In North Carolina, all drivers must meet certain requirements for their vehicles. If you’re searching for safety and emissions near me, we’ve got you you covered. Our experienced mechanics can get you in and out quickly so you can get back on the road without too much disruption to your day. Here’s a little information about what you should know before you go.
What Does North Carolina Require?
In North Carolina, there are two parts to state vehicle inspections. First, almost all vehicle must pass a safety inspection. The only exemption is for antique vehicle that are more than 30 years old. The good news is that the North Carolina vehicle safety inspection only costs $13.60 (as of Jan 2024). The state itself sets this cost and inspection stations must abide by it. There is an additional $10 fee if you have tinted windows, to ensure they meet state requirements as well.
In many counties, you also must have an emissions inspection, which costs $30 (also set by the state). This is a requirement in the following counties:
- New Hanover
The state bases this requirement on where your vehicle is registered, which is typically where you live. However, your vehicle may be registered in a different county if you only live here during part of the year, as is the case for many students.
You can get an exemption for the emissions test if you have an antique vehicle, a diesel-operated vehicle, or a registered farm vehicle. Some vehicles with less than 70,000 miles may also be exempt. Additionally, if your vehicle does fail the emissions test, you may be eligible for a waiver from the state.
What Your Vehicle Safety Test Covers
As the name implies, a vehicle safety tests inspects everything your car needs to drive on the road safely. A qualified mechanic will look at your lights and signals, brakes, steering, tires, horn, mirrors, windshield wipers, and exhaust system. These parts must meet minimum state standards.
Your vehicle safety test is not, however, an engine tune-up. While we do always point out problems when we see them, we don’t take a closer look at your engine or transmission during a state inspection unless you schedule this service as well. It’s always a good idea to prevent problems before they happen, so many customers also get a tune-up annually at the same time they bring their car in for a state inspection.
If you do fail any part of the inspection, don’t panic. You won’t be able to renew your vehicle registration without a passing test, but we can help. Our mechanics can fix nearly any problem. They are ASE-certified and experienced with a wide range of vehicle makes and models. If you need a vehicle repair, you are also free to take it to another mechanic and then come back to us for a re-inspection.
Common Vehicle Inspection Problems
Luckily, most common vehicle repairs needed after an inspection are relatively inexpensive. You may even know already that you need some of these repairs soon if you properly maintain your vehicle. Here are some of the problems we see most often:
- A burned out headlight, running light, tail light, or signal light
- Tires with worn tread (less than 1/16 inch)
- Worn brake pads
- Ripped or ineffective windshield wipers
Other problems can also affect your vehicle’s ability to pass its annual state inspection of course, but these are the most common problems.
When you schedule a test for safety and emissions near me, make sure to set aside a little money for repairs you may need. Unfortunately, no matter how well you maintain your vehicle, repairs are a part of being a vehicle owner!
Maintenance for Lower Vehicle Repair Costs
The best way to lower your vehicle repair costs is to properly maintain your vehicle. It’s a lot cheaper to change your oil regularly than to deal with a blown engine that was running too hot due to dirty oil, for example. Preventative maintenance will also help your vehicle retain value and last longer.
If you’re not sure what needs maintenance, don’t worry. Our experienced mechanics can help you figure out what your car needs and what maintenance schedule makes the most sense for you going forward. Like we noted previously, all vehicles need repairs regardless of how well they are maintained. Parts simply wear out as they age. However, with the proper maintenance, you can avoid the large catastrophic costs that really break the bank.
FAQs About Safety and Emissions Near Me
Our mechanics are happy to answer your questions before or after your vehicle inspection. However, if you’re coming in for a test for safety and emissions near me, here are a few things you should know:
When do I need a vehicle inspection?
North Caroline requires an annual vehicle safety inspection, as well as an annual emissions inspection if you live in one of the counties listed previously. If you recently purchased a vehicle, it must have a valid inspection within the last 12 months before you can register it. The state can give you a temporary license plate (10 days) if you own an unregistered vehicle that you need to drive to the inspection location.
If I move from out of state, when do I need an inspection?
You can register your vehicle in North Caroline right away in most cases. Your vehicle inspection must happen before the registration is due again next year. You can’t renew without a passing inspection.
What paperwork should I bring?
You don’t need any special forms to have a vehicle inspection for safety and emissions near me here at Kernersville Auto Center. Simply bring your license and insurance along with payment. We’ll help you get back on the road quickly. Contact us today with any other questions you may have.