What is looked at in a car inspection?

checking oil in engine

Updating your state inspection

State inspection of vehicles is one thing that vehicle owners dread, more than paying the insurance, registration, and taxes. Why? Because you’re at the mercy of a person that has been trained by the State of California to find things wrong with your vehicle – or it feels that way. They are actually trained to perform state inspection looking for safety issues. Safety issues for you, your passengers, and others on the Golden State roadways.

Those technicians that perform state inspections actually have a state inspection checklist they are required to follow. Probably the biggest issue in California and other large, populated states is the state inspection and emissions testing. Issues with the emissions can cause your vehicle to be “grounded” by the state inspection agent until it is repaired. The problem with emissions, it can be a host of things causing it to fail the state inspection test.

So, what is the purpose of a car inspection? If it isn’t to get as many vehicles off the road, what is the purpose of a state inspection? A state inspection of vehicles is crucial in making sure the owner of the vehicle is maintaining it at a safe capacity. Any complex equipment or machine, a vehicle state inspection ensures you and the state that everything is in proper working order with no major issues.

A state inspection is a way that ensures the state, and you, that your vehicle is safe to drive and operate. The various things that a state inspection covers are all safety based that everything is fully functional and safe for the road. When a vehicle fails a state inspection, the technician will provide the owner a printed statement what the specific reason(s) are, and the owner will need to get those things repaired or replace before it passes a state inspection.

What happens when your car doesn’t pass inspection?

The Golden state is known to be one of the toughest states on SMOG regulations in the state inspection process with vehicles. There are certain standards  put in place and when a vehicle doesn’t meet these standards during a state inspection, it is not allowed on the streets of California.

When this happens, the chance is that the vehicle has reached its end of life and getting it roadworthy by California standards can be expensive. Why the tight reigns on emissions and state inspections in California? The state’s population of people has increased the pollution and smog. If something hadn’t been done, like strict emissions system testing, the state’s environment would be much worse than it now.

The components in a vehicle emissions system that are checked in a state inspection process are:

  • EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)
  • Catalytic converter
  • Evaporative emissions charcoal
  • Oxygen sensor
  • PCV (Purge control valve)
  • PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
  • The fuel filler cap

Any issue or problem with these parts, you can be almost certain your vehicle will not pass the emission test in the state inspection. There are two choices when that happens:

  • Repair the component causing the failure.
  • Don’t drive the vehicle.

Can you get a state inspection without registration?

When a vehicle doesn’t pass state inspection in California, you cannot renew the required DMV registration.  The cost to pursue repairs for some of these times is expensive, like replacing the catalytic convertor.  The cost of that repair can cost as much as $2,000 and up, based on the make, model, and year of the vehicle.

What happens if your car fails inspection twice?

Every state handles these things differently, but in California, if your vehicle fails the emission test, the state won’t register it, no matter how many times you try,  leaving you with expired tags. If you decide to ignore the state inspection and emission testing, and keep driving with expired tags, you risk being pulled over.

That will cost you a hefty fine and your vehicle will be impounded. If you’ve never had a vehicle impounded, it is costly. On a positive note, the state of California will pay as much as $500 on the any repairs you have done to pass the state inspection and emissions testing.

tightening an engine bolt

Can you drive around with a rejection sticker?

You can, but you’re at risk of getting pulled over by law enforcement. At that point, you’ll be ticketed, your vehicle will be impounded, and possibly, the officer could decide to check the inside of your vehicle. So, if you’ve got something that isn’t legal, you’ll have that to deal with as well as getting your vehicle out of the pound and passing the state inspection.

The state of California requires that all vehicles six year old and older have a state inspection and pass.  This state inspection vs safety inspection is one in the same as the state inspection involves checking all things that make a vehicle safe to be on the road.  Among those things a state inspection is looking at are:

  • The fluid levels like brake fluid
  • Any potential leaks like oil or transmission
  • Mechanical integrity is the overall safety of the vehicle
  • Carbon emission to keep in line with the state’s requirements

Need a car inspection in Atascadero, CA? Reach out to the professionals at German Performance when you call 805-466-3236.