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Old 09-22-2014, 10:15 AM   #1
mountainhouse
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Default Automotive Inspection

Any recommendations on a Automotive Inspection station in the Meredith area. I drive a Nissan Xterra, which has no issues.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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What's the difference? they (should?) all do the same thing for an inspection and operate by the same standards.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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What's the difference? they (should?) all do the same thing for an inspection and operate by the same standards.
True, but some places require an appointment as they don't do enough inspections to tie up a bay.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Default Vehicle Inspection

I recently was introduced to the "difference". My first visit to a shop resulted in a rejection that was valid for a known issue. In addition to that known issue I was told that the vehicle needed an additional $1500-$1800 dollars of work, including brakes and brake lines which were replaced 2 years/7k miles ago. I brought the vehicle to a second shop the next day and again was told of the rejection for the known issue. But, every else looked good and the vehicle was approved after repairing the known issue. I had been prewarned by others of the tendency of "issues" to be found within the NH inspection system. This was my first experience in NH, as a new resident.
As the saying goes, "be careful out there..."
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:49 PM   #5
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I recently was introduced to the "difference". My first visit to a shop resulted in a rejection that was valid for a known issue. In addition to that known issue I was told that the vehicle needed an additional $1500-$1800 dollars of work, including brakes and brake lines which were replaced 2 years/7k miles ago. I brought the vehicle to a second shop the next day and again was told of the rejection for the known issue. But, every else looked good and the vehicle was approved after repairing the known issue. I had been prewarned by others of the tendency of "issues" to be found within the NH inspection system. This was my first experience in NH, as a new resident.
As the saying goes, "be careful out there..."
As you know when a car is inspected in NH the Inspection Station will make out a form that gives you the results. All the information is put in a data base that can be shared with another Inspection Station if you take it to them because the first station failed you.
It's a record that you have and if these Inspection Stations are using different criteria for pass and fail then you should contact the DOS and tell them. Bad brakes are bad brakes and they both should have either failed or passed you.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
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I went to a major franchise repair shop in the lakes region a couple years ago to get my inspection sticker. He failed my inspection;…. Get this…..because one of my rear windows would not go down! You believe that.....

I was shocked and surprised the window didn't go down, couldn't remember the last time I put either rear windows down? I challenged his issue with the windows as far as state inspection, so he printed out the NH State Inspection regulation that requires this for all cars. Granted, when was the last time that an inspection station tested that function of your car for inspection.....NEVER!

He offered to repair the window drive motor for about $300. I said 'NO" , and left the station with a 'reject sticker'.

On my way home, trying to figure out what to do next, I pulled off the road, and tested the operation of all windows! Now of course all windows were operating perfectly ! Murphy’s law……

That said, I returned to that same repair shop with my car, and showed him that all windows operated perfectly up & down as they should. With a grudge and an attitude, he scraped off my rejection sticker, and replaced it with a regular 'passed' sticker.

Lessons learned..... NEVER take your car to a repair shop for an inspection sticker. What is the business of these shops? REPAIR ! $$$ They’’re looking for issues, no matter how small….

I now go to my dealer (where I've established a good relationship, buying his cars), and haven't had any issues getting my stickers.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:10 PM   #7
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Default what IS the difference

As I was a Pa. State certified safety inspection and emissions tech for 15 years, having my own business for 7 years.Pass/fail specs are the same in all of NH. What the variables are: Who is doing the inspection, and how they're business is run.You have class A,B,C & D techs.One w/ a state license should do the inspection.Usually a C or D does inspections, especially at a larger garage like a dealership.It would be similar to a specialized Dr. seeing you for a cold instead of the family Dr.$$$$ Now usually a class D just does tires & oil changes, but being shorthanded or letting someone do on the job training to move up, the D tech might do an inspection, and a different one would write up the sticker. Reality, not legality; yes. Everything perfect where you work?
Also if a brake thickness fail is 2/32nds of an inch and yours are 3/32nds; some inspection stations will ;
Fail you, it's hard to prove your total brake pad is 1/32 off.
Or,worn you they just pass and let you decide if you want them done there, so you don't have a chance to shop $$,or make another inconvienent appt.
Or tall you they should be done in 500- 1000 miles.
This is why you should have techs you can trust, like a Dr. Dentist. Acct. etc.
You are not shopping for milk at Shaws vs Hannefords.Your life is at stake here.Plus when you need a tire or oil leak checked and you are a committed customer, your tech will help without making an appt. in 3 days, and probably do it for free.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wynndog View Post
As I was a Pa. State certified safety inspection and emissions tech for 15 years, having my own business for 7 years.Pass/fail specs are the same in all of NH. What the variables are: Who is doing the inspection, and how they're business is run.You have class A,B,C & D techs.One w/ a state license should do the inspection.Usually a C or D does inspections, especially at a larger garage like a dealership.It would be similar to a specialized Dr. seeing you for a cold instead of the family Dr.$$$$ Now usually a class D just does tires & oil changes, but being shorthanded or letting someone do on the job training to move up, the D tech might do an inspection, and a different one would write up the sticker. Reality, not legality; yes. Everything perfect where you work?
Also if a brake thickness fail is 2/32nds of an inch and yours are 3/32nds; some inspection stations will ;
Fail you, it's hard to prove your total brake pad is 1/32 off.
Or,worn you they just pass and let you decide if you want them done there, so you don't have a chance to shop $$,or make another inconvienent appt.
Or tall you they should be done in 500- 1000 miles.
This is why you should have techs you can trust, like a Dr. Dentist. Acct. etc.
You are not shopping for milk at Shaws vs Hannefords.Your life is at stake here.Plus when you need a tire or oil leak checked and you are a committed customer, your tech will help without making an appt. in 3 days, and probably do it for free.
Good comments and I understand there are variables to consider when checking brakes. However if one Inspection Station fails them and it is on the report, how can another Inspection Station pass the brakes. The report is sent to the DOS and they have the original failure and then will get the final report.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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Good comments and I understand there are variables to consider when checking brakes. However if one Inspection Station fails them and it is on the report, how can another Inspection Station pass the brakes. The report is sent to the DOS and they have the original failure and then will get the final report.
Correct - but how is the second shop to know you didn't change the brakes yourself? Even with used brakes?
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:33 AM   #10
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Correct - but how is the second shop to know you didn't change the brakes yourself? Even with used brakes?
In OleSmokey's post I am going on the assumption that he didn't change anything.
Most people wouldn't change the components on their braking system with used ones. However anything is possible.
If someone did fix what was wrong with their brakes then why didn't they take it back to the first Inspection Station?
I guess we'll just have to keep wondering why...OleSmokey doesn't want to tell us...top secret I guess.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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Rusty, no secrets here other than I don't wish to name names...
I changed nothing...I left the first service station at 5:30pm, drove home, parked in driveway and then drove to second service station at 9am the next day. The first service station that "rejected" me did not take any of the 4 tires/rims off the vehicle. The second station that "passed" me took off all 4 tires/rims. Go figure! After being told that the brakes and brake lines needed to be replaced, I went home and checked my receipts from past work performed. This is when I confirmed that the brakes had been replaced along with brake lines, what i would consider a short time ago and a short amount of miles on the vehicle (7,000+).
My point in writing my original comment was to just state that it is a "buyer beware" environment out there. One must be careful....how many people would just say "ok, go ahead and fix it"....I'm not against fixing what is needed to be fixed (again, it had a valid rejection which was fixed) but don't want to shell out $1500.00 if it is really not needed. By the way, the first service station that rejected me never wrote up any documentation at all...just gave me verbal input...the second station gave me documentation that stated the reason for rejection.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
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Thanks OleSmokey.

Evidently the first Inspection Station didn't do an emission test or you would have rec'd a report. The emission test goes directly into the data base along with the other issues if there were any.

It's just plan greed and dishonesty when an Inspection Station rejects something that is perfectly OK.

Sorry this happened to you.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:13 PM   #13
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Lessons learned..... NEVER take your car to a repair shop for an inspection sticker. What is the business of these shops? REPAIR ! $$$ They’’re looking for issues, no matter how small….

I now go to my dealer (where I've established a good relationship, buying his cars), and haven't had any issues getting my stickers.
I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of dealerships make most of their profit from the service center and parts counter (usually at the same time...) and very little from sales. My worst inspection repair ripoff attempts were at dealerships, but I'm sure there's plenty of smaller shops that are as bad or worse.

My advice is to take it to an auto body shop that does inspections and does not typically do general repair work. There's rarely a conflict of interest in a shop like that.

I recently acquired a used van as payment for some extensive work I did on a Harley. It had been maintained locally by one shop and I found several things that they had done deliberately to ensure future repair work by causing premature failure of parts they installed and other parts on the car. They did things like removing the zirk fitting on greased parts (ball joints, and tie rod ends) and bending the brake pad wear indicators to make the brakes seem to need replacement prematurely. They also did sloppy electrical repairs that corroded. I find this behavior despicable and am really glad I am able to do all my own repairs on all my machines.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:44 PM   #14
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Sadly, there are horror stories out there.

Now to the inspection.
If you have a newer car - then you should be fine anywhere.

On older cars, pay for an inspection or pre-inspection. Hold onto your registration. Don't let them plug in computer. If there are any issues then have them show you. If you can see and comprehend the issue then have it fixed. If anything in this transaction appears odd - then pay and go to another place.
If the check engine lights are off then there is no issues with emissions. So then it boils down to the mechanicals. Here is where some will replace parts that are not needed just to make money.

The trick for new folks and old folks here. Find an honest mechanic shop - and get to know the shop. Get your oil changes there and your transmission fluid changed there. And repairs as needed. Become a regular customer. And while having the oil changed ask the owner/mechanic to check for suspension and brakes for problems while car is on lift. If there is any issues then get it fixed then or make an appointment to get it fixed. So that next time you go in the mechanic/shop will know your car and know what has been done to it. Yes, parts do wear out over time.

Sadly, for some shops, those that show up who are not regular customers - is a license to steal. I find the new car dealerships and the franchise chains the worst. But some independents have the same issues.

Short answer: Get your car checked before the actual inspection. Saves a lot of hassle.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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Default Differences in opinions.

Just like politics, each stations have their own opinion as to what is safe and not safe. For example the king pin in a truck may fail state tolerances yet it is within the manufacturer specification. Each manufacturer have different specification for safe tolerance of front end bushings and bearings yet the state has a 'catch all' tolerance. A vehicle may pass manufacturer tolerance yet fail a state inspection. Go figure. I have known dealers that will pass a test within manufacturers tolerances even if it fails state test to please their customers.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #16
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Default documentation

You cannot measure thickness accurately on a brake shoe or pad w/o taking the wheel off. The first station/ w/o a fail receipt, you can't prove anything.
Then you said you went to a second one and they gave you a sticker w/o pulling the wheels; if that makes you happy(without knowing how safe your car brakes are) and the state of NH does not require to pull wheels then DONE.
You can go to a State police barracks and find out all laws tell them your story with the inspection station # which should be hanging outside their building proving the station is official & their records are checked by the state of NH.
About 2 % of the time I've had a car that needed the same brake work done in 5-8,000 miles.I owned one!! But it was finally a recall problem. The state should be happy to look at the pass/fail receipt and weed out bad repair shops.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:27 PM   #17
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You cannot measure thickness accurately on a brake shoe or pad w/o taking the wheel off. The first station/ w/o a fail receipt, you can't prove anything.
Then you said you went to a second one and they gave you a sticker w/o pulling the wheels; if that makes you happy(without knowing how safe your car brakes are) and the state of NH does not require to pull wheels then DONE.
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Rusty, no secrets here other than I don't wish to name names...
I changed nothing...I left the first service station at 5:30pm, drove home, parked in driveway and then drove to second service station at 9am the next day. The first service station that "rejected" me did not take any of the 4 tires/rims off the vehicle. The second station that "passed" me took off all 4 tires/rims.
I think you have it backwards, the second shop passed him and DID remove the wheels.

I never understood why brake thickness is part of the inspection. I would be more concerned with knowing the rest of the system works, which they do not check... just my 2 cents!
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:52 PM   #18
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Sorry, right Vita, the second shop took off the wheels, that is why they could measure them and see they were thick enough to pass. The reason there is a minimum thickness is;because if nobody checks the brakes when the tires and oil (should be changed & rotated 2x a year) the law must set standards of a min. that the pad life/ per yearly inspection.So the pads don't wear down to the metal they are attached to. If that happens it becomes metal against your metal drum or rotor which will cost you much more $ plus not stopping the car properly and you may cause/ or not be able to avoid an accident.So, a State Safety Inspection is not only for your safety, but for others on the road.
By the way,the rest of the system checks,broken? cracked hoses, rusty lines, rotor thickness,low master cyl. means fluid leaks, brake pedal slowly going to the floor means problem w/ master cyl. caliper and wheel cyls. for wetness(leaks).proportioning valves & parking brakes,brake lights.
Then you have 2-3 electrical systems,suspension, steering, exhaust, tires, windshield vision (all sides), washers, wipers,door functions (for exiting in emergencies) eg. fire.Metal sticking out that could hit a pedestrian, over sized tires that are out past the wheel wells that can through stones on the car behind them and crack a windshield.Finally , a test ride by a tech to see if the brakes pull or any noises to inspect. A thorough safety inspection takes 45 minutes.

Last edited by wynndog; 09-26-2014 at 08:13 PM. Reason: adding info
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:25 PM   #19
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Most brake pads have wear indicators that make noise when there useful life has been reached. I totally agree with VB. A failed brake line is waaaay more dangerous than brake pads wearing thin.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:06 PM   #20
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Default German Motor Cars

It would be nice if there was an indie mechanic I can trust. I go to German Motorsport for inspection and you get one scenario, go to Auto Haus and get another scenario. Finally end up at the dealer in Manchester and save a lot of money despite the drive.

Anyone with a german car have luck with a local indie mechanic? I know folks have good luck in Plymouth with a VWs.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:55 AM   #21
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It would be nice if there was an indie mechanic I can trust. I go to German Motorsport for inspection and you get one scenario, go to Auto Haus and get another scenario. Finally end up at the dealer in Manchester and save a lot of money despite the drive.

Anyone with a german car have luck with a local indie mechanic? I know folks have good luck in Plymouth with a VWs.
I've had great luck with Bill Tices in Tamworth on Mercedes. He'll work on most cars. He knows what he's doing and bills are reasonable.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:29 PM   #22
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Default To resurrect this thread...

My daughter will be looking for an honest shop to do her her first inspection since moving to NH.

I've read the entire thread and don't see many recommendations.

I can understand a certain hesitance to give negative feedback about a shop.

Can someone please tell me about a shop in the Laconia, Gilford, Meredith area that has earned their trust?

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:08 AM   #23
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My daughter will be looking for an honest shop to do her her first inspection since moving to NH.

I've read the entire thread and don't see many recommendations.

I can understand a certain hesitance to give negative feedback about a shop.

Can someone please tell me about a shop in the Laconia, Gilford, Meredith area that has earned their trust?

Thanks!
Sorry no recommendation here but does she have a reasonable (newer) vehicle? If she does I probably wouldn't worry about it. If your able or a "guy" friend is available may want to take it for her as a shop might figure she doesn't know what she's talking about and tell her something that's total B.S.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:20 AM   #24
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Being new to the state, how do you know when to get your vehicle inspected ?

How often ?

We registered our cars in November 2014.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:36 AM   #25
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Being new to the state, how do you know when to get your vehicle inspected ?

How often ?

We registered our cars in November 2014.
If you change your registration to NH, you need inspection within 20 days. Otherwise inspection is due on the owner's birthday month.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:19 AM   #26
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If you change your registration to NH, you need inspection within 20 days. Otherwise inspection is due on the owner's birthday month.
UH OH ! no one told us this. Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:26 AM   #27
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Default Correction!

Inspections
All New Hampshire registered vehicles require a safety inspection to be conducted within ten (10) days of the registration. After the initial inspection, registered vehicles must be re-inspected every year, no later than ten (10) days after the end of the owner's birth month. When a vehicle changes owners, it must be inspected in the new owner's name within ten (10) days of the registration date, even if the original inspection sticker has not expired. Please note that antique motor vehicles must be inspected in the month of April (Saf-C 3224).
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:28 AM   #28
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If you change your registration to NH, you need inspection within 20 days. Otherwise inspection is due on the owner's birthday month.
This. Every year you get a bill from the town for registering your vehicle(s). Once it has been renewed you have until the end of the month (your birth month) to get it inspected. They will want the registration paperwork.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:48 PM   #29
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Default Not so sure registration has to be renewed...

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This. Every year you get a bill from the town for registering your vehicle(s). Once it has been renewed you have until the end of the month (your birth month) to get it inspected. They will want the registration paperwork.
I have had my vehicles inspected in several years in early March (my birth month) and renewed my registration near the end of the month. Never had a question from the dealership(s). Only a few times has anyone said "that my registration is due to be renewed.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:57 PM   #30
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Sorry no recommendation here but does she have a reasonable (newer) vehicle? If she does I probably wouldn't worry about it. If your able or a "guy" friend is available may want to take it for her as a shop might figure she doesn't know what she's talking about and tell her something that's total B.S.
Her car is fine but a 2001 model. Coming from a state with no recurring safety inspections, I view this as potentially the fox watching the hen house.

I worked in MA for most of my life and heard many stories of shops taking advantage by drumming up failures where none were indicated.

TO BE FAIR...

I heard many more stories about who the "right" shops were, wink, wink!

It's an honest shop that I seek. No winking and no made up failures.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:46 AM   #31
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I have had my vehicles inspected in several years in early March (my birth month) and renewed my registration near the end of the month. Never had a question from the dealership(s). Only a few times has anyone said "that my registration is due to be renewed.
I think you might be right, considering your current registration is still valid until the end of the month.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:26 AM   #32
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If you have a company vehicle as I do, your birthday plays no role in the dates. I have a GMC and those come up in June. I believe other manufacturers have different dates.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:30 AM   #33
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Yeah being a 2001 most places will really "search" for any issues, ball joints going, etc. I find newer, better looking cars seem to fly through the process quicker. Just my observation whenever I go in Mass. I believe it's ball joints anyway when they lift the front wheel off the ground and try to move the front tire checking for to much play.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:04 AM   #34
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Default Honest Shops.

I have a 2001 Cherokee, 2000 Sentra and 2005 C240. I found an honest shop that will tell you what the minimum requirement to pass inspection. Believe me I search high and low and made a few trips. Just stay away fro Autoserv, they want the car in perfect shape. Not that I don't mind but paying that kind of money for a 10+ auto is overkill.

I moved from Mass in 2007. The Jeep would pass inspection in Mass but not NH. Seems Mass standard for ball joint play is different than NH. Neither state at the time uses factory recommendation, like some states do.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:16 PM   #35
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Is anyone happy with a particular shop?
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:00 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
Is anyone happy with a particular shop?
If you want an honest and highly qualified shop then this is the one to go to.
Located at/near Moultonborough airport.

The owner moved here a couple decades ago from northern Massachusetts.
He had a shop there.
The only reason he moved was that he is also a aeroplane pilot.
He still has customers drive up from Massachusetts for him to work on their vehicles.

His grandson also works there. Couple years ago graduated from NH Technical College - in automotive tech.

Larson's Automotive.

22 Airport Rd
Moultonborough, NH 03254
Phone number (603) 476-2591
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:21 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songkrai View Post
If you want an honest and highly qualified shop then this is the one to go to.
Located at/near Moultonborough airport.

The owner moved here a couple decades ago from northern Massachusetts.
He had a shop there.
The only reason he moved was that he is also a aeroplane pilot.
He still has customers drive up from Massachusetts for him to work on their vehicles.

His grandson also works there. Couple years ago graduated from NH Technical College - in automotive tech.

Larson's Automotive.

22 Airport Rd
Moultonborough, NH 03254
Phone number (603) 476-2591

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