Safety Inspections

I'm having a safety inspection done on an '92 Cavalier. I'm looking for information regarding what is neccessary to pass a safety. I don't believe the car is in that bad of shape but I'd like to be sure I'm not getting
ripped off on repairs that aren't immediately required.
Any help would be great. TIA.
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This depends on where you are located. Here in NY they check a lot of things. Off the top of my head, some things they check are
Brake pad thickness (front and rear) Steering linkage for excess play Tire tread depth Lights for any burned out Mirrors, need at least 2 functioning properly Seat belts for operation To see if the brake pedal will hold and has reserve in it E-brake for operation
That's all I can think of right away, but should get you started...
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Mark wrote:

Here, in HOuston, Texas, they check everything except the brake pads.
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Here in Michigan we don't have safety checks.

believe
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In New Jersey, emissions and safety inspections are combined (from NJ's DMV website):
1. As in all inspections, the inspector verifies the drivers license, registration and proof of insurance. 2. The inspector determines the car's engine type and readies it for testing. First the steering is checked by a computer that calculates the difference in movement between the right and left wheels when the steering wheel is turned. Discrepancies can indicate loose or worn steering components. 3. He or she then checks the cars safety features, which include the headlights, taillights, tires, horn, windshield wipers and turn signals. 4. The inspector then drives the car onto the dynamometer, a treadmill-like device that simulates regular driving. He or she puts the emissions probe in place, sets the computer then accelerates the engine.
Vehicles models 1998 (1996 effective January 1, 2004) and newer will receive the new OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) Test. The inspector will connect to the cars diagnostic control panel for a reading of how the vehicle is operating. Vehicles with dashboard lights illuminated or damaged OBD connectors will automatically fail. A common OBD failure is for Readiness. This means that the vehicle was not "ready" to be tested. Vehicles which fail for readiness most likely need to be driven. If you have just recently had service or disconnected the battery, the vehicle is likely to fail for readiness. Check your owners manual to understand the required drive cycle required to place your vehicle in a "ready" mode. 5. Once the emissions test is completed, the inspector continues the safety check by testing the brakes. Also at this point, the suspension will be "bounce" tested to insure the car maintains proper adhesion to the road, and the side slip will be checked to see that the wheels are truly parallel to each other. 6. The last parts of the new test involve making sure the gas cap is able to hold two pounds of pressure and doesn't allow an excessive amount of fumes to escape into the environment. 7. When the test is complete, the inspector puts the new two-year sticker on the windshield of the vehicle.
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