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Tires and passing Virginia Safety Inspection

In Inspection, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

State inspections are an annual requirement that help keep drivers safe.

Why would my tires not pass Virginia Safety Inspection?

tire state inspection fail tread wear indicators

A tire that is flushed with indicators will fail state safety inspection.

There are many reasons why a vehicle’s tires may fail.

Inspectors must follow certain guidelines that are set forth by the state.

When it comes to tires, they will evaluate the tread depth and wearing patterns.

tire state inspection fail secondary rubber steel belts

When secondary rubber and steel chords are showing on a tire, it will not pass state safety inspection.

A tire won’t pass if secondary rubber or inner steel chords are showing.

Foreign objects, such as nails or screws, in the tires is another indicator.

 Other signs are if the tread is flushed with indicators or if the tread is under 2/32 inches in three locations.

tire state inspection fail nail screw in tread

Foreign object damage, such as nails and screws in tire, will fail state inspection

Vehicles that have bent or damaged wheels and rims will fail Virginia Safety Inspection. 

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

tire state inspection fail large sidewall cracking

Rubber cracking on an older tire. A large crack will fail state safety inspection.

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State inspections for Hyundai vehicles

In Inspection, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Receiving a state inspection for a vehicle isn’t purposeless.

The law helps protect motorists throughout the year.

However, regular inspections aren’t required in some states, such as Maryland. Drivers are only expected to have their vehicle checked when they purchase it.

This contributed to a recent incident that brought a Maryland family to Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

The lower control arm of the family’s Hyundai Sedan rusted and broke off while they were traveling.

A lower control arm is connected to the frame of the vehicle and the steering knuckle by the lower ball joint.

Having their vehicle checked regularly could have prevented the issue.

“If they had been coming in for a yearly inspection, there would have been a better chance this would have been caught,” the General Manager at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire said.

The broken part didn’t lead to any injuries.

“Fortunately — in this case — they weren’t going too fast and didn’t hurt anyone, but imagine if they had been going down the highway like this,” the General Manager said. “So, this isn’t just about the individual, it’s about the safety of all drivers on the road.”

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.


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Are your vehicle’s headlights clear?

In Headlamps, Inspection, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Traveling during late hours can be stressful and dangerous.

Addressing hazy headlights can improve safety and visibility.

Over time, a vehicle’s headlamps can grow foggy as their clear coat finish wears off and the headlight cover becomes pitted.

Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge has the ability to restore them.

According to Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire Manager Jon Conner, changing a headlight cover can fix the issue. Some lights must be replaced entirely.

“You can make an appointment with us and we will evaluate the headlights on your car, truck or SUV and give you a recommendation if they can be restored or need to be replaced,” Conner said.

The headlamps don’t just impact a driver’s safety or ability to see at night.

They can also cause issues in an annual check up.

“During a state inspection, headlights are checked for alignment and for candle power — or how bright they are,” Conner said. “For example, the headlights might require an 8,000 candlepower rating to pass the inspection. If it gets to low, you can actually fail it.”

Are you buying a “flood car”? Warning signs and how to avoid it

In Inspection, Maintenance, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle beware of “flood cars,” especially following the devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

“‘Flood cars’ are one of the things we saw after 2008, was that the Midwest had their big floods out there through Missouri and Iowa…and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana,” said Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner ST Billingsley.

Flood cars are vehicles that have been salvaged from disaster areas, which are cleaned up, auctioned, and resold to often unsuspecting consumers across the United States. And in some cases, these cars have clean CarFaxes that don’t even have information about the flood water damage in the vehicle, making it difficult for buyers to make an informed decision.

“There are places that do a really good job of cleaning them up, even to where you can’t even smell where water’s been in it,” said Billingsley.

And buying one of these flood cars can be a costly mistake.

“They have the car, it looks good, it’s what they wanted – and then they’re frustrated because they’re going to the mechanic all the time because of these weird issues,” said Billingsley.

Buyers of these cars will run into issues like their car battery going dead for no apparent reason, the car horn blaring or the doors locking sporadically, rust, and other electrical problems – sometimes intermittently.

According to Billingsley, this is a result of water getting into the wire harness and shorting out terminals and fuse boxes in the car.

“Especially with the way these cars are computer controlled – all of the electronics – there are multiple fuse boxes in all of these vehicles. Some are low, some are high up in the car. When that water sits in there, corrosion starts to build up,” said Billingsley.

While it may be difficult, there are ways to tell if the car you’re interested in may be a flood car.

“When you have the car up in the air, and having somebody looking for items like this…if you just bent down to look, you wouldn’t necessarily see any dirt or any water lines,” said Billingsley.

Trained technicians can spot residual mud and dirt, as well as waterlines underneath the dash, if they have the vehicle up on the rack. There are also voltage tests and related components that can be tested to determine if the car is working properly.

Want to avoid buying a costly flood car? Taking a car you’re interested in to a shop like Steve’s Auto for a pre-purchase inspection is an important step. Our qualified technicians will fully inspect the vehicle from top to bottom, noting any issues or potential issues, and make sure you’ve got as much information as possible as you decide whether or not to continue with the purchasing process.