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Old 03-07-2009, 08:29 AM
 
5 posts, read 27,212 times
Reputation: 14

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I just moved here and I understand I need to get my car inspected according to Vermont state law. I'm currently in South Burlington and I'm looking for a reputable mechanic who I can trust to do the inspection. Are there any scams I should watch out for? What is the average cost for an inspection? In the very least, are there any places I should avoid? There is an Oil n Go near me that I'm considering and they want to charge $35 for the inspection. Thanks ahead of time for your feedback.
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Vermont
46 posts, read 116,067 times
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If your car s in good shape it takes 5 minutes.
Not too sure on any scams.
My 96 Honda Civic has met with their approval each time now.(twice)

The DOT has a list of things the shop inspects.
Maybe ask a few people at the local coffee shop?
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:11 AM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,656,036 times
Reputation: 401
The DMV website also lists all inspection stations. I have heard of no outright scams, but I am sure some shops will find "something" wrong and try to add some profit on top of the fee they get for the inspection itself. Essex Automotive on Rte 15 east of the new Lowes has been pretty good for me, but in some cases be prepared for a long wait or not even get it done the day you would like. Sometimes they can very picky about an issue such as even a windshield crack which does not affect driver's view or window stability, as it goes by a measurement. I am sure some stations are more forgiving toward clients they see on a regular basis. I try to get inspections in line with scheduled maintenance to avoid the separate trip.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Lake Bomoseen
10 posts, read 70,457 times
Reputation: 28
good question. i have been looking on the net for a while trying to get some info. Does vt have free state inspection stations or do all vt'ers have to go to a shop and pay? how strict are the emmissions? nj is almost as bad as ca. how does vt compare?
on a side note, has anyone moved to vt from another state who had property already in vt and had any problem switching residency? i can't seem to find any info on the gov. page.
any help would be most appreciated.
thanks.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:58 PM
 
894 posts, read 1,431,332 times
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Because we are poor and VT is hard on cars most inspection places will let a bit slide, nothing unsafe, but if they held to the standard half of Vermont would be walking. I don't believe there are emissions- which is funny considering Montpelier outlawed new cars that don't meet stricter standards never mind all the old junk.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:16 AM
 
Location: over here
231 posts, read 830,727 times
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One thing to remember..if it fails you still (may) have to pay the inspection fee. And when you go/come back, you have to pay it again. I just moved to a state that does not require a yearly mechanical inspection, and believe me there are some very "iffy" vehicles on the road.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:07 AM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,656,036 times
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Yes you will pay each and every attempt to get a passing inspection. In my former state the policy was "no pass. no pay" until you got the vehicle fixed to where it would pass. It's not a very big deal if it is something the garage can fix or correct on the spot, but can be if your vehicle has multiple defects. Not sure about emissions statewide, but in Chittenden County they do check a certain level of tailpipe emissions, but its very basic.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,792 posts, read 4,420,241 times
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There are shops that will scam you to make money on repairs. I'm not a mechanic, but one of my hobbies is auto restorations/rebuilds. I can't do inspections, but I know auto repair. I will not mention shops on the forum, but if you message me I will fill you in on who to avoid and who I would recommend. I have a place close by that for the last two years I went to found issues with my vehicle. I went there out of convenience and price, but they will never get another dime from me. The great thing is they will show you a problem and you will think there needs to be a repair, unless you know better. My example was a wheel bearing. I was told the bearings were shot and needed to be replaced. They showed me the play I had in the wheel. I asked if they tried to adjust the bearing and I was told "that never works, once they are like this they are shot." I thought it was worth a try and fixed the issue for free by adjusting the bearing myself. They wanted to soak me for a few hundred dollars and then they would have thrown in the inspection for free. This is a shop with a decent reputation in the area.
The most common repairs you will have to have done are tie rod ends and ball joints. Even with a new car you will be lucky to get four or five years on them unless you live and drive on well paved roads. Most roads in the state are horrible. With the cold and frost many roads only last a few years. Every time you hit a pothole or drive over rough roads it puts stress on the suspension components.
There are no free inspection stations and the price varies from $25-40 per year. From what I have found, most are in this range. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the inspection and more time if you need repairs.
The emission thing makes me laugh. For several years they have tested my emissions, but they can't fail your inspection if it doesn't pass because it's not part of the inspection. Not every shop does this, so I'm not sure why some do.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,656,036 times
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A very good point regarding the threat of scamming mechanics and shops. Auto repair has a long tradition of this and in some other states consumer protection enforcement actually tests the honesty and integrity of suspect operations by bringing in vehicles with simple minor problems in an attempt to trap gouging shops. As mentioned, the climate and quality of our roads takes a toll on vehicles and now more than ever people are trying to stretch every possible mile or additional year out of their cars which gives dishonest shops even more opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. An interesting point on emissions not being an actual inspection criteria, I did not know this. Kind of surprises me considering Vermont tries to mimic it's cousin, California. There is a proposal being floated to change inspections to a two year cycle.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:09 PM
 
53 posts, read 157,399 times
Reputation: 40
Default Mechanics Files

A site I've had great luck with is the 'Mechanics Files' on the Car Talk Web site.

Car Talk | Mechanics Files
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