Vehicle Inspection Services at Legacy Mechanics

In certain states, routine safety inspections and emissions assessments are mandated for automobiles and trucks. At Legacy Mechanics, our team is not only well-equipped but also trained to execute these inspections. Our skilled technicians can also perform comprehensive multi-point inspections on your vehicles as required.

These are some of the inspection services we offer.


Why Does the State of New Jersey Require Vehicle Inspections?
It's important to have your vehicle inspected every two years (or one year for commercial/livery vehicles) to make sure that your vehicle is safe and that its emissions are up to the standards set by the state of New Jersey. Inside of your windshield, there is an inspection sticker which shows the month it expires, this way you'll know when you should schedule your vehicle's inspection at Legacy Mechanics in Union, NJ. Car owners should be aware of this deadline to avoid getting citations and are able to take their vehicles for inspection two months prior to the deadline. Keep in mind that if you have a new car, you don't have to have the vehicle inspected until you've officially had it for five years.

Do You Have All Necessary Documents and Car Information for Your Inspection?
When you bring your car down for an inspection, you should bring your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.

What Is Checked During a New Jersey Vehicle Inspection?
New Jersey began inspecting vehicles in 1938, and the first emissions testing was started in 1974. Inspectors used to look at your steering, suspension, lights, glazing, tires, wiring and switching, brakes, wipers, and horn. They also conducted an emissions test and an inspection of your windshield and gas cap. Today, the only things that are checked are the vehicle's emissions and gas cap to make sure fuel isn't leaking. Commercial vehicles require an all safety inspection as well as an emissions test.

Why and How Is a Car Emissions Test Conducted?
Emissions testing ensures that vehicles with malfunctioning emission-control systems (vehicles that are polluting the air) will fail the state inspection and will require the necessary repairs within one month of the initial inspection. If the time elapses, the vehicle owner could receive a citation. With these tests, it can help to lower the pollutants your vehicle releases and can help the air quality of the environment. The emission test has comparable measurements of exhaust emissions for different engines and vehicles. When you take your car for emissions test inspections, we will determine what kind of engine your car has and prepare it for testing. Testing protocol varies depending on your vehicle make and model year, but all emissions tests involve a gas-cap pressure check to make sure the gas cap is keeping fuel vapors from escaping into the environment. We use on-board diagnostic (OBD) testing on most vehicles which involves attaching a scanner to the car's computer and downloading data to detect malfunctioning emissions equipment. Once completed, our technicians will put a new two-year sticker on the windshield if the vehicle passes.

What Causes On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Failure?
A "not ready" status of monitors or too many monitors as indicated on the "Vehicle Inspection Report" can cause on-board diagnostic readiness failure. OBD readiness failures can occur for various reasons:

  • The battery was replaced within the last month
  • Vehicle won't start because of a bad battery or alternator
  • Repairs were made on the vehicle within the last month
  • "Check engine" light was turned off in an attempt to pass inspection

What to Do If You Fail the Vehicle Inspection
If your car fails its emissions inspection, our certified ERT technicians will run a diagnostic on your vehicle to determine the cause of the issue and make the proper repairs. After completing your emissions repair facility paperwork, you will have up to one month from the last day of the month noted on the inspection sticker to bring your vehicle back for re-inspection with the repairs paperwork. It is important for New Jersey drivers to be as safe as possible on our crowded roadways, and to make sure their vehicles are in proper working order. Next time you're due for a New Jersey vehicle inspection, skip the wait at the DMV and come over to Legacy Mechanics in Union, NJ. If you have any questions please email or call us!

Exhaust Related FAQs

What is a rough idle?
A rough idle describes a vehicle's engine with spark plugs that are not firing correctly when the vehicle is in park, with no gas applied. Most vehicles idle between 600 and 1,200 RPM and should hold their idle speed consistently.

Can you put any exhaust on any car?
Not every exhaust will fit every car. Compatibility isn't just about car make and model; engine specs, optional extras, and even trim levels can influence the fit. Make sure you consider not just the make and model, but also engine details, fancy extras, and even trim levels before getting your heart set on a shiny new system.

Why is smoke coming out of my tailpipe?
The most common reason for thick smoke coming out of your car's exhaust pipe is the fuel to air ratio in your engine is too rich. This means that the fuel injectors are either adding too much fuel or that the intake valves aren't letting enough air in. This is caused by a cracked or leaking fuel injector, a failing O2 sensor, or air filter that needs replacing.

Catalytic Converter FAQs

Can I drive with the catalytic converter light on?
A bad catalytic converter can increase your car's exhaust emissions, but it does not prevent you from driving. At Legacy Mechanics we know this is true. A clogged catalytic converter will eventually affect the performance of your vehicle in Union, Kenilworth, Roselle Park and Elizabeth. Exhaust gases will not escape easily and create an increase in exhaust gas pressure. The buildup in pressure can lead to high-cost repair bills in the future.

What can cause a catalytic converter light to come on?
A catalytic converter helps reduce harmful engine emissions from entering the air by breaking down the harmful byproduct of internal combustion into less-harmful compounds. If your catalytic converter isn't working properly the check engine light will come on. The most common causes for a catalytic convert warning light to display are a clogged, cracked or melted converter. Sometimes the problem isn't the catalytic converter at all but an exhaust leak letting gases out of the system before it reaches the converter.

What happens to your car after the catalytic converter gets taken?
Removing the catalytic converter has a dramatic impact on your vehicle's acoustics. A deep, loud roar replaces the engine's usual hum, intensifying as you accelerate. Additionally, expect rough transitions and sputtering sounds when shifting gears, indicating impaired performance and potential engine damage.

To learn more about our Inspection and Emission services, call us at 908-964-7155 or request a quote by clicking below:


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