An auto inspection is usually required by law to ensure that the vehicles on the road are safe for people and for the environment. Owners are required to take their cars to a shop that specializes in or is licensed to perform an auto inspection. Safety inspections check a number of the car's systems, such as brake operation and condition of components, to be sure that the car does not pose a threat to the driver or anyone else on the road. Clean air inspections test the chemical content of the exhaust to ensure that the car's emissions control system is working properly. If a car fails an auto inspection for any reason, the owner will be required to have the car repaired so that it complies with the inspection's standards.
An auto inspection is also frequently performed prior to purchasing a car. This type of auto inspection ensures that a car will be a good investment for the buyer, and is usually performed by a mechanic that the buyer trusts. These auto inspections generally follow a list of points, such as braking system, cooling system, and so on; this is to ensure that each car gets the same thorough inspection. If any of a car's vital systems shows signs of future or developing problems, the mechanic needs to let the buyer know. A pre-purchase auto inspection can potentially a save buyer from unwittingly buying a car that will end up costing him or her a lot of money.
An auto inspection should also be performed once every year or two by a mechanic or an automotive-savvy owner. These periodic auto inspections ensure that the car is operating normally. Locating a problem when it is small often prevents other problems from developing. For example, a burst radiator hose causes a major coolant leak, and the engine could overheat before the driver notices the problem, potentially causing serious engine damage. However, a regular auto inspection could detect brittle or spongy radiator hoses, allowing the hoses to be replaced and averting complications from a blown hose.
Auto inspections keep people safe, keep our air clean, prevent buyers from making a bad decision, and avoid expensive repair work. Whether required by law, used as a precaution before purchasing a car, or simply performed in the spirit of good preventative maintenance, auto inspections are an important part of owning a car.