I recently dropped my 2014 civic at the dealership for my August inspection renewal. They’re saying that my car will not pass inspection (and in fact should not be driven!) until they make some repairs. I know one of them should be done, but it seems ludicrous to me that I should be paying this much to pass inspection on a car that is only 1 year old. Here are the ‘required’ fixes:
Small 1/2" hole in the plastic covering of the tail light where a cyclist fell into the back of my car - the tail light works fine, but I know that it needs to be fixed to pass inspection. My question is, should I leave it at the dealership to fix? They’re saying it will cost $270. My understanding from talking with others is that those coverings should not be very hard to install and also not very expensive. I’m wondering if I can just buy the part myself (33500TR0A51) and find somebody else to install it (or do it myself)?
New windshield wiper blades. This made me pause. They’re saying I need to buy two new blades at $25 a piece or it will not pass inspection. I drove through the rain the other night and they worked fine. What’s with that?
Any advice from more seasoned owners/mechanics would be GREATLY appreciated. I work full time and go to school. I don’t have the extra time or money to spend on unnecessary repairs. Thank you!
Is there a NON dealership place to get it inspected ?
I’ve never needed to do this so I don’t know how knit-picky they need to be and how much is profit padding.
Seems to me…you could put some glue in that hole ( or you can buy your own choice of tail light lens ) …you could replace you own blades… etc.
But check first with another inspection place and read up online to see what the specific rules really are.
Prices for a tail light assembly on Amazon range from $75 for a aftermarket assembly to $260 for an OEM assembly. Higher quality wipers like Bosch are around 20-25 dollars. It seems the dealership prices are not out of line, but I would cover the hole, clean the wipers and take it to a private or state inspection station.
You can purchase a replacement tail light here.
Replacing the tail light isn’t all that difficult. Open the trunk, remove the panel, unplug some electrical connections, and unbolt the tail light.
As far as the wipers go, go to a local parts store and purchase refill wiper blades. Some parts stores will install these for free.
Never take your car into a Dealer for routine maintenance like state safety inspections and oil changes…Buy a new taillight lens and have someone install it. The need for new wipers is a pure profit play by the dealer…
Agree with the above, no need to have a dealer do this. You can click on ‘Mechanics Files’ at the top of the page and look for an independent shop near you, if you don’t have one already. Lots of taillights on Rockauto.com for $40-$90 each, do you have somebody you know handy with a wrench? It’s easy to do.
Thanks for all your helpful advice - I’ve decided to buy the part to install myself or with a friend (and I can deal with the wipers myself) before I bring it back for an inspection. I was leaning in that direction anyway but wanted to hear it from a more experienced crowd. Thanks!
I dunno, Acura replaced my blades for about $15 installed. The blades on my Pontiac though are in the $20-35 range depending on what dealer I go to. There used to be a locktite product on the market to repair tail lights. It was essentially a translucent red or amber epoxy for small repairs. It really worked good if you followed instructions and were careful and it was hard to tell where the bullet hole had been repaired. I haven’t seen it though for a few years but may want to check.
it was hard to tell where the bullet hole had been repaired.
Is there something we should know about you?
OP if you’re still reading, you’re wise to take the good advice you’ve gotten. I would also be scoping out a new dealership to take your car to if one is available. I don’t tolerate BS profit grabs. There’s an Acura dealership in my town that’s had their customer relations person call me several times trying to get me to bring my car back to them.
I explain that they tried to get me to pay them $200 for a new battery by claiming mine had failed, and unfortunately for them I have some experience with cars and went home and tested it and it was just fine. I don’t like being lied to in the name of cash, and neither should you.
you can buy special tape to cover that hole, transparent red or yellow to match the color.
search google for “tail light tape” and you will find many.
The prices sound fair to me. I have no idea what state you’re in but when OK had an inspection program the statute read that a taillamp lenses could not be showing anything other than red. This meant even the smallest of holes or fractures was reason enough to fail the inspection.
As to wiper blades, that depends. Your car is a 2014 and the rubber inserts could be more than 2 years old depending upon the production date of the car. Depending upon environment and so on it’s possible for blades to degrade in that length of time.
A ho-hum safety inspection is often not as bland as many may think.
This tells you something about cars in general now,they are so dang reliable,the dealers have to scrape to get business for the service dept(sounds like the kind of repairs you would have to make on an electric car,the dealership shouldnt have treated you this way.
My mechanics kin just paid $300 to get 1 headlight replaced, the other bunt out while visiting him, $80 part and an hour of his time to replace the other. Had to remove wheel etc… Welcome to the new profit line.
The OP has probably left the building but they made a statement that was wrong They said they should not have to pay for repairs on a year old car to pass inspection. First a damaged tail light is not a warranty item so that is owner cost no matter the age of vehicle. Second wiper blades are wear and tear also owner cost. The OP needs to have someone explain the phrase ( there ain’t no free lunch )
OP, since you work full time and go to school too, I expect you have little spare time. My advice is to let the dealer do this work for you. The prices they are quoting seem fair to me. I don’t think they are tring to rip you off, if that is your concern. $300 per year of “needed for safety inspection” maintenance, even for for new cars, is to be expected. Suggest to allow for that in your budget. And use your time for studying and doing a good job at work instead.
After you graduate and just have one job, and more spare time, then you can decide if you like to fix things like this on your car or not.
It seems to me that the cyclist who broke the lamp should be the one to pay for it. Did the miscreant refuse to pony up and take off?
If they tried that with me I’d run them down on foot or by car.
As to wiper blades, drop by Wal Mart. I’m not certain but I think they will install blades purchased from WM for free or at a very nominal dirt cheap fee.
AutoZone and Pepboys would install the wipers bought from them for free.
"Second wiper blades are wear and tear also owner cost. "
Some car manufacturers are now including “wear and tear” items in their 3 yr/30k mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty. I know that Subaru has included items like these in their warranty since 2010, and I believe that some of the other car mfrs do likewise.
The OP has probably left the building but they made a statement that was wrong They said they should not have to pay for repairs on a year old car to pass inspection. First a damaged tail light is not a warranty item so that is owner cost no matter the age of vehicle. Second wiper blades are wear and tear also owner cost. The OP needs to have someone explain the phrase ( there ain't no free lunch )
I understand your concern. To be clear, I didn’t say that I should not have to pay for repairs on a year old car. I understand that maintenance is important. What I meant to say – and perhaps did not do so very clearly – is that I don’t want to pay for unnecessary repairs. The wipers to me seemed unnecessary (I don’t think they should be cause for me to fail an inspection - they work fine), but I understand that fixing the taillight cover needs to be dealt with. My main concern was the price, and whether I should pay the dealer $270, as it seems like something that might be easily installed without taking to a mechanic.
I ended up ordering the part for about $73 and will try to install it myself. Luckily classes haven’t started yet for the semester so I have a little extra time to spare… and hopefully it will be worth the $200 I’ll save!
Thanks again to everyone for their advice, really appreciate it.
With frequent use, wiper blades may last a year, or less