Vehicle inspectors warn drivers to be mindful despite new Missouri law

Published: Dec. 27, 2019 at 6:25 PM CST
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Missouri passed a bill this year adjusting how old cars can be before they need inspections.

You can now wait 10 years with a new car before getting it checked as long as it has fewer than 150,000 miles on it. For example, if you have a 2014 model year car, you won't need to get it inspected until 2024.

Rick Hughlett is the owner of Rick's automotive. He said the new law is going to put a lot more responsibility on drivers.

"I've got a lot of family members out on the road and I hate to just wait and see how the car is going to be that's coming at them," he said.

Hughlett said drivers have a few misconceptions about what inspectors are actually checking.

"You know if your wipers aren't working, generally somebody will tell you if you've got a tail light out or a pin hole in your muffler isn't always a big problem and I think that's what people associate with an inspection," he said.

Hughlett said drivers need to pay close attention to some of the car parts they may not have thought twice about before.

"The main part of the inspection is checking brakes, brake hardware, power steering belt and most of all ball joints and tire rod ends," he said. "Things [like] that cause the steering to go out."

Hughlett said drivers shouldn't just be checking on their cars for their own safety.

"Most people that take good care of their car they realize what shape their car is in and at 10 years [and] 150 thousand miles they're probably OK," Hughlett said. "But, do you know about that car coming down the highway at you at 70-miles-per-hour that might have just came off the farm or been on gravel roads all of it's life and has worn suspension components? I see that being the real problem."

Hughlett recommends asking for an inspection when your car is in for an oil change or tire rotation. He said most auto repair shops will do it for a low price, or even free.

"It's really going to fall on [drivers] at least every two years, at the very least, have a complete check over," Hughlett said.

He said AAA members can also go to a AAA certified shop and have their cars inspected for free. Hughlett said the list of things AAA requires them to check is similar to the state inspection.