FAQS 

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REAL PURPOSE OF DMV BRAKE AND LAMP-LIGHT INSPECTION

BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION PROCEDURES

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HOW MUCH SHOULD A BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION COST?

CALIFORNIA DOES NOT SET THE COST FOR AN INSPECTION, THE INDIVIDUAL STATIONS DO, AND WHILE THERE IS NO SET COST FOR A BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION, THE INSPECTION USUALLY COSTS ANYWHERE FROM $65-$125 PLUS THE 2 PAPER CERTIFICATES, WHICH ADDS $7 MORE.

HOW WILL THE COST I’M QUOTED EFFECT WHETHER MY VEHICLE PASSES OR FAILS?

THAT DEPENDS. IT’S POSSIBLE THAT A BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION STATION THAT CHARGES LESS FOR THE INSPECTION MAY WANT TO SELL MORE REPAIRS. IT’S ALSO POSSIBLE THEY SIMPLY WANT TO PERFORM MORE INSPECTIONS.

HOW LONG WILL A BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION TAKE TO PERFORM?

IF PERFORMED COMPLETELY, WE’VE BEEN TOLD BY STATIONS THAT THE INSPECTION WILL TAKE MORE THAN AN HOUR BUT FREQUENTLY LESS THAN 3 HOURS TO COMPLETE. IF THE SHOP HAS ONLY ONE TECHNICIAN QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE INSPECTIONS, AND THAT TECHNICIAN PERFORMS OTHER FUNCTIONS WITHIN THE SHOP, THE INSPECTION MAY TAKE LONGER TO COMPLETE.

WHAT SHOULD I DO PRIOR TO DROPPING MY CAR OFF FOR AN OFFICIAL BRAKE AND LAMP INSPECTION?

EITHER YOU ALONE OR YOU AND YOUR REGULAR MECHANIC SHOULD CONDUCT AN INITIAL INSPECTION OF ALL THE LIGHTING COMPONENTS OF YOUR VEHICLE BOTH OUTSIDE AND INSIDE. ALL LIGHTING INCLUDING WARNING LAMPS MUST BE IN WORKING ORDER. REPLACE ANY LIGHTS THAT ARE NOT WORKING AND REPAIR ANY SYSTEMS THAT ARE FORCING A WARNING LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE.

WILL MY VEHICLE FAIL IF A LIGHT BULB IS NOT WORKING?

YES, IN MOST CASES. SEE THIS ARTICLE FOR DETAILS

WILL MY VEHICLE FAIL IF A LENS IS CRACKED?

YES, IF IT EMITS LIGHT FROM THE BULB. BEST TO REPLACE IT BEFORE YOU GO FOR INSPECTION.

WILL MY VEHICLE FAIL THE LIGHT TEST IF MY HEADLIGHT IS CLOUDY?

VERY POSSIBLE. TRY TO POLISH THEM FIRST.

WILL MY VEHICLE FAIL IF THE BRAKE PADS OR SHOES ARE TOO THIN?

YES, THEY WILL BE MEASURED AND COMPARED TO MANUFACTURER SPECS

WILL THE BRAKE ROTORS AND BRAKE DRUMS BE MEASURED AS WELL?

YES, THEY WILL BE MEASURED FOR THICKNESS AND RUN-OUT

HOW DO I PROVE TO THE CALIFORNIA DMV THAT MY VEHICLE PASSED BOTH THE INSPECTIONS?

THE INSPECTION STATION WILL FILL OUT AND SIGN 2 OFFICIAL PAPER CERTIFICATES FOR YOU TO PRESENT TO THE DMV

HOW LONG ARE THE BRAKE AND LAMP CERTIFICATES GOOD FOR?

ONLY 90 DAYS. AFTER THAT LENGTH OF TIME, THEY EXPIRE AND YOU WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS AGAIN AND MOST LIKELY HAVE TO PAY AGAIN.

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