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Old 06-13-2013, 03:11 PM
22 posts, read 66,860 times
Reputation: 63


I'm relatively new to the state having moved here in the Fall. My car, which is 2010, failed inspection at a local auto dealer. New wipers, license plate light and all the tires had dry rot, so they say (we replaced the tires in the summer). It seems a bit fishy that the only place that offers inspections are places that fix cars. I mean, if it's a scam, it's almost ridiculously obvious.

I risk getting a ticket not getting an inspection - so the cops have the mechanics' backs.

Any referrals for ethical inspection stations? I'm on the seacoast. Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:32 PM
4,705 posts, read 4,819,572 times
Reputation: 4833
You have to learn how to do this properly.

There are two parts to an inspection for cars newer then 1996 or therabouts. OBDII.

Find yourself a good honest independent local mechanic.
If you don't know one then ask around.
Once you have a good honest local independent mechanic then most of your issues are solved.

If you do not have any access to a good independent mechanic shop then:

PAY for an inspection without providing your vehicle registration. Just pay for a mechanical inspection.
Most will find this odd that you want to keep your registration in your posession. Just hold onto it. Do not give your registration paper to anyone until you know that the car will pass inspection.
Some will state that they have to put car on computer. If so, find another shop that will just check the mechanical parts. Assuming no check engine lights are on.
Find out first if your car passes the mechanical components first.
If items need repair then either have them repaired there or find another shop.

Now that car passes inspection then make sure none of the check engine lights are on.
At this point the car should pass inspection.

This could cost your double. But less then unnecessary repairs.

In other words, make sure you car passes inspection BEFORE you actually go for inspection sticker.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:59 PM
Location: Nashua area, NH
278 posts, read 520,811 times
Reputation: 393
I can't comment on whether the inspection stations are scam artists or not (I haven't had that pleasure in NH yet). However, if your tires were replaced last summer (less than a year old), and they have signs of dry rot, check the age of the tire. If they are new, you have a claim against the manufacturer. If they are old, you have a claim against the place that installed them. If you don't see obvious cracking in the tire, take it to another inspection station and get a second opinion. As U-731 says, find a good mechanic that you can trust, and become their customer. Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:03 PM
Location: Behind You!
1,949 posts, read 3,322,886 times
Reputation: 2663
No different than any other state. Most stations are honest enough but some are just scumbags. I don't know what kind of car you have but if you even do as much as an oil change at a Ford Dealer (prob others) you'll automatically get a complimentary roto-rooter vehicle inspection. I try to stick with dealerships. If I remember correctly (it's been a while) all the shops in NH charge different rates for stickers in NH which is weird.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:33 PM
19,122 posts, read 21,362,274 times
Reputation: 7313
NH State Inspection is a scam, but i can't tell if your tires were junk or not. If these were worn out or had dry rot cracks from being old new stock some 6 + years old they did you a favor....... maybe.

You should have checked for bad wipers and a bad plate lamp yourself. The fact you didn't, doesn't lend well to you knowing any thing or not.

I didn't look at Riddei63's link but i suppose it is a How To on reading date codes. You should study that to the point you can, so you don't buy old tires with out a discount or you just don't buy old dead shelf tiers. (Old New Stock)
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:40 PM
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 9,330,314 times
Reputation: 2425
don't get your car inspected at the cheapest-rate shop. chances are they will find things to fix. a place that is in the $35-45 is probably going to do an honest inspection.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:09 AM
Location: West Michigan
3,057 posts, read 5,234,688 times
Reputation: 4207
I've always thought that the car inspection thing was perfectly set up for scamming. My wife is from New Hampshire and that was really my first time hearing about car inspections. I am glad we don't have them here in Michigan. I suppose that's one area where we are outpacing NH in "living free". And also possibly in "dying," if one of our non-inspected cars has a wheel fall off or something.

The only way that "big brother" can bother us about our vehicles is if something is visibly unsafe or broken, in which case it is possible to be pulled over and given a "fix-it" ticket. Other than that, we are very much left alone when it comes to what we are driving and what repairs we choose to make or not make.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:17 AM
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,573,769 times
Reputation: 2247
There is a regional chain that sells tires and auto parts that I would not go to under any circumstances, not even for an air freshener. What they do is a scam all right. If you bring your car in there for any reason, inspection, get tires whatever, they take 1-/2 hr checking it over (including checking the engine even if you went in for new tires) and then try to tell you that you need to spend $100 on repairs otherwise your car will fall apart before you make it out of their parking lot. They are also not above being downright deceptive, ie doing things that were NOT authorized and charging for them.

And the mechanics who work there are the ones who can't get a job anywhere else.

I'm not allowed to say the name but it is pretty easy to figure out who it is. If you search the name and "ripoff" or "****ed off consumer" it will pull up complaints. Their facebook page is also full of complaints.

They offer cheap state inspections. HAH! Right.

Like unit says, find the independent guy. They depend on repeat business from satisfied customers, not from - pardon me - screwing the steady stream of new customers who see "oh big box store type of chain, must be reputable."
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:30 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,538,721 times
Reputation: 24548
I think State Safety Inspections are a good idea considering just how few people know very much about the machines they drive. You should have known about the wipers (hey Jane I can't see in the rain) but not knowing about the license plate light is excusable. Take a look at the ties and see if there is cracking at the base of the grooves. If there are the inspector may have saved you from an exciting event and you were sold old tires by a dealer that saw you coming. Take the tires and your receipt back to that dealer and complain.

There have to be some good independent shops on the Seacoast. Look for a place with a couple of cars for sale on the side lot as well as cars of your type out front. Avoid the slick places advertizing "cheap" inspections. A NH inspection involves taking the tires off as well as drum brakes. This takes about a half hour and should cost $40 to $50.

The other reason I approve of inspections is some people will literally drive a car with ready to fail everything that will collapse into a set of seats sitting in a pile of rust in a minor collision. This creates a threat to all of us and increases insurance rates as well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:49 AM
1,045 posts, read 1,811,071 times
Reputation: 1712
It is a frigan scam, its unbelievable. I purchased a pre-certified used toyota from an out of state dealer and when i brought it to get inspected in NH it failed for some BS...

last time i went to get my truck inspected, at a scam artist shop in north concord (dont fall for discount coupons) it failed for like 5 rediculous things, all the things it failed for the shop wanted to charge me big money to REPLACE, ended up bringing it to another shop and he is like yah we can just FIX that for MUCH cheaper.

SCAM all the way... You dont need proof of car insurance in NH but you need to get your car inspected by independent shop owners every year so they can SCAM you.

I dont dislike much about NH but this has to be one of the few things i very much so dislike.
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