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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #1
BoxsterBob - San Carlos
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Smog check hassle - Therapeutically long vent

I received my smog notice and because I put it off, I had to get it done today to avoid late fees. I also received a coupon for 29.99 + cert from my local Quality Tune-up shop where I get my other vehicles smog checks done. They have the floor mounted dyno and there were no cars in the service bay, so life is good… until I hand my registration to the owner and he points out the “Test Only Station” requirement on the notice! Apparently the state randomly forces some residents to visit the Test Only stations as a “quality control.” My take is the Test Only stations can’t recoup the outrageous cost of the equipment and can’t compete with the $29 tune-up shops and dealers, so they lobbied for this BS requirement!

Now I have to drive to the shop my guy suggested and pay $79 for the same damn test. The owner in the garage looks like he hasn’t seen a customer in weeks and shop is pristine. He proceeds to pull my car onto the dyno and stalls it at least 4 times. Now he gets out and pops the front trunk, I can see this is going from bad to worse! I politely inform him that the engine is in the middle and he says he has to see it. Mind you, I’m dressed for work and it’s raining out, so the car is wet. I know he has NO clue how to get to the engine, so I go through the steps to unveil it. Of course, he has no idea where “the sticker” he’s looking for is and I don’t think he ever found it, so I buttoned everything back up, ugh!

To top it off, the guy was about 5 feet tall, so he had to move the seat WAY up. I proceed to leave, hit the memory button, and the fuse blows! Fortunately I had a spare, otherwise, there is no way I could have driven it and I couldn’t find a way to move the seat manually.

Bottom line, if you see Test Only Station on your DMV notice, my sympathies are with you.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
boxster4forty
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Bad start to a day...

BoxsterBob - sorry to hear about the bad start to your day. Best thing for Mr.$79 is to honor your coupon from the 'other guy', especially since it sounds like you did most of the work yourself. But you may be too frustrated to negotiate. Hope you feel a bit better after your vent.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #3
baxter
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just one more reason not to live in california, as though i needed another..... you guys sure do earn your good weather.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #4
wbonsell
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Smog Test

Seems I remember those when I lived in California.....something I can definitely do without. Sounds like the guys who put snow tires on the front of my car not realizing it was a rear wheel drive car (not the Boxster by the way). Believe me Washington is no too far behind in the "you've got to be kidding" arena.......

Bill from Poulsbo
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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #5
blinkwatt
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Ok maybe someone can help me out here. My Boxster is the first car I bought and I have not personally smogged it yet. When I go to smog my car the smog station will want to see my engine? If I dont trust the mechanic can I watch them while they inspect the car? It seems like everytime someone,no matter who it is,tries to do something,whether big or small they always mess something up.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #6
hloo10
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Mine was done via the OBDII. No visual of the engine was necessary. Sorry to hear Bob had so much trouble. I just had mine done at Cupertino Smog Pros. I asked the guy if he needed to see the engine and the answer was no. They had a nice dyno built into the floor and it took about 15 minutes. I paid about $64.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #7
BoxsterBob - San Carlos
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I was expecting to go to the same shop where I get my other cars' smog checks done. I doubt they would have needed to see the engine. My problem was the state "requirement" to go to a Test Only station. I'm sure this shop had never done a Boxster, so I had to hold his hand.

Talk to the shop prior to the inspection and get a comfort level. It shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #8
Wulabs
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Interesting.

I had my smog done a week ago at the valero corner of rengstoroff and middlefield.

Cost $45. Took ~45 minutes. We had to take the rear shelf off so we could access the mid-engine.

Everything was real smooth.

You just stop in anytime, 9-5:30.
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