Vehicle Inspection by Jiffy Lube

From brake checks to tire rotations, there are many aspects of car maintenance to keep track of. Sometimes, you can’t remember all of it, and parts can go bad in between your car’s scheduled check-ups. If components start to fail, you can end up with costly damage to your vehicle. And one component that starts to go bad might put undue stress on surrounding parts, which in turn leaves you with a nightmare bill and more repairs. Another thing that drivers don’t always consider is the fact that letting some parts go can also result in a fine. If you drive around with a light out, for instance, you might get fined depending on your state’s driving laws. Furthermore, a car with a broken or malfunctioning component might not pass inspection. If you’re concerned that your car might not pass inspection, or if you just want to a set of trained eyes to make sure everything looks good, bring your car to Jiffy Lube when you’re asking yourself “where can I go for vehicle inspection near me?” Depending on the services your local Chicago-area Jiffy Lube offers, you’ll be able to get a thorough inspection and emissions check.

Passing a Safety Inspection

Unfortunately, drivers don’t always realize that something is wrong with their car until they’re left stranded or get into an accident. In order to enforce the importance of vehicle safety, many states require mandatory safety inspections. If your car fails inspection, you can face a fine or an invalidated registration. To ensure your car is in top shape, it should be inspected for safety issues twice a year. The months of April and October, which are designated as “National Car Care Months,” are great times to remember your car’s safety. Additionally, many people get their cars checked for safety before winter starts and at the start of summer, which is when people tend to drive greater distances and take driving vacations.

What a Safety Inspection Covers

On average, cars contain nearly 30,000 parts! Of that amount, several thousand parts can affect the safety of your car. So if you’re wondering “how does the Jiffy Lube near me ensure my your car is safe and sound to drive?” The answer lies in the fact that it has highly-trained, detail-oriented mechanics. Those mechanics also follow a comprehensive checklist to make sure that your car checks out okay. While the specifics might vary from one inspection center to the next, these items are generally evaluated in a safety inspection:

  • Wipers
  • Headlights
  • Taillights
  • Tires
  • Windshield
  • Seat belts
  • Steering and suspension
  • Brakes

The wipers on your car might fail inspection if they’re missing, if the windshield wiper spray doesn’t reach the windshield, or if they leave streaks. The head and taillights will fail inspection if they are foggy, different colors, cracked, or dim. Tires must be above a minimum tread depth to be considered safe. The threshold for minimally acceptable tread varies by state, and they are sometimes different depending on the type of tire you have (for example, snow tires usually have a different minimum tread requirement than all-season tires). Tires with visible damage (bubbles, blisters, dry rot, etc.) might also cause your car to fail inspection. You might wonder “can a Jiffy Lube near me check my tires and help find replacements if needed?” You’re in luck, because that is a hallmark service your local Jiffy Lube offers. Since finding tires of the right size and style can be complex, it’s best to have a professional help out. A cracked windshield, however small, can cause inspection failure in some places. Any obstruction on the driver’s side (scratches, pitting, and other problems) will make your car fail inspection. Inside the car, you’ll have the seat belts inspected. If they are frayed, don’t properly latch, don’t retract, or have any other apparent issues, your car won’t pass inspection. The brakes will be checked for strange noises or metal-to-metal contact. Leaking brake fluid can also make your car fail inspection. Finally, the steering and suspension systems should be tight, responsive, and not leak.

Emissions Inspection

The emissions check is often part of a more comprehensive safety evaluation. While the safety inspection is relatively standard nationwide, states vary considerably in their standards for emissions requirements. Some states don’t have emissions checks at all. But no matter where you live, you’ll have to make sure that your car can pass its emission test if one is required. In Illinois, an emissions check is required based on your car’s year of production. If your car falls within the age range of a mandatory inspection, you can expect to have your emissions system checked once during the time period until your car’s registration expires. For instance, if your inspection sticker is valid through 2021, your car will need to pass an emissions inspection before that time so that you can renew your registration. If you’re wondering “can my car pass an emissions test at a vehicle inspection near me?”, bring your car in to Jiffy Lube to have an expert give you an answer.

The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

Now that you know how important it is to have a properly functioning car, both from a safety perspective and a legal perspective, you might be more diligent about keeping up with regular car maintenance if you haven’t been already. Each automaker sets milestones, based on a car’s mileage, when it should have certain maintenance services performed. If there’s one service that you are already familiar with, it’s probably oil changes. Cars that use synthetic oil can usually last 5,000 – 7,000 miles in between oil changes. But if your car is older or takes traditional oil, you might need to go in more frequently (about every 3,000 – 5,000 miles) instead. Your brakes, fluid levels, and tires should be checked at regular intervals too so that you know you’re driving a safe and reliable car. In addition to these regular service items, you should have the transmission fluid changed when the car reaches 60,000 miles. Periodically, it’s also wise to have your battery inspected. These days, batteries have an average lifespan of approximately 3-5 years. But if you live in a colder climate, like Chicago, your battery can wear out more quickly. So the next time you bring your vehicle in for any service and it’s been awhile since you’ve had the battery checked, ask a mechanic to see how much life it has left.

Sometimes, parts break and wear out in between inspections, too. This is especially true for older cars. If something feels off or if you notice any strange scents or noises, it’s probably time to bring your car in for an inspection. And anytime you get into an accident, even if it’s a minor fender-bender, your car should go straight to the shop to check for hidden damage.

Safety and emissions inspections might seem like a nuisance to you, but they’re only designed to keep you and other drivers safe. Depending on where you live, your car will go through a rigorous safety inspection and an emissions test. To make your life easier, and avoid fines or registration delays, be sure to have an expert at Jiffy Lube check your car at least twice a year to make sure everything looks good.

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