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Old 11-12-2010, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Wherever I May Roam...
392 posts, read 1,061,293 times
Reputation: 236

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The other day, I saw a car pull out of a local garage with rust from top to bottom, bald tires, and an exhaust system that could wake Jimmy Hoffa. Said vehicle was also bearing brand-new inspection AND emissions stickers which will carry them through until November 2011. Can you say "LICK-'EM-AND-STICK-'EM"?

However, I hear many stories from Pennsylvanians who have not fared so well. Many people in this state are living on fixed incomes, and cannot afford to replace entire exhaust systems, or brake lines with just a SMIDGE of rust; altogether buy a new vehicle. Hell, I went with a friend who got his car inspected once, and he was failed. Why? Chipped paint and a small dent on his fender. Nothing else wrong with the car.

My opinion? Just do away with inspections altogether. I would also do what Ohio does with Cleveland and limit emissions to just the Greater Philadelphia area and MAYBE Pittsburgh. I really don't see the need for places like Erie or State College to do emissions, as they are just tourist/college towns and don't see the daily traffic volume that the two larger cities do. Anyone agree?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:26 AM
 
4,277 posts, read 11,711,042 times
Reputation: 3931
I would say they definitely need to back off on the body rust standards. Non-structural body rust isn't a safety issue.

Although there is something of a cottage industry exporting failed cars from PA's Appalachia to NY's Appalachia where you can get 2-3 more years before rust fails a car in NY.

I once lived in Iowa where there was no inspection (don't know if it's that way now) and it was much less unusual to see broken down cars on the side of the road. (The economic meltdown seems to have spread that effect more nationwide now, though.)
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Hooterville PA
712 posts, read 1,959,638 times
Reputation: 304
I think that somebody here is smoking dope.

Give me the license plate number of the vehicle and the address of the garage that inspected it and I will guarantee you that if it is illegal - it will not have a sticker tomorrow.

Then give me the license plate number and the owners name and address and telephone number of the vehicle that failed for a minor dent and chipped paint and the owners name and person who inspected the vehicle and I will guarantee you that there will be an investigation.

How ever - if you are lying and just trying to get back at someone - because your pile of junk, which looked good on the outside - but was mechanically insecure - failed for a reason other then the minor dent and paint chip missing - I will call you out on this one.

The inspection regs says that you can have rust anywhere except in the passenger compartment. That means that the bed of a pick up truck, as long as it does not have a cap on it - can be half rusted through - as long as there is no sharp edges - and can legally pass inspection.

I have seen farm trucks, that hauled fertilizer, that was 25 years old, kept in a barn, that only had 24,000 miles on it, that was half rusted away.

While idiots - who has a 4 year old truck, that hauls Amish around, that has 200,000 miles on the odometer. With a body that looks like new, but the suspension is wore out from one end to the other and the wheel bearings were so bad that the brake rotors were wearing through the caliper mounts.

Which vehicle deserves to be on the road?

Things that must be on the vehicle and working includes, tail lights, license plate lights, head lights, turn signal lights, all lens must be clear, no lens is allowed to be cracked. Head Lights must be aimed - and must be checked.
If the vehicle has fog lights, both fog lights must work.

All suspension components - ball joints, tie rod ends, drag links, upper / lower control arms, McPhearson struts, shock absorbers, must be in good conditions and free from defects. Vehicle must be in alignment, dent in fender cannot prohibit the head light from being aimed properly.

No missing material in grill area and nothing sticking out of grill.
Nothing allowed to be hanging off rear view mirror.

All glass must be in vehicle and all windows should work.
Horn must blow.
Brakes must have minimum amount of material on pads / shoes to pass
Brake rotors must not have more then 3 heat check cracks in 12 inch span.

NO stickers - decals etc - below ASI Line
No cracks in windshield wiper area - in drivers view.

No rust or leaks on exhaust - that is not to say that there is a minimum amount of noise that is tolerable - especially when these kids puts a 4 inch school bus exhaust on a Dodge Neon.

No leaks on fuel lines, no leaks or major rust on brake lines.

What I would like to know is how many of you city slickers like Badguykc - actually crawls under their vehicle and jacks it up once a month to inspect these defects?

In all actuality - nobody does it until they have a problem.
So in all fairness - the inspection mechanic does you a favor, buy looking at your car for $20 and telling you what is wrong with it and what needs fixed and what is ok and allows you to travel another year if it passes.

If it is junk, it generates work for the garage or for you - to fix before you get your sticker. By the time you buy the tools to do a simple brake job - you might as well give the mechanic $50 and just let them put your brakes on your vehicle anyways.

I honestly feel that you just have hard feelings because your vehicle was not mechanically sound and failed inspection - while someone else vehicle was mechanically sound - but the body was in poor shape and you had hard feelings - because you did not want to put any money into your vehicle and just wanted to keep driving it the way it was and when it failed - protested the loss of $28 for the inspection and the money you needed to spend to make your vehicle road worthy.

So in my honest opinion - more vehicles should fail state inspection and more mechanic's should come down harder on a person and make them fix the small defects before they become bigger issues.
There is too much junk on the roads these days - since Cash For Clunkers and a tight economy has people hanging onto their junk longer and many people have neglected the maintenance to the point of now of where it is fix it or park it.

So which one are you?
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:12 AM
 
4,277 posts, read 11,711,042 times
Reputation: 3931
In NY as long as the frame is sound (back when there were frames) rust holes in the floor pans wouldn't fail inspection. In NY they are as quick if not quicker to fail on exhaust, which I've heard of as an excuse to fail on body pan rust.

Sharp edges of rust a safety issue? Not in the Peoples' Republic of New York. Maybe there was just a constituency of poor people there that the legislature responded to more than the body shop lobby.

If you took PA inspection standards to NY easily one-third of the cars in central/western NY would fail. Is PA safer as a result? Probably not.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Wherever I May Roam...
392 posts, read 1,061,293 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honest Bob View Post
I think that somebody here is smoking dope.

Give me the license plate number of the vehicle and the address of the garage that inspected it and I will guarantee you that if it is illegal - it will not have a sticker tomorrow.

Then give me the license plate number and the owners name and address and telephone number of the vehicle that failed for a minor dent and chipped paint and the owners name and person who inspected the vehicle and I will guarantee you that there will be an investigation.

How ever - if you are lying and just trying to get back at someone - because your pile of junk, which looked good on the outside - but was mechanically insecure - failed for a reason other then the minor dent and paint chip missing - I will call you out on this one.

The inspection regs says that you can have rust anywhere except in the passenger compartment. That means that the bed of a pick up truck, as long as it does not have a cap on it - can be half rusted through - as long as there is no sharp edges - and can legally pass inspection.

I have seen farm trucks, that hauled fertilizer, that was 25 years old, kept in a barn, that only had 24,000 miles on it, that was half rusted away.

While idiots - who has a 4 year old truck, that hauls Amish around, that has 200,000 miles on the odometer. With a body that looks like new, but the suspension is wore out from one end to the other and the wheel bearings were so bad that the brake rotors were wearing through the caliper mounts.

Which vehicle deserves to be on the road?

Things that must be on the vehicle and working includes, tail lights, license plate lights, head lights, turn signal lights, all lens must be clear, no lens is allowed to be cracked. Head Lights must be aimed - and must be checked.
If the vehicle has fog lights, both fog lights must work.

All suspension components - ball joints, tie rod ends, drag links, upper / lower control arms, McPhearson struts, shock absorbers, must be in good conditions and free from defects. Vehicle must be in alignment, dent in fender cannot prohibit the head light from being aimed properly.

No missing material in grill area and nothing sticking out of grill.
Nothing allowed to be hanging off rear view mirror.

All glass must be in vehicle and all windows should work.
Horn must blow.
Brakes must have minimum amount of material on pads / shoes to pass
Brake rotors must not have more then 3 heat check cracks in 12 inch span.

NO stickers - decals etc - below ASI Line
No cracks in windshield wiper area - in drivers view.

No rust or leaks on exhaust - that is not to say that there is a minimum amount of noise that is tolerable - especially when these kids puts a 4 inch school bus exhaust on a Dodge Neon.

No leaks on fuel lines, no leaks or major rust on brake lines.

What I would like to know is how many of you city slickers like Badguykc - actually crawls under their vehicle and jacks it up once a month to inspect these defects?

In all actuality - nobody does it until they have a problem.
So in all fairness - the inspection mechanic does you a favor, buy looking at your car for $20 and telling you what is wrong with it and what needs fixed and what is ok and allows you to travel another year if it passes.

If it is junk, it generates work for the garage or for you - to fix before you get your sticker. By the time you buy the tools to do a simple brake job - you might as well give the mechanic $50 and just let them put your brakes on your vehicle anyways.

I honestly feel that you just have hard feelings because your vehicle was not mechanically sound and failed inspection - while someone else vehicle was mechanically sound - but the body was in poor shape and you had hard feelings - because you did not want to put any money into your vehicle and just wanted to keep driving it the way it was and when it failed - protested the loss of $28 for the inspection and the money you needed to spend to make your vehicle road worthy.

So in my honest opinion - more vehicles should fail state inspection and more mechanic's should come down harder on a person and make them fix the small defects before they become bigger issues.
There is too much junk on the roads these days - since Cash For Clunkers and a tight economy has people hanging onto their junk longer and many people have neglected the maintenance to the point of now of where it is fix it or park it.

So which one are you?
You're right, Bob. I think one of us IS smoking dope, and it's not ME...so who does that leave?
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:01 PM
 
408 posts, read 987,781 times
Reputation: 146
I don't think people should be putting others at risk should their car have a mechanical failure at an inopportune time, regardless of whether their personal financial situation allows them to repair the vehicle.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
199 posts, read 518,377 times
Reputation: 190
I somehow doubt that a car was failed because of a dent and chipped paint on the fender. Please. Anyone who actually falls for that needs their head examined.

My car has dents all in the doors, yet it managed to magically pass. Why? Because dents and chipped paint have nothing to do with safety and/or emissions. When PA starts outwardly failing bad body condition, perhaps then we can talk.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,131 posts, read 9,332,580 times
Reputation: 1111
I'm glad we have state inspections even though it's a hassle at the time. I don't know much about cars and the inspection fee seems cheap enough to find out what may need fixed before you get a bigger and more expensive problem.

Years ago we had highway billboards that said, "Help keep Pennsylvania the safe drivers state."
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Hooterville PA
712 posts, read 1,959,638 times
Reputation: 304
Years ago - you had to get your car inspected every 6 months!

The problem with missing body panels or rust is sharp edges can cut someone - so it is a safety factor.

The problems with holes in the passenger compartment is that fumes from the exhaust can get up into the vehicles.

When you bought and sold as many vehicles as I have, you learn that when you are at a vehicle auction - such as the Ebensburg Auto Auction - to stay away from vehicles that came up from West Virginia that has no recent inspection sticker on it.
Due to the fact that they either did not have a state inspection program down there or that they had a vehicle that could no longer pass their inspection process - so they brought it up here to dump it off.
Once you bring it home and you find out that it needs more then what it was worth - you got took and you did not do it a second time.

My sister lives in Long Island NY and last year I did extensive work to their suspension, brakes and emissions to get their vehicle to pass inspection.
I was told that if the check engine light is on in the state of New York - it will not pass inspection. So there is inspection standards in the state of New York! Most definitely held to a higher standard then the state of West Virginia or OHIO.

Pennsylvania has to be strict, due to the fact that there is so many pot holes in the roads and so many auto accidents caused by faulty equipment such as bad brakes and bald tires and burned out bulbs.

Last night in one 20 mile stretch of road, if I was a state cop, I could have wrote enough traffic violations that I would have made Sergeant..
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,131 posts, read 9,332,580 times
Reputation: 1111
The problem many people have is where to take your car for inspection because so many shops are dishonest. The owner of a local shop where I had been a regular told me he took out the catalytic converter so I could drive faster and my mufflers would be louder. He once tried to sell me a part he had installed the year before. He had no computer or file cabinets in his office. (He was busted in a sting.)

Last year my A/C needed charged so I went to a new place and had them go over the car for inspection while it was there. They said I needed brake repairs that would cost $400. Instead I took it to my regular place and it passed without a hitch. 9 months later I'm going down a hill and the brakes failed. Meinike told me the brakes were shot and would cost $1,200. I sold the car to my neighbor and he got the brakes done by a friend for $900 so I know I hadn't been lied to by anyone, but how could the shop I'd gone to for 15 years not see that there was major problems?
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