Texas Vehicle Inspection

Every vehicle registered in Texas must pass an annual safety inspection. Lamb’s Tire & Automotive makes it easy to meet the Texas Department of Public Safety’s requirement with more than 20 convenient locations throughout the Austin area providing Texas vehicle inspections.

In addition to the safety inspection, there are 17 Texas counties in which emissions testing is required as well and Travis County is among them. Motorcycles and diesel-powered vehicles must have the annual safety inspection, but aren’t required to have the emissions test. 

One important note about emissions testing: If your vehicle is registered in a county that doesn’t require the test but you take your vehicle for testing to a county where an emissions test is required, your vehicle will have the test performed.

Are you a brand-new Texan? If so, your vehicle must pass the Texas Department of Public Safety’s safety inspection before you will be able to go to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to take care of your Texas vehicle registration.

Lamb’s Tire & Automotive: Your One-Stop Vehicle Inspection Shop

The expert mechanics at Lamb’s not only perform state inspections—we can also make the repairs necessary to bring your vehicle up to the required safety standards. In the state’s annual safety inspection, these functions will be tested:

  • Beam indicator
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Gas cap
  • Headlights
  • Horn
  • License plate light
  • Mirrors
  • Rear reflectors
  • Seat belts
  • Steering
  • Stop lamps
  • Taillights
  • Tires
  • Turn signals
  • Wheel assembly
  • Window tint
  • Windshield wipers

At Lamb’s Tire & Automotive, we offer a complete range of auto repair services to help you satisfy car inspection and emissions testing requirements, including brake repair, tire repair, wheel alignment, headlight restoration, engine diagnostics, transmission repair, and much more.

What To Know About Texas Emissions Testing

Emissions testing includes an On Board Diagnostics-Second Generation (OBDII) test. This computerized system is on vehicles made in 1996 or later and it uses an on-board computer to monitor and test components and systems related to emissions.

The OBDII test looks for malfunctions or deterioration of the components that control your vehicle’s exhaust-emissions level. It connects directly to your vehicle’s internal computer.

Emissions testing includes three checks:

  • A check of your malfunction indicator lamp, which may also be referred to as the “check engine” light or “service engine soon” light.
  • A check for proper operation of the malfunction indicator lamp status and diagnostics trouble codes 
  • A check of the OBDII readiness monitors

If you have an older car or truck, emissions will be measured directly from the tailpipe while your vehicle is idling at both high and low speeds.

A number of parts and systems can be involved if your vehicle fails to pass emissions tests. These may include:

  • Failure of the catalytic converter
  • A faulty gas cap
  • Fuel metering that is out of specifications
  • Incorrect ignition timing
  • An inoperative injection system or thermostatic air cleaner
  • Misrouted vacuum lines
  • A faulty positive crankcase ventilation system or exhaust gas recirculation system

When you bring your vehicle to your nearest Lamb’s Tire & Automotive location, our technicians can determine any reasons for test failure and recommend and make the repairs or adjustments that may be needed.

How Regular Maintenance Can Prevent Failed Tests

Even without a state requirement for safety and emissions testing, the regular performance of maintenance tasks can keep your car running longer and in good condition. Preventative maintenance delivers several benefits, including better gas mileage, extending the life of your tires, protecting your engine, and more.

Preventative maintenance is also an excellent way to ensure that your car or light truck will pass annual inspections. At Lamb’s Tire & Automotive, we offer these preventative maintenance measures and more:

  • Oil and oil filter change
  • Fuel filter check and/or replacement
  • Tire rotation and balancing
  • Wheel alignment
  • Tire inspection
  • Brake fluid check and/or flush
  • Brake pad inspection and/or replacement
  • Air filter inspection and/or replacement
  • Check and/or flush power steering fluid
  • Check and/or flush transmission fluid

If you’re unsure what maintenance intervals your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends, our factory-trained technicians can help. 

Schedule Your Texas State Inspection Today

Book your appointment now at any Lamb’s Tire & Automotive location. While your car is being inspected, ask about our preventative maintenance service that can make sure your vehicle is safe and running in optimal condition. Also ask about our money-saving coupons and promotions on the auto repair services you may need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Reasons for failure are often related to some of the simplest maintenance tasks, such as:

  • Dirty oil and oil filter: Making sure you have clean oil isn’t just good for engine performance—it also means cleaner emissions. A regular oil and filter change is one of the least expensive but most important things you can do to prolong your vehicle’s life.
  • A dirty air filter: Your vehicle may emit high levels of hydrocarbons when your air filter is clogged and no longer effective.
  • A lit “check engine light”: Regardless of the cause, if your “check engine light” or “service engine soon” light is on, your vehicle won’t pass the emissions test. Any time this light comes on, you should promptly bring your vehicle to Lamb’s Tire & Automotive. We can determine why the light is on and address the underlying issue.
  • A gas cap problem: This is a common reason vehicles fail the test, and the solution may be as simple as tightening the cap. It could also be a cap that leaks, in which case you will need a new gas cap.
  • Bad spark plugs: Spark plugs play an essential role in creating the combustion that powers your engine. When the combustion process isn’t functioning properly, your vehicle may fail the emissions test.

If you’ve already had your car or truck tested and it failed, book an appointment at your nearest Lamb’s Tire & Automotive location. We’ll identify the cause of the failure and give you a free, no-obligation quote on the repairs needed to correct the problem.

Developed in the 1980s to help control vehicle emissions, on-board diagnostics (OBD) is a computer system that monitors the performance of some engine components. The system, —which includes sensors, actuators, and an electronic control unit—senses problems, collects data, and activates alerts, such as the “check engine light.”

In the early years, on-board diagnostics only detected issues and illuminated the “check engine light.” Today, OBDII technology is much more sophisticated, providing real-time data and diagnostic trouble codes that allow technicians to quickly determine the cause of malfunctions.

Whenever an indicator light comes on in your vehicle, make an appointment at Lamb’s Tire & Automotive. 

These are some of the components of your car or truck that will be inspected for proper condition and/or operation, some of which you can check yourself prior to your inspection:

  • Horn: Must be operative
  • Mirrors: Must not be missing or damaged
  • Headlights: Must operate properly, and be identical, the proper shade, and undamaged
  • Taillights: Must be operative
  • Tires and wheels: Must not have excessive damage or be in need of replacement
  • Brakes: Must operate properly and not have any brake fluid leaks in the system
  • Safety belts: Must be in good condition and operate properly
Texas State Inspection
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