Reader's question: "What's the round sticker on my car windscreen with a date on it? Shaken?"

Nope. Shaken is the square one in the middle. The round one is the 12ヶ月点検整備 (12 kagetsu tenkenseibi) - annual check and repair (shaken is every 2 years, or 3 from new).

Read on for what to do about it.

Legal Obligation
A garage will gladly handle the checkup for you, for a cost of around 10,000yen. It is also possible to do the check yourself for free. If you choose to do so (as 40% of Japanese people do), you will not have a new sticker, but the car will be legally roadworthy. In other words, you don't have to prove that your car has been examined. Some people may take this an excuse not to do the check at all.

Process
Use a simple line such as "tenken seibi kudasai" if you go to a garage/shop.

Here's a checklist adapted from one on the Nissan Japan website:



EngineEngine oil•  Oil leakage
Cooling system•  Coolant leak •  Fan belt tightness, damage
Exhaust etc•  State of the exhaust gas
(emission colour, concentration of HC)

 • Filter
(dirty, clogged, damaged)
ElectronicsIgnition•  Ignition period
•  The state of the distributor cap
•  The spark plug condition
Batteries, wiring•  Loose parts, corrosion
BreaksBrake pedal•  Play
•  Effectiveness
Parking brake•  Play
•  Effectiveness
Hose and pipe•  Leak, damage, mounts
Master cylinders,
wheel cylinders,
calipers discs
•  Leakage
Disc brakes,
brake pads
•  Disc and pad gap
•  Pad wear
Brake drums, 
brake shoes
•  Disc and pad gap
•  Pad wear
SteeringPower steering apparatus•  Is the belt loose, damaged?
Transmission etcClutch• Play, gap between pedal and floor
Propeller shaft,
drive shaft
•  Is it loose?
Transmission,
transfer
• Oil leakage
Tires, wheelsTire• The state of the tire
(pressure, depth, wear)
Wheel•  Loose fastenings
Exhaust etcExhaust pipes, mufflers•  Loose mounting, damage


Use a maintenance site such as CarBibles to find guides to doing these checks.

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