New NJ inspection rules
Are you a vehicle owner in the state of NJ? New Jersey no longer checks basic safety items during the biennial inspection of passenger vehicles. Vehicles that are from MY 1995 and older with a gross vehicle weight of less than 8500 lbs. now are no long required to be inspected at all. It is now up to you as the vehicle owner to properly maintain all of your safety and emission components on your car. This is a quote directly from the NJ MVC website. “Vehicle owners are still required to maintain all safety and emissions equipment and may be at any time be cited for malfunctioning or missing required equipment”.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain a safe car and help reduce the chance of getting a citation from your local friendly law enforcement officer.
Frequently check all exterior lighting. Head and tail lights, turn signals, marker lights and don’t forget the often overlooked rear license plate light.
Tire pressures should be check at least twice a month. Don’t rely on the Tire Pressure Monitoring light only (For cars equipped with TPMS warning lights). Use an accurate gauge, not the one on the air pump.
Tire wear. Tires may be considered for replacement between 4 and 5 /32” and require replacement at 2/32”. Also look for signs of dry rotting of the rubber. Tires do go bad over time just from age. Consider replacing tires that are more than six years old even if remaining tread is good. If you are unsure of the tires age have your locale tire expert check the date code to see when they were produced.
Check all fluids at least once a month. Oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering and washer fluids are all important for your safety and your cars long life. See your owner’s manual if you are unsure of how to check any level and what type of fluids are needed for your car.
Low brake fluid may indicate that it’s time to have your brakes inspected. As the brake pads wear on a disc brake system the fluid in the brake reservoir will drop down as the caliper pistons move out to take up the place of the worn pads, this will happen gradually with normal wear. If you are adding fluid frequently you may have a hydraulic leak and will require immediate attention. If you notice any unusual noises, vibrations or pulling to one side or the other during braking it is also time to have your brakes looked at.
Keep an eye on dash warning lights and gauges. If your car is equipped with gauges get to know were the normal range is so you will be well informed when something does go wrong. Don’t ignore the Check Engine Light, it can be trying to tell you anything from a minor emissions system malfunction like a loose gas cap to something more severe that can cause farther engine damage.
Don't forget those wiper blades. Replace them at least once a year. This will prevent poor visibility and keep your windshield from getting damaged.
Remember as a New Jersey motorist it is up to you to be sure your car is safe for public roads. Don’t take this responsibility lightly, your safety and the safety of fellow driver’s is in your hands.