5 Things to Check Before Your Next North Carolina State Inspection
The North Carolina state inspection process can be difficult, but having a better idea of what might be preventing your pass can be helpful. While the specifics of an inspection vary based on the county you are in (view our full inspection guide here), these are the 5 main reasons that vehicles fail NC State inspections and how to resolve these issues.
Problem 1: Tire Tread
It is no surprise that your vehicle needs to be in a safe working order to pass an inspection. One key component of this safety is your tires. When your tire tread is worn, you will not have the traction against the road to safely handle, slow, and stop your vehicle. Your tread must be at least 2/32” thick. Before your inspection, you can check your tread using the tire wear indicator bars, which mark this minimum tread length for you.
Solution: Tire Replacement
The only way to address unsafe tire tread is with tire replacements. While new tires are an investment, they will be well worth it for the safety they bring. You may be able to find deals and coupons to help you save money on this service. Buying tires online can help you view all of your options and find the right tires for your vehicle and your budget. Our guide to the online Tire Finder Tool can help break down this process for you.
Problem 2: Faulty Turn Signals
It is required by traffic laws that you use a turn signal to indicate lane changes, turns, and other directional movements while on the road. However, your signaling will be rendered ineffective if there is a defect with this feature of your vehicle. This is why state inspections require that service experts make sure your turn signals are in perfect working condition.
Solution: Light Bulb Change
A faulty turn signal is often the result of a burnt-out light bulb, which makes for an easy and affordable repair. Remember, you have turn signaling lights in both the front and the back of your vehicle. During your inspection, the vehicle service expert will let you know which of your signal lights are not working. Then, you can have your turn signal bulb replaced on the spot with this expert help on hand. Otherwise, you can use your user’s manual to read about this repair and complete the exchange on your own. This will both restore these safety features in your vehicle and help you ensure you pass your inspection.
Problem 3: Headlights
Making sure your headlights are in working order is another essential element to passing an NC State vehicle inspection. Headlights are a key safety feature that is essential for driving at night and during various weather conditions. Not only is it unsafe to drive with headlight issues, but it is also against the law. This is why headlights are a key checkpoint in any NC vehicle inspection.
Solution: Headlight Service
It is likely that you know if your headlights will prevent you from passing your NC State inspection before even visiting a shop. Unlike your turn signal lights, which you might not be able to see are defective, your headlights are a constant, visible installment in your vehicle. Their effectiveness is directly correlated with your ability to drive with ease. With this in mind, it is essential that you repair any issues with your headlights as soon as they arise (not just when you need to pass your next inspection). Proper headlight service will help keep you and others safe while on the road with the added benefit of helping you pass your next North Carolina vehicle inspection.
Problem 4: Brakes
Brakes are an important part of any vehicle inspection. While you might forget to keep an eye on your braking system, your yearly inspection ensures that it is well maintained. This includes your parking brake, foot brake, and pretty much anything else that might prevent you from successfully bringing your vehicle to a safe and timely stop. Damaged brake lights can also be a traffic safety hazard, which is why these can prevent you from passing your inspection.
Solution: Brake Maintenance
Brake maintenance can involve a number of services that will get your brakes in prime working order. You might need new brake pads, parking brake service, or other repairs. Consult an expert to determine what is needed to get your brakes in prime condition and how to most affordably achieve these results.
Problem 5: Other Inspection Issues
There are plenty of other holdups that can prevent you from passing your inspection based on the county you live in. For example, certain NC counties have emissions restrictions that can cause vehicles to fail if they is not meeting environmentally-friendly requirements. Issues with your windshield wipers might also raise concerns for inspection. Additionally, there are tinted window inspection criteria in certain counties that your vehicle will have to accommodate. Because of this lack in consistency, it can be difficult to determine exactly what you need to do to pass inspection. Thankfully, there are plenty of knowledgeable experts ready to help you along your way.
Solution: Expert Insight
For the insight you are looking for on whether or not your vehicle will pass NC Inspection standards, consult a professional. This specialist will be able to diagnose any issues that stand between you and a successful inspection and repair these issues before you head to the DMV.
If you are seeking help or advice for your next inspection in NC, call Chapel Hill Tire. We have locations in Apex, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro to help get you on your way. Bring your vehicle in for your next North Carolina car inspection today!