Star cracks on a windshiel.

Windshields, windows, mirrors: What won’t pass Virginia Safety Inspection

In Inspection, Windshield Wipers by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Vehicle safety inspectors check over many parts of a vehicle when conducting the Virginia Safety Inspection.

Overtime, problems can crop up and go unnoticed. During the state inspection, we keep an eye out for potential issues that could become bigger overtime and jeopardize the safety of those on the road.

A vehicle’s windshield, windows and mirrors aren’t exempt from this annual requirement. Below, we give more details about what exactly we’re looking at.

Virginia Safety Inspection: Windshields

Windshield wipers are one of the items automotive technicians check for while inspecting windshields. We make sure that they aren’t torn and that the defroster works the way it should.

To pass Virginia Safety Inspection, there shouldn’t be cracks that go from one part of the windshield to another. 

Star cracks, which resemble a spider web, can’t be larger than 1 and a half inches in diameter. 

Rocks and debris that fall off moving vehicles or come up from the road can cause star cracks.

Windshield repair.

Windshield repair

It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company and see if it offers windshield coverage. If you notice a star crack in your windshield, some companies will address the problem at little or no cost.

You need to be able to see out of both sides of the windshield in order to pass inspection. 

A windshield will fail state inspection if the tint is too hazy or if it falls below the AS-1 line. If a vehicle doesn’t have an AS-1 line, windshield tinting that features words, letters, numbers or pictures can’t go more than 3 inches below the top of a windshield, unless it’s approved by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

Checking the windows

In addition to the windshield, our state inspectors check the windows. 

Like the windshield, they make sure windows aren’t cracked, scratched or broken. Cloudiness, distortion and anything else that obstructs your vision are other problems we look for.

The window on the driver’s side must roll down. That way, if your turn signal is malfunctioning you are able to provide hand gestures out the window when changing lanes.

Mirror problems we look for

The side view mirrors are looked over during state inspection, as well. 

Mirrors can’t be cracked or broken and must show one solid view. Additionally, the 200 feet behind you needs to be clearly visible. Truck mirrors are required to extend beyond the body’s edge at least halfway.

If there’s tinting on the back windshield and it’s bubbling it – making it difficult for you to see – that can cause you to fail the Virginia safety inspection.

The mirrors need to be firmly mounted, as well. We recently worked on a vehicle that had a loose side view mirror on the passenger side. We were able to move it up and down very easily. This car would have failed state inspection for that reason.

Windshield, windows and mirrors are just some of the areas that state inspectors check. They also take a look at the tires, brakes, exhaust system, steering and suspension, headlights and other lights, and under the hood.

On top of Virginia state inspections, Steve’s Auto Repair performs Emissions Tests, which are required on vehicles that are parked in certain cities and counties, like Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

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.