Can Your Car Pass Inspection With a Cracked Windshield?

If you have a cracked windshield, you may be wondering if your car can pass inspection. The answer depends on the severity of the crack and the regulations in your area. In many states, minor cracks can be repaired, allowing your car to pass inspection.

However, if the crack is large or obstructs the driver’s view, it may need to be replaced before passing inspection. It’s important to check the specific guidelines in your state to ensure compliance with the inspection requirements.

can your car pass inspection with a cracked windshield

Understanding Car Inspection Requirements: A Guide for Vehicle Owners

If you own a vehicle, it is important to understand the car inspection requirements in order to ensure the safety and roadworthiness of your vehicle. In this section, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help vehicle owners understand the various aspects of car inspections.

1. What is a car inspection?

A car inspection is a process that assesses the condition of a vehicle to determine if it meets the safety and emission standards set by the relevant authorities. It involves a thorough examination of various components and systems of the vehicle to ensure its safe operation.

2. Why are car inspections important?

Car inspections are important for several reasons:

  1. Safety: Car inspections help identify any potential safety hazards or mechanical issues that could compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, and other road users.
  2. Emission Control: Car inspections help regulate vehicle emissions and ensure compliance with environmental standards to reduce air pollution.
  3. Roadworthiness: Car inspections ensure that vehicles are in proper working condition and meet the minimum requirements to be considered roadworthy.
  4. Legal Compliance: Car inspections are often a requirement by law, and failure to comply with inspection regulations can result in fines or other penalties.

3. Types of car inspections

Car inspections can be categorized into different types:

  • Safety Inspection: This type of inspection focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the vehicle, such as brakes, tires, lights, steering, and suspension.
  • Emission Inspection: Emission inspections are conducted to measure the amount of pollutants emitted by the vehicle and to ensure compliance with emission standards.
  • Vehicle History Inspection: This type of inspection checks the vehicle’s history, including previous accidents, maintenance records, and ownership details.

4. When should you get a car inspection?

The frequency of car inspections depends on various factors, such as the age of the vehicle, location, and local regulations. In general, vehicles are required to undergo regular inspections, usually annually or biennially. Additionally, inspections may be required when transferring vehicle ownership or after certain modifications.

5. What to expect during a car inspection?

During a car inspection, a qualified inspector will thoroughly examine various components of the vehicle. This may include:

  • Checking the condition and operation of the brakes, tires, lights, and signals.
  • Inspecting the suspension, steering, and exhaust system.
  • Testing the vehicle’s emissions to ensure compliance with pollution control standards.
  • Verifying the vehicle identification number (VIN) and registration documents.

The inspector will provide a detailed report indicating any issues or failures detected during the inspection. If any repairs or replacements are necessary, the vehicle owner will be informed accordingly.

6. Tips for passing a car inspection

To increase the chances of passing a car inspection, vehicle owners can follow these tips:

  • Maintain regular vehicle maintenance and servicing.
  • Ensure all lights, signals, and brakes are in proper working condition.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and in good condition.
  • Address any warning lights or error codes before the inspection.
  • Check and replace any worn-out or faulty components.
Can Your Car Pass Inspection With a Cracked Windshield

The Impact of a Cracked Windshield on Car Inspection Results

Car inspections are a crucial part of ensuring road safety and vehicle integrity. During these inspections, various aspects of a car are evaluated to determine if it meets the required standards. One of the key components that is assessed is the condition of the windshield.

A cracked windshield can have a significant impact on the overall inspection results. It not only affects the visual appeal of the car but also compromises its structural integrity. Let’s delve deeper into the potential consequences of a cracked windshield during a car inspection.

1. Visual Impairment

A cracked windshield can impair the driver’s visibility, particularly if the crack is in the line of sight. This can present a serious safety hazard, as it may obstruct the driver’s view of the road, traffic signals, and other vehicles. During a car inspection, a cracked windshield that obstructs the driver’s view is likely to result in a failed inspection.

2. Safety Concerns

A cracked windshield is more prone to shattering upon impact, which can lead to serious injuries in the event of an accident. During a car inspection, safety is paramount, and a cracked windshield compromises the overall safety rating of the vehicle. Inspectors are trained to identify safety hazards, and a cracked windshield can be deemed as such.

3. Structural Integrity

The windshield is an integral part of a car’s structural integrity. It contributes to the overall strength of the vehicle’s frame, especially in rollover accidents. A cracked windshield weakens the structural integrity, making the vehicle more vulnerable to damage. During a car inspection, any compromise in the structural integrity due to a cracked windshield can result in a failed inspection.

4. Legal Requirements

In some jurisdictions, it is illegal to drive with a cracked windshield beyond a certain size or location. During a car inspection, inspectors are obligated to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. If a cracked windshield violates these legal requirements, the inspection will likely result in a failure.

5. Insurance Coverage

Insurance companies may also have specific policies regarding cracked windshields. Some policies may require the windshield to be in good condition for the vehicle to be eligible for coverage.

During a car inspection, if a cracked windshield falls outside the insurance company’s guidelines, it may result in a denial of coverage or an increase in insurance premiums.

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Steps to Repairing or Replacing a Cracked Windshield Before Inspection

If you have a cracked windshield on your vehicle, it is important to address the issue before getting it inspected. A cracked windshield can be a safety hazard and may cause your vehicle to fail the inspection. Here are the steps you can take to repair or replace a cracked windshield before inspection:

  1. Assess the damage: Start by examining the crack to determine its size and location. Small cracks that are less than six inches in length can often be repaired, while larger cracks or those that obstruct the driver’s view may require a full windshield replacement.
  2. Repairing small cracks: If the crack is small and meets the criteria for repair, you can attempt to fix it yourself using a windshield repair kit. These kits typically include a resin that can fill the crack, preventing it from spreading further. Follow the instructions provided with the kit to ensure proper application.
  3. Replacing the windshield: If the crack is too large to repair or is in a critical area, such as the driver’s line of sight, it is recommended to replace the entire windshield. Contact a professional auto glass repair service to schedule an appointment for replacement. They will assess the damage and install a new windshield that meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
  4. Research and choose a reputable repair service: Before selecting a repair service, do some research to ensure they have a good reputation and experience in handling windshield repairs. Read customer reviews, check their credentials, and ask for recommendations from friends or family.
  5. Schedule an appointment: Once you have chosen a repair service, contact them to schedule an appointment for the windshield repair or replacement. Be sure to provide them with all necessary information, such as the make, model, and year of your vehicle, to ensure they have the correct windshield in stock.
  6. Prepare your vehicle: Before the appointment, remove any personal belongings from your vehicle and clean the interior to ensure a smooth and efficient repair process. It is also a good idea to park your vehicle in a covered or shaded area to protect it from the elements during the repair.
  7. Attend the appointment: On the scheduled day and time, bring your vehicle to the repair service and hand over the keys to the technician. They will perform the necessary repairs or replacement, ensuring a secure and properly installed windshield.
  8. Inspect the repaired windshield: After the repair or replacement is complete, carefully inspect the windshield to ensure it is properly installed and there are no visible defects or imperfections. Check for any leaks or wind noise when driving at high speeds.
  9. Document the repair: Keep all documentation related to the repair or replacement of your windshield. This includes invoices, receipts, and any warranty information provided by the repair service. These documents may be required during the inspection process.
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Common Reasons Why Cars Fail Inspection and How to Avoid Them

Getting a car inspected is an important part of vehicle ownership. It ensures that your car meets the necessary safety and environmental standards set by the authorities. However, sometimes cars fail the inspection due to various reasons.

In this section, we will discuss some common reasons why cars fail inspection and provide you with tips on how to avoid them.

1. Malfunctioning Lights

One of the most common reasons for a car to fail inspection is malfunctioning lights. This includes headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals.

To avoid this issue, make sure to regularly check all the lights on your car. Replace any burnt-out bulbs immediately and ensure that all lights are functioning properly before going for an inspection.

2. Worn-out Tires

Another frequent reason for inspection failure is worn-out tires. Inspectors check the tread depth and overall condition of the tires to ensure they are safe to drive. To avoid this issue, regularly check your tire tread depth using a penny or a tread depth gauge.

If the tread depth is less than 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your tires. Additionally, ensure that your tires are properly inflated and have no visible damage or bulges.

3. Faulty Brakes

Faulty brakes are a major safety concern and can lead to a failed inspection. Inspectors check the brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid to ensure they are in good condition. To avoid this issue, regularly check your brake pads for wear and tear.

If they are worn down or if you hear squeaking or grinding noises when applying the brakes, it’s time to replace them. Additionally, have your brake system inspected and serviced by a professional at regular intervals.

4. Exhaust System Issues

The exhaust system is also closely inspected during the car inspection process. Any leaks, rusted mufflers, or excessive emissions can cause a failed inspection. To avoid this issue, regularly check your exhaust system for any leaks or damage.

Have a professional inspect and repair any issues with the exhaust system. Additionally, ensure that your vehicle’s emissions are within the permissible limits by getting regular emissions tests done.

5. Suspension Problems

The suspension system plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. Inspectors check for any worn-out or damaged suspension components during the inspection.

To avoid this issue, regularly check your suspension system for any signs of wear or damage. Pay attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or a bumpy ride, as these may indicate suspension problems. Have your suspension system inspected and repaired by a professional if needed.

6. Faulty Windshield

The windshield is an important safety feature of your car, and any cracks or chips can result in a failed inspection. Inspectors check the windshield for any cracks that obstruct the driver’s view.

To avoid this issue, regularly inspect your windshield for any chips or cracks. If you notice any damage, get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

7. Missing or Expired Documentation

Finally, missing or expired documentation can also cause a failed inspection. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents, including your driver’s license, registration, and insurance, up to date and readily available during the inspection.

Keep track of the expiration dates of these documents and renew them in a timely manner to avoid any issues during the inspection.

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Tips for Passing Car Inspection with a Cracked Windshield

Having a cracked windshield can be a cause for concern, especially when it comes to passing a car inspection. In many states, a cracked windshield is considered a safety hazard and can result in a failed inspection. However, there are a few tips that can help you increase your chances of passing an inspection even with a cracked windshield.

1. Evaluate the severity of the crack

The first step is to evaluate the severity of the crack on your windshield. If the crack is smaller than a dollar bill or less than six inches in length, you may have a better chance of passing the inspection. However, larger cracks or cracks that obstruct the driver’s field of vision may result in an automatic failure.

If the crack is relatively small and does not obstruct your vision significantly, you can take steps to prevent it from spreading further. Applying a clear nail polish or a windshield repair kit can help reinforce the crack and prevent it from expanding.

2. Check your local regulations

Car inspection requirements can vary from state to state, so it’s important to check your local regulations regarding windshield cracks. Some states may have specific guidelines or exemptions for cracked windshields, which could affect your inspection outcome.

By understanding the requirements in your area, you can better prepare yourself and potentially take advantage of any exemptions or leniencies that may be offered.

3. Schedule your inspection strategically

If you have a cracked windshield, it’s a good idea to schedule your car inspection strategically. Choose a time when the weather is clear and sunny. This can help minimize the visibility of the crack, making it less noticeable to the inspector.

Inspectors are more likely to be lenient if they have difficulty spotting the crack during the inspection. Avoid scheduling your inspection on a rainy or overcast day, as water droplets can make the crack more visible.

4. Consider windshield repair or replacement

If the crack on your windshield is significant or obstructs your vision, it may be necessary to consider windshield repair or replacement before attempting to pass the inspection.

While repairing the crack is a more cost-effective option, there are limitations to how much damage can be repaired. If the crack is too large or in a critical area of the windshield, replacement may be the only option.

Investing in a professional windshield repair or replacement service can help ensure that your windshield meets the necessary safety standards, increasing your chances of passing the inspection.

5. Document previous repairs

If you have previously repaired a crack on your windshield, be sure to document the repair. Keep records of any professional repairs or DIY fixes you have done in the past. This documentation can show the inspector that you have taken steps to address the issue and increase your chances of passing the inspection.

When presenting the documentation, be sure to explain the nature of the repair and how it has improved the integrity of the windshield. This can help demonstrate your commitment to safety and responsibility as a vehicle owner.


Can your car pass inspection with a cracked windshield?

It depends on the severity of the crack and the regulations in your state or country. In many places, a cracked windshield that obstructs the driver’s view is considered a safety hazard and will result in a failed inspection. It’s best to consult local regulations or get the windshield repaired before the inspection.


In conclusion, dealing with a cracked windshield can be a significant concern when it comes to passing a car inspection. The safety and visibility issues it presents can potentially lead to a failed inspection.

However, the final decision will ultimately depend on the specific regulations and guidelines of the inspection authority in your area. It is crucial to consult with local authorities or professional automotive technicians to determine the requirements and necessary actions to address the cracked windshield before the inspection.

By ensuring the safety and visibility of your vehicle, you increase the chances of passing the inspection and driving with peace of mind.

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