Heres my story. I just passed inspection today. Don't know how I did it. I had Autozone clear my check engine light, then took it and got it inspected. The guy asked me if there was a light, and of course I said yea, but I got it fixed. I have a tire with about 15% tread left on the rear, my fuel pump was leaking a slow drip by drip, but the car smells like gas when its idling too long. He opened the hood there was antifreeze all over because my radiator hose popped off a few days ago and I thought I blew my headgasket because all of the white smoke trailing my car while I was going down rt 80. I had no back seat, and the fuel pump cover thing wasn't screwed down. And to top it all off, I had a tail light bulb out, which he had in stock and offered to me for 15$ and a passed inspection sticker. I wasn't about to pay another 60$ to get it inspected again so I took it for 15. I am just going to go over what an inspection really is. I was scared when I first went, thinking he was going to tell me the car wont pass, and I cant drive it since my inspection was already expired. But it was very simple. 1. Make sure all your lights work. a. Left and right signals, front and back. b. Headlights and high beams c. Parking lights, hazard lights, and brake light 2. Make sure all your tires are properly inflated, and all have at least 75% tread. 3. Make sure your horn works, both sides of the steering wheel. 4. If you have a check engine light, go to Autozone (its free), and get it looked at. They will tell you the problem, if its small, fix it, if its big, fix it. Mine was rear o2 sensor, I just got it wiped and didn't change it because its pretty much useless. Use common sense, if it says something like misfire cylinder 1, then you got some problems. 5. Warm the car up so any sounds go away. I have a nasty groan coming from my power steering pump when its cold, and I made sure the car was nice and hot so he wouldn't be poking around in my engine area too long. 6. I sprayed a bottle of febreeze in my car before I went, to get rid of every smell. It smelled like gas, coolant, burnt rubber, koolaid, you name it, it was there. 7. Finally if you do fail, ask the person there if they can fix the broken part for you and give you the sticker. They usually have a way to short cut the system and print the sticker for you as passed.