The Top 3 Most Common Causes Of Failing Your State Vehicle Inspection

A state inspection can be a tad nerve-wracking when you aren’t confident you will pass. To ease that anxiety, our team here at Preferred Automotive wants to give you a few pointers to get your mind and vehicle ready before you potentially fail! Keep reading to discover the three most commons reasons people here in Rockville, MD, fail their state inspection!

#1: Missing gas cap
You read that right. You would not believe how many people bring their vehicles to us with missing gas caps and are SHOCKED to learn this small little piece can and will pass or fail you during a state inspection. Seems tiny—which, it literally is—but it’s a BIG problem! If your gas cap is missing, the gas inside your tank is actually able to escape and register as a “leak” in your vehicle’s system. This will likely trigger your check-engine light to come on and fail you for emissions release with a false EVAP (Evaporative Emissions System) failure code. This won’t harm your vehicle to be without a gas cap, but it will flag your car or truck as “harmful to the environment.”

#2: Clogged air filter
I know, it’s almost shocking how simple this one is! So, when your parents told you (and when a mechanic has advised you) to have your air filter changed out—there was very good reason. A dirty air filter means the engine will be unable to suck enough clean air into the combustion chambers. We call this “running rich” in the industry, which means your vehicle is getting too much gas and not enough airflow. Over time, your car will lose power and begin to run roughly (and your check-engine light will pop on to warn you). The warning signs of an engine running rich include: unusual sounds, a misfiring engine, that good ol’ check-engine light, reduced fuel economy, a dirty-looking air filter (obviously…), reduced horsepower, a strong gasoline smell when starting the engine, and block/sooty smoke or flames (big problem!) coming from the exhaust.

#3: A malfunctioning check-engine light
That dang check-engine light! But, it is there for a reason. To pass your state inspection it must work properly. If not, there’s no way for your car to warn you at the first sign of trouble that you need to stop in for a visit. Think about it—you can not safely drive the roads without this helpful little light communicating with you as needed. We have met with countless drivers who either didn’t know their check-engine light was malfunctioning (and was, thus, useless) or knew it but underestimated its importance for their safety and successful state inspection.

There you have it! Now that you know the top three most common ways to fail a state inspection, you can avoid them! If you have repairs you need to be addressed or are in need of a Rockville, MD state inspection and live here in Rockville, MD—come visit Preferred Automotive!

Preferred Automotive | 12356 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-881-8530

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