Vehicle safety program doesn't seem t...

Vehicle safety program doesn't seem to pass inspection

There are 27 comments on the The Morning Call story from Nov 2, 2007, titled Vehicle safety program doesn't seem to pass inspection. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Q: I used to be a certified Pennsylvania safety and emissions inspector at several garages in Allentown.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

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Road Warrior Fan Club

Harrisburg, PA

#1 Nov 2, 2007
Warrior, we all know you don't have Porsche, and if you did it probably would have faulty brakes.
growler

Denver, PA

#2 Nov 2, 2007
You need to consider that car owners who take their vehicles in for inspection also take the opportunity to have other work of a preventive nature done, like oil changes and tuneups. Factor this in and you can make the argument that the cost to consumers overall may be a wash.

Also, folks who are car nuts are much more likely to make sure that their vehicle's safety systems (brakes, turn signals, etc) are in good working order. The average John or Jane Doe who can tell a tail pipe from a radiator cap may be less likely to obsess over the thickness of their brake pads. The inspection system helps force the Doe's to a place where these systems can be checked and repaired as needed.
bob

Kingston, PA

#3 Nov 2, 2007
Far too many elderly are abused by the inspection system. Many do not question whatever repairs they are told is needed. While commercial vehicles should be monitored, the private sector should not be burdoned with it. The emission control inspections are really a joke when you look at the trail of sxmoke comoing from heavy vehicles whizzing down the highway and other pollution being emitted. Time to wake up and eliminate the waste. Naturally many service stations are in a tough way but those that do good work have no problem.
Jeez

Bethlehem, PA

#4 Nov 2, 2007
When I first moved to PA, my car failed inspection with a laundry list of "issues." This very same car had passed inspection for years in NJ without concern.

Another car eventually failed for a worn motor mount. Motor mount! It was indeed worn, but a safety issue? Hardly.

You tell me if it's the garage trying to cash in or if it's really about safety.

PA's privatized system is ripe for corruption and fraud.
Inspection HaHa

Lake Hiawatha, NJ

#5 Nov 2, 2007
Jeez wrote:
When I first moved to PA, my car failed inspection with a laundry list of "issues." This very same car had passed inspection for years in NJ without concern.
Another car eventually failed for a worn motor mount. Motor mount! It was indeed worn, but a safety issue? Hardly.
You tell me if it's the garage trying to cash in or if it's really about safety.
PA's privatized system is ripe for corruption and fraud.
NJ inspection is a joke. It's a drive-thru inspection station - you basically pull up, they check all your lights, and some dude hops in the car, drives it about 10 feet, and hits the brakes. If the car stops, it passes.. No wonder your car passed in NJ. Personally, I'd rather have a trustworthy mechanic go over everything for me, since I don't have a lift in my garage..
Edison

Bethlehem, PA

#6 Nov 2, 2007
I agree the safety thing is a scam and should be scrapped. How about the new emissions test (for about 50 bucks at most places)?? They charge more than twice as much as before and all they do is use the sensors and computer ON YOUR OWN CAR to measure emissions. Now THAT'S a ripoff.
Inspection HaHa

Lake Hiawatha, NJ

#7 Nov 2, 2007
Jeez wrote:
Another car eventually failed for a worn motor mount. Motor mount! It was indeed worn, but a safety issue? Hardly.
You don't think a worn motor mount is a safety issue? Ok - what if the mount breaks, what do you think would happen? With all that torque there, your motor is basically going to do a 360 under the hood..
Jeez

Bethlehem, PA

#8 Nov 2, 2007
Inspection HaHa wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't think a worn motor mount is a safety issue? Ok - what if the mount breaks, what do you think would happen? With all that torque there, your motor is basically going to do a 360 under the hood..
In a FWD with two other motor mounts? Not to mention it would be impossible to actually break loose, it was the rubber that failed not the mechanical fasteners.

Thanks for playing.
Jeez

Bethlehem, PA

#9 Nov 2, 2007
Inspection HaHa wrote:
<quoted text>
No wonder your car passed in NJ. Personally, I'd rather have a trustworthy mechanic go over everything for me, since I don't have a lift in my garage..
NJ has the option for a private inspection, not to mention the entire basis of the article is how useless ANY safety inspection is.

My point is...it didn't really fail in PA either. They were trumped up issues to get me to spend money.

Upper control arm rods and shims? Do they wear? Brake lines that looked fine to me, not swollen or checked. It took me 12 hours per side, including new control arm bushings, ball joints, rods, shims, springs and shocks. The only faulty parts were the ball joints.

You guys can keep your corrupt inspection system.
Jeez

Bethlehem, PA

#10 Nov 2, 2007
Inspection HaHa wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't think a worn motor mount is a safety issue? Ok - what if the mount breaks, what do you think would happen? With all that torque there, your motor is basically going to do a 360 under the hood..
Oh right, I forgot the motor was also bolted to the trans, it'd surely break free and spin like a top.

Since: Mar 07

Allentown, PA

#11 Nov 3, 2007
Maryland's system is interesting. When you bring cars into the state to get MD plates, they must undergo a safety inspection. It is very, very rigorous, and costs about $200. I remember getting dinged because a fender well was rusted, at it was near the end of the tail pipe. The garage reasoned that exhaust gases could get into the trunk area and then into the car. Thankfully a few squirts of "great stuff" and black paint took care of the problem to their satisfaction.

I've lived in four states (PA, NY, NJ, OH) and PA's system -- which is much like NY's -- seems reasonable to me. As others wrote, I tend to have other maintenance done anyway. I'd rather *someone* give the car an annual look-over.

If you're concerned about garages abusing the system, go visit cartalk.com and look at their mechanic recommendations.

For what it's worth, I have all my repairs done at Cetronia Auto Repair Service. The guys don't do unneeded work, and are especially careful not to recommend work on older cars where long-term reliability may be in doubt.

Since: Mar 07

Allentown, PA

#12 Nov 3, 2007
d'oh -- I can't count -- I've lived in 5 states including MD...

“AOL? Seriously?”

Since: Jul 07

Pawleys Island, SC

#13 Nov 3, 2007
When I lived in Pa., I used to lament "that time of year".
Now, living in SC, where they have NO inspection, it's scary seeing some of the things on the roads here.
Bill

Slatington, PA

#14 Nov 3, 2007
Saftey inspection is a must.
Emission inspection No. It's a joke and rip off. Its a way for the state
to tax you with out you knowing it.
PalmertonIsNotTh riving

Stroudsburg, PA

#15 Nov 3, 2007
Those of us in Carbon county feel your pain. HAHAHAHAHA 50 bucks!
Edison wrote:
I agree the safety thing is a scam and should be scrapped. How about the new emissions test (for about 50 bucks at most places)?? They charge more than twice as much as before and all they do is use the sensors and computer ON YOUR OWN CAR to measure emissions. Now THAT'S a ripoff.
Curtisshoop -SF Bay

Oakland, CA

#17 Nov 4, 2007
After returning to Bucknell following service in WW2, T registered my ancient DeSoto in PA, though a resident of NY which had no vehicle inspection requirement then. I thought the inspection program was worth-while, but was aware that there was room for deceit. I've since lived in states with and without compulsory programs, and conclude that the Warrior is right.
richard s

Salt Lake City, UT

#18 Apr 30, 2008
Utah has a long running safety inspection program, and its nothing but a racket, a way for car dealers, mechanics, and the state to rip people off with unnecessary repairs, hidden taxes, and extra levels of useless bureaucrats. I've been cheated many times over the years by inspectors, and also had unnecessary work done on account of incompetent inspection program employees. Colorado, with no inspections, has a lower accident rate than Utah, which doesn't say much for inspections as meaning much. I once asked a legislator, at a social function, why we have to put up with this. He told me candidly that legislators all know its a boondoggle, but it'll never end because so many people everywhere profit by it. He did assure me that it is a relatively small state sponsored boondoggle compared to many.
RGuy

Brady, TX

#19 Jun 17, 2008
I have lived in three states before moving to moving to PA. I never had safety inspections on any cars ever. We didn't have any of the problems these inspections apparently prevent. The whole thing is a big lobbiest wet dream. Call you congresman and tell him to end all inspection programs.

The worst part is that if you look carefully most inspections are set up so that the biggest polluters (large trucks) don't have the emissions inspections making the whole idea worthless.
mechanic

West Newton, PA

#20 Aug 20, 2008
Inspection HaHa wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't think a worn motor mount is a safety issue? Ok - what if the mount breaks, what do you think would happen? With all that torque there, your motor is basically going to do a 360 under the hood..
Give me a break. How many engines have you seen or heard of doing a 360 under the hood?
tom108

Andover, NJ

#21 Oct 6, 2008
mechanic wrote:
<quoted text>
Give me a break. How many engines have you seen or heard of doing a 360 under the hood?
My friend's '69 327 Camaro motor rotated 90 degrees under the hood from a loose motor mount bolt, trashed the exhaust headers, shifter linkage and the carb and almost caught on fire, fuel everywhere. The safety issue is that the fuel lines can fail from the engine moving too much under hard acceleration, possibly causing a fire.

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