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What’s A Standard Safety Certificate: Everything You Need To Know

What’s A Standard Safety Certificate: Everything You Need To Know

Getting a new car is an exciting experience. Whether it’s your first time or the hundredth one, the rush of emotions when you’re finally handed the keys is a unique experience. We know you’re looking forward to hitting the road as soon as possible, and we will make sure you do it safely and officially. So before you cruise down the streets, you must complete one last step: getting a standard safety certificate.

If you weren’t aware of this particular document, or if you’re wondering how essential this certificate is in your case—don’t worry. Amarz Muffler & Auto Service has all the answers for you. In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about a car safety inspection, from the exact definition of it, to when you might need it, what would happen if it doesn’t pass the checklist, where you can get one, and much more.

Let’s get started.

What Is A Car Safety Inspection?

A car safety inspection is a mandatory process most local auto shops and mechanics perform. They’re in charge of reviewing your vehicle’s condition and determining whether it’s safe to drive. However, you must visit an MTO (Ministry of Transportation) licensed station to receive the vehicle safety standards certificate.

You can check if the location you selected counts with the required permit by confirming a sign outside the store or making an appointment beforehand and asking the person on the phone. Once there, you only need to wait for the specialists to review your car and issue the MTO safety standards certificate.

Why Is A Safety Standard Certificate A Must?

Two main reasons why a safety standards certificate is essential for any new driver or buyer: to get a license plate and to drive responsibly. You can’t complete one without the other; we love driving safely!

Therefore, even if you’ve bought and registered a car, only once the inspector reviews the conditions of your vehicle and determines it passes the minimum safety requirements can you put a plate on it. Plus, a car safety inspection aims to reduce the risk of road accidents and keep citizens healthy and secure.

Just keep in mind this document is the proof that your car meets the standards required by Ontario law the day it was issued, and it is not a warranty of the condition of it.

Do You Need A Car Safety Inspection? And Most Importantly, Are There Exemptions?

A standard safety certificate is always a good practice, but the government-regulated norms indicate that you’ll only require a car safety inspection in the following 4 cases:

  1. The vehicle ownership changed: You’re buying or transferring the ownership of a used vehicle to someone else who isn’t your spouse.
  2. When registering a rebuilt car in Ontario, a rebuilt vehicle is hitting the road again.
  3. Vehicle import from a different territory: You will register a car from another region, country, province, or city.
  4. The car’s status changed: When modifying the status from “unfit” to “fit”.

We recommend performing the inspection immediately if you’re in any of these situations. That way, you can enjoy your life on the road without delay. However, there are also two instances when the vehicle safety standards certificate isn’t necessary:

  1. You’re changing the ownership of the car to your spouse.
  2. You’re registering an off-road vehicle (trailer, motor-assisted bicycle, or snowmobile).

What’s The Vehicle Safety Inspection Checklist?

To get a safety standards certificate, the mechanic will review all moving parts of the car. You can briefly examine them before to ensure no major repairs need your attention. Usually, the vehicle inspection checklist includes:

  1. Brake system
  2. Auxiliary equipment
  3. Lamps and reflectors
  4. Steering
  5. Electrical system
  6. Tires and wheels
  7. Suspension
  8. Mirrors
  9. Exhaust system
  10. Fuel system
  11. Body
  12. Powertrain
  13. Seats and seatbelts
  14. Neutral safety switch
  15. Road test

Which Problems Should You Worry About At A Car Safety Inspection?

Getting a safety standards certificate with flying colors is an investment. We understand it better than anyone. This is why we suggest preparing for the inspection by ensuring you don’t encounter any of these issues in your car:

01. Compromised Exhaust

A leaky exhaust is a risk to your and your passenger’s health. Carbon monoxide fumes could filter inside your car and cause an accident. We recommend fixing any cracks or leaks immediately so the harmful products from the internal combustion are streamlined safely outside your car.

02. Worn-Out Brakes

Brakes are our reliable friend when on the road. Fundamentally, we keep them in top condition. If you’ve never had the brakes replaced, or if it’s been a while and they’re unresponsive–it’s time to repair them. You’ll not only pass this particular section of the car safety checklist, but you could be saving your and your loved ones’ lives.

03. Bald Tires

Canada is famous for its winter climate. And while we love it, our tires? Not so much. Bald tires are dangerous for everyone. Point blank. Whether driving at night, on an icy road, or in the middle of summer, a tire with less than 2mm depth can cause a terrible accident. Replace them immediately so your car has a grip on the pavement and you can soar on the streets.

04. Out of Control Steering

Keeping your steering system in check is vital to receiving the safety standards certificate. Remember, like all systems, your steering wheel functions thanks to the harmony of many components. Over time, these elements can wear out. So if your car is listing to the side when the wheel is straight, it’s time to replace it.

05. Broken or Weak Lights

Driving at night or on a particularly cloudy day with perfect lights is complicated for even the most experienced drivers. Imagine now taking that visibility away? That’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. Especially since headlights work as a means to communicate your position to other drivers, as well as the size of the vehicle. Get the inspection certificate, prioritize your safety and those of others on the road, and always ensure your lights function.

What Isn’t a Cause of Concern at a Safety Inspection

Worrying before an inspection is natural. Maintaining a car in an immaculate state isn’t possible for everyone. This is why we’ve compiled a list of minor issues that won’t get in the way of receiving that safety standards certificate:

  • Surface rust spots: They aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing. But if your car sports a few of these stains, there is no need to fret.
  • Scratches: Not pretty to look at, understandable. The good news is they don’t affect the vehicle’s integrity, so you won’t have to repair them before the inspection.
  • Insignificant leaks: Yes, leaks are an issue–in excess. If you notice small leaks around the exhaust’s joints, remember that’s completely normal. Visit a mechanic once the amount of fumes is extreme.

What Happens If My Car Fails To Pass The Car Safety Inspection?

You couldn’t resolve an issue before the inspection? Or did a minor problem become big on the exact appointment date? The world isn’t ending, believe us. It’s frustrating that you couldn’t get the vehicle safety certificate, but most mechanics supervising the inspection can perform the repairs needed.

In Ontario, you have 10 days from the date of the rejection to fix any issues before going back to test it. With the right team of specialists; your vehicle will pass the minimum safety standards the second time.

How Long Does A Car Inspection Take?

Car inspections can happen during a busy week. Or you’re excited to finally take your car out of the garage and onto the streets. So if you’re wondering, “How long does a car inspection take?” you’re in luck!

To determine whether your vehicle meets the specific safety standards, it can last around 1-2 hours. Completing the car safety inspection checklist is an easy process that won’t take much time; you can sit back and relax.

Where Can You Get A Safety Check For Your Car?

Any motor vehicle inspection station offers this service. It depends on your area, and most mechanics also perform this inspection. All you need to do is choose the best option, and we recommend making an appointment! Remember that once they issue the certificate, it’s valid for 36 days

Amarz Muffler & Auto Service: Your Trustworthy Car Safety Inspector!

Ready to hit the road with your new car? Our specialists at Amarz Muffler & Auto Service perform licensed motor vehicle inspections.

Call us at (905) 564 – 0090 or visit us at 5890 Dixie Road #2 and get your standard safety certificate with the best mechanics in the Greater Toronto Area!

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