What to Expect During a Pennsylvania State Vehicle Inspection

What to Expect During a Pennsylvania State Vehicle Inspection

February 16, 2021

Though it might not apply to every county in every state, 37 states require some kind of periodic vehicle inspection by a licensed mechanic. If you own a car, you probably already know that Pennsylvania is one of those states.

What you might not know, though, is what a vehicle inspection entails. This post will cover everything you need to know about state vehicle inspections in Centre County, PA to ensure you’re prepared for your next inspection.


After checking your license and registration, your mechanic will do a thorough walk-around of your car. On the back bumper, they’ll make sure that your licensed plate is both well lit and securely fastened. This is also the time for a blinker and brake light check.

Next, they’ll head around to the front to ensure the windshield is crack free and the windshield wipers are in working order. All side windows and doors will also be checked for chips in the glass or deep dents that could compromise the car’s integrity.


The underside of your vehicle will also need an inspection. The shocks, coil springs, axles and frame will be checked for any signs of wear and tear. They’ll check the brake pads, which wear down after a few thousand miles. Tire tread also wears down over time, so your mechanic will test the tread depth to ensure they’re safe to drive on.


Next, your mechanic will pop the hood for an in-depth inspection of every component. Everything from the exhaust and fuel systems to the transmission and battery will be scrutinized. Any component that doesn’t pass inspection will either need to be repaired or replaced before you receive the sticker indicating a passing grade.

This is also the point at which your mechanic will test your emissions system. Vehicles that produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide aren’t given a pass, even if everything else is up to code.


The mechanic will then climb into your vehicle to inspect the interior. The steering wheel and steering column will be tested to ensure they’re not loose and that the horn works. The mechanic will also test the brakes—the pedals can’t be too low to the floor, as that indicates excessive wear. The seatbelts also can’t show any signs of wear and tear that could hinder their functionality.

When do you need a state inspection?

The registration tag you receive after your inspection is only valid for one year from the date of the test, so be sure to schedule state vehicle inspections in Centre County, PA at least once a year to stay within good standing of the law. If you have the time, it’s not a bad idea to get an unofficial inspection more than once a year. More inspections means catching problems sooner rather than later.

Let us perform your inspection!

Be sure to come to S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. the next time your vehicle needs its state inspection. In addition to performing state vehicle inspections in Centre County, PA, we’re able to make any repairs should your car not pass the test. Give us a call today to schedule your next inspection.

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