Does Your Speedometer Have To Work To Pass Inspection?

When a speedometer fails, there’s one question that comes to mind for most people. The question is, “Is a broken speedometer illegal?” Can the driver operate the vehicle with a broken speedometer until they can get it fixed? Or does the driver need to repair or replace it ASAP to avoid getting fined?

Vehicle Inspection for Instrument Cluster

We wish we could give you a simple answer. But the answer is that it depends on where you live. Some states or counties check the speedometer during vehicle safety and emissions inspection.

Will The Vehicle Inspector Check The Speedometer?

If a vehicle inspection is coming up, you may be trying to figure out if you should get your speedometer fixed now. Will a broken speedometer pass inspection? The answer is usually yes, but not always. Some automotive shops and states check the speedometer.

Often times, the inspector will only check the:

  • Emissions
  • Steering
  • Underside
  • Lights
  • Wheel alignment
  • Brakes

And, even this list of items varies depending on where you live.

Is The Problem With The Speedometer Only?

The inspector will likely not drive the vehicle. So they won’t know that there’s something wrong with the speedometer. That is, if the speedometer is the only problem. Is there an issue with the ECU that's causing the speedometer to not work? Your car won't pass inspection. So you may want to make sure that the problem lies within the speedometer, not the ECU, first.

You also want to make sure that the check engine light isn't on. If the speed sensor isn't working, the check engine light may come on. That can cause your vehicle to fail inspection.

In Some States The Speedometer Has To Work To Pass Inspection

Do you need to find out if your state requires a functioning speedometer to pass inspection? There are two things you can do:

  1. Check your state's DMV regulations
  2. Ask a certified vehicle safety inspector

We looked up a few states. As of 2022, here are the regulations for the following states:

  • Pennsylvania: The speedometer will be checked during inspection.
  • Texas: The speedometer will NOT be checked during inspection.
  • Louisiana: The vehicle needs to be test driven, and the inspector will check the speedometer.
  • Hawaii: The speedometer will be checked during inspection.
  • Colorado: The speedometer will NOT be checked during inspection.

It’s Always A Good Idea To Fix Your Speedometer ASAP

Even if you’ll pass inspection with a broken speedometer, it’s still a good idea to fix it anyway. If you’re driving with a broken speedometer, you will get the wrong reading of the vehicle’s speed. That can put you into hairy situations. For example, you could either get pulled over or get into an accident.

If you notice anything wrong with your speedometer or the instrument cluster, get it fixed or replaced ASAP. We can help you with that. At ISS Automotive, we offer:

Whether you need your instrument cluster repaired or replaced, we’re the people to talk to. Contact us today!