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SquidsYJ 08-24-2011 07:56 PM

Failed state inspection because of drain plugs?
My state inspection sticker was stolen for the second time in two months. When I reported it I was basically told to not lock my doors so the thieves wont cut my window when they steal it next month. Those weren't the officer's exact words, but that was the implication.

I don't really have time to drive to Suffolk to get it replaced at 'no cost' so I took it to a shop close to where I live. They helped me out by failing me, and stating that one of the reasons I failed is because the drain plugs are not installed, and Va doesn't allow any holes in the floor boards. WTF? Is this legit?

I'm thinking a thin piece of acrylic sheet like Lexan, and some Velcro to make a plate for my state inspection that can go with me when I park the jeep.

Tural 08-25-2011 03:44 AM

dang, i ain't never heard of a luck that bad...

Coop02x 08-25-2011 07:10 AM

That is only partially correct. How is your exhaust set up(where does it run, where does it end, and does it have any leaks anywhere)?

In regards to this issue, during an inspection Virginia requires the "inspector" to check the floor pans for two things:

(a) Holes which allow exhaust gases to enter occupant compartment.
(b) Conditions which create a hazard to the occupants.

***I took this info. from the inspection section of the Virginia State Police website {23(a)}.***

Virginia law requires that the exhaust system to run/end past the passenger compartment. That is the reason I ask you about your exhaust setup. If your exhaust runs/ends past the passenger compartment and is in good shape (no fume leakage) then you are in good shape because the gases will be coming out towards the rear (past the passenger compartment) and will not enter the passenger compartment. If there are fumes leaking through the holes, I would throw a peice of Duck Tape over them and call it a done deal. The tape may only be a temporary fix but it doesn't matter; the "inspector" should only be worried about the here and now! Not a couple of hours or days down the road!

Here is the way that it is viewed/read by legal folks like myself:

The statement as it originally reads:

(a) Holes which allow exhaust gases to enter occupant compartment.

Obviously we are dealing with "holes". Now it says to look for "holes which allow exhaust gases to enter occupant compartment". This implies that there must currently be exhaust gases entering the passenger compartment through the wholes. It does not state that they are to look for holes that may/might allow gases to enter the passenger compartment.

If there are no gases currently entering the passenger compartment through the hole(s) then there is no inspection issue.

Virginia is really weird about some things (both in regulations and criminal law). Just because something is legal doesn't mean it will pass inspection and vice versa.

I should run across a trooper at some point today while I am at work and I will ask them for their input. I will let you know what they say if I get a chance to talk to them.

I would call him out on that and I certainly not be going back to that place later down the road.

Let me know how it turns out!

SquidsYJ 08-25-2011 05:39 PM

Coop: Thanks for that. I went to pick it up this morning and he wasn't telling me all that. He said that a DPS trooper told him that drain plugs have to be installed. I called BS.

He also said that I had multiple exhaust leaks, and that my exhaust was rubbing the frame. I spent about twenty minutes with a bright flashlight crawling around underneath trying to find the leaks, and the spot where it rubs the frame. Only think I found was the leak from a crack in the manifold that I already knew about. :shrug: I haven't decided if I want an aftermarket reproduction, or just a you-pull-it variety. FWIW, the only time I ever smell exhaust is when I get stuck in traffic in one of the tunnels.

I was also told that my steering stabilizer "looked old" and that I should think about replacing it because it "prevents death wobble." I will walk to work through the downtown tunnel before I go back to that place for anything.

I gave them the $16 and went down the road to Portsmouth and to the place I should have gone first. They refused to put the sticker on a piece of thin lexan, so i can take it off when I park, but they took a razor blade and cut the sticker to pieces after it was on the windshield, so maybe that will delay the next attempt for an extra 30 seconds.

Coop02x 08-26-2011 08:51 AM

No problem!

To fix the problems that you are aware of and any other problems (that actually exist) I would just go to a local exhaust shop (one that you know you can trust) and have them re-do your exhaust. You are probably looking at $120-$150 for parts and labor. I just had mine put on (2nd week in July) after I did my lift and I paid $120 ish.

In a tunnel, anyone in any type of car allowing open air into the passenger compartment will be able to smell fumes.

It sounds like he is pointing things out in hopes that you will be like "well how much does it cost?" Then hoping he gets the work. If you aren't having any issues with the steering stabilizer then I wouldn't worry about it.

So the place in Portsmouth passed it?

I called a trooper this morning for you who happened to be at one of the main offices around here so this is coming from multiple troopers:

Essentially, the legal answer is one thing but technically (welcome to the Commonwealth!) the wholes should be plugged or covered. It doesn't really matter what they are covered with. This is only for inspection purposes. A piece of tape or whatever you want to use would be sufficient for inspection surfaces.

In the event that the drain holes themselves are an issue, they are irrelevant because the vehicle came from the factory with the drain holes. The should just be covered.

In the future, I would just throw a piece of tape over them before going to have it inspected and call it a day.

It is sad that someone would go through the trouble of cutting your windows just for an inspection sticker (however, it doesn't surprise me). I would park the vehicle and watch it to see if they come again to steal the sticker. Have a good video camera and the number to local police and call them.

JkE 08-26-2011 04:37 PM

I had mine stolen Wednesday night. Luckily for me I get free lifetime inspections from Hall and had a new inspection within an hour of realizing mine was stolen. Even more lucky for me when I go visit my family in Indiana in October I'll be registering there and giving 2 middle fingers to Virginia and never having a state inspection again.

SquidsYJ 08-27-2011 09:18 PM

Yea I got it passed at the shop in Portsmouth. I'll definitely be heading back there for any real work. I am waiting until I finish school and report to my next command where my job related special pay continues, to get the exhaust done.

As a side note, I just saw video from earlier of a gas station about a block up from where I live and they had water in the streets about 6" to 1 ft deep. Not cool since I live on the first floor. I was going to do some camping in the GWNF this weekend, but am kind of glad I decided against it.

predawn 05-08-2013 07:59 PM

On the 97 TJ are those "paint plugs" that have to be chiseled out safe to convert to drain holes, especially the one above the muffler shield? I know they have JK plugs you can use for those.

EvolutionXJ 05-18-2013 05:23 PM

So you have an exhaust leak...and it got passed. Either the inspector in Portsmouth didn't look your car over well enough or you paid him off. That DOES fail inspection. Funny how when someone fails a vehicle all if sudden they are a liar and terrible for the holes, holes that allow exhaust gazes through fail. If they were there from the factors and there were drain plugs in them...then it fails if the drain plugs are removed. And yea don't get mad cuz he tried to sell you a steering stabilizer. Mechanics work on commission. They don't get paid to just sit on their butt all day. They have to be working to get money. Hence why we "upsell" stuff on vehicles. Its called maintenance as well. Not repair. You want to keep it from breaking. Not wait for it to break. Don't trash the guy cuz you don't like what he said

tuc 05-25-2013 03:08 AM

Once you get the inspection sticker take a razor to it, putting several slices on it. When the theives try to take it the next time they will typically stop once it starts to fall apart. This has happend to my step dads companys vehicles for the first year or so in Norfolk, once he started to slice up the sticker he didn't have any more issues. i would also suggest doing the same thing to your registation stickers. Oh I still have a my floor plugs that I took out if you need them. Im in norfolk also so shoot me a PM.

tuc 05-25-2013 03:10 AM

oh wow i should have looked at the thread date sorry

The time now is 10:35 AM.

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