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Updated September 2nd, 2016

Ah, yes, that fun time of the year when you have to get your car inspected...there's nothing quite like it for motorists in Northern Virginia and it's encompassing cities. Most of us don't necessarily look forward to inspection time, yet it's something that has to be done every year. The best way to make the entire process as trouble-free as possible is to make some key preparations before your visit to your Virginia State Inspection at Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto. Below are 3 quick and simple check-ups that you can perform--no in-depth mechanic skills required--that will help make your vehicle inspection as quick and as hassle-free as possible.

1. Check the tread wear on your tires. You should check to make sure that your tires still have a decent tread depth, and that they are wearing evenly on both sides. If your tire tread has worn down to the wear bars in three locations, more than likely your tires will not be able to pass inspection. One of the quickest ways to test the tread depth of your tires is to use the famous "penny test": Stick a penny between the tread grooves in your tire, and if you can see Lincoln's head, your tire tread has worn too thin.

2. Check all of the lights on your vehicle. This includes both front headlights, brake lights (including the one positioned in the back windshield), license plate lights, reverse lights, hazard lights, turn signal lights, and marker lights (the orange-colored lights on the side of your vehicle). Also check for any condensation buildup inside of the headlight assemblies; if it is severe enough, it can hinder the effectiveness of the lights, which can cause you to fail the inspection as well. Double-check to make sure that all of these lights are in working condition before heading to the inspection station.

3. Other important areas to check include your seat belts (make sure that they clasp properly), mirrors (they should not be cracked or missing), and your car horn (it needs to be working).

If you run into any issues or need something repaired or replaced, you can take your vehicle to Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto for convenient and professional State Inspections and repairs.

*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.