So I recently got a new car which I posted about a while ago. However it wasn’t until this week that I took it in to get an emissions inspection. For those of us who have to do this every two years, we know it’s a big pain but it has to be done. It usually involves waiting several hours (even in the middle of the day, on a weekday near the middle of the month). So you bring a book and relax.

Well that is what you are supposed to do. I patiently waited my turn and then finally my car went into the shop.

However my car seemed to be taking quite a bit longer than the others to be tested. When the guy testing the car emerged he told me “I have some bad news.” The one sentence you don’t want to hear when you are taking you car for an emissions test.However what he said next was even worse, “I have never seen a car fail all of the emissions tests before.” I am just stunned. The guy that I purchased the car from claimed to have an emissions inspection on the car and that it passed. I later found out that because of where the guy lived he didn’t need to have one so he had completely made that up. (I go back and forth about whether I was naive for believing him and not checking or whether it is better not to be so jaded that you have to double check everything).

In order to pass the emissions test you have to take you car to a state certified repair shop and spend atleast $600 and receive a waiver. Or if can get it repaired for less and pass the test that works too. Well the mechanic called us back and told us $1700.

So then we had to decide what to do. My dad suggested selling the car in an area that doesn’t have emissions. At first I out right rejected it after working so hard to find this car. However last night as I tried to fall asleep I couldn’t stop thinking about whether to sell or not. Then I woke up this morning and I really couldn’t justify spending $7000 on a car with 128K on it. I was torn. I really didn’t want to give up my new car as I worked for it but I didn’t see any other way that I could afford it.

It seemed like the cruelist position to be in. Do I keep the car and gamble that nothing else goes wrong? Do I hold on to it until something major happens that I can’t pay for (which would significantly reduces it’s value if I was forced to sell it)? Or do I throw in the towel and sell it now (probably at a loss)?

I called my dad (as he was at home) and told him to stall on any callers about selling my old car as I might be needing it.

Then unexpectedly he called me back about 10 minutes later and told me that the mechanic called again and said that he had been thinking about things and it didn’t seem to add up. So the mechanic went back and checked some of the tests that they had run the other day. This time the components that they thought were bad were actually good. As a result the repairs would cost $1000 less. He believed the misdiagnosis was caused by an incorrect test setup. I am not sure how many mechanics would do such a thing (voluntarily go back and recheck their tests).

That suddenly changed things quite a bit. I wished I could have gone to the mechanic and tipped him for taking the time to think twice, instead of just charging me for whatever he could. I wish that there were more people like him.

Special Treat:

And for your pleasure below, I have included a very waterpaint-esque phone picture of some grafiti on the street that I saw last night. More phone pictures to come later…

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