After learning brakes that weren’t maintained led to a deadly crash in Campbell last week, we took a look at the importance of vehicle inspections. We learned Pennsylvania requires them every year while Ohio does not.
Seventeen states have a periodic safety inspection program, while Maryland and Alabama require a safety inspection on the sale or transfer of vehicles previously registered in another state.
So what do inspectors look for?
“We have a checklist and we go through the entire checklist,” said Mackenzie Aurandt, who works at Flynn’s Tire and Auto Service in Hermitage.
Aurandt is also a certified state inspector.
“I had to go through the state and get my state inspection license,” he said.
In Pennsylvania, every car on the road has to pass a safety inspection annually to avoid accidents.
“Something catastrophic that we want to avoid at all costs, so we’ll check all your brakes, we’ll make sure your calipers are good, everything’s working properly,” Aurandt said.
One of the many points of the inspection is to check the frame that supports the entire car.
“If you get into a crash and it’s not crash-related for what it’s actually made for, the steel’s not as strong, it’s going to crumple easier so that puts you in danger,” Aurandt said.
The inspectors check the entire car but a big focus is on the brakes.
“There’s so many different situations that could go horribly wrong just because of your brakes,” Aurandt said.
He said it may seem tedious to some, but the purpose is to protect you and your family.
“It is 100 percent for safety. It’s to keep you on the road with your family, with whoever else you’re driving with. It’s to protect you and it’s to protect other people on the road.”
In Ohio, vehicles are not required to pass annual inspections. Aurandt said that blows his mind.
“We get a lot of cars from Ohio that just shouldn’t be on the road. We know they shouldn’t be on the road and, hopefully, the people driving them know that they should not be on the road.”
His best advice? If your check engine light comes on, take your car to a mechanic.
“It might be something little or it might be something bigger. Maybe something is starting to malfunction and you caught it in time.”
In Pennsylvania, if you don’t have a state-certified sticker saying your car is safe to drive, police can pull you over.