Have you ever bought a Japanese domestically made vehicle? If you still live in Japan, then you are aware of the Shaken term towards your vehicle. If you live anywhere else, you probably look at the maintenance records and wonder about some inspections in the logs.

What is Shaken in Japan? The term Shaken refers to the Japanese phrase idōsha Kensa Tōrokuseido. The term means “automobile inspection registration system”, but is more commonly known as Shaken. It refers to an auto inspection that must be complete every other year in Japan. 

The ‘Shaken’ process is highly complicated and in depth. Since the legality of your vehicle is on the line with the inspection, it’s highly important that you complete and pass the ‘Shaken’ inspection. Be careful though, not anyone can complete the ‘Shaken’ inspection for you. It’s imperative that you adhere to the proper completion of the certifications and get the inspection done at the right place. 

Where to Complete Shaken?

Shaken can be completed at various places. Each community has certain places to take your car to complete the shaken examination. However, there is another place to take your vehicle. Third party entities are very common in completing the shaken inspection. 

Most dealerships take care of the shaken examination for vehicle owners. The dealership condenses the process for the vehicle owner by having the shaken examination done in house, making it extremely convenient for the vehicle owner. 

What do you need to complete Shaken? 

Most of the requirements needed for the shaken examination boils down to paperwork and certifications. Since this registration is a biennial examination, it means that you’re going to have mountains of paperwork for your vehicle. 

  • Current Shaken Certification: First up is the current shaken certification. Since the shaken certificate is needed to legally drive your vehicle on Japanese roads, every vehicle should have one of these.  
  • Compulsory Insurance Certificate: This certificate ensures the proper authorities that the minimum vehicle insurance is covered. This certificate should be with the vehicle at all times.
  • Automobile Tax Payment Certificate: The tax payment certification is proof that the owner has paid their vehicle taxes. This also gives the authorities a chance to ensure the current address is up to date. 
  • Shaken Inspection Form: This is the form that you will use during the inspection. The form has areas for each examination during the inspection and the car owner will place the form into a machine to mark either pass or fail. 
  • Maintenance Checklist: This checklist goes over what components have been checked. What type of exchanges are needed or replacements? 
  • Weight Tax Application Form: This is the tax dependent on the weight of the vehicle. The curb weight will be applied to this form. The amount you pay will vary based upon the weight of the vehicle. 

Source: Motovique 

What Does The Shaken Inspection Consist of?

The actual Shaken inspection is very thorough. The full inspection is a six-part process that can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. 

The physical inspection of the vehicle takes place in the Pit Lane. Here, you pull in and get put in a queue. You move through the lane as the examiners begin the various inspection. 

Exterior Inspection: The exterior inspection is to check the electrical components within the vehicle. The examiner will have you activate various electrical components: 

  • Front Lights 
  • Rear Lights
  • Hazard lights
  • Indicators 
  • Reverse light
  • windshield wipers
  • windshield washers
  • Horn
  • Various other electrical tasks 

The point of the exterior inspection is to ensure that all of the electrical components for the vehicle work. The interior electrical components aren’t checked during this inspection, only the components that affect the safety of the driver and other vehicles on the road. 

Identity Check: The next inspection for the Shaken inspection is the Identity Check. This is to confirm that the vehicle is true to the rest of the registration. This is the simplest inspection through the entire process of the Shaken. 

The examiner will simply ask you to raise your hood. After the hood is raised, the examiner will check that the engine type is as advertised and that the chassis number matches the forms as well. After this, it’s on to the emissions test. 

Emissions Test: This is obviously one of the biggest tests in any auto inspection. The point of the emissions test is to test the amount of carbon that is being blown into the air through your exhaust. 

To test this, the examiner (or you if you’re self-testing) inserts a probe into the exhaust. While the car is running, the probe computes the amount of carbon being sent out. Once computed, the probe prints out the results. 

Failing an emissions test is a surefire way to fail the Shaken inspection. The emissions being put out determine whether your car is considered clean or not in terms of the environmental impact. 

Next is the Alignment Test

Alignment Test: The Alignment test is meant to test your vehicle’s alignment. It’s fairly simple in terms of the physical actions. The driver simply drives the vehicle between two white lines while the examiner watches. 

Any deviation over either line results in a discrepancy and could end with a failing of the Alignment test. After this test comes the Odometer test. 

Odometer Test: Like the Alignment test before it, the odometer test is fairly straight forward. The examiner has the driver drive onto the road and accelerate. Once you get to a certain speed pre-determined by the examiner, you flash your headlights.

The flashing of the headlights indicates your speed to the examiner and if it matches what he is gauging you at, you’ve passed. The last and final test is the headlight inspection. 

Headlight Inspection: This inspection isn’t to test whether or not the headlights work. The point of this inspection is to test the trajectory of the high beam headlights. 

The examiner has you place the vehicle in neutral and then turn the high beams on. If any of the measurements include a dip or rise in trajectory, the headlight inspection has been failed. 

Source: Tokyocheapo 

How Much Does Shaken Cost? 

Since Shaken is fairly in depth and can become very time consuming, it’s no secret that it’s expensive. Especially when you consider that you have to go through it every other year. 

Prices for Shaken can vary widely. It depends on what way you go about completing it. If you go through a third party, say your dealer, then expenses are increased. However, with going through the third party you ensure that the Shaken is completed and passed. 

Going through a third party can cost anywhere north of 100,000 yen or $1,000. Obviously, it is all dependent upon the vehicle that is being tested. The other option is to do it on your own, dropping the third party out of the equation. 

Doing the Shaken on your own can prove to be financially beneficial. According to City-Cost, you can find a Shaken inspection for as little as 50,000 yen. The same site also says to expect to spend 80,000 yen for your inspection. 

Like various countries and many states within the United States of America, car inspections are very intricate. This is no different in Japan where their ‘Shaken’ inspection is very in depth. 

Now that the intricate process it takes to complete your ‘Shaken’ inspection, you will be able to properly prepare. Forgetting to bring one of the above-mentioned forms or certifications could possibly see your inspection fail and the legality of your vehicle taken. 

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