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Brakes and rotors and lights, oh, my!

January 12, 2008, 2:31 PM

Well, the Sable got its Maryland inspection today and failed it. However, everything that was wrong with it could be fixed, as I expected. I knew I needed new brakes, but I didn’t think I needed both front and rear brakes at the same time. I figured just rear. Then I also needed new rotors. Greeeeeeeeeat. Meanwhile, a couple of lights were out on the car, and they’re going to fix that as well.

However, what surprised me was not what didn’t pass, but what did. While I was in Philadelphia in November, one of the hinges on my back window cracked through, rendering it useless. The window was in no danger of falling out due to several other attachment points’ being sound. I discussed it with Dad and sent him a photo, and he said it was a fix we could probably do ourselves, and it would be fairly easy to do after we got the part. But in the short run, while I was still in Philly, since the loose hinge was rattling, it was highly annoying to hear while driving. And the idea of a three-hour drive back to Maryland with that rattling the whole way was more than I was willing to handle. So I made a quick fix on it right before I got on the turnpike to go home – I went to a convenience store, bought a small roll of duct tape, and taped it all back together. And it held. I didn’t have to hear that thing the entire way home.

And now, I still haven’t fixed it. And that part passed inspection. I was waiting for them to say something about that, and nothing.

Meanwhile, what’s interesting about Maryland inspections vs. Virginia inspections are that while a Maryland inspection is far more expensive than a $15 Virginia inspection, Maryland’s is a one-shot deal. You’re inspected, and it’s good until you sell the car. Virginia’s is annual. The Previa’s month was originally September, then kind of crept to December for various reasons, and then the Sable’s month was January.

I will say this, though – I hate taking the car for inspections. As Dad would say, it’s money you can’t have any fun with. This is why I’m glad that Maryland has the inspected-for-life deal. The Sable doesn’t have to get another inspection until I either leave Maryland or replace it, whichever comes first. And in the case of the latter, the poor schmuck on the receiving end of that deal would be responsible for getting the inspection done.

But at least now I can finally get Maryland plates for the car. I got my Maryland driver’s license just before Thanksgiving, but I still needed the inspection before getting the plates.

Web site: All about Maryland inspections

Song: The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round, as that's how I'm getting back to the car place - via Metro's Y bus, short for "Y do they bother", since the bus is never on schedule. It just comes whenever it feels like it. And then it's three of them at once. The Y schedules at Metro stations and bus stops are merely decorative, you see.

Quote: "It's HOW much?!?"

Categories: Mercury Sable