30 May MD State Safety Inspection: Steering & Stability
The demand for pre-owned vehicles is still high right now. If you want to take advantage of this need and plan to sell your used auto, you need to obtain a MD State Safety Inspection Certificate. Here are a few things you should know. Vehicles will occasionally fail to meet a safety standard due to safety issues or mechanical problems. The inspection report will detail the issues that require repairs before awarding a certificate. This blog series explores various reasons why your vehicle may fail a MD Safety Inspection.
Today, let’s focus on the steering & suspension components, alignment, and tires. I will highlight common issues with these parts and the warning signs. Additionally, I’ve included a handy checklist to give you a head start on passing the safety inspection.
Checklist For Your MD State Safety Inspection
This checklist should help you prepare your vehicle for the Maryland Safety Inspection. If you have any specific concerns, discuss them with your service technician.
- Check your owner’s manual for any overdue routine maintenance items.
- If you are close to your time/mileage interval for an Oil Change, go ahead and get it done.
- Wash your vehicle inside and out (don’t forget the windows and mirrors).
- Check all the lights are in working condition (headlamps, fog lights, brake lights, turn indicators, running lights, cabin lights).
- Inspect and replace (if necessary) all wiper blades.
- Repair any known problems or issues you may have been putting off.
Steering & Stability Breakdown
The Steering System, Suspension, Wheel Alignment, and Tires work together to provide vehicle stability. When one (or more) of these components are out of sync, your whole automobile can suffer safety issues. Let’s break them down:
The steering system gives you directional control of your automobile. Modern vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system utilizing a power steering pump, steering fluid, and a rack-and-pinion setup. There are also numerous bushings, belts, and seals.
Your vehicle’s suspension consists of many interlocking parts that connect the steering system to the wheels. Strut bearings and tie rods add to overall ride quality and offer load-bearing support to the chassis. They can also affect brake performance and wheel alignment.
Wheel alignment is a precise set of measurements done with specialized equipment that ensures your tires are angled correctly. Proper wheel alignment means all the wheels are level with the ground, point straight ahead, and are parallel to each other.
Since the tires are your vehicle’s first contact point on the road, you should maintain them well. Check the air pressure weekly to be sure the correct amount of air is in each tire. Always use the recommended air pressure in your owner’s manual or door sticker, not the pressure noted on the tire.
Steering & Suspension Issues & Signs
Automobile manufacturers recommend routine maintenance on the steering and suspension systems around 40,000-60,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is to follow the guidelines outlined in your owner’s manual and schedule those service appointments on time.
Worn Suspension Parts
Everyday driving, stop-and-go traffic, and road hazards can all impact the wear and tear on steering and suspension parts. Schedule a service immediately if you notice any of the following signs:
- Leaking fluid under your vehicle that is clear, red, or pink (can be power-steering fluid)
- Ride quality becomes bouncy or noisy
- Squealing when turning the steering wheel
- Steering wheel does not point straight
- Uneven tire tread wear
- Vehicle pulls to one side when accelerating or braking
- Vibrations in the steering wheel
Routine maintenance for most vehicles suggests a wheel alignment service every six months/6,000 miles. Schedule a service if your car pulls to one side while driving straight, veers when applying the brakes, or there are vibrations from the steering wheel.
Tires: Excessive Wear
Problems with the steering, suspension, or alignment can appear first as excessive tire wear. Be on the lookout for uneven tread wear, cupping, and a loss of traction.
Steering & Stability Maintenance & Repairs
Eby’s Garage is a modern repair facility that uses the latest computer hardware and software to diagnose your vehicle. Our excellent team of highly trained ASE certified technicians strives to provide top-quality service.
Schedule a MD State Safety Inspection
Contact us today on our website or by phone at (301) 432-5130 to make your service appointment. You can count on us for an honest and reliable diagnosis of your vehicle’s steering & suspension issues so that you can pass your MD Safety Inspection.
Previous MD Safety Inspection Series Blogs
When To Get A Vehicle State Inspection, Boonsboro MD
MD State Safety Inspection: Exhaust System Repair
MD State Safety Inspection: Fuel & Emissions