The following is some good information provided by Margo Schlossberg. Anywhere you choose to get your vehicle inspected, you should never hesitate to ask questions or feel pressured to have the repairs done. G&C Tire and Auto Service has two locations, one in Chantilly and one in Manassas. We will be happy to give you a second opinion and or quote. While it is nice to pass, you do want a correct by the book inspection. We do it by the book and are happy to explain or show you anything determined by the Virginia State Inspection.
By Margo Schlossberg (Open Post) - February 24, 2014 3:52 pm ET
Want to save time at that state inspection? Check out these five things on your own, no mechanic skills required.
5 Things you can check yourself before taking your car in for a state inspection
As a consumer you do not always have the ability to know what your car will need other than the visual items that you can see but here are some things to keep in mind prior to going to the state inspection station.
Visually look at your tires to check the tread depth, turn your wheels to the side and look for inside and outside tire wear, run your hands over the surface of the tire and see if they are wearing evenly. If there is more wear on either the inside or outside, chances are that your car is out of alignment, if the tires treads are the wear bars in 3 locations, your tires will most likely fail state inspection. Use a Penny to gauge the tread depth, if you can see Lincoln's Head, they are too low on tread and will most likely fail.
Check all of your lights, have a family member operate all of the lights to confirm if any bulbs are not working. Look at the tag lights (these lights illuminate the license plate) this is often overlooked by the car owner, they must be in working condition and are very inexpensive replacements. Check the reverse lights, marker lights (the orange ones located on the sides of the vehicle) brakes lights, including the 3rd brake light. Also condensation in the headlight assemblies that effect the light pattern can cause you to fail as well. Making sure all bulbs are in good working order can save you from a rejection sticker at the inspection station.
Make sure the mirrors are not cracked or missing, the horn works and works correctly (not muffled) and if you hear a loud exhaust noise from under the car that is not normally there you may want to get that looked at before you go for inspection.