Annual vehicle safety checks are mandated in some states. While this may seem like an unnecessary hassle, yearly safety checks can prevent car accidents and breakdowns on the highway that can cost taxpayers money. You don't want to have to return for a second safety check, so here are four tips to help you pass your vehicle safety check the first time:
1. Keep your car maintained.
Keeping your car maintained is an important way to make sure everything is always in good working order for your next vehicle inspection. You should change your car's oil every 10,000 miles, if not more frequently, according to Angie's List. Doing this can protect your engine and lead to fewer breakdowns and costly repairs. You should also check your tires regularly and inflate them when necessary, and always rotate your car's tires on schedule.
2. Have your important documents handy.
The documents you'll need for your safety check can vary by state, so make sure to look that up before your appointment. Typically, you'll need your driver's license, car insurance card, and auto registration. Double check that you have all these things before leaving your house so you don't have to cancel your safety check unexpectedly.
3. Ask a friend to help you inspect your car beforehand.
Doing a quick inspection of your car before visiting the safety check inspector can save you time. Ask a friend to stand outside your car and check your lights as you apply your breaks, headlights, high beams, and turn signals. Tap your horn to ensure that it still works, and turn on your windshield wipers. If you discover that a light is burned out, you'll have time to repair it before getting your official safety check.
4. Choose a reputable safety check professional.
Finally, choose a professional auto shop to perform your vehicle safety check. The best safety check inspectors are both fast and thorough. If possible, schedule your safety check ahead of time and make the appointment for the beginning of the month. Lots of people wait until the last minute, so it's harder to get an appointment later in the month. If you don't pass your safety check despite all your best efforts, don't worry; many safety check facilities also perform repairs. You can wait while an auto mechanic fixes the problem with your car, and then you'll be given a pass on your vehicle safety check.