Before you legally own or even drive your newly purchased car, you should be aware that it should undergo an inspection first. If you are not yet familiar, there are specific procedures that you must know and it might need your patience, as a vehicle inspection could take at least a few hours. It could also depend on your location, as well as the car model and how new it is.
In this post, we are going to talk about how long does car inspection take and the specifics that are involved. We will also discuss when a car inspection usually occurs, how you would know if your car passes the inspection, what you need to prepare before you have your car inspected, and lastly, the usual causes of a failed car inspection.
What Happens During a Car Inspection
First, your car’s physical status and interiors will be inspected. This would mean that the physical components of your vehicle such as its tires, headlights, seat belts, brakes, and suspension will be checked. The exhaust system will also be included as it is a very important part of a car. This can take at least 15 minutes, and will mostly depend on the speed of the inspector handling it.
Second, your car will be tested for driving. This process would ensure that the engines are in its good condition and are running as smooth as possible. In addition, it is to ensure that there are no mechanical problems for you to worry about in the long run. The brakes are also to be tested as an assurance for the driver and passengers’ safety. This process can take at least half an hour.
The third is the emission testing. Cities such as Los Angeles, California implement a very strict rule when it comes to emission control. In line with this, your vehicle should pass this test in accordance with the Department of Motor and Vehicle (DMV). In this process, if your vehicle is inspected to be belching out toxic smoke coming from the engine, it is most likely that your car has not passed the emission test. To prevent this from happening, you might want to consider having your car checked for smog beforehand. Emission testing usually takes around 10 minutes.
With the above information, it can be assumed that a car inspection may take at least 50 minutes to an hour. However, it should also be noted that the time will largely depend on the speed of the person handling the inspection.
When Does a Car Undergo an Inspection?
As a car owner, you should be aware that having your car inspected is not a recommendation, but a requirement mandated by the country or city where you purchased your vehicle. This would ultimately mean that you need to oblige by the rules, whether you like it or not. Usually, the city or the government sets these regulations, along with the rules for emissions and safety.
To answer the above question, an inspection usually occurs when you are about to transfer the title of the car into another individual. Inspections are also done when you are buying the car for the first time. Once the inspection is done, you may have to wait another 2 years to have the vehicle undergo an inspection again. However, it should be noted that for some countries, it is mandated that car owners have their cars inspected annually to ensure safety.
How to Know if a Car Passes an Inspection
A sticker is a clear identification that a vehicle has passed an inspection. These stickers can be seen on the car’s registration plate, or in some cases, on the windshield of the car. This is a requirement before a vehicle gets its license renewed or approved. The reason is that the stickers serve as proof that the vehicle has undergone an inspection.
A sticker proving that the car has been inspected are also checked by the police, making sure that the vehicle has been abiding the rules and regulations mandated by a certain state. It should also be noted that it is not enough that your vehicle gets inspected only once. As a responsible car owner, you need to do it on a regular basis.
How to Prepare Before an Inspection
Knowing all the things you need to prepare before you show up for a car inspection will save you a lot of time. It might take a longer time than the usual if you fail to bring any of these. What’s worse is that you may have to come back another day. In addition, long lines are to be expected so you better show up early and prepared for your car’s inspection.
The first thing that you should bring is the proof of your car’s insurance. Some car owners usually just bring the insurance card but to be sure, I recommend that you bring the entire folder of your car insurance documents. Second is the payment. As you may already know, can inspection does not come free so you should be prepared with cash, credit card or any mode of payment accepted by your inspector.
Another thing that you must prepare is your proof of identification. It is okay to bring just one with your current photo but I would suggest that you bring more than one, in case the inspector ask for two IDs. You may opt to bring your driver’s license, passport, or state ID, among other types of IDs.
What are the Usual Causes of Failed Inspection
If you take note of the recommendations presented above, these scenarios can be avoided. In case of a failed inspection, however, you might find one of these reasons:
One reason for a failed inspection might be caused by the brakes. If the brakes are not working at the time of the inspection, there is no way that your vehicle’s license will get approved or renewed. You might want to make sure that the brake fluid is set to avoid failing the car inspection, as well as put your life at risk.
Another reason why a car inspection might fail is that of the lights. Having even a single busted light in your vehicle’s interior could be a cause for the vehicle to fail the inspection. Before you show up, or when any of the lights just stop functioning properly, do not forget to have them replaced with new ones.
You should also have your car’s tires checked regularly. In case you do not know, tire inspection is a priority even if it does not look flat or soft. I would suggest that you make sure that there is enough air on your vehicle’s tires so that they will last longer, as well as prevent accidents. You might want to bring a tire pressure gauge and an inflator with you all time because you will never know when you would need them.
Windshield wipers are also checked during a car inspection. You might think that this is not a big deal but you will be surprised at how many cars do not pass an inspection because of this. One way to avoid failing the inspection is to regularly check their condition, making sure that the movements are correct according to the manual.
So, how long does car inspection take? As noted above, car inspections may take at least an hour of your time. It might seem like a tedious task to accomplish but you will surely benefit from it in the long run. With that said, take note of the various documents that you should prepare prior to showing up at the car inspection, as it will save you a lot of time. I hope that you are now ready to take your car for an inspection after reading this post