Pennsylvania requires state vehicle safety inspections and emissions tests. These ensure that cars on the road get the necessary maintenance for safe operation. These state inspections can help prevent vehicle failure and crashes that often result in serious injury, or death. You must get a safety inspection from an official PennDOT Inspection Station in Philadelphia, PA like Schafer’s Auto Center.
How Often Do I Need to Get State Inspections Done?
Emissions inspections for subject vehicles are required once a year, in conjunction with your annual safety inspection. You must get a state inspection and a smog test done:
- By the last day of the month in which your inspection is due (usually a sticker on the lower, driver’s side on the windshield)
- When you purchase a used car
- When you move to the state from a different location and need to register your vehicle
Can I Get State Inspections Done Early?
Yes. In fact you can get your state inspection and smog test done up to 90 days before the final deadline. So if your inspection is due in May, you can get it done as early as March. You would probably want to get your inspection done early if you think your car might require extensive repairs. That way you have more time to get your car ready to pass inspection before the deadline. This also gives you some breathing room to cover more costly repairs. And getting your inspection done early does not mean it bumps up your due date for the following year. If your inspection is due in May, but your get it done in March, you will still get new stickers for May.
What is the Difference Between an Emissions Test and a State Inspection?
Usually the state inspection and the emissions test are performed at the same time, which is why most vehicle owners do not differentiate the two. Technically they are two separate tests with two separate criteria.
State Emissions Test
The emissions test checks to make sure all vehicle’s emissions are within the federal standards for the area. In newer vehicles technicians use the onboard computer to make sure the car is compliant. Technicians will also perform a gas cap check and an anti-tampering check. In older cars the technicians will use a tail pipe along with the gas cap check and anti-tampering check to manually test emissions.
State Safety Inspection
For the state safety inspection the technician will check the suspension, steering, and Philadelphia brake repair systems. He will also inspect the tires and wheels, the lighting and electrical, the windshield, glazing, and washer fluid. The mechanic will check the defroster, wipers, speedometer, and odometer. For safety, he will also inspect the body and chassis for rust or leaks, and test all horns and warning devices. All your seat belts, buckles, and windows will also be checked.
What Do I Need to Bring for my Vehicle Inspection?
For your annual emissions and safety inspection you should bring your car, your current registration, and your insurance card.
What Happens if I Fail the Emissions Test or Inspection?
You will receive a printed report with your inspection results. If your car fails the emissions or state inspection you will need to make the related repairs and have the car re-inspected within 30 days. If you take longer than 30 days the shop may charge you to perform the related tests again.
How Much Does an Inspection Cost?
The actual price for an emissions test and a state inspection are market driven. As such they will vary from shop to shop. Some will charge upwards of $100, but in the Greater Philadelphia Area the average price for inspections costs between $60 and $70. We care about our customers and will charge you a fair price for your annual smog test and state inspection.
Do you have more questions about the Philadelphia, PA State Inspection or Emissions Tests? Do not hesitate to call Schafer’s Auto Center. We will happily answer any questions you may have or set up an appointment for you. Call us today at 215-755-1270 or stop by 1924 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19148.