Here’s What Can Cause a Failed NC State Inspection

September 9, 2022

If you live in Raleigh, your car must pass an annual NC state inspection in order for its registration to be renewed. Aside from safety checks, the technicians will also perform an emissions test. This is why it’s important to make routine maintenance a top priority.

Here are a few of the main issues that can cause a vehicle to fail the NC state inspection.

Overdue Oil Change
For good reason, mechanics stress the importance of getting regular oil changes. Neglecting to do so can lead to serious trouble in the long run. Among the biggest issues is accelerated engine wear.

However, dirty motor oil can also cause the engine to produce more hydrocarbons. This ultimately leads to your vehicle failing its NC state inspection. Fortunately, most modern vehicles come equipped from the factory with a convenient oil life monitor. The system uses several factors to determine the condition of the oil, including climate and driving habits. When it’s time to have your car serviced, an oil change light will turn on.

Loose Gas Cap
A loose gas cap will definitely result in a failed NC state inspection. If your gas cap isn’t tight, fuel vapors in the tank can dissipate into the air. This ultimately contributes to environmental pollution.

Simply tightening the gas cap doesn’t always solve the problem. You could be dealing with a cap that has a faulty seal. The only option will be to purchase a new one. Fortunately, must replacement gas caps are less than $15.

Tune-Up Needed
At some point, your vehicle will need a tune-up. This service involves installing new spark plugs and ignition wires. When the spark plugs begin to wear out, the engine will have trouble maintaining the proper air/fuel ratio. There’s a good chance your vehicle will begin to experience rough idling and hesitation upon accelerating. At this point, don’t expect your vehicle to pass the NC state inspection.

The spark plug replacement interval can vary from one model to the next. While some spark plugs are rated to last for more than 100,000 miles, others will need to be replaced a lot earlier. To be on the safe side, have your mechanic to perform an inspection every 30,000 miles.

Dirty Air Filter
An air filter is a simple part. However, it can have a major impact on your vehicle’s performance. Sluggish acceleration can be a tell-tale sign that the filter is clogged.

If the air filter becomes excessively dirty, this can cause increased tailpipe emissions. Routinely replacing your air filter is an inexpensive way to ensure optimum power and efficiency.

Worn Tires
Even if your vehicle is running great, worn tires can still cause a failed NC State inspection. Tires have a direct impact on safety. Not only can low tread cause poor traction, but it can also lead to longer stopping distances when braking.

If your tires are wearing down sooner than expected, you may be in need of a wheel alignment. Keep in mind that low-quality tires also tend to have a shorter life expectancy.

Bad Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is a key part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. Its purpose is to filter out harmful gases before they’re released into the atmosphere. When the catalytic converter goes bad, this often results in a check engine light.

Catalytic converters are engineered to last for a long time. However, poor vehicle maintenance and neglected repairs typically lead to premature failure. Even a relatively minor oil leak can contaminate the catalytic converter.