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State Inspections piece by Steve’s Auto Repair owner published

In Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

State inspections and whether they are necessary has been heavily discussed by Virginia lawmakers and those working in the automotive industry.

This topic is the focus of an article that was published by InsideNOVA earlier this month.

The Northern Virginia media outlet shared an opinion piece by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Co-Owner ST Billingsley. 

Titled “State Inspections help keep local drivers safe,” the guest column talks about why the annual requirement is important.

One out of five vehicles didn’t pass the safety inspection in Virginia in 2018, according to Keep Virginia Roads Safe. Of those that failed, 78 percent had infractions associated with steering and suspension components. There were braking violations on 44 percent of the automobiles, and tire infringements on 41 percent of them. 

Vehicles, the article explained, can have issues without drivers being aware of them. If those problems aren’t addressed, they can jeopardize the safety of the drivers, their passengers, and others.

The number of deaths on highways rose in states that got rid of safety programs, such as South Carolina and Florida.

In the opinion piece, Billingsley also encouraged drivers to have their vehicle inspected each year, and avoid using cars that haven’t received regular maintenance or been checked over by an automotive professional.

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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Why we perform a courtesy inspection while working on your vehicle

In Cabin Air Filter, Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

When you bring your car to our shop, we try to do a very thorough visual inspection, even if it’s just for an oil change.

Just from driving on the road and as vehicle’s age, things can start to break and cause other problems you may not notice, because you’re driving it every day. 

As we’re looking at your vehicle, we want to pick up on problems that could lead to a much larger expense down the road.

inspection

Honda Accord

Recently, our technicians worked on a Honda Accord that came in for an oil change. The customer didn’t mention any problems. During our normal inspection of the air filter, we discovered that the intake boot coming from the mass airflow meter to the engine was cracked. 

When that happens, air is not being metered and the computer can’t see how much air is getting sucked into the engine. That can cause problems with the car running too rich or lean, depending on the programming and the driving conditions. Generally, it would show that it has more air coming in than it is and you will burn more fuel. The driver might or might not notice they have more fuel consumption, based on how they drive.

Dirt entering the engine is another problem the crack can cause, because it isn’t going through the air filter. Over a period of time, this may reduce the engine’s lifespan.

If it’s raining and the vehicle went through a deep puddle, water could splash up and get sucked into the engine, which could break it.

You may notice this sort of problem when you give it some gas as you’re going on the highway or an onramp, and that can be a dangerous situation. 

Courtesy inspection

Dirty cabin air filter

The air filter on this vehicle was also very, very dirty, which would also restrict the airflow. This can impact the fuel economy. So, you have many things going against this car that are very simple, but unless you’re looking at it on a consistent basis you’re just not going to know.

Our courtesy inspection

Watching for simple things, like an air intake boot, and fixing it is just part of our oil change process and is a very important thing to repair.

In addition to changing the oil and oil filter, we rotate the tires if applicable and take a look at the components. It’s sort of like a mini safety inspection without scraping the sticker. We really are trying to keep you safe on the road and help your car last as long as it can.

When we have the hood open, we’re checking for visible engine coolant leaks. Our technicians also examine the serpentine belt to make sure it doesn’t have cracks and isn’t getting glazed on the back.

Accessible fluids are also looked at. For example, before changing the oil we make sure the oil level isn’t too low. If you come in and it’s much lower than normal, we may be able to pick up an oil consumption problem.

Windshield washer fluid and brake fluid are also inspected. Some of the newer vehicles – as parts become more electronic – may not have these fluids, but you would be surprised. Even with brakes being electronically controlled, there’s still brake fluid going to the calipers. 

Lights, wiper blades, tire tread depth and tire pressure are other items checked out.

We also test the car battery, and make sure the connections aren’t loose or that corrosion isn’t building up on them. You’d be surprised by the number of cars that come in with weird problems or intermittent starting problems, and it’s just a loose battery cable or corrosion. Cleaning that up and putting battery terminal BG pads, which help prevent acid from coming up to the terminal and corroding the metal, are some things we can do during an oil change to stop simple, weird electrical problems. 

Resetting the maintenance indicators takes a little more time now. There are indicators for the tire pressure, the oil life, for certain maintenance the manufacturers recommend. Not only is it changing that oil change sticker up in the window, it’s also resetting the electronic reminders in the car.

To read more about what we do during an oil change, check out this recent article we wrote.

Courtesy inspections come at no additional cost. 

Taking these extra steps can prevent problems and a lot of frustration.

By performing this work, we hope to help keep you and your family 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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How Steve’s Auto Repair performs oil changes

In Battery, Brakes, Fluids, Inspection, Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Oil changes are typically offered at most places that perform automotive services or repair. 

A lot of them will do the required work – change the filter and replace the oil – and leave it at that.

At Steve’s Auto Repair, we care about you and your vehicle, and want to make sure that your car is running safely when it leaves our shop. 

During an oil change, we perform a visual digital inspection, checking many points on the car or truck. This includes a range of items that tend to be overlooked.

Parts checked during oil changes

So, what does this mini inspection look like? 

The battery is one of the many parts we check. Car batteries weaken overtime, and extremely hot or cold temperatures can cause them to die. Testing a car battery may prevent you from getting stranded.

Looking over the belts and hoses, as well as the steering and suspension are also on our checklist. Hoses can become loose, and everyday use could result in components cracking or going bad. You can save yourself a trip to an auto repair shop – and possibly some money – if we address the problem early on.

Brake pads and tires get inspected too. Brakes should measure at 2/32 of an inch to pass the state inspection in Virginia. Steve’s Auto Repair recommends having them changed at 3/32 or 4/32 of an inch, depending on the make, model and manufacturer’s recommendations.

Accessible fluids, such as the coolant and windshield washer fluid, are looked over and topped off. Some can become low without you knowing it and could lead to future problems if they are ignored.

If applicable, a tire rotation is included as part of our oil change. This service can prolong the life of tires.

This work comes at no additional cost.

Other ways we take care of your vehicle

While servicing your vehicle, we use floor mats, seats and steering wheel covers to protect the interior.

Do you want to stay up to date on what’s going on with your car? We complete digital inspections, which provide you with photos, videos and notes on the vehicle’s health. These updates will share which components are good, any safety concerns, or maintenance suggestions we have. They are sent via email and text. Therefore, the customer can see what we see.

To schedule your next oil change at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire, please call (703) 670-8005.

You can drop off your vehicle while we’re open – between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you do not want to come into the building, staff members are available to meet you outside.

We also have a night owl night service and a free shuttle service.

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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Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire: Who we are and what we do

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

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has been serving the Woodbridge area for more than 32 years.

We are located at 2603 Hanco Center Drive – off Route 1 and Neabsco Mills Road – and provide a variety of services to meet your vehicle’s needs.

Services offered at Steve’s Auto Repair

State inspections and emissions inspections are among the services we offer.

Our technicians also perform oil changes and tune ups, and take care of your check engine light if it turns on.

During oil changes, they conduct mini state inspections. We will look over your vehicle and point out anything that may be a safety issue, a maintenance issue, or a service we recommend based on its mileage.

If you notice a strange noise or your car is acting strange, we can help with that too.

Steve’s Auto Repair is also able to service vehicles that use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), including camera and targeted systems.

To keep you updated while your car is at the shop, our technicians perform digital inspections that provide you with photos, videos and information about repairs and recommendations.

Tires and tire services available

Steve’s Auto Repair is an authorized Goodyear Tire dealer. If you’re driving on or past Neabsco Mills Road, you may notice our big Goodyear sign.

We also sell other types of tires, including Kelly, Dunlop and Hankook.

If you’re looking for new tires, our staff is happy to help you find the right fit for your vehicle and budget.

In addition to selling tires, we do mounting, balancing, tire rotations and tire repair.

Our technicians perform wheel alignments, as well.

Pick up and drop off services

There are many ways you can drop off your car for service.

“You can either drop it off in the night owl night service or you can come into the office during hours that we’re open,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said. 

We are open between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Staff members are also available to meet you in the parking lot and collect the keys and information.

Need a ride? We also have a free shuttle service that can pick you up or drop you off.

A pick up and delivery service is available, as well. Please give us a call to arrange it.

More about Steve’s Auto Repair

Some repair shops try to hit you for everything at once, because they are concerned you won’t come back.

We want to give a good evaluation of your car, so you know what condition it’s in. We don’t care about getting the sale today, we want to take care of you and your family for many years.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is a family-owned business. 

We support local non-profits and believe in the importance of giving back to our community.

“If you’ve been here before, we really appreciate you coming,” Whitling said. “If you haven’t been here, please give us a try.”

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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Steve’s Auto Repair’s emissions inspection program recognized

In Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire’s emissions inspection program has been recognized. 

We received a certificate of appreciation for observing licensing requirements and conducting inspections in a “dedicated and commendable” way.

Emissions inspection
Emissions inspection recognition

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) manages the Vehicle Emissions Testing.

An emission inspection is required every two years for cars housed in certain localities, including Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

During the test, inspectors confirm information, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and check for certain components that have to do with emissions control systems.

Read more about the emission test.

Emissions inspection
Emissions inspection unit

Our certified inspectors are encouraged to follow the regulations and look for anything that doesn’t meet them.

“While doing the inspections, we communicate with the DEQ about issues that arise, such as tampering or gray areas,” Owner Scott Whitling said. “This helps us make sure that we’re staying in compliance.”

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.