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Thread: California boy wants to register his cars in DC, what now?

                  
   
  1. #1
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    California boy wants to register his cars in DC, what now?

    Didn't know if there was a "right place" for this or not, but I'll just take a stab in the dark with the DIY folks. Most likely you are the people modifying your cars while the Man is looking the other way, then trying to have them inspected and hoping they pass.

    I've got two cars (see sig)... one is a slightly lowered E30 (hence coming to this forum) which I suspect will be easy to pass. The other is a heavily modded turbo Miata. It's OBDII so I've gotta have my codes read through the communication port, but will they want to do a sniffer test? The inspector guy on the phone wasn't very clear on it. He said, "depends on what we get out of the OBD connector" which is slightly helpful.

    If any of you have any experience trying to pass things through, I'd love to hear some advice or tales. I look at it this way: it can't be any harder than trying to get a DIY turbo to pass in California.

    Thanks!

    Matt
    1990 325i mild / 2001 Miata wild


  2. #2
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    Here are my stories with the DC inspection

    2002 Jetta - emission waved
    2003 M3 (new) emission inspection waved
    1987 325is - sniffed
    1998 328i - emission inspection waved
    2003 M3 (again), lowered, with a loud azz muffler - ran into some car nut who worked there, basically after some chatting he got me into a lane where other car nuts worked - they didn't check anything, waved emission test again.

    In general, from what I have seen, the only thing they test are lights and brakes. It seemed that if the car is OBDII and has no lights on the dash, they do not even plug in the reader. They do not look under your car or hood, unless it's a cab. They do measure braking force. Basically, it's a joke. I am taking a 95 M3 there soon, I bet they won't check emissions.


    -- Jason

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkuper
    In general, from what I have seen, the only thing they test are lights and brakes. It seemed that if the car is OBDII and has no lights on the dash, they do not even plug in the reader. They do not look under your car or hood, unless it's a cab. They do measure braking force. Basically, it's a joke. I am taking a 95 M3 there soon, I bet they won't check emissions.
    I know there are some "lightened criteria" for vehicles bought new in DC, but if what you're telling me is true, I've gone to automobile heaven. I wonder if they're clued into the fact that no lights on the dash is directly related to no stock engine computer connected under the dash.

    My lights work
    My brakes work

    Sweet, thank you for the info

    Matt
    1990 325i mild / 2001 Miata wild


  4. #4
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    I really think you'll be ok, but be prepared to spend a few hours there waiting in the damn line which wraps around several blocks usually.


    -- Jason

  5. #5
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    Since I'm not working, I'll go while everyone else is stuck at the office... or at least hopefully they're stuck at the office.

    I got a good laugh out of a craigslist ad that offered to wait in line for you for $100. I'm not sure I want to sell my car for $100 to a stranger.
    1990 325i mild / 2001 Miata wild


  6. #6
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    LOL

    I think they say the best time to go is between 3 and 6 pm. I tried it last time and the line did seem shorter, but there was a little bit of traffic on 395 on the way there.


    -- Jason

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