What Gets Checked in a Pennsylvania State Car Inspection?

What Gets Checked in a Pennsylvania State Car Inspection?

December 18, 2020

Pennsylvania requires state vehicle inspections for drivers in Bellefonte, PA before allowing registration. Inspection requirements depend on the type of vehicle, but passenger cars and light trucks fall in the same category. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation can provide additional details about vehicle inspections, but here is a general interview of inspection points:

  • Suspension: This step starts with checking ball joints. Movement cannot exceed the manufacturer’s specifications. Shock absorbers must be intact and not leak. Mounting bolts must be tight, and cars and light trucks must have a stabilizer bar.
  • Steering wheel: Functional steering is required for all vehicles operated on our streets. The steering wheel must be solidly attached to the frame and steer with a full range of motion. Wheels must respond to steering direction.
  • Brakes: Inspectors check brakes’ hydraulic hoses, wheel cylinder and caliper for damage and leaks. They also check drums for size and thickness and to see that you use the right replacement products. Brakes are essential, so any irregularities will make your vehicle fail its inspection.
  • Tires and wheels: Tires must be safe for highway use. That means no less than 2/32” tread and no bulges, blowout patches, bumps or tread separation. If you recently suffered a tire blowout, consider replacing tires entirely before the inspection, even if your current repair seems to work fine.
  • Lighting and electric: Headlights must function with appropriate brightness. They should also have low and high beams. Brake, turn signal, hazard and reverse lights must work. For electrical systems, the battery must have a secure fastening system so it does not dislodge from your vehicle.
  • Windows and mirrors: Windshields and passenger windows must have safety glazing. The only stickers allowed on windshields and rear windows are government-issued ID’s that fit in the lower left or right corners. You also need one rearview mirror with nothing hanging from it.
  • Exhaust system: Fumes must release outside and never into the vehicle. The state requires mufflers to suppress excessive noise, so if you buy an aftermarket muffler, make sure it meets state requirements.
  • Windshield wipers: Your wipers must be capable of removing rain and snow from your windshield. All vehicles must have a working windshield washing system, too. For best results, make sure your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is full before your inspection.
  • Body and chassis: Inspectors look over the body and chassis for significant damage. This part also includes checking hood latches and doors for opening and closing security. Your car must have fenders and a hood. Chassis must lack cracks, missing parts, damaged flooring and compromised bumpers.
  • Horns and warning devices: Passenger cars and trucks must have functional horns. However, only emergency vehicles can have sirens, so do not install them even for novelty purposes. You have broad discretion when choosing horn sounds, but know that excessive use of horns is prohibited.

State vehicle inspections for drivers in Bellefonte, PA can be tricky for some types of vehicles. If your truck and trailer face inspection woes, let S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. help you comply. Contact us today for a complete trailer repair or fleet maintenance appointment.

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