Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Pass

Among the many depressing tasks associated with moving to another state in the US, is transferring all the paperwork for the cars. There is the new state registration, the new license plate, and the new driver's license; which meant my once more cramming to learn all the Rules of the Road (which are ever so slightly different in each state--Illinois includes a warning not to bribe the test administrator, (!) and the railroad crossing signs are a little different.) And then comes the dreaded Inspection. In New Jersey, the inspection is a big deal. Your car is looked at from front to back and you can fail for one bad tire. It takes 20 minutes, usually after waiting for 45 minutes in the New Jersey heat and humidity. (They don't care if your air conditioner is broken).

In Jersey, my cars passed about half the time. I used to drive a big Ford F-150 truck, or at least occasionally drive it. Between the times I took it out, I had a wasp nest built over the gas cap (that was exciting to clean out), and chipmunks ruined the battery by storing nuts on it. But come that July, I dutifully started the 150 and drove it to the inspection garage.... and realized on the way the speedometer was broken. So I resigned myself to not passing. I sat in line, I got out, I handed over my paperwork, they put in the sniffer in the exhaust, peered at the tires, looked under the hood, and then the inspector climbed in the car...and a big, brown, hairy spider dropped out of the visor and dangled in front of the window. The inspector let out a shriek that you could hear in the next county, scrambled out, signed the paperwork, printed out a sticker for the next year and handed me my keys. I did go get the speedometer fixed, but I didn't have to do it in ten days.

This time I figured no way would my car pass--it is rust held together with spray paint from Home Depot. I don't drive it further than I can walk back. It used to go through the "special old car" line in NJ. But J took it over to the inspection garage, and all they do is hook it to the computer and look for error codes. He came back and said not only did it pass, he went and paid for the registration at the Driver Services on the way back so it was good for another year.

And I am thinking..what error codes? Or more exactly, what computer? My car has hand crank windows. I think it barely has a catalytic converter. But I am not complaining.


  1. Error codes, that's awesome. ^_^ The spider is even more awesome. ;) Clearly he was on your side.

  2. His timing was perfect! I did have to ride home with him, though.:o


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