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Maybe your muffler is a little loud or the high beam on one of your headlights is out, but important vehicle repairs should never be put on hold or ignored. No matter where you live, your car must meet certain safety and mechanical requirements in order for it to be street legal. The consequence of ignoring important vehicle repairs is not a matter of if, but when you will receive a citation and fine.

We all know that traffic laws must be obeyed while driving a vehicle on public roads. This goes beyond posted speed limits, stoplights at intersections, and yielding a right-of-way. Traffic laws also relate to the condition of the car itself. In every state, motor vehicle laws require that your car is fully operational, that certain parts are properly installed and functioning correctly. Turn signals, headlights, brake lights and brakes, windshields, safety belts and so on, must be working to operate a car on public roads. Otherwise, you can be pulled over for a mechanical violation.

Mechanical violations are non-moving traffic violations issued by police which, we all know, can also present a pretext to give you a ticket for something else. More than that, not paying attention to important mechanical issues like a broken turn signal can not only lead to a traffic ticket but could lead to an increase in your car’s insurance rates if you get a traffic ticket.

The types of mechanical issues to make a car street legal are small fixes or repairs. If you can’t do it yourself then your local auto mechanic can in a few hours. To avoid getting expensive traffic tickets, never ignore important vehicle repairs for entirely solvable mechanical issues. To stay safe and fine-free, here are five common mechanical issues to pay attention to in your car.

Non-Functioning Lights
Turn signals, headlights or taillights that are cracked, broken or not functioning will get you pulled over. States require vehicles to have functioning turn signals front and back. The car’s headlights and taillights must also work and the housing and lens must not be cracked. Taillights must illuminate red. If the housing is cracked a white light will bleed through which can lead to a traffic violation.

Cracked Windshield
Drivers must be able to see without obstructed vision. If your windshield is cracked to the degree that it is noticed by a passing police car, you’re likely to be pulled over and ticketed. Also, before you discolor or tint your car’s windows be sure it’s legal in your state. Such vehicle modifications like tinting are prohibited in some states.

Readable License Plates
If your license plate is unreadable in any way, fully or partially, it can get you pulled over. If the license plate has been damaged or if the light is out over the plate you may be pulled over. Overly-large plate borders can obstruct plate numbers and be grounds for a ticket, too. It is a general rule, never has anything covering up any part of your license plate.

Bad Muffler
Your exhaust system is necessary to keep the fumes from entering the cabin of your car. When it is defective, the exhaust system can not only pose a health risk, but it will also be too loud. Though what is considered too loud depends on the state, if you’re driving around in a vehicle with a broken muffler it is a cause for a ticket.

Though it’s a no brainer, if your brakes are shot to the extent that you’re having trouble bringing your car to a full stop you shouldn’t be on the road at all. Even a short trip to the corner grocery store could lead to a catastrophe. Malfunctioning brakes can lead to driving erratically. In doing so, it will surely get you pulled over.

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