By state law, each motor vehicle registered in the state of North Carolina must pass an annual safety inspection. While you may hate this chore, a state inspection is actually for your own protection. The vehicle inspection covers many parts of your automobile that must be working properly to keep you safe. Not only that, you want to know that all drivers on the road with you are driving safe cars! Although there are many certified state inspection stations, they don’t all have the ability to fix any problems found during the inspection. When it’s time for your NC car inspection, choose Xpress Lube of Kernersville.
The DMV sets the fees for safety and emission inspections. So, every NC certified inspection station charges the same amount. While you’ll pay the same fee wherever you go, you won’t always get the same attentive service. We pride ourselves on our inviting, friendly service. In addition to state inspections, we’re a full-service automotive maintenance and repair shop.
What the NC Car Inspection Entails
When you bring your automobile in for a vehicle safety inspection, you’re doing more than just satisfying a state law. You’re making sure your vehicle is operating safely. A licensed mechanic checks specific components to ensure they’re all working properly. If just one of these components fails, the result could be a deadly crash. Thus, your inspection may uncover potential vehicular problems you may not know about.
For example, brakes are one of the most important safety mechanisms in your car. Brake pads wear out over time and if you don’t replace them, they can lead to more expensive repairs. Ignoring your brakes can also result in a malfunction preventing you from stopping your car.
Two fully functional headlights are essential. While you may not think driving with only one functioning headlight is a big deal, you’re greatly impairing your visibility. When you add other visibility impairing factors like rain, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Moreover, we have many rural roads in NC without any street lighting. Driving with only one headlight makes it difficult for you to drive safely.
Tread depth is another component a licensed mechanic will check during your inspection. The treads give your tire the ability to grip the road, brake, and take corners safely. Bald tires, or those with very little tread, contribute to the number of automobile accidents occurring annually. Typically, you’ll experience a lack of control over your car, hydroplaning, and blowouts. Moreover, driving with bald tires in wet weather increases your stopping distance.
Usually, we think of windshield wipers only when it’s raining out. It’s hard enough to navigate a wet roadway with a clear window. Yet, worn wiper blades can smear or streak our windshield limiting visibility. Some scientists believe we base most of our driving decisions on visual cues. If you can’t see properly, you can’t make good driving decisions.
Your inspection process also entails checking your turn signal, parking brake, steering, and horn. Each of these components also plays a part in safe driving. As you can see, the safety inspection helps protect you, your passengers, and other drivers.
What Happens If My Car Fails?
In NC, you cannot renew your vehicle registration with the DMV if it doesn’t meet the vehicle inspection requirements. Thus, you’ll have to fix the problem before your registration expires. A retest is free if you return to the original inspection station within 60 days.
At Xpress Lube of Kernersville, we’re a full-service auto maintenance and repair station. Our ASE certified mechanics perform over 30 common repairs including your NC car inspection. Transmission, exhaust systems, and brakes are just some of the many auto repairs we can do for you. If your car fails to pass inspection, we can easily fix the problem.
While you’re here, let us perform a courtesy check. We’ll be happy to perform a visual inspection of your air filter and engine’s fluids. Plus, we’ll take the time to explain the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement.
Once your car passes the NC state inspection, the vehicle inspection station transmits the results to the DMV electronically. Then you can go ahead and renew your registration. The DMV no longer uses stickers for inspection with results handled digitally.
Do I Need an Emissions Inspection?
22 counties in North Carolina also require an emissions inspection. Certified mechanics check the car’s emissions for levels of hazardous materials in your exhaust. The DMV sets these levels in compliance with air quality standards set by the EPA.
Motor vehicles registered in the following counties must have an emission inspection along with a safety inspection:
- New Hanover
Additionally, some vehicles are exempt or may qualify for a waiver. Diesel-operated engines and farm vehicles don’t need an emissions inspection. Moreover, light-duty vehicles less than 3 years old with fewer than 70,000 miles on it are also exempt. As is a vehicle 20 years or older.
An emissions inspection involves connecting the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system (OBD-II) to a certified analyzer. Typically, if your automobile fails emissions, there is some mechanical problem. Some common problems are faulty fuel injectors, vacuum leaks, or faulty oxygen sensors. These issues not only leak more pollutants into the air but also affect your fuel-efficiency.
Often, you’ll know about these problems because your check engine light will illuminate. This indicator lights up when your vehicle’s computer thinks there’s a problem in your emission control system. Your mechanic can determine the problem by retrieving the codes stored in your OBD-II. Ignoring the problem can result in serious damage to your catalytic converter.
Today’s automobiles are much more complicated than vehicles of a few decades ago. Engines with complex systems require qualified technicians. Since 1972, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has certified qualified mechanics.
ASE offers 50 exams covering almost every imaginable aspect of the automotive repair and service industry. Tests represent real-world working knowledge. The questions are difficult with high passing standards.
However, testing is only part of the process. Automotive technicians must have two years of on-the-job training. Additionally, one year of training with a two-year degree in automotive repair also qualifies. Moreover, professionals must retest every five years to keep up with ever-advancing automotive technology. Thus, when you choose a service station using ASE-certified technicians, you know you’re getting the best repair and maintenance possible.
Don’t Forget About Your Vehicle’s Exterior
Taking care of the mechanics of your car is certainly important. But regularly washing your car can protect the paint and your investment. While driving a shiny, clean car feels great, it’s not all about looking nice. Pollen, bird droppings, and other substances can destroy your paint finish.
Undoubtedly, bird dirt looks gross on your car. Additionally, those droppings are highly acidic and will eat away at the finish. Combined with the heat from the sun, the acid in the droppings can cause permanent etching if not removed.
Pollen not only affects our allergies, but it can also ruin your paint job. It too has a high acidity that can erode paint. Moreover, contact with water activates the acidic spores. Thus, waiting for the rain to wash away the pollen will worsen the problem. Using soap will safely encapsulate pollen before rinsing it away.
Let’s not forget about bugs. In warmer months, it’s nearly impossible to avoid getting squashed bugs on your car. However, the fluid inside insects contains chemicals that can eat through your clear coat in 2 days. Additionally, bacteria grow on dead bugs eating through your finish as well. Once dead bugs harden on your car, they’re almost impossible to scrub off.
In the winter months, you’ll see road crews spreading brine on streets to prevent ice formation. While brine is great for keeping roadways free from ice, it’s not so great for your car. Salt, the main ingredient, is highly corrosive. Not only will brine destroy your paint, but it can also cause damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle.
Use Our Xpress Turbo Wash to Remove All Your Dirt
The best way to protect the exterior of your car is to give it a good wash and wax. Washing removes the accumulation of dirt and grime while waxing provides a barrier to protect your finish. Ideally, you should wash your car frequently and wax your car at least twice a year. A spring wash will remove the accumulation of winter brine. Waxing in the fall will have the finish gleaming after the wash removes bug and pollen acid.
Yet, you may want to wash and wax your automobile more often if you frequently expose it to the elements. Not parking in a garage or driving many miles are just two ways to accumulate hazardous material. Thus, you may want to wash more frequently and wax your car 3-4 times a year. We make this an easy task with our Xpress Turbo Wash.
Our turbo wash is gentle on your car. The foam bath lubricates the surface before the ultra-soft brushes wipe the dirt away. We use premium products like Armor-All®, Rain•X®, and Black Magic®. Plus, we use recycled filtered water to clean your car. Moreover, we recycle more water than our competition.
We offer 3 levels of washes designed to meet your needs. All levels include our bug prep, a solution that will loosen and lift insects off your car’s surface. Plus, all vehicles receive an undercarriage wash to remove winter’s brine and spring and summer’s mud and dirt. Additionally, we treat your car to a clear coat sealant. Our sealant adds a protective layer to protect your exterior from the harmful effects of UV rays.
For complete cleaning and protection of your exterior, choose our Turbo Complete Car Wash. This service includes our extreme hot wax treatment. Applying wax after washing helps maintains the exterior while improving durability. Wax provides an additional barrier that reduces the breakdown of the clear coat that guards your paint.
If you’re looking for a gift for a hard-to-buy-for person, consider buying them a Turbo Wash gift cards. Available in any amount, our gift cards are great for birthdays, graduations, or any other celebration.
Xpress Lube of Kernersville Takes Care of You
When that time of year rolls around and it’s time for your NC car inspection, choose Xpress Lube of Kernersville. We’re a family-owned and operated auto repair service serving your community for over 25 years. Our owner, Mac Allen, believes in offering high-quality service at a fair price.
Servicing any make or model car, our staff provides quick and efficient service. We use the latest diagnostic equipment to find and fix your vehicle’s problems. Best of all, we do so in a welcoming and inviting manner. Our mechanics will discuss any work that your vehicle requires and explain exactly what the problem is and how they will fix it. We never do anything to your vehicle until you fully understand what we are doing and what the cost will be. Most importantly, we treat you as we would a member of our own family.
We love our customers! That’s why we offer our loyalty program. For every dollar you spend, you will earn rewards. Then, use your rewards for any of our services including repairs, maintenance, or car washes. Signing up is fast and easy! Just go to our webpage and give us a few details about yourself. Then, every time you use one of our services, you’ll accumulate points. It’s our way of thanking you for your support.
When it’s time for that NC car inspection, give us a call at 336-993-7697and we’ll save you a spot at a time that’s convenient for you. You will relax in our waiting area while watching TV and having a free cup of coffee. In no time, you’ll be back on the road, knowing that your vehicle is safe and reliable.