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INSPECTIONS

States have an interest in your car beyond collecting taxes. They care equally about
vehicles meeting minimum safety standards. As a result, many states have an inspection
sticker requirement. The number of inspections required in a year vary from state to state.

Q. What exactly does the state inspect?
A.
It varies. Most states check the car's lights, brakes, windshield wipers, and horn. Some
inspect the tires, windows, body and seat belts. Many states also test the emission levels,
taking into account the automobile's make, model, and age.

Q. What if I am buying the car?
A.
A new car should pass inspection easily. Someone other than the seller should inspect a
used car. In many states, a used car sale is not final until the car passes inspection. In other
states, failing inspection cancels the sale at the buyer's option. Contact your state
Department of Motor Vehicles for further information.

Q. Where do I get my car inspected?
A.
States often authorize certain private repair shops and car dealers to make inspections.
A few states have government-operated inspection stations.

Q. What will happen if my car does not pass the state's safety inspection?
A.
Procedures vary, but you may get a "failed" sticker attached to your windshield. You
have a grace period either to make repairs or get your car off the road. If you do neither,
you could be subject to fines and other penalties.

We suggest you to do the following inspections:

Vehicle History

1. VINs match on vehicle and paperwork
2. Service bulletins, recall updates performed (OASIS)
3. Vehicle has emission sticker (applicable states)
4. Scheduled maintenance performed


Road Test

ENGINE
5. Starts properly (cold/hot)
6. Idles properly
7. Accelerates & cruises properly, smoothly
8. Engine noise normal (cold/hot and high/low speeds)

TRANSMISSION/TRANSAXLE
9. Auto/manual operation/shifts normal (cold/hot)
10. Auto/manual noise normal (cold/hot)
11. Shift interlock operates properly
12. Clutch operates properly (smooth, proper adjustment)
13. Drive axle/transfer case operation, noise normal

STEERING & SUSPENSION
14. Steers normal (proper response, centering, free play)
15. Body, suspension (no squeaks, rattles)
16. Struts, shocks operate properly (pass bounce test)

BRAKES/ABS
17. Operate properly (pedal effort/height appropriate, no pulling, pulsating) Note: ABS pulsates with hard braking

ACCESSORIES - Operate properly
18. All gauges, speedometer, tachometer, odometer
19. Speed control
20. Driver Select/Memory Profile Systems


Vehicle Exterior

BODY PANELS & BUMPERS
21. Body not damaged; paint not mismatched or poor paint
22. Bumpers not damaged, misaligned or poor paint

DOORS, HOOD, DECK LID, TAILGATE
23. Not damaged; paint not mismatched or poor
24. Aligned properly, check jamb for overspray from repairs

GRILL, TRIM & ROOF RACK - Attached properly
25. Components free from damage

GLASS, OUTSIDE MIRRORS
26. Windshield free from cracks, pits, wiper marks
27. Side/rear windows free from cracks, pits
28. Mirrors not cracked, damaged

EXTERIOR LIGHTS - Operate properly, lenses not damaged
29. Headlights aligned properly, auto on/off (if applicable)
30. Fog, driving lights
31. Parking lights
32. Hazard lights
33. Turn signal, side marker lights
34. Brake lights, high-mount brake light
35. Taillights
36. License plate lights
37. Reverse lights


Vehicle Interior

AIRBAG & SAFETY BELTS
38. Airbags intact, no codes, dash light works properly
39. Safety belts operate properly, free from cuts or wear

AUDIO & ALARM SYSTEMS - Operate properly
40. Radio, cassette, CD, speakers
41. Antenna
42. Alarm/theft-deterrent system

CELLULAR PHONE
43. Operates properly

HEAT/VENT/AC/DEFOG/DEFROST - Operate properly
44. Air conditioning system
45. Heating system
46. Defog/defrost (front, rear, outside mirrors if applicable)

INTERIOR AMENITIES - Operate properly, no damage
47. Tilt/telescopic steering wheel, column lock
48. Steering wheel controls
49. Horn
50. Instrument panel & warning lights (pass "Bulb Check")
51. Wipers & washers operate in all modes, no streaks
52. Interior courtesy, dome, map lights
53. Warning chimes
54. Mirror controls (rearview, side mirrors)
55. Clock
56. Lighter, power outlet(s)
57. Ashtrays
58. Glove box, glove box light
59. Center armrest & console
60. Sun visors, vanity mirror & light operate properly
61. Adjustable pedals move/adjust properly (if applicable)

CARPET, TRIM, MATS - Clean, no stains or damage
62. Carpet (check for rust under it due to flood damage)
63. Floormats
64. Door trim, panels attached properly
65. Headliner

SEATS
66. Upholstery clean, not stained, worn, cut, cracked
67. Seats & head restraints operate properly
68. Heated seat operates properly (if applicable)

MOONROOF
69. Operates properly in all modes

WINDOWS, DOOR LOCKS - Operate as designed
70. Handles/release mechanisms
71. Remote Entry system (key fobs, door keypads)
72. Door locks (all manual, power modes)
73. Child safety locks
74. Window controls (all manual, power modes)
75. Remote decklid & fuel door releases


Luggage Compartment

76. Carpet, trim, cargo net; clean, no damage
77. Luggage compartment light operates properly
78. Jack, spare tire tools operate properly
79. Spare tire is correct size/type, no sidewall damage
80. Spare tire tread depth appropriate, air pressure correct


Underhood

ENGINE CONTROL SYSTEM

81. No active, stored codes (perform system check)
82. Emission controls work properly (do emissions test)

FLUIDS - Check condition, level; add or change as required
83. Engine oil & filter (change)
84. Coolant (freeze point)
85. Brake fluid
86. Automatic transmission/transaxle fluid
87. Power steering fluid
88. Clutch fluid
89. Washer fluid
90. Air conditioning system charge

ENGINE
91. Fluid leaks (record where and what is leaking)
92. Hoses, lines: coolant, fuel, brake, steering, vacuum, A/C (check condition, leaks)
93. Belts (check wear, cracks, fraying, proper adjustment)
94. Wiring (check condition)
95. Oil in air cleaner (possible excess blow-by, bad PCV)
96. Water in oil (check underside of oil filler cap)
97. Oil pressure (test with gauge if only warning light)
98. Cylinder compression/power balance (check if necessary)
99. Timing belt (change per Maintenance Schedule)
100. Power steering pump (check for leaks, unusual noise)
101. Master cylinder and booster (check for leaks)
102. Engine mounts (not broken/separated)

COOLING SYSTEM
103. Radiator (check for leaks, condition of tubes, fins)
104. Pressure test radiator cap and cooling system
105. Cooling fans, clutches, motors operate properly
106. Water pump free from leaks or unusual noise
107. Coolant recovery tank (level sensor works properly)
108. Cabin air filter (replace per Maintenance Schedule)

FUEL SYSTEM
109. Fuel pump noise normal (no leaks if external pump)
110. Fuel pump pressure reading properly
111. Fuel filter (replace per Maintenance Schedule)
112. Air filter (replace per Maintenance Schedule)

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
113. Battery type, condition, fluid level, load test correct
114. Alternator output correct (check voltages)
115. Ignition system works properly (check with scope)
116. Starter operates properly (check starter amp draw)


Underbody

FRAME

117. No damage, signs of past repairs, abnormal tire wear
118. Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and couplings not leaking

EXHAUST SYSTEM
119. Entire exhaust system not damaged or leaking

TRANSMISSION, TRANSAXLE, DIFFERENTIAL, TRANSFER CASE
120. Automatic transmission/transaxle not leaking
121. Manual transmission, differential, transfer case, no leaks
122. Manual transmission, differential, transfer case fluid levels correct; fill/change as required
123. Universal joints, CV joints, boots not damaged, leaking, or excess wear/looseness
124. Differential, drive axle not damaged or leaking

TIRES AND WHEELS
125. All tires & wheels match, correct size
126. Tread depth, at least 50% remaining
127. Normal tire wear, no alignment or sidewall problems
128. Pressures are correct
129. Wheels/finish free from damage, run-out normal

SUSPENSION/STEERING
130. Rack & pinion, linkage, boots not damaged, leaking
131. Control arms, ball joints, bushings not damaged
132. Tie rods, idler arm operate to factory specs
133. Sway bars, links, bushings operate to factory specs
134. Springs have proper ride height (not sagged)
135. Struts, shocks not leaking
136. Wheel alignment (check if necessary)

BRAKES
137. Calipers, cylinders operate properly with no leaks
138. Pads, shoes, at least 50% thickness remaining
139. Rotors, drums, at least 50% thickness remaining; not scored; run-out within factory specs
140. Brake lines, hoses, fittings not worn, leaking
141. Parking brake operates/adjusted properly

 

Repairs: Dealer or Mechanic?

 

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