Top 15 Checks to Avoid Car Roadworthy Certificate Fails

28 July, 2015

Top 15 Checks to Avoid Car Roadworthy Certificate Fails
Roadworthy Certificates, most recently known as safety certificates, are required to register or offer a vehicle for sale. This inspection ensures the safety standard of the vehicle in accordance with the Queensland Transport Code of Practice and are a requirement in Queensland for all vehicles being offered for sale, transferring registration or for re-registration purposes.

Inspections cover basic safety operations, including suspension, windscreen, steering, lighting, brakes, and tyres, but are not a comprehensive mechanical inspection. Sometimes vehicle does fail this basic inspection. A pass or fail normally depends on the condition in which the vehicle/truck/trailer/motorbike has been maintained.

Read the top 15 reasons Cars fail their safety/roadworthy inspections! Many safety inspection failures are the result of a tiny mistake. Often they are easy to fix, yet easy to overlook.

Avoiding common safety mistakes will help you get a roadworthy certificate in your first attempt.

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One of the top reasons people fail their certification is due to malfunctioning lighting. Lights must not be cracked, and the lenses cannot be faded. Indication, brake and number plate lights are often forgotten. If they do not work, your vehicle will fail an inspection. If there are fog lights on the vehicle, those have to be working to the same standard of all other lights. Lights are an inexpensive replacement. Make sure your lights work before an inspection. Lights can be changed quite easily and save you the hassle of having to get a second inspection for your vehicle.


Tyres are the second reason people fail their certification. In fact, in the year 2013 more than 150,000 vehicle examinations failed because of tyre issues. If they are worn, have a crack, or a tread depth less than 1.5 mm, is cause for failure. Tyres should have valve caps fitted to protect from the buildup of grime and dirt. The tyres air pressure should be checked to ensure all tyres have the correct pressure, including the spare.

Steering Components

Many vehicle owners become complacent with their steering, getting to know the vehicles quirks and difficulties of perhaps making quick turns without recognizing the possible existing damage to internal components. Steering and alignment components must be top-notch and not worn out.


A significant number of vehicles failed the examinations due to a cracked or chipped windscreen. Another reason for inspection failure is window tints are too dark. The glass must be 100% free from scratches, chips, or cracks for your vehicle to pass inspection.

Suspension components

Worn out suspension components are problematic not just to the vehicle owner and driver, but to all other drivers on the road. A worn out suspension must be replaced before certification can be achieved.

Supplementary restraint system failure

Supplementary restraint systems, such as seatbelts and airbags, must be in proper working condition. For some vehicle owners, checking seatbelts in the back of the car is overlooked because the driver rarely occupies these spaces.


Modifications are made on vehicles for a many of reasons, including performance and appearance. Individuals who modify their vehicle must check with the Department of Transport to verify that their modifications are complicit with safety standards. Should you opt to modify your vehicle without permission, the modifications may cause your vehicle to fail safety certification. Please refer to QLD Transport website for more information.


Rust will lead to breaks in the surface of the paint and cause a bubble in the duco. This may cause your vehicle to fail the safety inspection. Excessive corrosion is indicative of poor maintenance and can lead to myriad functional problems at a later date.

Engine and transmission oil leaks

Engine and transmission oil leaks are a significant contributing factor to certification failure. Not only are these safety concerns but they can lead to expensive damage compromising the integrity of the vehicle.


Your horn is intended for situations where you must alert another driver that they are about to hit something or someone. As such, horns that do not work can cause your vehicle to fail the safety inspection. Avoid an unnecessary fail; double check that your horn is working properly before going in for an inspection.

Wiper blades

Something as easy to replace as a cracked wiper blade can cause an inspection failure. No matter the weather conditions, clear vision is paramount on the road and only new windscreen wiper blades can guarantee this. On that note, never hesitate to open the bonnet and double check that the windscreen washer fluid, brake fluid, and coolant reservoirs are at the appropriate level. These brake components and engine components must be free from any fluid leaks. If you discover that you have a low fluid level, it might be indicative of a leak.

Exhaust leaks

Many people fail their certification simply because they have an exhaust leak that they have let slide. You want always to keep your ear out for an increased amount of noise from your exhaust, it is an indication of an exhaust leak.


Your braking system must function at high-capacity. Faulty or ineffective braking systems are tantamount to certification failure. Many people fail to double check the handbrake, another common cause of inspection failure. Your handbrake should hold the vehicle in place at an uphill angle to successfully pass inspection.

Radiator Hose

The radiator hose must not be brittle, torn, frayed, or cracked, they can lead to problems with the engine oil temperature. While radiator hoses are often reliable in their normal environment with a strong capacity for high operating pressures and internal temperatures, problems with the hose can restrict airflow and inhibit the functionality of the radiator.


The battery should be clean and battery fluid at acceptable levels. Any imperfections with the battery could warrant certification failure. If your lights start to dim at a noticeable rate or the ignition starts up slowly, it may be time to replace the battery altogether. You can read more about battery care on Racq battery care tips.

As you can see, there are many reasons a car does not pass a safety inspection. Don’t make the same mistakes thousands do every year in Queensland. Before getting a safety inspection, address any of the safety concerns mentioned here. Prevent failing an inspection for something trivial or avoidable. It is costly and annoying to reschedule a subsequent safety inspection for something you could easily have remedied. For more information about the requirements of a roadworthy certificate, please refer to QLD Transport website.

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If you would like to get a safety certificate, let us know. We are licensed to inspect vehicles and give Roadworthy certificates. We are mobile, affordable. friendly, and reliable! Book with us in the morning for same day service!

We hope you enjoyed these tips.

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