What’s Your Worst Car Inspection Story?

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My husband decided that March is going to be the month that we register all of our cars, which means we have to have our insurance sorted out and take every vehicle we own to any random oil shop that will perform the Texas state inspection. We’ve always had it pretty easy, but I’ve been wondering: What horrors have you endured while getting your car inspected?


Like I said, I’ve been lucky. Here in Texas, an inspection is an extremely brief affair that should theoretically ensure all safety aspects of your vehicle work properly. In reality, I spend $7 for a mechanic to pull my car into a service bay, during which time they will deem it fit for travel. They’ll pull it out of the bay, I pay, they give me a receipt, and I’m on my merry way. It’s simple. (It would probably not be simple if I lived in a county that required an emissions test.)

My brother, however, has not had the same luck. He’s been heckled over the state of his vehicles, told certain items needed repairs, and ultimately denied the slip of paper that says he’s allowed to complete his registration renewal.

And it got me thinking about the injustices and horrors the fine people of Jalopnik may have experienced. Many of you undoubtedly live in a place with more stringent restrictions than I do, and many of you also likely have some terrible machines that make you cringe when that registration renewal time comes around.

Or maybe you’ve just had a horrible mechanic. Maybe there’s just one specific shop that practically makes you beg for your car to pass its inspection. Maybe you suffered a catastrophic automotive failure at the exact moment your car crept into the service bay. Whatever your stories, I want to hear ‘em.

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