My car is 11 years old – not ancient but far from brand new. When the time came to do the emissions inspection I was a little hesitant. It had passed its last inspection, last year in Massachusetts, but all you need is one sensor to malfunction for the test to fail.
Fortunately, my car passed the test. The folks at the service station entered our vehicle’s information and test results in their computer and by the time my lovely wife got home to renew our registration online, the test information was right there, already in the system. The process was nearly seamless and she was done in minutes.
In other places I lived, you had to go through all sorts of machinations to make this kind of thing happen, between buying unnecessary parts from the mechanic and greasing him up to pass a car that should pass anyway. For a while I sold car parts and knew enough mechanics that I could get someone to pass an old-ass car that shouldn’t. You do favors, they do favors.
I’m glad those days are over. I’m glad to have a decent car and decent friends and not be dependent on doing favors to skirt the law. With today’s computer technology, I am not even sure if I could benefit from being in my colleagues’ good graces, as I used to do.
Let’s face it – mechanics don’t make any money on this type of thing. It’s a loss leader, or hopefully a break-even leader to get people to buy other products and services. We are at their mercy on some level, hoping to get a square deal. It’s a blessing to know a good mechanic, both in skill and spirit.
Thanks, Arlington County, for helping to make this a painless process, and thanks to all the good, honest service stations in the area. We only see you when we are in need of something and we appreciate you doing a heck of a job for us. Folks – if you know a good mechanic, send him/her a shoutout by leaving the station name in the comments here. It will help all of us, knowing that we can get a good deal when we are most desperate.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs