Can A Cracked Windshield Pass Inspection in PA?


What is PA state inspection?

The PA State Inspection, in other words, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PDOT), has specified the inspection requirements each motor vehicle must pass to be registered in that state.

First, the state requires all vehicles to have a valid inspection sticker or blocked vehicle registration. Pennsylvania also requires that all four tires on a vehicle be inflated to their proper PSI and inspected for any damage.

The points of an inspection vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks fall in the same category and check the same parts for potential problems.

Vehicle safety inspections can be performed at an official PDOT Inspection Station. Your local dealer or repair shop could offer their inspection station to you for a fee.

Having your car inspected at an official inspection station will cost you money. The inspection fee does not include repairs for defects, so make sure your vehicle is in good condition before having it checked.

To be sure, always consult a qualified mechanic or specialist company about vehicle inspections and what is needed to ensure safety for your car and family. The quality of these parts is checked for any potential issues.

What is checked in a car inspection?

It is mandatory to have the annual state inspection of your vehicle to be legally accepted and to know that it will be safe on the road.

Exterior inspection

Before you get your car inspected, an auto mechanic will check the title, registration and insurance to make sure it’s legal and up-to-date. They will check your license plate to be sure it’s securely fastened and fully illuminated.

After that, they will look for cracks and chips in your windows and windshield to check their integrity.

They’ll then inspect your door, window, and wiper blades to make sure they’re of good quality and don’t need any repairs.

Finally, they check your lights, blinkers, and other exterior features that may need repairs. They’ll also identify any damage to your bumpers that can cause mishaps and misfortune.

Interior inspection

During the exterior inspection, your car’s steering wheel and column are inspected to ensure that your wheels turn as they should and will work the horn.

The next step is the brakes. It’s not easy to see if your brake pads need replacing and your brake pedal to ensure they don’t go too low to the floor. The parking brake is the last step of the brake check.

Your seat belts are then checked to make sure they are safe and working.

Then your mechanic will open the hood and inspect the engine and components for any leaks or damage. The inspection involves exhaust, fuel, transmission, battery, coolant, and more. The emissions system is also inspected.

The vehicle’s underside will also be removed to check your shocks, coil springs, axles, and frame for any wear and tear or damage. They also perform a final check of the exhaust system and brakes.

The tires will be checked for tire wear and tread depth or any damage that compromises their safety.

Once all these areas are entirely inspected, the mechanic will take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure that it drives well and your gauges operate properly.

But which parts of your car are inspected in Pennsylvania? The PDOT states thus.

Passenger cars and light-duty trucks inspection

Safety inspections for passenger cars and light-duty trucks require the following to be checked:

  • Suspension components
  • Steering and braking systems
  • Tires and wheels 
  • Lighting and electrical systems
  • Glass and mirrors
  • Windshield washer, defroster and wipers
  • Fuel systems
  • Speedometer, odometer and exhaust systems
  • Horns and warning devices
  • The body and the chassis

The safety inspection will include a Visual Anti-Tampering Check for vehicles in the 42 counties Non-I/M region. The Visual Anti-Tampering Check examines the vehicle to see if the required emissions components have been tampered with or removed.

What is the right time to renew my Inspection?

Typically it would be best to renew it one year after the last Inspection. In Pennsylvania, vehicles are required to undergo yearly emission and safety inspections.

If you need to know the next time your Inspection is due, the date will be on your car’s registration document. Make sure to have an inspection sticker on your driver’s side dashboard.

Please make an appointment with your garage a few weeks beforehand because they get busy at the end of the month.

Things you should bring to your appointment

Before the inspection appointment, the garage will need you to bring:

  • A copy of a valid vehicle insurance
  • Vehicle’s title
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicles VIN by and authorized instruction mechanic/ notary/ issuing agent

What happens if my vehicle doesn’t pass inspection?

Your vehicle is your most important investment, and if your vehicle fails at the Inspection, there is a team of well-trained technicians that you can always rely on. The answer to any questions you may have, explain the problem and ways to fix it and re-inspect your car at no cost.

PDOT says that there won’t charge anything if you have done the Inspection within the last 30 days. If your car still fails the Inspection and you can prove that you have spent $150 or more on emissions-related repairs, there may be a one-year waiver available.

For some repairs, like replacing a catalytic converter, there might not be an option other than to spend more money. You need to get an emissions sticker or waiver and pass a safety inspection before you receive a permanent safety inspection sticker for your vehicle.”

What will fail a PA state inspection?

Pennsylvania doesn’t give detailed information on its inspection requirements, but they use OBD systems. The OBD will provide the technician with information about the vehicle, allowing them to diagnose and make informed decisions about its safety.

If your check engine light is on, or if your dashboard monitor says “not ready,” this may indicate a problem with the vehicle. Issues with the proximity sensor can often be fixed by replacing them. It may help to have an expert opinion before buying new parts.

While Pennsylvania car inspections are among the most in-depth of any state, don’t forget to get your vehicle checked for free before it goes through an inspection.

A functional car must have functioning brakes, working lights, functional speedometers and odometers, undamaged bumpers. Other necessary pieces may include functioning rearview mirrors and overall good tires.

Can a cracked windshield pass Inspection in PA?

According to Pennsylvania, during the annual Inspection of a vehicle, the driver must make sure that the windshield, all glass parts, and rearview mirrors are in good condition because damaged or cracked glass won’t give you a passing result.

Pennsylvania has stringent guidelines for cracked, chipped or defective windshields.

  • Broken glass and any exposed sharp edges are not allowed.
  • No cracks or chips in the centre of the driver’s side of the windshield are permitted.
  • There should be no large cracks, chips or discolourations on any area of the windshield, side windows or rear window.
  • The following markings on the windshield are not permitted – anything except what is necessary for identifying the vehicle:
  • Etchings that extend more than three and a half inches from the lowest exposed point of the back windows are not permitted.

Simply a vehicle fails Inspection if the glass is broken or has sharp edges, the windshield is removed or any defects or strains on the windshield at the front, right, left of rear spots of drivers vision that could block their view.

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