A Closer Look at Car Inspections

How Should You prepare your Vehicle

Safety should always be a driver’s primary concern, and that extends to the vehicle’s condition too. In Maryland, cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles need to be inspected before a title transfer or sale. When we perform a Maryland State Inspection at AutoStream Car Care Center in Woodstock, there are quite a few things we look into that ensure your vehicle is ready for the road.

Making the Grade

The first thing that any safety check calls for is a look at licensing, insurance, and registration paperwork. This lets the inspector know everything is up to date. The next step is a survey of the vehicle’s exterior. Each checklist is based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, though for vehicles the items are very similar.

  • Check windows and windshield for cracks
  • Examine lights and license plate for visibility
  • Ensure exterior mirrors are in good repair
  • Look at front and rear bumpers for stability
  • Check wheels and tires for damage and wear

After giving the outside a once over, it’s time to inspect the door handles and take a look at the interior. When checking the inside, you don’t need to worry about a neat and tidy dashboard as long as nothing will impair your driving. This is when the inspector checks your brake and gas pedals as well as the seatbelts for tears or other damage that may compromise their operation. The steering wheel will also be inspected to ensure your car turns and the horn honks loud enough to act as a warning.

Under the Hood

Taking a look at the engine is the next big step. The inspector will take a look at the battery, transmission, and radiator along with any hoses and belts. If there are any leaks or excessive wear, they mark problem spots that make driving potentially unsafe. The emissions will also be tested to make sure your car or truck conforms to current regulations.

After a qualified mechanic completes the inspection, you’ll get two copies of the report, while one is also sent digitally to the MVA. Passing a safety inspection is a necessary part of any sale. Not only does it protect the driver from purchasing a lemon, but it also helps keep everyone else on the road safe at the same time!

Written by Doug Grills

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