Posted under Vehicle Inspection

Let’s be honest: no driver looks forward to a car inspection. But as a responsible driver, you appreciate how important these tests are. After all, the typical car is made up of eleven different systems, and each of those systems has many different parts. That’s a lot — too much!— for you to keep track of on your own. Periodic inspections by a qualified Jiffy Lube® technician can help keep you feeling confident behind the wheel … and help keep you in compliance with state and local regulations.

SO HOW LONG DOES A CAR INSPECTION TAKE? 

It depends on which type of test you’re talking about: emissions or safety.

EMISSIONS TEST 

Sometimes referred to as a smog check, emissions testing measures the level of pollutants present in the exhaust.

  • Why are emissions tests important? Through normal wear-and-tear, your car’s emission control systems can become less efficient. Pollutants like hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen can escape into the air and damage the environment.
  • Do you need an emissions test? That depends on where you live. More than 30 states require emissions testing on registered vehicles. If you’re not sure what’s currently required where you live, contact your state’s environmental agency for accurate, up-to-date information.
  • How long does an emissions test take? Emissions testing typically takes between 15-30 minutes. Since there’s no standard federal test — each state and municipality can set its own requirements — the timing can vary. The longer the list of requirements, the longer the test will take.
  • How should you prepare for an emissions test? Call ahead to your local Jiffy Lube® (there are more than 2,000 locations across North America to confirm the hours when emissions tests are performed and to make an appointment, if needed. 
  • What to bring to an emissions test? Different states have different rules, but this is what is typically required:
    • Certificate of vehicle registration
    • Prior inspection report
    • Letter from the department that oversees the emissions testing program in your state
    • Renewal notice, which you may have received via mail, eNotify, or email

Be sure to check with your state’s environmental agency for a current list of required documents before you go.

  • What happens if your vehicle  passes the emissions test? There are only two grades for an emissions test: PASS or FAIL. If you PASS, a compliance certificate will be issued.
  • What happens if your vehicle  fails the emissions test? If your emissions system appears tampered with, or if the pollutants that come from your vehicle  exceed the specified limit, you will, unfortunately, receive a FAIL. Repairs will have to be made and the vehicle must be retested (and pass) before you renew your  registration.

 

SAFETY TEST

Usually, when drivers ask, “how long does a car inspection take?”, they are asking about emissions testing. That’s because more states require emissions tests than safety tests. But many states have mandatory safety tests, so we will give these inspections a close look, too.

customer arriving for a car inspection
  • Why are safety tests important? A safe car is of vital importance not only to you but to your passengers, pedestrians and every other driver you meet on the road. There’s another benefit to safety tests. Getting your car’s safety systems (including steering, brakes, lights and tires) checked thoroughly by a Jiffy Lube technician will help you avoid costly repairs.
  • Do you need a safety test? That depends on where you live. More than a dozen states require testing on registered vehicles. If you’re not sure what’s currently required where you live, contact your state’s department of transportation for accurate, up-to-date information.
  • How long does a safety test take? The answer is different than it was to “How long does an emissions test take?” Safety tests can be more complicated and involve more parts, so they can take longer. Depending on your state’s requirements, a safety test can take an hour or more.
  • How should you prepare for a safety test? Call ahead to one of the 2,000 Jiffy Lube locations across North America  to be sure they perform safety tests and then make an appointment, if necessary. 
  • Do you have the proper paperwork? Different states have different rules, but this is what is typically required:
    • Certificate of vehicle registration
    • Prior inspection report
    • Letter from your state’s department of transportation, or other office that regulates car safety
    • Renewal notice, which you may have received via mail, eNotify, or email
  • What happens if your car passes the safety test? There are only two grades for a safety test: PASS or FAIL. If you PASS, a compliance certificate will be issued.
  • What happens if your car fails the safety test? If your steering, seatbelts, brakes, lights, tires, etc., are not functioning as designed, you will, unfortunately, receive a FAIL. Repairs will have to be made and the car must be retested (and pass) before you renew your car’s registration.

Before any work is done to bring your vehicle in compliance with either the emissions or safety regulations, you will receive a written estimate. Your questions are encouraged, and the Jiffy Lube technician will be ready with answers.

When you first asked, “How long does a car inspection take?” you may have felt … well … annoyed. We get it. You’re likely busy these days and aren’t looking for more things to add to your “to-do” list. But after reading about these tests, and the benefits they offer to both your safety and the environment, we hope you’ll feel better bringing your car up to regulation. You can count on Jiffy Lube to always use service/repair components that meet or exceed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specifications. 

READ MORE ABOUT IT

Brake inspections are very important. Not only are they a big part of a safety inspection, but they can also help you save money by catching a small problem before it becomes a costly repair. Learn about the Jiffy Lube Brake Inspection here.

Thinking about emissions testing may bring the environment top of mind. Learn how Jiffy Lube is doing our part by recycling used motor oil.

Please note: Not all services are available at all Jiffy Lube locations. Please call ahead or check the jiffylube.com website to ensure the service is available.