My van’s inspection is due next month.  Going for an inspection (for me) is like trying to pass a test that I have not studied for.  I will simply pull into a service station, pay my $40, then watch as the technician performs a series of tests, while I wonder what exactly it is he’s looking for.  

prepare your vehicle for inspection

But I did a little research and now have a list of what a car inspection includes.  You can expect the inspection to last about 15 minutes, but could be longer, depending on the location.  During an inspection, they will check your:


  • Seat belts (in the front seat)
  • Windshield wipers
  • Horn
  • Tires
  • Rear view and side mirrors
  • Right and left turn signals
  • Brake system
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system
  • Exhaust emission system (beginning with models older than 1968)
  • Beam indicators (beginning with 1948 models)
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Head and tail lamps
  • Rear lights
  • Gas caps
  • Window tinting

You will need your proof of insurance, a photo ID and possible proof of registration when you arrive, so be prepared.

When I was speaking to the technician, I found out the most common reason for a “fail” is due to either burnt bulbs, broken wipers or under-inflated tires… so make sure you check those before heading in!  (Or you’ll have to go twice, and who has time for that?)

*This list may vary from state to state.


If you are looking for a new or used vehicle in the Baltimore, MD area, check out Len Stoler Hyundai.



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