Getting Your Texas State Vehicle Inspection

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In the state of Texas, it is mandatory that every vehicle gets a state inspection and emissions inspection done annually to ensure that it is compliant with all safety standards. It is also a perfect opportunity for you to discover and fix any problems or issues that may have been hampering your vehicle under your nose. An inspection ensures that these issues do not blow up and leave a hole in your wallet. This inspection is also required to get your vehicle registered in the state of Texas. 

What do you need beforehand?

Your technician will not legally be permitted to perform the inspection if you do not come with the following items:

  • Driver’s License/Photo ID: Must be valid and current.
  • Proof of Insurance: Any state insurance is fine, as long as it is full coverage. Liability insurance (only covers damage on road to other cards) can only be from Texas
  • Payment: Many aspects affect how much you will pay for your vehicle’s inspection. Some include the amount varies depending on the age of the vehicle, the emissions requirements for your vehicle, the county you’re in, and the type of vehicle you have. The state of Texas requires you to pay the full price of an inspection, regardless of if you pass or fail. However, if you fail, there is a 30-day time period in which you can get your vehicle pass-ready. You will be allowed to return and get it tested again, and if you pass, there is no extra cost.

What is evaluated during the inspection?

The inspection usually takes anywhere between 15-30 and the inspector will examine the following items

  • Horn
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Mirrors
  • Steering
  • Seat Belts
  • Brakes System (Including the parking brake)
  • Tires
  • Wheel Assembly
  • Exhaust System
  • Exhaust Emission System (for gasoline cars 2 – 24 years old)
  • Beam Indicator
  • (2x) Tail Lamps
  • (3x) Stop Lamps
  • License Plate Lamp
  • Rear Red Reflectors
  • Turn Signals
  • (2x) Headlights
  • Motor/Serial/Vehicle Identification Number
  • Gas Caps (for cars 2 – 24 years old)
  • Window Tint

Why might you fail your inspection?

As mentioned above, there is a long list of car parts that must be in good shape for your vehicle to pass its inspection. However, all cars are subject to the wear and tear that comes with traveling. With each passing mile, the likelihood that something must be repaired increases. Some of the most common (yet hard to discover) issues that can cause you to fail your Texas vehicle inspection include

  • Damaged Windshield Wipers: If rain hasn’t fallen recently, it is hard to tell if your windshield wipers are functioning properly or not. However, you can tell if they are working by pulling the wiper blade tight onto the arm. You will hear a clicking sound when it locks into place. Lower the arm slowly back onto the windshield and repeat this process on the other wiper arm.
  • Service Engine Lights: Whenever your vehicle detects a possible onboard problem, your service engine lights will alert you of any minor issues before they become major concerns. Common causes include needing an oil change, or a new cabin filter or air filter.
  • Damaged or Burned out Lights: You can tell if your head and taillights are damaged or burned out if they A) flicker constantly, B) are shattered or seem to be dented and C) if they are not turning on at all.
  • Issues With Parking Brake: Not using your parking brake is a common reason for failure of the cable. Even though the parking brake cable is housed in a protective sleeve, with infrequent use, the cable can become corroded and rusted, and this will cause the functionality of the brake to decrease as well.
  • Worn Out/ Damaged Tires: A vehicle’s tires should be checked regularly, not only to pass a state inspection, but to ensure road safety as well. A tire blowing out could be disastrous and has many consequences. Look for cracks or cuts in the sidewall – grooves that are distinct enough to be visible to the naked eye. This could be a sign that your tire is developing a leak, or worse, that it’s ready to blow out.

All these may seem like simple issues that can be fixed, but in the end, everything contributes to passing your state inspection, and ensuring that you have the power to drive safely and enjoyably to wherever you may please.

Visit Kwik Kar today for your vehicle state inspection and enjoy a free cup of coffee in our waiting room!