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Old 12-20-2001, 09:32 AM
Posts: n/a
State Inspection

State Inspection

I live in Pennsylvania and the inspection in done by independent shops. It seems that every inspector I talk too have there own interpretation of the rules. Iím interested in hearing about the inspection process in other states.

Can anyone tell me the inspection process in Delaware, New Jersey, New York?

Do any states have a consumer complaint process?
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Old 12-20-2001, 11:29 AM
94 E320
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 437
in NY for me...since my mech always works on my car...when its time i go to the shop and he changes the sticker

but for others

make sure the headlights work, turn signal, brake lights, horn

i think for older cars there maybe an emissions test also

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Old 12-20-2001, 01:22 PM
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Do they inspect the brake linings, front end, muffler, ect. Does the shop do the inspection or do you bring it to the state
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:28 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
In VA the annual inspections are done by independent shops. The inspections have to be done by people who are "certified" by the state for the job. So, you do find "easy" and "hard" shops.

My policy is to never return to a "hard" shop for any reason, whether for inspection, a fillup, or a Coke. And my policy usually gets mentioned during friendly conversation.

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Old 12-20-2001, 01:40 PM
Posts: n/a

Is there any arbitration system in VA if you disagree with the findings of the shop?
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Old 12-20-2001, 02:03 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
Hmmm. Well, there might be some kind of appeal process you could go through in VA. However, my real impression is that the inspector has full discretion. If you fail, you get a "Rejection" sticker in the windshield. You are supposed to fix the problem and only drive the car as required to get service and then reinspection.

If it were something obvious and agreeable I would go back to the original inspector, the idea being it should be quicker because they could only check on the correction.

If I did not agree I'd shave off the rejection sticker and take it somewhere else. We're talking about $10 for safety inspections in VA.

Tell us, what is your issue about? Tires, lights, brakes? How much is PA inspection?

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Old 12-20-2001, 02:27 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Plattakill, NY
Posts: 137
Originally posted by PA_Joe_300E
Do they inspect the brake linings, front end, muffler, ect. Does the shop do the inspection or do you bring it to the state
In New York they are supposed to check the front end, on a lift, the brake linings, lights, horn and after 1986 emissions, in our aria just a visual inspection to make sure all the equipment is connected and working. This can be done at any registered auto shop. Some are strict and others do not even look at the car and just hand you the sticker. Cost here is 14. There may be a way to appeal but not worth it just take it to another shop. Really not worth the paper the sticker is printed on. In "the" city they do a sniffer test to check emissions as well, but I am about 50 miles out of NYC so we just get a visual inspection. I believe all some one from the city has to do is come up here and have the inspection done they do not care where you live, as it is not computerized. If it was done correctly it would be good.
1991 Mazda Miata 174000
1991 Subaru 189,000 Winter beater

got rid of:
1984 VW Vanagon 195,000
1976 350SE Euro 185,000 KM
1973 280SE 4.5 (boy do I regret that)
1980 280SE European W126 4 speed manual (miss it)
1989 BMW 735iL 119000 (good riddance)
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Old 12-20-2001, 03:09 PM
Posts: n/a
I took my 87 300E to the local shop. The guy there do good work but the inspector failed it for the right side headlight wiper not working. I took it down the road to a tire shop and asked if that would pass. He said the only the front windshield wipers had to work. He test drove the car and went through the inspection and passed it. So the next day I took my 86 ford ranger in and they call me and said it had a bad brake shimmy and the alignment pulled. Cut front rotors and drum and 4 wheel alignment 400.00. The truck runs perfectly no pull or brake shimmy. Brakes and rotors less then a year old about 4500 miles.

Iím thinking what if I was a single mother with limited income. 4 wheel alignment on a twin I beam truck? They have a license to steal.

I took all four wheels off and checked the rotors with a dial indicator. Just barely .001 out. Drums about .004.The law is .005 The next day I took it to the ford dealer and they pass it.

The inspection law has not change in 35 years. The engineered safety has improved drastically. In 1965 if you brakes sprung a leak there was no backup. There were no recalls, or government manufacturing standards. Automobiles today are safe. I should not have to put a dial indicator on my rotors to know if my car is safe. The inspection law in Pennsylvania is much too critical. And it cost the public millions in useless repairs.

So how do other states do it. I heard that in Delaware you drive thought a lane to check your lights and horn and stop on a skid plate that checks you brakes and alignment. Has anyone heard of this type of state inspection?
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Old 12-20-2001, 03:53 PM
Mike Stone
Posts: n/a
Talking UK MoT Annual Test

You Guys in the USA don't know you are alive.
In the UK we have an annual test that really goes through the car.
Takes up to 45 Minutes to do properly.

It checks a very detailed list of items covering -
Wheels and Tyres
Seat Belts
Wipers and Washers
Exhaust System
Exhaust Emissions
Catalyst Emissions
Other Items

Car is First put on Ramp so that they can see everything - rust, rubber gaiters etc.
Then after that it is put on a type of rolling road that can sense the braking on each individual wheel very accurately PLUS the parking brake.
Then finally the emission check - tougher than anywhere except CA.

If you want a flavour of why we Dread the annual MoT Test take a look at this site -

List of UK MoT Checks

As you can imagine it provides a lot of garages with a Huge amount of work at a very good price.


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Old 12-20-2001, 07:52 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PA
Posts: 5,440
Funny thing. The state inspects all the cars every year yet none of the drivers. Yet defective drivers cause 98% of the accidents and defective cars the other 2%.

Just another liberal law to make everyone feel we are all safer because all the cars are inspected. We would all be safer it 3% of the defective drivers were inspected and removed from the road and none of the cars inspected. And imagine if 50% were removed.

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Old 04-16-2002, 10:26 PM
George F.
Posts: n/a
Angry Delawae Inspections

In Delaware we have DELDOT inspection lanes in each of the three counties. They check all the lights to see if they work, windows up/down and directional signals. Then the windshield wipers. They also have a brake test (quick stop) to see if a wheel grabs.
The bugger is the EXHAUST test! They shove a sensor up the tailpipe and read the emissions at two RPMS: 2500 and idle. My 85 280SL (euro) failed the idle today and I am on a mission to fix it.
George F
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:24 AM
Posts: n/a
VA inspections you can file a complaint with the police department about the shop..but to really make your claim stick it need to pass with another shop

you can also ask them if there has been other complaints filed about the same place.

If you had some place fail you and you fix it in the 10 days and take it back they can not fail you on something they missed.

DO NOT TAKE IT TO EUROPEAN AUTOWORKS in VA Beach..had everything fixed on the car..they did the inspection with the trunk open and failed me because my tail light was missing an inside light..I knew the light was in there because I changed the tail light lense the week before..when I confronted the mechanic he ran and the owner wouldnt talk to me...well guess what I had pictures..*hahahahah* they still wouldnt admit it so I filed a complaint and with the police department...1 week later they had a 560 SEC for sale with my tail lights on it

bought a new inside tail light got it inspected 3 days later and passed...turned it all in to the police department. They still do inspections but not sure the guy who did mine still works there.


1982 380 SEC
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