For once in my life, I wish I lived in Texas...
The California Smog Test is the biggest fricking scam job in the world. I drive a 1996 Chevy Lumina and it's has been a good, reliable car for me. Sure it's hitting around 100k miles but in very good shape. I am trying to get the damn thing registered ($125) and have to get a Smog Check... WAIT not just a smog check but I SMOG TEST. A smog test requires going a special "Test only" place. This means they can test the car
but if it fails, they aren't allowed to fix it.
I know it's an instant fail if the service engine light is on. So I take it to the first guy and he tells me the spark plugs aren't firing right. He replaces them and some coils ($250), but the car runs a little better now.
So off to Smog Test Guy, the Lumina fails, not by much, but fails nonetheless. (that'll be $50 dollars, please)
However this guy can't tell me what to do next.
So I take it to a Smog Specialist ($80) who tells me a computer is misfiring and that's the reason it's failed.
Bad News... He can't fix it... Gotta get it to the dealership.
I bring my detailed report to the Dealership. He has to run his own diagnostic ($100) to then realize that it is not the computer --(which I think is a lie by the way) but the car needs a ($200) tune up.
Okay I am REALLY pissed off now. But the one thing that is free is a second test.
Which I fail, with nearly the exact same results.
Back to the Dealership, what the hell do I do NOW???
They are saying the Catalytic Converter ($800) needs to be replaced. So for those of you math geniuses (you know, the folks who understand about Mortgage Refinancing and current gold prices) have figured it out already... $1600 of work for a car worth $2200-ish maybe.
Oh and fixing the Catalytic Converter doesn't mean it will pass.
So fair Lumina, I think it is time for us to part ways.. It's been a good 7 years, but I need to trade you in for younger sexier newer model. Maybe a little more low maintenance, a little less costly, a little more fun. It's not the years, it's the mileage.
Il Duce Speaks
3 months ago