Car Safety Inspection and Checks at Home

Going for that mandatory annual car inspection? Concern about the car safety before a long trip? One can do a simple and yet effective inspection and check on the wheel alignment and the brakes at home.

Car Inspection in Singapore
Cars between 3 and 10 years old will have to be inspected once every 2 years whereas for cars older than 10 years, every year. The inspection fee is around S$ 60/=. If one fails the first, the second inspection will be carried out for an additional of about $ 30/=.

1. What do they check in the Inspection Centres ?

a) The proper working of the head, tail, brake and the turn signal lights;
b) The brakes and the hand brake;
c) The wheel alignment;
d) The smoke emission and noise generation;
e) The undercarriage condition and the steering mechanism.

2. What are the most Common Types of Faults that Required a Second Inspection?
The wheel alignment and the brakes. As for the rest, they can be inspected easily or should have never happened to a car that is less than 10 years old;

3. Can I Always Save that Second Inspection?
Yes, you can. This article will concentrate on how one could carry out simple and effective checks for wheel alignment and the brakes.

Simple Tests at Home for Wheel alignment and brakes
What equipment or tools needed?
For the wheel alignment, a portable side slip meter :

As for the brakes, a short crawl bar or any other tool that one can use as a level, such as the tire opener as shown in the attached

Wheel Alignment Check
The check is relatively simple and straightforward. Reset the needle indicator to the zero position. Place the side slip meter in front of any front wheel, drive the car slowly and steadily over the side slip meter. The indicator needle should stay in the centre of the scale and within the ok range.

If the alignment is out for some reasons, one would have to adjust the length of the steering tie rods of the car or just send the car to the garage. Adjustment of the tie rod is also a simple task and some detail of which can be found here.

Note: ignore the second part that talked about how to align the wheel using toe-in measurement methods.

Brake check
a) Checking the condition of the brake is relatively simple as well. Jack the wheels up one by one. Using the crawl bar or the tire opener as a level, try to turn the wheel by leveling the bar using some fixtures behind the wheel as a pivot; for example, the disc brake assembly. The wheel should not turn at all.

Note1: Get someone else to step on the brake pedal while one is checking the brake. The engine must be switched on if one has ABS braking system in the car.
Note2: Use only sufficient force to turn the wheel so as not to spoilt the disc brake assembly if it is to be used as a pivot for the level.

b) Repeat a) for other wheels.

Note: don’t forget to test the hand or foot brake when one is testing the brake for the back wheel.

Other Related Sites
1. Car Aircon Compressor Repairs
2. Car Air-conditioning Part 1
3. Car Air-conditioning Part 2

4. Car Air-conditioning Part 3
5. Car Freon Charging for Novice
6. Replace Engine Oil by Vacuum
7. Wheel Alignment Using Sideslip meter

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