Mint Hill Auto Repair – What is a North Carolina vehicle emissions and safety inspection?
Mint Hill Auto Repair – What is a North Carolina vehicle emissions and safety inspection (otherwise known as a state inspection)? A North Carolina state inspection is a test to make sure vehicles a suitable for the road. There are two types of state inspections; safety only inspections and On Board Diagnostic II (OBDII) Inspections. At Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill we are authorized to perform North Carolina Vehicle Emissions and Safety Inspections.
Safety inspections are for cars that were made in model year 1995 or before , or for cars that are only 3 model years old or newer with under 70,000 miles. These inspections make sure that the car is not dangerous to drive and require no plugins or computer software.
An OBDII Inspection is a newer style of inspection, ushered in by the Clinton administration, that checks emissions of a vehicle to make sure it is running clean and not over-polluting the environment. These emissions are monitored by a computer (the On Board Diagnostics) and can be read via special software plugged into a vehicle’s ODBII port, usually above the pedals. This inspection is for all vehicles model year 1996 or newer, With the exception of cars falling under the aforementioned 3 Year, 70,000 Mile rule.
Do I need a state inspection?
Most likely, yes. Most vehicles require a state inspection every year. Vehicles that require a state inspection are due in a certain month, shown via the sticker on the vehicle’s license plate or the registration card. If you are unsure if you need a state inspection, please feel free to stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill and we can determine if your car is due for its annual inspection.
The only vehicles exempt from state inspection or have modified inspections are:
- Vehicles 35 model years old or older
- Diesel vehicles
- Farm registered vehicles (these have farm plates).
Why is a state inspection necessary?
The largest reason North Carolina requires state inspections is to make sure your vehicle is not over polluting, and is not a hazard to you and other drivers. This helps keep unsafe and polluting cars off the road. However, state inspection monies also go into the Department of Transportation (DOT) funds, which help fund our roads and highways. States without state inspections, such as South Carolina for example, have less money for roads and as a result have older roads that need repaving.
How a state inspection happens:
A state inspection begins with the inspector pulling the vehicle into the bay. The inspector legally must pull the vehicle in himself or herself, as to feel the brakes as he pulls in to make sure they are safe. This also allows him to check if the Check Engine Light (usually referred to as a Malfunction Indicator light or MIL.) He or she then puts the car into the bay and raises it into the air.
Once in the air, the inspector tests multiple devices, including the e-brake. If this is an OBDII Inspection, he will make sure the muffler and catalytic converter (a filtering devices for fumes) are working properly and are not removed. He or she then lowers the vehicle and continues
The inspector checks to see what type of parts this vehicle has, such as PCV valves. He or she then makes sure all brake lights, headlights, blinkers, and mirrors are in working order. At this point, he or she begins the process of punching in the criteria of the state inspection machine.
After putting in info such as Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), tag number, and other bits of info, he or she plugs in the OBDII connector and scans the vehicle. The computer states it passes as the MIL works, but is not on, and all categories of emissions testing are in working order. He or she begins to enter the information of the safety devices he checked earlier. The car passes!
At this point, the inspector prints two copies of the passed inspection sheet and signs them both; one for the company records, and one for the customer. He or she then checks out the customer for a total of $30.00 (or $13.60 for safety only inspections) even, as the price is set by the state. The customer pays and everyone is on their way! Once the customer returns home they file for a new sticker for their tag stating they received a state inspection.
At this point, the customer is good for one year, and after that year has passed the customer must begin the process again.
The entire state inspection can be done in its entirety right here at Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, NC in an effective and timely matter. Are you due? If you think you may be stop by or give us a call at 704-545-4597.