Ohio sure is a great place to call home. But with fatal crashes on the rise in recent years, making sure your car is safe on the road could be the difference between life and death.
With no state requirement for vehicle inspections, it’s up to motorists to be responsible and get vehicle safety checks. But what does one involve? And where can I get one done?
Let’s take a quick ride through the answers.
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Ohio Safety Inspection Law
Just because Ohio doesn’t require an annual vehicle safety check doesn’t mean you won’t be required to get one.
If you get pulled over, and the officer is concerned about the safety of your vehicle, they can require you to get it inspected. This can happen any time you get pulled over, not just if you’re involved in an accident. This highlights the importance of regular car maintenance.
If you get pulled over in Columbus, Ohio, you won’t need to get an e-check. Currently, the EPA only requires these in 7 counties around Cleveland.
Vehicle Safety Check – Key Components
There is no standard list for a safety check in Ohio. Most auto shops’ checklists include:
Every car owner should regularly check their tire pressure. Make sure that you keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended levels. This, along with regular tune-ups, will help your gas consumption and safety.
During the safety check, the auto shop will check the inflation and tread of the tires. They’ll also look for damage, defects, and any signs of uneven wear.
Columbus, Ohio, is no stranger to snow. You need to be able to rely on your tires when driving on snowy or icy roads. It’s a good idea to book a safety check in the fall, so you’re ready for winter’s worst.
They’ll also check your spare tire is in good shape if you need to call on it. They might also recommend tire rotation, so they wear more evenly.
Always be alert to any changes in your brakes. If you notice they’re not as responsive, or start to feel mushy, take the car straight into your local auto care shop.
The technician will look at all components of the brakes and check for signs of wear. This includes:
- Brake fluid lines for leaks
- Brake pads
- Brake discs
If there are signs of excessive wear on your pads or discs, they may advise you to replace them. The auto shop will advise how urgent the work is.
There are several lights that a technician will check, starting with the headlights and safety indicators.
Then they’ll check all internal lights are functioning correctly. Finally, they’ll check the dash.
Lights on the dash should all come on when you start the car. This shows that your warning lights are working in case you need them. The technician will make sure this safety check is working correctly.
If any stay on, they will need to carry out further investigations to find out the issue. It’s tempting to ignore warning lights, but preventative maintenance and prompt checks can save you big time down the line.
Steering and Alignment
The technician will give your steering a thorough check to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.
Next, they’ll look at the vehicle alignment. The tire check may have already flagged up an alignment issue. Uneven wear is a classic sign that your car is out of alignment.
Thankfully, getting your vehicle aligned is easy. Just a few minutes will get you back on the straight and narrow.
The rigors of daily driving take their toll on every car’s suspension at some point. Potholes, bumps, and uneven surfaces lead to busted springs, shock absorbers, struts, bushings, and joints.
This isn’t just a comfort concern. If your suspension is beat up, it’s hard to control the vehicle. Your tires wear out more quickly and it just becomes less responsive in emergency situations.
Get a technician to run their trained eye over it. They’ll be able to spot easy fixes early on that can save you money and keep you safe in the long run.
Safety Feature Inspection
If you get in an accident, you need every safety feature of your vehicle to be on your side. That means getting regular checks for components as basic as airbags and seatbelts.
If you yank down hard on your seatbelt it should stop, just like it would in a crash. If it doesn’t, it needs to be replaced.
There are other safety features you might not think of. How’s your windshield holding up? Over time, chips and cracks can develop into serious issues and affect visibility.
Windshield wipers are another key safety feature. It only costs a few bucks to put this one right. They can make the difference between spotting that deer on the road ahead and not…
The technician will also check that your mirrors are in good condition and are fully adjustable.
How Often Should I Get a Vehicle Safety Check?
Newer vehicles usually have a service program and get checked regularly. But older vehicles often need more attention but don’t get it.
If your car is out of warranty, it’s good to get it checked every two years. Every year is even better. Getting regular vehicle safety checks gives you peace of mind that your vehicle is roadworthy.
Choose ATL Columbus Total Car Care for Your Vehicle Safety Check
A vehicle safety check might not be required by law, but it’s a good idea for all car owners.
You can save on costly repairs down the line because issues get spotted early. You also get to enjoy the comfort and security of a car that’s functioning as it should. Whether you need a vehicle safety check or other auto services, head down to ATL Columbus Total Car Care.
We service and repair all brands of foreign and domestic vehicles. We have locations in Hilliard, Bexley, and Reynoldsburg ready to serve you.
Drive in, call us at 614-819-3473, or fill out our online form today!