Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Not Ready for Testing

I am on a schedule that involves getting my car inspected in November. Here in PA, our inspection involves the normal thing where they make sure that your car is In Good Shape and Not Fixin' to Explode, along with an emissions thing-y that makes sure your car isn't Spewing Too Much Pollution into the Air. Apparently, a handy little computer thing called the Onboard Diagnostics System II (OBD II to those who really know him) keeps track of how much of the Spewing that is happening and ascertains whether your car passes or fails. The reason I say "apparently" is that this is the information I have gleaned from the Fresh Hell that has been my inspection experience here in 2005.

On November 28, I made an appointment at my Friendly Local Shop to get two new tires and an oil change and an inspection. And while they were able to do most of that, when they called to give me report on Barney (my purple Saturn), I learned that they were Unable to Pass my emissions. Enter the panic and the visions of major repairs. I rushed on down there, only to find out that the car didn't fail, per se. Instead, it was deemed Not Ready for Testing. Somehow, my eight-year-old car with 140,000 miles on it doesn't have enough history on Mr. OBD II to determine what kind of Spewing is going on. So off to the dealer we went today, in the hopes that the Saturn Experts can make this Saturn pass.

In the meantime, I, She who Follows the Rules Because She Might Get into Trouble if She Doesn't, is driving around with expired stickers on her car and only a little slip of paper that would show anyone who pulls me over that, by God, I am trying, but Mr. OBD II is not cooperating! So fingers crossed, please, that the Saturn Experts can make this Saturn pass. I can't handle the pressure of being Against the Law.

Addendum: I just got a call from the dealer. Apparently Mr. OBD II has resolved his problem. However, they recommend $511 of maintenance to get the car ready to go back on the road. Add that to the $300ish I spent on it last week, and you have...well, more credit card debt for me. Did I mention that I hate cars?


patrice said...

recommend? screw that! if they could, they'd recommend that you open your wallet and dump the contents into a bag with a dollar sign on it and hand it over.

I recommend that you do none of that. if it passes inspection and the tires are good, you're good to go.

Kat said...

Hmm, as Chris sits at home studying I can only think that the "Not ready for testing" label applies to him as well. ha.

Sorry about the car crap. I hate cars too. We should all just walk, or ride a donkey.

lonna said...

I hate car trouble. What a pain that emission testing couldn't be fairly simple.

M.Thom said...

Unfortunately, only two of the things were really "recommend" things. The rest were "no sticker for you if you don't do these things" things. And the recommend things were things like "this belt could break while you're driving because it has this-many-cracks-per-square-inch" and "by the way, your accelerator stuck while we were driving your car; we can clean that out so that a sheerly terror-filled experience won't happen to you someday soon." So Mr. Visa sprang for all of it. Anything to get Barney to last until past the end of nursing school.

NME said...

CARS suck! They suck SO bad. Mostly because their aches and pains are even more difficult to diagnose and you never can tell how honest the mechanics are being because its like they speak a foreign language.

Poor you.