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    Thread: TÜV tales... Let's hear your inspection stories!

    1. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 05:29 AM #1
      I failed my Hauptuntersuchung (HU) this morning, passed the Abgasuntersuchung (AU). HU is the big "we pick your car apart into tiny pieces" inspection that German cars get every two years. I was worried about control arms and head gaskets and oil pan leaks, but what got me was rusty brake lines, a broken reflector, a twisted steering boot, and worn tyres. I paid 89.90€ and spent an hour of my time for this privilege.

      I knew the tyres were risky, but the rest of it was totally off my radar. Mostly because the oil pan gasket is bad, and the car has been dripping oil for a while. Dripping anything is a huge no-no. Of course the car also likes to spew coolant when boosted (TDI), so that was another worry. Thankfully the emissions test was not on a dyno! I spent yesterday under the car removing the belly pan (both parts!), and removing the quart of oil that was hiding in it. I also had the good sense to go on a rainy day, so the car was dripping anyway.

      I have four weeks to return with the defects fixed and another 12.90€. This means snow tyres, a new reflector, and clean and paint the brake lines. Also, untwist the steering boot and resecure it. None of this will be enough to force me to give up the car, I think. Assuming I don't destroy the brake lines with the wire brush.....

      Total badassery: Brake dyno in the floor to measure braking force wheel by wheel, which is then compared side to side and front to back. They stuck a thermocouple into the dipstick port to make sure the engine was warm enough for the emissions test.

      Silliness: They still use the old headlight positioning things that you wheel up to the car. They also checked my fog lights.
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    2. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 07:02 AM #2
      B5's lower control was bad... imagine that. It also had the drips.

      300€ it was good to go. Last inspection for that thing (I leave six months before the next one).

      The initial HU inspection on my GTI cost extra because of the Eibach suspension setup. The second HU/AU inspection on the GTI went swimmingly... Gotta love APR's easy change programming.

    3. 10-04-2012 08:09 AM #3
      Over here its simply called vehicle inspection. I once patched a hole in the exhaust tubing with aluminum foil and passed. Keep in mind it was that heavy duty Reynolds' stuff.

    4. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:11 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by gsprobe View Post
      Over here its simply called vehicle inspection. I once patched a hole in the exhaust tubing with aluminum foil and passed. Keep in mind it was that heavy duty Reynolds' stuff.

      Yeah... that wouldn't cut it with the TÜV.

    5. Member digraph's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:15 AM #5
      That sounds like a pretty thorough test. Does it actually do a good job of keeping unsafe cars off the road - or is it too harsh?
      Not an enthusiast.

    6. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:21 AM #6
      Oh god.

      We have the APK here in Holland and that is not nearly as bad as the TUV inspections but are still a nightmare!


      With my Polo it would always fail emissions!

      Every year I've had it, there has been something wrong with it (usually little things that dont really matter) and I've had to go back at least twice or so.


      Funny enough though, just had my APK on Monday aaaaaaaaand:



      BAAM passed the first time

      (this is why I bought a new car..well one of the reasons)

    7. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:21 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by digraph View Post
      That sounds like a pretty thorough test. Does it actually do a good job of keeping unsafe cars off the road - or is it too harsh?

      Yes.


      You still see ****ty cars on the road... they're just from eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal.

    8. Member Swapped6n's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:22 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      Yeah... that wouldn't cut it with the TÜV.
      haha yea teh TUV is pretty brutal.

      QUITE brutal.

      The one good point is that in Holland and Germany, you dont often see REALLY beat up cars that you see in the states.*


      As well as: I almost never hear leaking exhausts here.

      In NY on the other hand, a leaking exhaust is more commonplace because i believe the inspection intervals are further apart and the criteria for repairs are more lenient



      *edit: unless theyre from other countries, yea haha

    9. Member NJRoadfan's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:31 AM #9
      Most states are doing away with safety inspections. Studies show they aren't all that effective in "increasing safety". That was the case in NJ, now everything is emissions only. It was one big joke anyway. My one car had blown struts. Despite them actively testing the suspension with a machine that bounces a car and then jacking up and tugging on each wheel, it still passed. The car also had old dry rotted tires, but within legal tread depths, so it passed. Yet when the driver's side window regulator was broken..... instant FAIL on the last safety inspection that car had.
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    10. Member geofftii2002's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:33 AM #10
      I was worried about my PA inspection with the Mercedes. It leaks, it rides wonky, the parking brake hasn't worked since I bought it and I'm sure the brakes have gotta be past their prime by now. But surprisingly, it wasn't any of those things it flunked on. It flunked on bad engine mounts. I guess the shop figured that was the biggest money maker for them.

      I have a buddy who also resides in PA (though I won't say where ) who obtains stickers for his fleet of clunkers by paying for the "inspection" with a 30 pack. Hey, whatever it takes, right?

      We used to pass emissions in CT (when it was run by the crooks at Agbar Technologies) by leaving a $20 bill on the center console. You could drive up rolling smoke as black as coal, leave your tip on the console and drive away with a fresh sticker. It's probably a good reason why CT is broke - they built all those inspection stations only to shut the whole show down a few years later. It's now up to individual shops.
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    11. Member geofftii2002's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:40 AM #11
      When CT combined their emissions stations with their pre-registration safety inspections, I rolled in with a bright, honkin' krylon chartreuse Lamborghini Miura S. The "inspectors" (a bunch of underpaid laborers) were all over the thing like moths to a flame. I gleefully answered questions like "what the hell is this thing?" and "Can I sit in it??" (by my guest!) and "what's that motor?!" (A V12), "A V12? DAYUM!

      We all realized it was too low to go over the dyno rollers and it was too low for them to get their jack underneath it to check for suspension play. I backhandedly hinted at the value so none of them wanted to touch it (a wise move!). So I casually offered a joy ride to the "supervisor" and soon after was going back to the shop with all of my paperwork approved.
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    12. 10-04-2012 08:40 AM #12
      ^^ beat me to it.

      I find it excessive to even have emissions inspection. 99.99% of cars pass no problem. Are they THAT worried about the .01%? They finally nixed the whole emissions deal in CT in the 90's I think as it was deemed extraneous and a drain on state resources. Now (as he said) its part of pre-registration- not an annual deal.
      Last edited by gsprobe; 10-04-2012 at 08:43 AM. Reason: I was shown up...

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      10-04-2012 08:49 AM #13
      My old Civic needed emissions inspections in the state of Connecticut. I used a little pop & son garage nearby paid my $20 and it failed. Brought to Honda and nothing was wrong. So Honda drove it to an Acura dealer nearby that did emissions inspections and it passes. Still cost me another $20.

      I will never again go back or give a good work about Bolton Motors. F*ckers.

    14. Member NJRoadfan's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 09:06 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by gsprobe View Post
      ^^ beat me to it.

      I find it excessive to even have emissions inspection. 99.99% of cars pass no problem. Are they THAT worried about the .01%? They finally nixed the whole emissions deal in CT in the 90's I think as it was deemed extraneous and a drain on state resources. Now (as he said) its part of pre-registration- not an annual deal.
      States are strong armed into it by the EPA Clean Air Act. NJ tried getting rid of it. Honestly they should drop emissions inspections for cars 25 years and older or even pre-OBDII. They make such a small part of the current vehicle fleet that the emissions difference likely won't matter.
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    15. 10-04-2012 09:20 AM #15
      For emissions, I can understand the frustration behind tests, which always seem to be more aggro than anything else. There are a small percentage of cars on the road which contribute to the lions share of emissions. When you ride next to that clapped out expedition with broken exhaust studs, that's misfiring like crazy, you're riding next to an offender. But the majority of folks who own these clunkers don't have money or don't care to fix em, which is why new cars have to be insanely clean. It's a trickle down theory that sorta works, however it's still frustrating. It doesn't help that states try all sorts of plans to rectify this, yet don't stick to them.

      I had my cars registered in a county in PA with no emissions, safety only. I just went to the garage where the 'hillbilly handshake' made sure whatever I brought there passed.

    16. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 09:38 AM #16
      Inspections should be tougher. They are a complete joke. I cannot tell you how many cars I see on a daily basis visibly burning oil and antifreeze, bumpers held on with duct tape and wire hangars, drop in HID headlamp kits, tinted lamps so dark you cannot tell when they are braking and exhausts that are non existent.

    17. Member Shomegrown's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 09:45 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      Inspections should be tougher. They are a complete joke. I cannot tell you how many cars I see on a daily basis visibly burning oil and antifreeze, bumpers held on with duct tape and wire hangars, drop in HID headlamp kits, tinted lamps so dark you cannot tell when they are braking and exhausts that are non existent.
      Agreed.

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      10-04-2012 09:53 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      drop in HID headlamp kits
      OMG this I can get on board with.

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      10-04-2012 09:59 AM #19
      Here in the UK we have an annual inspection, commonly referred to as the 'MOT Test' (MOT standing for Ministry of Transport). I believe it's fairly similar to the TUV test, just not quite as severe. There's also an emissions check as part of the test.

      The government amended the regulations at the beginning of 2012, of which one change in particular brought about a "What? Are they serious?!? " reaction in the Mazda RX-8 community. Essentially, the new regulation was worded to ostensibly say that all rear doors must be openable from the outside of the vehicle.

      In case anyone isn't familiar with the RX-8, it has rear 'suicide' doors, which can only be opened by first opening the front door and then using the interior handle to open the rear door. There is no exterior handle for the rear door whatsoever.

      Many pairs of underwear were soiled imagining our cars would rendered illegal overnight. Of course, it all turned out to be a non-issue. Analysis of the actual regulation revealed the words "using the relevant control" - there is no such control in the first place, so the reg. didn't apply.
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    20. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 09:59 AM #20
      I once went to get an inspection, I even pulled aside on the road outside to check my bulbs. I pull in, and the front parking light had gone out. In MA at the time, a full emissions inspection, whcih is what I was getting, which was every other year, was $35, and a safety inspection (yearly) was $25. I didn't even get to the emissions part but they still charged me $35.

      I drove home, and changed the bulb, and when I went back, suddenly my plate lights were out. Another $35 please, and still failed. Turns out when I changed the parking light, I opened the trunk, which the hinge of then severed the plate light wires. Twisted the wires together and went back, and failed AGAIN (for something else, can't remember), another $35, and I went somewhere else.

      I since learned that in MA, if you fail, you do have to pay, but a re-test is supposed to be free (you get 3 chances to fix problems). I was pissed at this shop and would never ever go back. It was a mom and pop.
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    21. Geriatric Member ATL_Av8r's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 10:01 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      Inspections should be tougher. They are a complete joke.
      Then move somewhere with more Draconian inspections. Quit worrying about what everyone else is doing.....or in this case, NOT doing.
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    22. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 10:05 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by ATL_Av8r View Post
      Then move somewhere with more Draconian inspections. Quit worrying about what everyone else is doing.....or in this case, NOT doing.
      Draconian? Whats wrong with making sure you are not visibly polluting? Whats wrong with making sure that your cars bumper wont fall off in the middle of the highway causing damage to cars around you? Whats wrong with being able to tell that someone is hitting their brakes? Whats wrong with headlamps designed to accurately light up the road and not blind the oncoming car? Whats wrong with an exhaust system that wont fall off on the highway causing damage to cars around you? Whats wrong with an exhaust system that lowers the decibels to a reasonable level?



      Draconian? I think not. More like reasonable.

    23. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 10:05 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by HwAoRrDk View Post
      there is no such control in the first place, so the reg. didn't apply.
      I know they have silly rules over there, but do they make amendments like that retroactive? For example, in the USA, seatbelts were the law in '68- but cars built before that time do not require a retrofit kit, even though they're available. Grandfather caluses apply to all cars here.
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    24. 10-04-2012 11:29 AM #24
      Back when I lived in Louisiana a lot of the inspection stations would just look at your insurance card then walk out and slap on a sticker.
      Heck, even around here there are some stations that do almost the same thing.

    25. Member WakusPakus's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 11:38 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by gsprobe View Post
      ^^ beat me to it.

      I find it excessive to even have emissions inspection. 99.99% of cars pass no problem. Are they THAT worried about the .01%? They finally nixed the whole emissions deal in CT in the 90's I think as it was deemed extraneous and a drain on state resources. Now (as he said) its part of pre-registration- not an annual deal.
      so now it's only when you're renewing/registering? SOB...guess i can take that dumb "next emissions test: 11/26/12" off my windshield.
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    26. 10-04-2012 11:46 AM #26
      Should be done over here.

      For us commercial trucks are subject to that kind of inspection, but not cars. Cars only need a safety inspection when they are sold... and it is done by any certified mechanic, not a government agency. It isn't hard to find mechanics that will sell you a signed safety without even seeing the car.

    27. Member hinshu's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 11:48 AM #27
      dont have to do the TuV, but the vehicle inspection on base is just as bad.



      i liked showing up last year when i had the bags on the old GTI. Came in fully dropped scraping on the ground.

      German guy was like "you are too low, go home, you fail!"
      I said, "s'all good chief, ill fix that" *presses button*
      German guy "you can't have that, its illegal in germany"
      *hands german guy TuV approved paperwork from bagyard

      he then tries to fail me for anything and everything you can think of. Him, two other germans and a TSgt looked over my car for a good hour with the reg in their hand trying to find something.

      They finally got me on a small little knick in the front glass. So i came back 2 days later, said i replaced th glass, they looked and passed me. (glass wasnt replaced)

    28. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 11:50 AM #28
      In Ohio emissions testing is only in a handful of counties. We have ZERO safety inspections for registered vehicles. The only time you need an inspection is when you build a kit car, home built, trike or when rebuilding a car with a salvage title.

      We literally drove a Passat B5 wagon in it's service position (no front end) through E-check and they barely even blinked.
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      10-04-2012 11:53 AM #29
      my last inspection was pretty interesting.

      Im in MA, USA - I went to a shady little mom & pop shop in the neighboring town.

      there were a couple things I was worried about failing for (mostly my exhaust and a traction control/ABS light)

      When the guy finally called my name to pull my car around front, I went outside and aired the car up in the parking lot as the inspection guy stared in disbelief, then pulled it into the garage.

      he proceeded to call the rest of the garage over while i layed the car out on its frame in the middle of the shop (upon request by one of the workers).

      literally everyone there was checking the car out, It was a little overwhelming.

      when I asked about the testing process and if he would like me to raise the car to a "legal height" - he said "I dont even want to know, all i can say is youve earned it" and handed me my new sticker.

      probably the most painless inspection ill ever witness.
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      10-04-2012 12:03 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      Yes.


      You still see ****ty cars on the road... they're just from eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal.
      I'll agree with you from the last time I visted my grand mother in Portugal, lol
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    31. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 12:07 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by hinshu View Post
      dont have to do the TuV, but the vehicle inspection on base is just as bad.



      i liked showing up last year when i had the bags on the old GTI. Came in fully dropped scraping on the ground.

      German guy was like "you are too low, go home, you fail!"
      I said, "s'all good chief, ill fix that" *presses button*
      German guy "you can't have that, its illegal in germany"
      *hands german guy TuV approved paperwork from bagyard

      he then tries to fail me for anything and everything you can think of. Him, two other germans and a TSgt looked over my car for a good hour with the reg in their hand trying to find something.

      They finally got me on a small little knick in the front glass. So i came back 2 days later, said i replaced th glass, they looked and passed me. (glass wasnt replaced)

      I love it.

      You guys get it pretty easy... Our situation is a little better but that's only dealing with the initial reg - after that they still like to *******s, despite our status.

    32. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 01:38 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      They stuck a thermocouple into the dipstick port to make sure the engine was warm enough for the emissions test.
      Pics of said "thermocouple in your dipstick port". Or are they NSFW?

    33. Member jettagli1991's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 01:44 PM #33
      NY inspection is a joke. Since it's done by private shops, there are positives and negatives. Shady ones will either make up things to fix to drum up business, especially if they feel you know nothing about cars. On the other hand, your buddy can slap a sticker on it without looking anything over, for $20 or a case of beer. You can pass with rust holes everywhere, as long as the car is structurally solid. Your whole exhaust can be missing as long as the cat is there. It doesn't matter if you only have one door that opens and the trunk is tied down with rope. Emissions is only for 1996 and newer, and that's a pain in the ass for older cars. My 2000 Cherokee failed every year, then I had to drive it around a while to clear the codes. I'd be back to the shop 3 times before it passed. Had I not intentionally replaced it with a 1995 MY beater, I'd have bought my own reader. 3 older cars in our family have CELs and pass every year after they are cleared.

    34. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 01:48 PM #34
      Rolled into the little local garage in Killington that lives off stupid winter touron business the last day of April needing an inspection sticker before I left for the summer. Brake wear indicator is lit on the dashboard. 60,000 miles on original brakes and they're shot all the way around.

      "I shouldn't give you a sticker but you'd better get your brakes replaced before you drive it anywhere".

      Gotta love Vermont inspections.

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      10-04-2012 04:48 PM #35
      I can't wait to go there again... initial check and registration for the 126 went very smooth though.

      Luxembourg has some though checks, some are even tougher than they are in Germany (wheel geometry check etc...) and it's a bit of a lottery. If they don't like you you lose. I love to go there after I've been driving like a maniac so the engine compartment and especially the manifold is cherry red, so they don't want to look at the car for too long. Oh, and tuning is a no-go...
      Fiat 126 bis build thread here. Error 404: 0-60 not found.
      Fiat 128, the stroppy cow.

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