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Digital inspections provide details about health of vehicle

In Inspectionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Do you ever wonder about the repairs your car needs, or what an auto shop is recommending?

You can learn this information through our digital inspections, which focus on the health of a vehicle.

We began using this tool last year. Before that, our technicians would write down notes and fill out a check list.

The digital inspections enable them to provide more details as well as take photos of vehicles they work on.

These photos can be of components that are in good shape and areas that need repairs, such as leaks.

We can also upload videos, which may show what’s going on when some photos can’t. 

Digital inspections can be sent to our customers over email or text.

In addition to providing recommendations and diagnosis, they may provide a description or animation about parts.

For example, if you don’t know what a power steering belt is, there could be an animation that explains how it works.

Nowadays, fewer people are waiting around for their car. Instead, they are going to work, running errands, and spending time with family. 

Rather than bringing customers to their car to show them exactly what’s going on, we can bring the car to them.

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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Does my car need an emission test?

In Inspectionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Vehicles emit fumes into the atmosphere.

The emission test monitors them and makes sure that too much unburned fuel isn’t being released.

Managed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Vehicle Emissions Testing is performed every two years.

In some parts of the state, an emission test isn’t required.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, it must be conducted on vehicles housed in many regional cities and counties, including Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is a testing location.

During the emission test, inspectors verify information, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the car’s weight.

Some safety features are also checked. If the vehicle is leaking oil or has bald tires, for example, it can’t go on the dyno machine we place it on while testing.

We also make sure the catalytic converter is installed and there aren’t any audible exhaust leaks. If leaks are found, you are rejected from testing.

An OBD II connection device is used on cars that were manufactured after 1996. For older vehicles, we place a sniffer tool in the tailpipe, and it reads the chemicals being emitted. The chemicals need to be within a certain range that’s based on the make and model.

Our inspectors are mainly checking for hydrocarbons and NOx.

We don’t test gasoline powered vehicles that exceed 10,000 pounds and diesel powered vehicles that weigh more than 8,500 pounds.

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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Is your car’s state inspection due?

In Inspectionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is the due date for your car’s state inspection sticker or emission test coming up?

Now is a good time to bring it in and have them completed.

Last month, Governor Ralph Northam directed the Virginia Department of State Police to not enforce state inspections for 60 days.

The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) has closed its customer service centers until at least May 11 and extended certain credentials, according to the DMV website

Once given the OK to return to work, many Virginia residents will rush to the DMV to have their tags renewed, which will require an updated emission test. They will also head over to an auto repair shop for their Virginia Safety Inspection.

You can avoid the rush and bring your vehicle to have the emission test and state inspection completed.

Customers who don’t want to come inside can drop it off by using our “After Hours” slot. They can also call us at (703) 670-8005 and a staff member will come outside for the keys and information.

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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Virginia Safety Inspection: Checking the exhaust system

In Inspectionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Emissions from a car’s engine need a place to go. The exhaust system helps with the process.

The system runs from a manifold on the engine through a catalytic converter and a muffler to reduce the engine noise and push exhaust to the back of the vehicle.

It is one component that’s inspected during the Virginia Safety Inspection.

Our technicians also check the exhaust system during oil changes.

While working on a vehicle, they are able to take pictures and write notes through digital inspections.

An inspection report is then sent to customers, who can view them via email or text.

Virginia safety inspectors make sure that a vehicle’s exhaust system is running properly.

Broken exhaust hangers and missing catalytic converters are a couple of items they look for.

Emission parts — such as catalytic converters — are necessary, in order to pass the Virginia Safety Inspection.

They decrease air pollution by changing the exhaust emission a car produces.

Inspectors also ensure that bolts on the intake manifold aren’t broken, which can result in exhaust leaks.

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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Virginia safety inspection of headlights

In Inspectionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It’s important that drivers are able to see, even at nighttime and when there’s inclement weather.

To make sure that motorists are traveling safely, inspectors check a car’s headlights when conducting the Virginia safety inspection.

Virginia Safety Inspection

Headlights must have proper aim and mounting to pass the annual requirement. Vehicle safety inspectors shouldn’t be able to move the assembly.

They also look for cracks in the lenses and anything that distorts the light’s aiming pattern.

Headlights can also fail if they are discolored or they don’t have the correct candlepower — meaning that they’re too dim or too bright.

A headlight aligner machine can be used to check the candlepower and aiming.

Virginia safety inspection
Safety inspection of headlights

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.