Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Auto Inspection Process

If you want to become a mechanic, one of the most common services you’ll have to provide is state inspections. Most states require vehicles to pass a rigorous series of assessments that test for emissions and overall safety. Since this is such a vital part of any auto service business, it is important that you know the right process for the job.

Emissions Analysis

Emission standards vary from state to state, but most will require a vehicle to produce up to a certain maximum. If you plan to work in a state or jurisdiction without many urban areas, you may have relaxed standards, since the Clean Air Act of 1990 gives largely rural states some leeway in this regard. Having reliable emission monitoring systems will allow you to obtain a good reading of a car’s emission levels. These devices will hook up to the onboard diagnostic II port under the steering column. Based on the results, a car will either pass or fail.


Again, the requirements for the safety portion of the inspection depend on where you live, but there is a basic list of parts that you’ll likely need to check. Evaluating the integrity of a car’s brakes, headlight brightness, tires, wheels, steering and suspension systems, turn signals, mirrors and the windshield may come into play.


The fees associated with inspections can be tricky for customers. It’s good to know the process so you can explain it in detail to anyone inquiring. An auto servicer will charge for the inspections, either individually or into one bulk cost. Additionally, vehicle owners will have to pay a fee to the state when they renew their annual automotive registration.

It’s important to ensure that your customer’s vehicles are kept up-to-date. They incur the risk of a ticket by driving without updated tags. Make sure you have the process down so that you can help owners get through the process with as few hiccups as possible.