Is there any way to around costly repairs?
March 14, 2011 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Options for a failed PA state inspection?

I went to a new mechanic for my PA state inspection today, and he failed it because the frame was slightly bent - the result of someone hitting my parked car over the summer.

I know if I take this to a body shop it'll cost a fortune. So if you could help me with my options here I'd appreciate it.

The way I see it I can:
1. Take it to another, less careful mechanic, maybe Pep Boys, pay the 28$ to inspect it and see if it passes. I passed emissions and that sticker is in my car, so it'll probably be a red flag if I don't already have my state inspection, correct?

2. Try to get part of the repair covered by my insurance. I don't have collision coverage at the moment, and the accident occurred over the summer, so this is probably not possible?

3. Find a cheap body shop.

4. Drive without inspection.

Anything I'm missing here? Money is tight as-is right now and I'm trying to avoid any major expenses.
posted by pilibeen to Travel & Transportation around Pennsylvania (3 answers total)
1. Worth a shot. If your mechanic does body work he could be looking for some work to do. Maybe take it to a place that doesn't do body work? It could be less a question of being careful than a question of not having a conflict of interest. There's a certain amount of discretion in deciding whether or not to flag something like that.

2. Not going to happen.

3. That could certainly make the problem go away. Got a quote yet? Depending on how bad it is, this could cost anywhere from $150 to $1500 or more.

4. Inadvisable. PA cops will pull you over for not having your inspection sticker, and if they do they may not let you drive home afterward.
posted by valkyryn at 9:09 AM on March 14, 2011

I'd give the Pep Boys option a try.
I'm assuming your car is visibly crunched from the accident. Unfortunately, this will probably cause the inspector to focus on looking for deeper a bent structure. Still, it's worth a shot.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:22 AM on March 14, 2011

If anyone's still lurking....

Went to Pep Boy's today for a 2nd inspection. They mentioned nothing about the frame, but said the rear struts needed to be replaced in order to pass, and quoted me (a ridiculous) ~$700. Going to try for a third mechanic...
posted by pilibeen at 1:56 PM on March 17, 2011

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