I am convinced that the purpose of the emissions testing in Maryland is for the task of extricating an additional fourteen bucks on top of everything else you have to pay around here…

April 26, 2008, 10:36 AM

Well, this morning, this beautiful April 26 where the sun is shining and the birds are singing, I had to drive down to White Oak to get an emissions test for the Sable. I’m all for keeping noxious fumes out of the atmosphere, but this was pathetic. I’m charged fourteen bucks for a five minute visit with Mr. Personality. Most of this time was spent processing my payment of $14. For the actual test, all I did was drive up to the testing location, turn off the car, get out, he plugs his computer into the car, looks at his screen, unhooks his computer, and hands me an emissions certificate saying I passed. Yaaaaay. No cone over the tailpipe or anything. No computers electronically “smelled” what’s actually coming out of the back end of my car.

This was also one of those things where I spent more time traveling to the location than actually spending time at the location. I always say that any trip, to be worthwhile, should be where the amount of time at the location is greater than or equal to the amount of time spent traveling to and from the location. This did not qualify, especially when you consider that I got stuck behind a roadblock on Randolph Road caused by an accident or something, and thus had to turn around, go down New Hampshire Avenue to White Oak, and then catch Route 29 from there to go up to the emissions testing station.

I believe that if Maryland were really interested in testing vehicle emissions, they would have made this part of their already-detailed inspection process. That costs 75 bucks, and they go over your car with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that every single system in the car is compliant with regulations. You may recall I ended up having to get a lot of maintenance work done on the Sable during its Maryland inspection. Then, I wouldn’t have been quite so annoyed about an emissions test, since the car would have already been in a facility getting all kinds of other state-mandated work done on it, and frick and frack at the Firestone store would have already been in there, to go hook up their little computer. And considering how much the inspection ordeal ended up costing me, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But considering the state does it themselves, that indicates to me that they’re quite possibly more interested in raising revenue than actually testing vehicle emissions.

Needless to say, I’m a little annoyed. That after having to fill up the Sable at the start of this excursion, where a tank of gas cost me fifty bucks at $3.57 a gallon…

Web site: Maryland's Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP)

Song: Okay, what the...? They did, however, leave out the obligatory Colin Mochrie appearance.

Quote: Hopefully that's the end of the car-related spending for a while...

Categories: Mercury Sable