Inspections

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We perform 3 Types of inspections

Registering, Renewing your registration or Purchasing a used vehicle

  • NC State Safety Inspection < goto NC State Safety tab >
  • NC State Emissions Inspection < goto NC State Emissions tab >
  • Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection < goto Vehicle Pre-Purchase tab>

> NC State Safety Inspections – if your vehicle is light-duty, gasoline powered, three years old or less, registered in one of the 48 emissions counties, and has less than 70,000 miles, it is exempt from an emissions inspection under General Statute 20-183.2 and will receive a safety-only inspection.

Cost – The annual vehicle safety inspection costs $13.60. If you are in one of the 48 counties that require onboard diagnostics emissions inspections, the price is $30, which includes both the emissions and safety inspections. Aftermarket window tinting costs an additional $10.

Listed below are some items included in the State safety Inspection:

  1. Brakes – All brakes, including the parking brake, need to be in proper working order. The thing that gets most people is the parking brake. After all, you are probably going to notice fairly quickly if your service brakes aren’t working properly. Most of the time your parking brake just needs a simple adjustment in order to hold the vehicle firmly. But sometimes, you may need more extensive repairs, such as replacing the parking brake shoes or replacing a broken cable. With the advances in technology, parking brakes are getting more expensive with automatic or electronic parking brakes. The more ‘intelligent’ a component is, the more that can go wrong.
  2. Lighting – All exterior lights must be in proper working order. This includes the headlights, brake lights, taillights, license plate lights, turn signal lights, and parking lights. The lights must all be properly mounted and have no cracks in the lenses. The headlights must be properly aimed, not pointing at the ground or up in the air.
  3. Horn – This one’s pretty easy. Your horn must work. It must be firmly mounted and have no frayed or disconnected wires. It must be audible for at least 200 feet and should not be met in unusually loud or harsh sound. Any original equipment horn in working order meets these requirements, but if you’ve installed an aftermarket horn you may need further testing.
  4. Tires – Your tires are your most critical safety component and are also one of the things most likely to cause you to fail a safety inspection. All tires must be in good condition and have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth remaining. Any tires under this specification must be replaced before your vehicle can pass. Tires cannot have any cuts or snags that expose cords or any visible bump, bulges, or knots relating to tread or sidewall separation or partial failure of the tire structure.
  5. Steering and Suspension – Many people forget that the steering and suspension systems are inspected. Your suspension shouldn’t have any loose or disconnected components. Your springs should be unbroken and function properly without visible sagging. Your steering system should move freely and not have any visible damage that would prevent proper operation. There should be no parts that are bent or twisted, and bolts, nuts, and rivets should not be loose or missing. The power steering system should not show any visible leaks or have a steering belt that is loose or excessively worn.
  6. Windshield Wipers – Windshield wipers must be in good working condition, provided the vehicle has a windshield. They should operate freely and have proper controls located where the driver may operate them easily. They must be adequate to clear rain, snow and other material from the windshield and show no evidence of damage or missing parts. Blades should be in good working order and have no cuts, tears or missing rubber.

7. Window Tinting – Window tinting must have a light transmittance of 32% or greater. Tint may not be red, yellow, or amber. Windshield tint cannot extend more than 5 inches below the top of the windshield or below the AS1 line, whichever is greater. Total light reflectance of a tinted window shall be 20% or greater.

8. Mirrors – Side and rear view mirrors must be present and in good condition with no cracks or damage. They must be firmly mounted and must be easy to adjust and to set. Forward vision shall not be hindered by any mirror assembly. A rearview mirror is required for all the vehicles in North Carolina unless the vehicle is constructed or regularly loaded in such a way that a rearview mirror will be ineffective. In this case you are required to have a both driver and passenger side mirror.

9. Windshield Glass – Windshield glass is the one component that most people can your name when asked about a safety inspection in North Carolina. This is a component that is frequently damaged and frequently needs replacement. Not all windshield cracks necessitate replacing the windshield. If you have a crack in your windshield, you don’t need to replace it if it doesn’t obstruct the driver’s vision, meaning it can’t be cracked on the driver side of the windshield at all. It shouldn’t affect the operation of the windshield wipers. And it can’t be big enough so that a windshield wiper can get caught up on it. If you can rub a fingernail over the crack and it catches, you will fail the inspection. In any case, it’s always a good idea to have your glass replaced if it’s cracked.

10. Exhaust System – Exhaust system and emissions control devices. For a vehicle that is subject to an emissions inspection in addition to a safety inspection, a visual inspection of the vehicle’s emissions control devices is included in the emissions inspection rather than the safety inspection.

Emissions Inspection – required on vehicles more than 3 model years old or over 70,000 miles registered in one of the 48 counties requiring emissions testing.

An emissions inspection of a motor vehicle consists of a visual inspection of the vehicle’s emissions control devices to determine if the devices are present, are properly connected, and are the correct type for the vehicle and an analysis of data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment installed by the vehicle manufacturer to identify any deterioration or malfunction in the operation of the vehicle that violates standards for the model year of the vehicle set by the Environmental Management Commission. To pass an emissions inspection a vehicle must pass both the visual inspection and the OBD analysis. When an emissions inspection is performed on a vehicle, a safety inspection must be performed on the vehicle as well.

If your vehicle fails inspection, you can present it for re-inspection within 60 days. If you failed the safety inspection, only the failed components will be reevaluated the second time. If you failed an emissions inspection, the re-inspection is limited to the portion of the vehicle that failed and any other part of the vehicle that may have been affected during repairs to correct that failure.

You may qualify for a waiver if your vehicle fails an emissions inspection due to analysis data provided by the onboard diagnostic equipment and has had documented repairs costing at least $200 made to the vehicle to correct the cause of the failure. If it is respected again and fails because it passes the visual inspection but fails again. In these cases, a consumer may be eligible for a waiver provided the vehicle qualifies under North Carolina General Statute 20–1 83.5.

You can face severe fines if you fail to comply with safety or emissions inspection. If you do not comply, your registration will be blocked from renewal.

Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspection We offer a pre-purchase inspection for individuals purchasing pre owned vehicles from either dealers, carmax, carvana or private sellers. Some places like Carvana and Carmax offer a no hassle return policy and I lot of our customers will bring the vehicles during the post sale return period. This inspection is designed to give a customer a thorough review of most mechanical component and a general bill of health on the vehicle . Much like a home inspection, the idea is to both inform you of any current defects as well as let you know the overall condition of the vehicle.