Think you need a car inspection? If you’re thinking maybe, then the answer is yes. Don’t wait until that sound, bump, or vibration turns into a severe issue.

There are different types of inspections based on your goal. It’s important to familiarize yourself with what you need so you don’t spend money where you don’t need to.

Car Inspections in Arizona

One of the main purposes of a vehicle inspection is to ensure that the vehicle’s ownership paperwork matches its VIN. This is used to identify the vehicle, and (in some cases) to confirm that the vehicle is appropriately prepared for highway use. You will need to supply proof of ownership, a valid driver’s license and in some cases, invoices or receipts for parts that were repaired or replaced.

Combating Theft

Vehicle inspections are carried out by certified officers that help combat vehicle theft in Arizona. In many instances, these vehicles are considered to be “salvage” and need to be inspected to ensure that they have been repaired and is equipped for highway use. A car inspection is also required for vehicles with a title and paperwork issues and those that are missing their VIN (vehicle identification number).

There are three levels of car inspection services.

  • Level I:
A Level I inspection is for vehicles from out of state that don’t have proof of title or registration, and bonded titles.
  • Level II:
This inspection is conducted when unusual instances indicate that a secondary VIN needs to be examined. This inspection can only be executed at ADOT EDC (Enforcement and Compliance Division) inspection locations by specially certified ADOT officers.
  • Level III:
These inspections are typically required when a vehicle has been salvaged, was involved in an accident or is a recovered stolen vehicle. This is the highest-level inspection and needs to be performed at ADOT ECD inspection locations.

Car Emissions Inspections

There are different types of emissions inspection tests, including the following:

  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD): The newest car emissions test being used in Arizona is the OBD test that can identify issues before they cause emissions system failure and engine damage. OBD is only used on newer light duty and 1996 vehicles. The necessary operating information is accessed by connecting to the vehicle’s computer that monitors the operation of the engine emission control systems.
  • IM 147: This test is used in the metro Phoenix inspection program to test the majority of 1981 to 1995 light duty, gasoline powered, 8500 lbs., and under GVWR vehicles. During this inspection, the vehicle is driven on dynamometers (rollers) at various speeds to replicate urban driving. The exhaust is continually measured during the inspection with the results shown in grams per mile.
  • Steady State Loaded and Idle: The steady state, loaded/idle emission test is used for the majority of 1967 to 1995 vehicles in the Tucson area and more modern heavy-duty gasoline vehicles (GVWR/8500lbs or higher) in the Phoenix area. The vehicle is tested at idle and at approximately 25 to 30 mph.
  • Diesel Vehicle inspection:
These inspections test diesel vehicle for smoke density. In the metro Phoenix area, a procedure referred to as “snap acceleration” is used to test heavy-duty diesel vehicles over 26,000 GVWR. In Tucson, testing is performed using a dynamometer on light duty diesel vehicles up to 26,000 GVWR. 

In some cases, a vehicle may undergo a visual car inspection to look for specific emission control components that may have been installed by the vehicle’s manufacturer. This inspection includes the air pump, catalytic converter, evaporative control system and positive crankcase ventilation system.

Similar to how an annual physical is important to your health, your vehicle needs the same loving care. An annual car inspection will help ensure road safety and address any issues before serious problems occur. Even the most conscientious vehicle owners can be unaware of what may seem like minuscule mechanical or safety issues that can end up making a vehicle dangerous as well as illegal to operate on the road. This is why an annual car inspection is so important.

If you’re worried about passing Arizona’s emissions test call Hi-Tech Car Care. We have the equipment and expertise it takes to perform the test, regardless of the age of your car.

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