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State Vehicle Inspection Tips

How to Pass Safety Inspection

If you live in a state that requires state vehicle inspection, you can be better prepared beforehand so you don’t waste time on a return trip. For those that live in those grey voids where your right to drive on public roads in a rickety heap is acceptable, then this post is not for you.

At the barest minimum, here is what you should sort out:


Do your vehicle’s tail lights, headlights, directional signals, and hazard lights all work? Being visible is still one of the more important things when driving on public roads.


You will need to remove a couple of wheels for this one. Ideally, you need to check all 4 wheels, to make sure there is sufficient brake lining left on the pads or shoes. There are usually indicators that will show when they are too low, and remember to check the rotors or drums for any excessive wear, cracks, and warping. When you press the brake pedal, it must feel firm, however, not hard. It should never sink slowly to the floor. Check the brake master cylinder and all the individual brakes for any leaks. If you find them, they are bad, as the hydraulic pressure required to use the brakes is not strong enough if they are present. The parking brake must also be adjusted properly, and be able to hold the vehicle’s weight when parked on an incline.


Check the power steering for any leaks and be sure that the belt that operates the power steering pump, (when applicable), is still in good working order. With the front end of the car jacked up, grab both front wheels at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions and then push back and forth alternately on either side. You are feeling for any play in the tie rod ends, which is what keeps the car pointed in the direction that driver wants it to go. If you hear clunking, then it is time to replace a few parts.

If you would like to make an appointment for a state vehicle inspection, please contact Cooks Repair Center at (717) 300-3236 now, if you live in the Shippensburg, PA region.

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