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What Do They Check for Car Inspection in NJ


What Do They Check for Car Inspection in NJ?

In the state of New Jersey, car inspections are a necessary requirement to ensure that vehicles on the road meet safety and emissions standards. The inspection process is conducted by certified technicians at authorized inspection stations. In this article, we will explore what exactly they check for during a car inspection in NJ and answer some frequently asked questions.

Safety Inspection:
During the safety inspection, technicians thoroughly examine various components of the vehicle to ensure they are in proper working condition. Here are some key areas that are checked:

1. Brakes: Technicians inspect the braking system, including the brake pads, rotors, calipers, brake lines, and the parking brake. They ensure that the brakes are functioning optimally and not worn out.

2. Steering and Suspension: The steering and suspension system is inspected to verify that it is in good working order. This includes checking the tie rods, steering linkage, shocks, struts, and ball joints.

3. Lights and Electrical System: All lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights, are checked to ensure they are functioning correctly. Technicians also inspect the wiring and fuses.

4. Tires and Wheels: The tires are examined for proper tread depth, sidewall condition, and tire pressure. Technicians also check the wheels for any damage or misalignment.

5. Exhaust System: The exhaust system is inspected for leaks, proper installation, and emissions compliance. This includes checking the catalytic converter, muffler, and exhaust pipes.

6. Windshield and Wipers: The windshield is examined for any cracks or chips that may obstruct the driver’s view. Technicians also verify that the wipers are in good condition and effectively clear the windshield.

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Emissions Inspection:
In addition to the safety inspection, New Jersey requires vehicles to undergo an emissions inspection to ensure they meet environmental standards. The emissions inspection focuses on reducing harmful pollutants released into the atmosphere. Here are the key components checked during the emissions inspection:

1. Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) System: Technicians connect a scanning tool to the vehicle’s OBD system to check for any stored error codes. These codes can indicate issues with the emissions control system.

2. Gas Cap: A gas cap check is performed to ensure it is properly sealed, preventing fuel vapor from escaping.

3. Exhaust Gas Analysis: An exhaust gas analysis is conducted to measure the levels of pollutants emitted by the vehicle. This includes checking for excessive carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions.

4. Evaporative System: The evaporative emission control system is inspected to ensure it is effectively capturing and storing fuel vapors.


1. How often do I need to get my car inspected in NJ?
In New Jersey, cars are typically required to be inspected every two years. However, certain vehicles, such as commercial vehicles, are subject to annual inspections.

2. What happens if my car fails the inspection?
If your car fails the inspection, you will be provided with a list of necessary repairs. Once the repairs are completed, you can have your vehicle re-inspected at the same station within 30 days without incurring an additional fee.

3. Can I get my car inspected at any authorized inspection station?
Yes, you can choose any authorized inspection station in New Jersey for your vehicle inspection. There are various private and state-operated inspection stations available throughout the state.

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4. What are the consequences of driving without a valid inspection sticker?
Driving without a valid inspection sticker can result in a traffic ticket and fines. Additionally, if caught repeatedly, it may lead to the suspension of your vehicle registration.

5. Are there any exemptions from the inspection requirement?
Yes, some vehicles are exempt from the inspection requirement, such as electric vehicles, diesel vehicles manufactured before 1997, and motorcycles.

In conclusion, car inspections in New Jersey encompass both safety and emissions checks to ensure vehicles meet the necessary standards. By adhering to these inspections, drivers can help maintain road safety and contribute to a cleaner environment.

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