Delaying vehicle repairs isn’t just bad for your car. It also can be bad for your driving record – and your wallet.
Ignoring some repairs can get you pulled over and even ticketed, the Car Care Council reminds motorists.
“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “In some jurisdictions, car owners may even lose their license for certain violations. A few dollars spent on simple vehicle repairs can help avoid trouble with the law.”
While a vehicle is in operation, traffic laws require that certain equipment is properly installed and functioning correctly, including brakes, headlights, turn signals, mirrors, windshields and safety belts, to name a few. The Car Care Council urges drivers to address these repairs right away.
Here are a few vehicle issues that can earn drivers a traffic ticket on top of a repair bill.
- Non-functioning turn signals and headlights or taillights that are cracked or broken. Most states require vehicles to have functioning turn signals as well as two functioning headlights and taillights. Taillights must illuminate red; if a taillight is cracked, it can give off a white light, which also is typically a traffic violation.
- Cracked windshield. If a windshield is cracked, discolored or tinted in a way that obstructs vision, drivers may get ticketed and fined. In some states, vehicle modifications, such as tinted windows, are prohibited.
- License plates are unreadable. If the license-plate light is out or if the plate is otherwise unreadable, drivers may be pulled over. In some states, this includes clear or tinted plastic license-plate covers.
- Loud exhaust system. A defective exhaust system that is too loud, either because it has been modified or because it needs repairs, can be cause for a ticket. What is considered loud depends on the state.
Many states also require periodic vehicle safety inspections. For an overview by state, visit https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/safety-inspection/.