Today, I took an old car of mine that hasn't been driven in a long time in for testing and failed. I thought it was a shame to see this old car that has served us well over the years just waste away, so i thought I would blow the dust off, air up the tires and get it back on the road. After charging up the battery and topping off the fluids it fired right up and to my delight, there were no check engines lights on at all..I was shocked and relieved.
I took it down to my local testing center and they did the usual..took ten bucks, checked the cat. converter, gas cap etc. and when they were finished, they told me I had failed because the check engine light did not come on. Not because the check engine light was on, but because it did not come on. He said it was supposed to come on then go off. I thought he was kidding. I asked him if he actually checked the emissions on the car. he said he had some codes from the computer, but couldn't tell me what they were and that I would have to take it to a mechanic and then bring the car back...again.
Do they realize what a hassle this is..or care? I can understand if I had a smoking heap, dripping fuel and fluids all over the place, but this is nothing of the kind.
I thought the point of the testing was to check emissions, not bulbs on my dashboard. Why can't they just stick that wand in the tailpipe, check the gas cap and be done with it? This is totally absurd. I will have to decide if I go back or not or just sell the car to someone in a non-emissions county.
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Mr. Fricke, emissions testing in Hamilton county never has been, and never will be, about emissions. If it was, as you said, they would measure the (get this) emissions that the vehicle emits, and that would be the end of it. The check engine light can and will often come on for an issue that does not affect emissions in any way whatsoever, yet it gets your car an automatic fail.
Many people don't have the money to shell out to fix whatever is causing the check engine light, but the powers that be couldn't care less. They care about money, and that's what emissions testing is about. Always has been, always will be.
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I agree with Mr. Fricke on the absurdity of emissions testing. A big question I have is why Hamilton County goes all the way back to 1974 with their testing program? Even the EPA, who you would think would be the driving force behind the testing anywhere, stops at 25 years, thus every year another year becomes exempt.
How can going back that far be cost effective? (Other than collecting the fees). How many cars older than 25 years are in regular use these days? I would venture to say not enough to make a difference in Hamco's air quality. Our air quality is impacted much, much more by those "just passing through" on the interstates. But then they don't pay any fees, do they?
Hamco should stop at 25 years and let the owners and occasional users of older vehicles alone.
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Again, how many people that live outside of Hamilton County drive to work, or to Walmart or just pass through, Chattanooga, that do not have to have their cars checked on a daily basis? It's all about money.
It's kinda odd that they can fail you, but can't tell you exactly what is wrong. If they can't tell you what's wrong, then how are they sure you failed? I bet I know, it's because they don’t want to tell you, hoping you will spend another $10 to see if you passed.
Mayor Berke, or whomever, do away with this, please.