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Unread 01-01-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
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Default Texas car inspections

I live at the end of I-35 opposite to you (in Duluth, Minnesota) so I see quite a few Texas plates up here. Something I've noticed on most or all cars with Texas plates is a sticker in the window with a Texas outline and a year, which I believe is proof of some sort of inspection. What do you need to have you car inspected for? Is it only in large cities, or does every Texan car need it? How much does it cost? What happens if you don't have the sticker? Here in Minnesota there are no mandatory inspections.
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Unread 01-01-2009, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
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We have to get a car inspection every year here in the State of Texas... another form of getting money from us. This is mandatory once a year and if you do not do it.. you get pulled over and harrassed by our wonderful police. I do not remember the fines but it costs about $40 to get this done.
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Unread 01-01-2009, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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How much it costs depends. It costs me about $12.50, but that's because I have a diesel and don't have to pass the emissions test (which is required in some counties, not all, last I heard). The emissions test pushes the price up considerably.

We don't pay an annual personal property tax on our vehicles - what we've got is the inspection and a registration (in the $50 range, depending on the size of the vehicle - some more, some less, but right around there).
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Unread 01-02-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: East Texas, with the Clan of the Cave Bear
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Inspection is a basic safety inspection. I never pay more than $15 for any of my vehicles but then I live in a rural county!
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Unread 01-02-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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It's not always a basic safety inspection. While the safety inspection is required for every county in the state, the major metro areas also have an emissions test that goes along with the safety inspection.

When I lived in 75287 (the only part of Dallas in Denton County) I had to bring a phone bill to my safety inspection to prove that I lived in Denton County. At that time the emissions test wasn't required for Denton County residents. It is now.
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Unread 01-02-2009, 08:44 AM
 
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They check tires for proper tread wear, make sure turn signals, brake lights, and the horn are working properly, make sure one's vehicle is liability insured, check all fluids, and all those little things that add up to keeping a vehicle safe on the road. Too bad they don't check the drivers; they're usually the ones who need it more.
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Unread 01-02-2009, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canine*Castle View Post
They check tires for proper tread wear, make sure turn signals, brake lights, and the horn are working properly, make sure one's vehicle is liability insured, check all fluids...
They also check the headlights & headlight aim. As a former Austinite, now living in Portland, I really wish we had mandatory inspections up here. You would not believe how many cars I see with one (or both!) headlights out, not to mention lots and lots of burned out tail lights and brake lights. I suspect most drivers are either oblivious, or simply don't care.
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Unread 01-02-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
& headlight aim
They got rid of this some years back, because of the suspiciously high number of cars that seem to be aiming wrong and 'needed' a $10 or $20 adjustment to pass inspection.

As I understand inspection, there are two basic areas that affect inspection: nonattainment areas for ozone (generally speaking, Houston, Dallas, Beaumont/Port Arthur, and El Paso) and attainment areas (generally rural areas). In attainment areas, the inspection is a state mandated price - around $15 currently but I don't remember exactly. The NA areas usually (although not always) have an emissions test that pushes the cost up signifcantly - around $45 or $50 - and although the price is state mandated, it may vary from city to city, just not within the city.

The basic inspection is mainly for tire wear, wiper blade condition, brake operation, and lights/blinkers. They check the horn, which is kind of funny to me, and a couple of other things. For the emissions check, they check your exhaust and the gas-cap seal. The exhaust check is to make sure you are getting complete combustion, so they look mainly for organics and CO (or O2?) concentrations. If you fail the emissions check, things can get quite expensive in a hurry on older cars, but are generally fixable by a relatively inexpensive tweak on newer ones.
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Unread 01-02-2009, 12:27 PM
 
5,033 posts, read 7,221,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
They also check the headlights & headlight aim. As a former Austinite, now living in Portland, I really wish we had mandatory inspections up here. You would not believe how many cars I see with one (or both!) headlights out, not to mention lots and lots of burned out tail lights and brake lights. I suspect most drivers are either oblivious, or simply don't care.
I know I didn't list everything. I forgot to mention, I had my truck inspected last month and the cost was $14.50. It is a good thing, to be sure. Let me add "too lazy to take care of what needs to be done" to your oblivious and not caring.
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Unread 01-02-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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I had my first Texas inspection here a few months ago. I live out in the sticks so I guess you can say I got the rural inspection. The first place we went to they immediately saw a crack in my rear red tail lense. She said she could not pass me because of it. After giving her a piece of my mind and mouth while reminding her the money she is allowing to drive away, I went to the next closest place to my home. He never even looked at anything. Within maybe 3 minutes we were on our way with our stickers.

I think it cost $12.50 because there was no emissions test. How or why would any inspection station want to waste 20 minutes shop time tying up a bay for $12.50? I dont blame them for cutting corners.

Back east the inspection was a major deal. We had state inspection stations and in recent times you can go to a private garage and pay. But state inspection stations are always free. You all know what government employees are like. They hate the world and let you know real clear that they do not like you for paying their bloated salaries. Nothing is more dreaded then having to get your car inspected there. You are treated like a just convicted felon. And if you fail something? You will get a lecture like only your mama gave you when you were 7.
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