The Smog Stop
6414 University Ave, San Diego, Ca 92115
Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 17:00

The Smog Stop thought it would be nice to list the top 10 reasons why a vehicle would fail a brake and lamp inspection. Remember our goal is to help the customer pass the brake and lamp inspection the firs time.

Reasons for Failing the Brake and Lamp Inspection

  1. Brake Rotors not within specification – This item is number 1 because the brake pads are being changed without replacing the rotor. The other reason is because the rotor has been resurfaced(turned) to many times and the life limit is expended.
  2. Drum out of Limits – The drum is number 2 right behind the rotors because rear brakes on a vehicle are often neglected. This results in costly repairs having to be made to the braking system to bring it back to manufacturer specification.
  3. License Plate Lamp Inoperative – The license plate lamp ranks pretty high on the list because most people forget to check the license plate lamp when inspecting their vehicle lamps to ensure their vehicle will pass the brake and lamp inspection.
  4. Reverse Lamps Inoperative – The reverse lights make the list because it takes two people or one talented person to be able to check the reverse lamps.
  5. Headlamps will not adjust – Often times the adjusters on the headlamps are frozen and they will not adjust. This often requires complete replacement of the headlamps to in order to pass the brake and lamp inspection.
  6. Emergency Brake out of Adjustment – The emergency brake system is required to be in working order and adjusted properly. Often times customers fail to change the emergency brake pads during the life of their vehicle. When it comes time to pass a brake and light inspection, the emergency brake does not pass.
  7. Headlamps installed incorrectly- This item is a high failure because when a person is trying to register a salvage vehicle, the vehicle was not repaired correctly. Many vehicles only have a vertical adjustment on the headlamp so if the headlamp is installed improperly the headlamps will be out of aim.
  8. Active ABS codes stored in the ABS computer – Before you schedule you brake and lamp inspection, check to see if the vehicles ABS lamp is illuminated on the dash. Additionally, if you have a ABS code reader plug it in to the vehicles OBD port and verify that there are no ABS codes present that would cause your vehicle to fail the brake and lamp inspection.
  9. Cracked Lamp Lenses – If any of your vehicles lamp lenses it will fail the lamp inspection. A lamp inspector is required to check for cracked lenses as part of the brake and lamp inspection.
  10. Headlamp Intensity – If your vehicle has earned some age more times than not the plastic headlamp has oxidized. You can either replace the headlamp assembly or order a restore kit to try and remove the oxidation on the headlamp lens.