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Will my car pass inspection if the ABS light is on, in Texas?

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A brief introduction

If you are new in Texas or recently started owning a vehicle in the state, it is mandatory for you to register the vehicle and also put it through an inspection process. Both processes are equally important. Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for the registration of the vehicle.

DPS, on the other hand, handles the inspection module in Texas. You might have guessed it by now about why the inspection process is equally important as the registration process! No? It is mandatory for a vehicle to pass an inspection if it needs to be registered. We will also consider the case where the inspection is done for a car that has been in use for some years and pre-owned cars too.

What does the Texas Annual Safety Inspection Criteria entail?

If we went by the exact rules, to pass inspection in Texas a private vehicle or a light truck must make sure that everything which will fall under the next list will have to be in a working condition. Those are:

  1. Horn
  2. Windshield wipers
  3. Mirrors
  4. Steering
  5. Seat belts
  6. Braking system
  7. Tires
  8. Wheel assembly
  9. Exhaust system
  10. Exhaust Emission System
  11. Beam Indicator
  12. Headlights
  13. Taillights
  14. Stop lamps
  15. License plate light
  16. Headlamps
  17. Turn signals
  18. Rear reflectors
  19. Gas caps (vehicles 2-24 years old)
  20. Window tinting

But it is never the case so we will go through some real questions and answers where you will get an idea about what you may have to do to pass the inspection.

Before that, we will cut straight to the point about the main question in this article.

Will your car pass the inspection procedure if the ABS light is on in Texas?

If everything else in the car is working properly, then ABS light won’t be the reason alone for your car to not pass the inspection. The point here to note is, that everything other than the ABS has to be in a working condition. It has been mentioned in DPS Texas’ website that the signal which comes on during the test will not be a cause for rejection.

Moving on, since your main question has been answered, we can further discuss the part where the inspection becomes serious. Emission control.

Texas Counties that require emission testing are Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Travis, and Williamson.

If your vehicle falls within any of these counties then your vehicle will have to pass a Two Speed Idle Test (for vehicles produced in and before 1995) or an On-Board Diagnostic Test (for vehicles produced in and after 1996).

Two Speed Idle Test: Two-speed Idle Test is for those vehicles which do not have an on-board diagnostic system. The emissions are calculated right from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle at both high and low speeds. This test has been successful in identifying the common elements which are a cause for pollution to the atmosphere. In this case, if the emissions of carbon monoxide are in excess, the vehicle will fail the test and lose its registration.

On-Board Diagnostic Test: A scanner is usually used in this test. The scanner is plugged into the internal computing system of the vehicle to determine if the emission system along with other components supporting it is in a proper condition or not. If there some anomaly in the system, the check engine light will come on.

Extensions & Waivers

There are various waivers that can be issued by the department or DPs may also grant a time extension if the vehicle passes all other requirements for a standard safety inspection. The need for compliance with the rules gets postponed. A motorist may also apply for repairs. Here are some of the waivers and extensions which can be applied:

  • Low Mileage Waiver
  • Individual Vehicle Waiver
  • Parts Availability Time extension
  • Low Income Time Extension

Some reasons for failure in inspections

  • Check Engine light comes on when the vehicle is scanned. You will get away with it in counties where emission control is not applicable.
  • If the windows on the left and right of the driver are completely dark. A minimum of 25 percent light emittance should be there on both sides of the window of the driver.
  • If there are no mirrors to view the rear end of the vehicle. You might miss a rear-view mirror but there must be one which will help the driver see a minimum of 200ft of the highway at the rear end of the vehicle.
  • A defective or a local gas cap will be a reason for your car to fail inspection.
  • Smoked and tinted tail light and headlights will also be a sure cause of rejection.
  • The front windshield wiper is required to pass the inspection.

Final Thoughts

As we can see the rules which have been placed by the DPS might seem to be mammoth and your car might not be in the perfect condition. To be honest, it also depends on the county and the officer-in-charge of the inspection.

So, to sum up, there are various kinds of waivers available in case of emissions which really shows that the department is a bit lenient if you fall under their waiver category. The main reason why you were actually looking for this article was due to the ABS light and it has been explicitly mentioned in the DPS website that it is not at all a concern for inspection. Hence, there is no need to worry. Go get that inspection done!

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