Author Topic: Car's gotta pass inspection...  (Read 813 times)

Scav

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Car's gotta pass inspection...
« on: December 10, 2016, 05:09:40 PM »
I brought my car junky old car in for state inspection and it failed. They handed me an estimate for about $750.

The car is 14 years old and worth $1000.

That's not an option.

It needs new front brake pads, rotors, a lower control arm and a tie rod end.

Brakes are easy.

I've never changed out a lower control arm or tie rod before but I watched some videos on how to fix them on my car and it looks pretty straightforward. A few New England winters have made it a little rusty so we'll see.

I bought pads, rotors, control arms and tie rods for both sides - about $225 in parts with shipping. They'll be here in a week. I need to pick up some large sockets and wrenches. I've got a whole can of PB Blaster to cut through that rust, and a MAP gas torch just in case.

Let's see what happens.

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 12:53:05 AM »
I'm guessing that the control arms are being replaced on account of ball joints that can't be replaced separately? Ball joints and tie rods usually go one at a time. I wouldn't replace anything that doesn't have play in it when pushed by hand or with a crowbar. Tie rod will affect your wheel alignment (toe). Make a note of exactly how your steering wheel is positioned when driving straight ahead, most I've driven are a tiny bit left of being perfectly centered at 12 o'clock. If it's at 11 or 1 o'clock (or worse) after you have replaced a tie rod, you will be burning up tires quick. A broom handle with a pencil taped to it can be used to check toe of your front wheels - if you have enough ground clearance to get under the car. Measure at the rearmost point first, then tape the pencil down tight and move the broom handle inside the rim until you get a measurement at the frontmost point.  Wheels must be either exactly the same distance apart at their back and front centers, or up to a couple millimeters closer together at the front. Must be done with wheels on the ground rather than on a jack or ramps, and after the car has been driven (not immediately after being lowered from a jack). Might want to soak the parts confirmed to be bad with PB blaster a couple of days ahead of time.

cjw7

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 12:05:18 PM »
you need to find a lick and stick place that will just tell you if anything's wrong with but pass it anyway...I need to find a new one around here...not sure how to go about finding another one as the guy I went to last year my stepdad goes to...now the guy is hesitant to do it anymore even though I do fix the stuff he says to fix. Apparently someone got in an accident after he passed them and the person's insurance company wanted to come after him.

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2016, 02:05:13 PM »
I'm lucky to have a place that will pass anything with a working horn and headlights. :D
Some guys refuse to give a sticker to anybody who hasn't paid for at least $500 in repairs.
Surprisingly, repair shops who run a towing service and likely have lots of dealings with the cops are often easy-going on inspections.
More profitable things to do than spend an hour on a $20 inspection.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 02:09:22 PM by plongeur66 »

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2016, 07:15:33 PM »
I used to know a guy who passed anything but he's retired.

They began taking pictures of cars and submitting them to the state, so I had to pull the tint off my windows too. Clamping down on guys like him.

Price of inspection increased from $40 to $55 since my last inspection two years ago.

The roads are a disaster and destroy our cars so we fail mandatory inspection and feed money to the mechanics. It all makes sense now.

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 08:25:47 PM »
I'm guessing that the control arms are being replaced on account of ball joints that can't be replaced separately? Ball joints and tie rods usually go one at a time. I wouldn't replace anything that doesn't have play in it when pushed by hand or with a crowbar. Tie rod will affect your wheel alignment (toe). Make a note of exactly how your steering wheel is positioned when driving straight ahead, most I've driven are a tiny bit left of being perfectly centered at 12 o'clock. If it's at 11 or 1 o'clock (or worse) after you have replaced a tie rod, you will be burning up tires quick. A broom handle with a pencil taped to it can be used to check toe of your front wheels - if you have enough ground clearance to get under the car. Measure at the rearmost point first, then tape the pencil down tight and move the broom handle inside the rim until you get a measurement at the frontmost point.  Wheels must be either exactly the same distance apart at their back and front centers, or up to a couple millimeters closer together at the front. Must be done with wheels on the ground rather than on a jack or ramps, and after the car has been driven (not immediately after being lowered from a jack). Might want to soak the parts confirmed to be bad with PB blaster a couple of days ahead of time.

I forgot to mention that the ball joint is part of the control arm.

I'll check back and follow these directions once I get to that point.

Job doesn't look too big - famous last words, I know.

Jayfosters

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 08:52:15 PM »
Maybe register your tags and vehicle in another county or state that is less restrictive. I had the same thing happen to me when I moved to Houston Texas when I was in my mid twenties. They said my parking brake wasn't good enough and had to be replaced. It was just a racket to suck money out of people.

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 09:09:07 PM »
Maybe register your tags and vehicle in another county or state that is less restrictive. I had the same thing happen to me when I moved to Houston Texas when I was in my mid twenties. They said my parking brake wasn't good enough and had to be replaced. It was just a racket to suck money out of people.

Not a bad idea. For now, I'll fix replace what they want. They're pretty important components if I understand correctly.

Some of my parts just arrived today. I'm hoping the rest come soon.

So I'll fix the car myself and they won't make a dime off the repair. Didn't work for them this time  :'(

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 02:32:43 AM »
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So I'll fix the car myself and they won't make a dime off the repair. Didn't work for them this time.
They might find something else when you go back. I don't think I've had a working parking brake on any of ~6 vehicles in the last 10 years. I can crimp the sheath on the cable with vise grips if needed so there's normal-feeling resistance when lifting the handle. A couple of times I tied a knot in the cable just below where it connects to the lever in the center console. Normal resistance again as raising the lever tightens the knot.
"Taking it someplace else" doesn't work as well as it used to. If you fail in my state, the info is transmitted to DMV. Shop #2 will see exactly why shop #1 failed it as soon as they enter your registration. Getting plates from another state is not easy. You'd have to prove residence in the other state. Have an address there (PO Box?) to get mail from DMV and any tickets you might get. You'd have to drive there and check your box anytime you think you might have mail. Get your license from that state (may require a road test). Turn in your current license. Buy insurance from the other state. State income tax implications....
Another county in the same state should be doable. If I lived in NYC, I'd use an upstate PO Box to avoid the higher insurance rates and "Enhanced Emissions Inspection". Once again, getting a ticket would have you repeatedly driving to that post office to check your box.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 03:34:13 AM by plongeur66 »

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 08:31:48 PM »
They might find something else when you go back.

Definitely crossed my mind. It's an old car and I'm sure they could find more if they want to.

Only time I ever use the parking brake is when I'm in a manual transmission, or parking on a very steep hill with an automatic. Definitely not required if you have an automatic.

The rest of my part arrived today. This weekend I'll put it up and get to work.

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 12:25:51 PM »
You have a garage to work in? Or will you be thrashing around in the snowbanks?

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2016, 08:00:22 PM »
I had a garage to use. It was mid 50s today so beautiful weather to work in.

Car is finished and all buttoned up.



There was hardly any rust so everything came apart very easily.

The bolt below that connects the control arm is notorious for rusting up and being difficult to remove. I was very lucky. You better believe I greased it up so it'll come apart again in the future.



I only had to run to the hardware store twice: one to buy a come-along winch to compress the sway bar so I could hook up the control arm to the chassis, and a second time to buy a longer length of pipe to press down on the control arm when reinserting the ball joint.

Once I had the proper tools, it was super easy.

Both the tie rods and control arms were straightforward jobs that went really smoothly. It's exactly what I expected.

Brakes were a breeze.

I'm very pleased with the repair.

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2016, 12:48:42 AM »
Were all the old ones flapping around loose with play in them? BS demands from the shop if they weren't.
Rear suspension in particular is notorious for having rust weld it together, fortunately you didn't have to mess with that.

Scav

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2016, 06:25:29 AM »
Yeah the parts flagged by the shop were actually sloppy. With the new parts in, a mysterious sound I heard while diving has gone away.

Should have no issue passing inspection now.

Next day I have time for a project, I have to get to the heater core. Air flow is restricted when the blend door is set to heat, so something may have built a nest inside while the car was sitting over the summer.

Fortunately it's relatively easy to access in this car.

plongeur66

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Re: Car's gotta pass inspection...
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2016, 07:30:44 AM »
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so something may have built a nest inside
Sometimes a rodent gets decapitated by the fan, and you have to smell it decomposing for a month. :o
I had an issue a couple of years ago with the windshield icing due to no airflow from the defroster. Rodents had eaten into the foam seal between two pieces of duct. Thus a warm air leak into the passenger footwell area and no heat anywhere else.

My rat zapper seems to have died. :( Found poop inside of it, and the peanut butter bait cap had been removed. Fortunately chinese knock-offs have appeared on feebay for $~20, so I'll be buying a couple if I can't fix my unit.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 07:40:26 AM by plongeur66 »