasoline. Plus all cars use fluids that are harmful to the environment, such as brake fluid or windshield washer fluid. If the reservoirs holding these fluids are leaking or they are being dispersed improperly, the inspection is effective at making sure the car doesn’t emit pollution beyond the limit.
How Long Does a Car Inspection Take?
The duration of your car inspection will depend on the condition of your car. If your car is in good working condition, the inspection should take 1 hour to 1.5 hours. This is ample time for the mechanic to verify the car is in good operating order and within its emissions standards.
If your car is damaged or otherwise a junk car, it will take longer to be inspected. This is because many components will be out of place or the car is harder to maneuver to be properly inspected. Inspecting a junk car will ultimately take over 2 hours in order for the mechanic to not only inspect the car, but also report what is wrong with it.
How Much Does a Car Inspection Cost?
Depending on what state you’re located in, the cost of a car inspection will vary. Overall, no states charge over $100 for a car inspection, however a couple states get close. As of 2021, Vermont charges the most for auto inspections which averages around $80. Wisconsin on the other hand provides free car inspections to its residents.
Which States Don’t Require Inspections?
Believe it or not, some states don’t require drivers or car owners to register their vehicles annually. There are seven states in total where there is no car checkup requirement. These states are Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, South Carolina, and South Dakota.
If you live in one of these states, the state government neither require you to update them will your car’s mileage and condition, nor ensure that your vehicle’s emissions are within reason. It’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected annually anyways so you can ensure you are driving a safe vehicle.
Car Inspection Near Me
If you’re searching for “car inspections near me” you’ll be pleased to know that most mechanics and auto body shops offer safety inspections. Since these auto professionals are skilled in diagnosing vehicles already, it makes sense for all of them to provide inspection services.
For one, it makes it much easier for drivers to get their car inspected. If people had to drive to their local DMV to get an inspection, there would be complete madness. State governments prefers this too. Having so many options for drivers make more people follow the rules and strengthens the state’s car inspection program.
Another plus about being able to get a safety inspection anywhere is that mechanics and auto body shops can use this as a way to get more customers. Since the price for registration inspections is uniform for all drivers within the state, it is much easier for these pros to offer inspection services at cost. The bonus for drivers is that some places will offer an inspection discount with new tires, which not only helps the driver but it creates business for the mechanic.
If you own a motor vehicle other than a car, there may be different inspection requirements. For example, diesel engine vehicles have more stringent emission standards given the fuel being used.
Luckily most states provide resources to find exactly where you can get specific vehicle inspections. For example, New York provides a website to help find car inspections near you.