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How To Ensure You Pass Your Roadworthy

A roadworthy or safety certificate is required when you put your vehicle up for sale, are transferring it to a new owner, or if you’re re-registering an unregistered vehicle. In some states you need a roadworthy if you’re transferring registration to a another state or territory

Your roadworthy inspection must be carried out at an Approved Inspection Stations (AIS) and each state has different vehicle inspection guidelines and codes of practice for inspectors. The code is strict and detailed; and so it should be when public safety is in question. It’s for this reason that getting a big fat fail on your roadworthy test is more common than you might think.

Newer, well maintained vehicles are usually in the clear; but if your vehicle is an older model, has been modified, involved in an accident or neglected in general, there’s a higher chance you’ll flunk on the test.  

What happens if you fail a roadworthy?

Failing is frustrating. If you don’t pass your roadworthy you have 14 days to rectify the problems/s and return the car to be inspected again. If you don’t complete the repairs within the 14 day period, your partially completed RWC is cancelled and you’re required to have a new full inspection conducted. You don’t have to return to the same inspection point; but you’ll need to bring your original inspection form and pay the inspection fee again (between $50-$80).

Depending on the repairs you’re required to carry out, this can all become quite costly. As painful as it is (especially if the reason for failure is very minor) try not to take it out on the inspector, they’re just doing their job and looking out for the safety of road users. If you’re putting your vehicle up for sale, it’s best to have your roadworthy certificate in place before you decide on your asking price. If there are costly repairs to undergo, you’ll have the opportunity to factor this into the sale price. There are six common reasons for failing a roadworthy test.

6 common reasons for roadworthy fail

  1. Lights and/or indicators not working properly
  2. Suspension problems
  3. Tyres
  4. Power steering
  5. Brake malfunction
  6. Windscreen problems

Your own roadworthy inspection checklist

So, how would you vehicle hold up under the scrutiny of the roadworthy inspector? We’ve put together a checklist you can do at home to see if there might be any red flags you can action before inspection time.

Check your lights

  • Check brake lights, indicators, headlights, number plate lights and fog lights
  • Check they’re working
  • They mustn’t be cracked
  • Lenses cannot be faded

Suspension check

  • Check suspension components for wear and tear
  • Suspension bushes
  • Shock absorbers
  • Springs, ball joints and tie rod ends

Inspect your tyres

  • Check they’re not worn or cracked
  • Check tread depth is at least 1.5mm
  • Ensure valve caps are fitted properly
  • Check tyre pressure
  • Don’t forget the spare!

Power steering check

  • Check your fluid levels
  • Look out for any possible leaks

Test your brakes

  • Check brake pads and rotors
  • Look out for brake pedal pulsation while driving
  • Ensure your steering wheel doesn’t shake when braking
  • Make sure your handbrake hold the vehicle in position when on an uphill angle

Inspect your windscreen

  • Check darkness of tinting (VLT reading of 35% or more).  
  • Look for scratches, chips and cracks. Your windscreen must be 100% free of damage
  • Remove any stickers from your windscreen
  • Ensure wipers and washers are in good working order

More than 6.5% of roadworthy failures are due to the windscreen. Most chips, small cracks and scratches can be repaired quickly for a fraction of the cost of replacement. Your trusted professional repairman can help you get that roadworthy ‘tick’ in the windscreen box.

Other Checks

  • Seatbelts and airbags (front and back)
  • Rust and paint bubbles in duco
  • Battery fluid and corrosion
  • Oil leaks. Ensure your car is not spilling oil in the garage or driveway
  • Ensure your horn is working
  • Check for an exhaust leak (indicated by excessive noise).
  • Inspect radiator hose for fraying, cracking or tears

While this list seems comprehensive, there are still many other hidden reasons you could fail your roadworthy. Modifications, the fuel system, rear vision mirror/s, wiring, pedals and other controls, can all lead to a big red F if not deemed safe and satisfactory.

A necessary annoyance

Performing these checks before undergoing your roadworthy test can save you money (and embarrassment) in the long run. We all have a right to be safe on our roads, the roadworthy system is looking out for us by ensuring the safety standard of our vehicles in accordance with the state or territory’s code of practice. The best way to ensure you pass a roadworthy test is to diligently maintain your vehicle and keep up your service history in line with manufacturers logbook servicing guidelines.

If you’re purchasing a vehicle, remember that a roadworthy means it has covered the minimum safety requirements; but it doesn’t necessarily make it a great buy.

Novus Auto Glass specialise in windscreen repair technology and strive to provide you with the best possible care for your car. Services include windscreen repair and replacement as well as glass restoration and polishing. Call us to see how we can help you on 13 22 34.

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