Car inspections

I recently brought my car in to get it inspected. I was told that I flunked inspection because the backwindow windshield wiper didn’t work. Apparently, that has recently been added to the inspection. My complaint is that 1) many, many cars don’t even have those wipers; 2) I never even use it because I have a bike rack on the car (if they are so necessary to safety why are bike racks that prevent its operation legal?); 3) why should I have been forced to spend $450.00 on something that is optional equipment?

I want to make clear that I support mandatory inspections and strict enofrcement of safety issues.

I took a '98 Volvo for a PA state inspection to a Volvo dealer and was told I failed because the wipers for the headlights didn’t work. When I took the same car to a tire shop that did state inspections the same car passed without the headlight wipers working. The Volvo dealer took every opportunity to make money on inspections. So, I never took my Volvo to the dealer for anything after that.

You didn’t mention the state and how that’s state inspection system works. If you are in PA or a state that uses private garages for inspections, take it to a different inspection facility.

“I want to make clear that I support mandatory inspections and strict enofrcement of safety issues.”

Then you DESERVE to get ripped off to the tune of $450…Mandatory inspections accomplish NOTHING other than a jobs program for mechanics who could not make it otherwise…

Why not just remove the non-functioning wiper and get a rubber plug for the hole. If they don’t notice it, they won’t flunk you for it. Of course, don’t go back to the same place…

Sounds to me like you got ripped off. I would ask the person who inspected it to give you documentation that shows that your state says your rear wipers are required to work in order to pass inspection.

If that is actually a real requirement, it is an unjust law and you should write your congressman and local consumer advocate and make a big issue out of it.

Our state used to have state inspections but they have long since been discontinued. When we did have state inspections, I had a 23 year old 1950 Chevrolet 1 ton pick-up that I had purchased for $110. When I went to have it inspected, the inspector noted that one rear shock absorber was broken. This truck had such heavy springs that the shock absorbers on the rear didn’t have any effect. I removed the shock absorbers and had the truck re-inspected. The inspector didn’t notice that the truck didn’t have any rear shock absorbers and it passed.

Years ago I took my '79 Toyota pickup in for inspection and it flunked because of the rear bumper.

Pickups don’t come with rear bumpers, and I had added a 2X6 rear bumper mounted on a 2"x2" steel angle iron and bolted to steel angle iron brackets and to the frame. They flunked it because the rear bumper was noncompliant with the regulation. The regulation said that rear bumpers were not required on pickups, but IF a pickup had a rear bumper it had to be one solid piece of hardwood mounted on a minimum 1/4"X4" steel plate. Mine was not hardwood or on a solid steel plate.

I asked him if the truck would pass if the bumper were removed. He said yes. I had him cut the bolts, throw the bumper in the trck bed, and give me a sticker. I went home and put the bumper back on. I drove home counting the really junky vehicles on the road.

On a different occasion I stopped for an inspection at a different with the same truck and was only asked to turn on the headlights and wipers before getting a sticker.

In many places state inspections have gotten rediculous. My example is only one. Yours may be another. I support realistic and reasonable safety inspections. But I’ve heard and seen way, way too many that make no sense.

As an ex-state vehicle inspector here in OK I consider inspections a joke. Thankfully they’e done away with this stupidity.

If you support mandatory inspections, and since rear wipers can actually be considered a safety issue, then your wipers should be operative.
Your vehicle should be able to pass inspection with the things it was born with.

And you were “forced” to spend 450 bucks on an option?

Inspections vary by State-- would have been very helpful if you said what State you are from. In Mass., you should not have been flunked for the rear wiper not working.

“If that is actually a real requirement, it is an unjust law and you should write your congressman and local consumer advocate and make a big issue out of it”

The OP is referring to a state regulation mandating vehicle inspection in that state. A Congressman, who legislates on the federal level, would have no interest in this issue, and could not impose his will on it. A consumer advocate could intercede with a merchant or a service provider who cheated the OP and/or who violated a specific statute, but a consumer advocate has nothing to do with reforming existing statutes or legislating new statutes.

What kind of car is it? What year? Lots of cars have rear wipers. And grousing about it means little. You still have to obey the law if you want to drive this car. You should tell your elected representatives, not us. They can do something about it.

Right Mountainbike. A friend moved from one jurisiction with no inspections to one with detailed inspections. His truck had a crack in the windshield which did not obstruct his view, but the new location required a NEW windshield if the wipers’ swept area covered the crack by 2 inches or more. My resourceful friend simply bought wiper blades that were 2" shorter and did not cover the crack, and the truck passed!

I remember when a right hand windshield wiper was an option. I know it was optional on Ford pickup trucks through 1950. If the state inspection requires 2 wipers, but the vehicle only came with one, would it flunk inspecion?
My first car, a 1947 Pontiac, didn’t have turning signals. Would it not pass inspection because the turning signals are supposed to work? (I did add turning signals–I bought a kit from the auto accessory section of the Montgomery Ward catalog).

It is very rare a car maker places a wiper on the rear of vehicle that is not necessary. It is a waste of car makers profits and not an exciting feature to add for consumers. It is a feature out need in design. Not sure where you live, but for example in New England without a rear wiper on my Subaru wagons I would see nothing out the rear windows causing a potential safety problem given a major blindspot during certain conditions.

What about vans and other vehicles with NO rear windows?? Perfectly legal.

The Constitution guarantees citizens “Equal Protection Under The Law”. Some of us are more equal than others…The Government makes a very poor Nanny.

I know that a rear wiper was an option on the Ford Taurus station wagons and I think that the rear wiper was an option on many of the original minivans. I know that a rear wiper was an option on the 1947 Pontiac Streamliner fastback. I owned one and it didn’t have the optional rear wiper. It wouldn’t have done much good anyway. The rear window was more like a skylight and was pretty much useless. I added side rear view mirrors–also an option in those days.

If you support safety inspections and enforcement then replace the wiper motor and get one from a salvage yard which you can pick up from $75-$150 bucks. Since you are now balking it sounds as if you support them except when you need to open your wallet, your contradicting yourself.

I like the idea of removing it and using a rubber plug. Be careful though, it might not work since the trim panel would have a bulge in it where the wiper motor would be. A red flag that the inspector might notice.

Inspections can be a joke. I had a 71 Impala that I took to Zayres ( small chain similar to Wal-Mart ) for an inspection and it passed with flying colors…but the rear view mirror was laying in the passenger seat.

Or my Pinto at the Standard station that had a headlamp out but was failed for wipers. If they miss it they cannot fail you on your return trip with the failed item corrected.

If the law is that all original safety-related equipment must be working, that is equal protection. The law that governs what is mandatory and what is not is separate, and would not preclude there being additional original safety equipment.

The regulation is made with good intentions, but erroneous assumptions are made about the implementation. Like “all inspectors are competent and will always know what to look for.” That is an erroneous assumption.

You may want to consider that due to aerodynamics some cars have a much larger problem with rear window visibility than others. So it may well be that those with wipers are the ones that need them more and those without need them less.