How Long Does An Car Inspections Take?

Cars need regular inspection. You’ll have to take yours to a shop to have it inspected a few times a year. Get it checked out regularly if you want to keep it running well.

Now, new car owners may ask, how long do car inspections take? To find the answer to this question, read along to the end of this article. We will be looking into different things that need to be checked out in yours to keep it running smoothly every day.

What Is Involved In A Car Inspection?

To answer the question posted earlier, the length of time car inspections take depends on the model of the car. It doesn’t usually take more than an hour and a half or two to get yours inspected.

There are four things checked in cars when they’re in for regular inspection:

  1. Car inspectors check their interiors
  2. Then their exterior
  3. Undergo a smog test
  4. Test-driven
Mechanic smog testing a car.

These are all done to ensure every part of cars inspected is in place. They are performed on every vehicle to ensure they run as smoothly as they should.

Reasons Why Your Car May Fail An Inspection

There are different reasons why cars may fail inspection. If you have a gut feeling, yours may fail your scheduled car inspection, it may help to check your car yourself first. You can confirm if your vehicle has passed or failed the regular check-up later.

Water Damage

Common reasons cars might fail a regular check-up include signs of damage due to water. Residents of flood-prone areas have this problem whenever there is flooding. Cars damaged due to water usually has a musty smell inside and some parts with rust.

There, too, are some parts of these water-damaged cars that are damp. It takes a lot of time to fix vehicles with water damage. You’ll also need a lot of money to get your vehicle fixed. But if you bring in yours for its regular check-up, you can get yours fixed up however long it may take.

Frame Damage

Damaged metal car side after traffic accidents.

Frame damage due to collision can also cause vehicles to fail inspection. Damage to any part of a car can cause those parts to malfunction. A damaged car door may not close very well when you need it to do so.

Damages to other parts of vehicles’ frames may also diminish the frame’s protective function. Its shock-absorbing capability may lessen. Yours may get more damage due to this if left unchecked.

There are many other reasons why vehicles fail a regular check-up. These two are just the most common. But even if they fail their regular check-ups, then it means you’ll have to get it fixed. A car failing inspection is not that bad at all.

Reasons Why Cars Must Go Inspection Tests

People get their vehicles checked by car inspectors for different reasons. One is that states and countries mandate that they get inspected regularly. There may be some states that are fine without cars checked out regularly.

Car owners should, however, know that check-ups are necessary. Car inspections are a need if they want their vehicles to last them a long time.

Having your vehicle inspected also helps stop further damage to yours if parts of it are long left unchecked. Think of car inspections as an annual physical exam. Car inspections can fix some problems with your vehicle before they cause even more damage soon.

Getting your vehicle checked helps you maintain yours better. They also assure you, as its owner, that yours is in top shape.

If you schedule yearly check-ups for your vehicle, you can spend less on repairs if inspectors identify tiny things that can cause even more irreparable damage upon check-up. Car inspections can help you save money on vehicle repairs, too.  

How Should You Prepare For A Car Inspection?

You can conduct a pre-inspection check on your vehicle before its car inspection. To do so, check that all of your vehicle’s lights are working. You should also check for dents or cracks on your vehicle’s lights’ lenses. You can inform the car inspector about those cracks and dents later to get them fixed.

You should also check your vehicle’s glass, mirrors, wiper blades, and tires. Be sure that they are in good condition before the car inspector sees your vehicle. If there are damages to them, then inform your car inspector.


Now, let us ask again, how long do car inspections take? It does not take long to get vehicles checked out. Usually, it takes an hour and a half or two, including paperwork to fill up, if the car brought in is in good shape.

If you have more questions on car check-ups or inspections, you can always post them in the comments section below. Experts on these matters will answer these questions for you.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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