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Home / Time to Renew? Time to Inspect
The State of North Carolina requires that your vehicle undergo an inspection both for safety and emissions before you can renew the vehicle’s annual registration. All vehicles, except those more than 35 years old, must pass an inspection test at a licensed station within the state.
There are three steps involved in the inspection process. First, you must find a certified inspection station and take your vehicle there. Creech Import Repair is one of North Carolina’s 7,500 certified inspection stations. Our licensed inspection technicians will take you through the second step, which is a two-part inspection. Both parts must be completed within 90 days before your vehicle’s current registration expires. You must bring your vehicle’s current registration when you come to the inspection station.
The first part of the inspection is for safety. Step by step, we’ll carefully inspect your vehicle to make sure it’s safe to operate. Here are some things we’ll check:
The brakes are among the most important safety features on your vehicle. They allow you to decelerate even at high rates of speed. The brakes must apply an even force on every wheel. This also includes the parking brakes.
Properly-working headlamps are vital during the hours of darkness and in such weather conditions as fog, rain, sleet and snow. The headlamps must be either yellow or white, and each must be equipped with a working bulb. We’ll measure the aim of the lights and check to make sure the turn signals and tail and brake lights work properly and are mounted correctly.
The horn must work and not be too loud or harsh but should be audible at 200 feet. It must also be firmly mounted with no sign of frayed wire.
Properly-working windshield wipers are essential for both visibility and safety. Our mechanics will check to make sure the windshield wipers are fully intact, are in good condition and work properly. The wipers must operate freely and not catch on anything, such as cracks in the windshield. A blade that’s cracked or torn can’t efficiently clean water or debris off the windshield.
Your vehicle must be equipped with side and rear-view mirrors that are properly mounted and adjustable so they can provide you with an unobstructed view of the road.
All tires must be in good condition with at least a 2/32-inch tread depth, inflated properly and able to hold pressure.
The vehicle’s steering mechanism must be able to properly turn the wheels. The front and rear springs must function properly, not sag or be broken.
Out of concern for the safety of law enforcement officers, there are restrictions on aftermarket window tinting. If the officers can’t see through the windows, they’re potentially at risk even during routine traffic stops. All aftermarket-tinted windows must transmit light at 32 percent or greater.
The second part of your vehicle’s inspection is the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Emissions Inspection. Using your vehicle’s computerized OBD system, we’ll inspect the catalytic converter, unleaded gas restrictor and oxygen sensor. We’ll also conduct a visual inspection to ensure all emissions components function properly. If your vehicle was manufactured before 1996, it’s exempt from the emissions inspection because older vehicles weren’t equipped with an OBD system.
Once your vehicle passes the required inspection(s), the state requires you pay the fee(s), which are $13.60 for the safety inspection and $30 for the emissions inspection. This is the third and final step of the inspection process. We’ll then enter the results into the state’s DMV website and give you a receipt that tells the date and results of the inspection and where we conducted it.
If it’s time to renew your vehicle’s registration, it’s also time for its annual inspection. Let our certified technicians inspect your vehicle, work with you through any problems and solve those problems to ensure the vehicle passes the state inspection. It’ll then be ready for another year on the road. Contact us today to schedule your vehicle’s annual inspection.