I got a couple new tires for my car a couple days ago, hoping that would be enough to get me through the Mass State Inspections|http://vehicletest.state.ma.us/ and that I wouldn’t have to spend too much more money for a while.
Well, today I got a big fat “R” sticker on the car, because apparently there’s a problem with my brakes. They couldn’t actually find a problem with the brakes, and as far as I can tell, my emergency brake and my regular brakes are working fine. But the “brake” indicator light on my dashboard has been going on and off intermittently for the past couple of months… and they said because the brake light stayed on, there must be some problem with the brake system. I had hoped they would be able to overlook that light and just pass the car… but apparently not. Now I have 60 days to fix the problem and get the car re-inspected. Well, I suppose safe is better than sorry, and that’s the whole reason they do these tests every year.
This is one of the things I miss about having my car registered in Knox County, Ohio – no vehicle inspection required to register your car, and no yearly inspection. In Ohio, you’re only required to get an emissions test if you live in one of these three metropolitan areas|http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dapc/echeck/station_loc.html.
In Massachusetts, every car must receive a safety inspection every year, and an emissions test every other year (unless it’s older than a certain age). In addition, your car must pass an inspection before you can register it.
This is the third year that my car has been subject to the state inspection. The first year I had to buy two new tires before I could pass. The second year I passed with no problem. This year I had to get two more new tires and apparently also get some brake work done.