Possible DIY repairs to pass state inspection


Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
2005 Dodge Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

Hello all. We recently received our inspection report, and it sounds like there are 6 required repairs. We're trying to DIY as many as we can, however we only really have prior experience with one of them: the brake cylinders that need replacing. We're putting in a good amount of research and it sounds like everything is doable, but we know things can be different once you're under the truck with wrench in hand. Do any of these sound like they shouldn't be handled by DIYers in a home garage? Also, we're a bit confused about one of the abbreviations used in the report.

1. Replace CV boot on front drive shaft at TC (struggling to figure out what TC stands for. Upon inspection, none of the CV boots on the front appear to be leaking or damaged, so it sounds like that TC is vital to replacing the correct boot)

2. Replace rear wheel cylinders (this one should be no problem)

3. Brake lines under master cylinder to junction blocks - pitted (we see some rust, and we've read that sometimes you can get away with sanding and greasing the lines if they are still in decent shape)

4. Replace broken manifold bolt in cylinder head left side and recheck for leak when cold (I've heard this can either be easy, or impossible. Purchased lefthanded drill bits, extractors etc. Also, is left side the driver's side?)

5. spec. .020 upper and lower - replace left lower ball joint, suggest replace left upper and right lower too (not exactly sure what spec. is, but they are listed as LU .015; LL .075; RU 0; RL .015)

6. Replace power steering rack - leaking (this seems to be the most expensive part, but a fairly easy replacement job)


If nothing else, we would be indebted to anyone that can identify the mystery of TC.

Thanks in advance!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
508
Reaction score
273
Location
Warrenton, North Carolina USA
TC means traction control. If it is defective you should have a light on the instrument panel go on.

I have to ask - where the heck do you live that they have such an in-depth safety inspection?
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
Maryland :/ From what I've read, it's one of the strictest states as far as inspections go.

I had another person suggest that TC was the transfer case, but I didn't notice any boots nearby.

I actually got underneath it earlier today and noticed that there was a lot of leakage all around the underside in the middle of the engine. I'm starting to think that the steering rack, boots etc. were wet from that leak, and the guy just assumed the individual parts were bad. I'm now wondering if there is a central leak that's the real problem. I cleaned everything up and I'll see if the leak continues.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
41
Location
Yarm, UK
Country
United Kingdom
Inspections here in the UK, termed MOT, can be very strict and, as well as 'immediate attention required' can also list 'advisories' which will soon need attention. It can be a source of amusement to see how many faults and advisories any car posted for sale has had over the preceding years.

ColinA
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
41
Location
Yarm, UK
Country
United Kingdom
Here is an example of a car I bought new in 2008 and sold in 2012 with no faults recorded. The example is the inspection certificate for April this year for the present owner.

ColinA
Screenshot_20210514-111520_Chrome.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
508
Reaction score
273
Location
Warrenton, North Carolina USA
A740D7B6-269E-42DB-9AF7-2F47156AC90B.jpeg

Those inspectors would have a field day with my Jeep. It has 214,000 miles with close to 5,000 being off road. The only thing I pay close attention to is the brakes. As long as I can stop I figure not too much can go wrong.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
35
Country
United Kingdom
Steering is handy too.

I remember reading about someone who was putting snow chains on his car (roadside better-do-this-now job) and he only had one pair, and got slightly ridiculed for putting them on the front wheels and told, with overtones of "you're dumb" that they should go on the rears. "Yeah, great idea" he said, "I'll make it go really well on snow and ice but not stop or steer".
 
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Country
United States
2005 Dodge Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

Hello all. We recently received our inspection report, and it sounds like there are 6 required repairs. We're trying to DIY as many as we can, however we only really have prior experience with one of them: the brake cylinders that need replacing. We're putting in a good amount of research and it sounds like everything is doable, but we know things can be different once you're under the truck with wrench in hand. Do any of these sound like they shouldn't be handled by DIYers in a home garage? Also, we're a bit confused about one of the abbreviations used in the report.

1. Replace CV boot on front drive shaft at TC (struggling to figure out what TC stands for. Upon inspection, none of the CV boots on the front appear to be leaking or damaged, so it sounds like that TC is vital to replacing the correct boot)

2. Replace rear wheel cylinders (this one should be no problem)

3. Brake lines under master cylinder to junction blocks - pitted (we see some rust, and we've read that sometimes you can get away with sanding and greasing the lines if they are still in decent shape)

4. Replace broken manifold bolt in cylinder head left side and recheck for leak when cold (I've heard this can either be easy, or impossible. Purchased lefthanded drill bits, extractors etc. Also, is left side the driver's side?)

5. spec. .020 upper and lower - replace left lower ball joint, suggest replace left upper and right lower too (not exactly sure what spec. is, but they are listed as LU .015; LL .075; RU 0; RL .015)

6. Replace power steering rack - leaking (this seems to be the most expensive part, but a fairly easy replacement job)


If nothing else, we would be indebted to anyone that can identify the mystery of TC.

Thanks in advance!

You can certainly do all of those in a garage... the question is, do you have the tools, the experience, the time, and the money? For just the parts, you're looking at (doing it all yourself):

1. $30-35 for the set.
2. $75-80 for teh set.
3. $40 for DIY to $350 for a new OEM set.
4. Either the bolt head is broken off, or the bolt snapped off the cyl head. One is easy (vice grips) another requires you to clear out the engine bay and drill / extract / tap. One could be 30 minutes, the other could be a whole saturday.
5. At this point, you would need to replace all 4 ball joints, both upper and lowers. While you're there, replace everything, bushings, tie rod ends, bearings, etc. Probably $500-600 for everything.
6. About ~$150 more than likely, though I've never priced it on a Dodge Dakota.

So you're looking at anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 doing it yourself, or probably close to $3,500 to pay someone to do it for you.


I lived in Maryland for 2.5 years, and left as quickly as I could. I refused to register my car there, and drove for 2.5 years with Florida plates and then just continued to pay Florida registration and insurance (which was better than what was required for Maryland anyway). When I left Maryland, they hit me with what they called an "abandonment tax." I moved back to Florida in February... first week. So I had only worked in Maryland for really... 5 weeks (if even that) in the new year. But they (at least at the time) said that if I worked any part of 6 months in Maryland, they considered me a resident of Maryland and charged me 6 months of state income tax on my income... regardless of the fact that for basically 5 months of that, I was earning it in Florida... which has no state income taxes. It was horrible... I left as quickly as I could, and I've never returned, and will never live there again.

Florida has no safety or emissions requirements. When I first moved to Florida in 1996, they still had them, but removed them after a couple of years. They realized that the ONLY people who were hurt by these safety requirements were poor people. Emissions were already being improved (regardless of the emissions testing requirements) because every new year vehicle had improved emissions. They ran a study before and after, and determined that the safety inspections made absolutely no difference whatsoever in the number of accidents and / or vehicular injuries.


Anyway, I love the crab cakes, Annapolis, and... well, I dunno... I guess that's it. But if moving is an option, I would seriously consider that.

EDIT: If you do it yourself, get an impact gun...
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I have to ask - where the heck do you live that they have such an in-depth safety inspection?
[/QUOTE]
Maryland :/ From what I've read, it's one of the strictest states as far as inspections go.
"The Peoples Republic" of Maryland. What else do you expect. I live just across the border and took all my business I had with MD elsewhere. My Business used to be located there. The way business owners are treated there is just atrocious. Moved it to another state, what a relief. Dont go there anymore and make sure I neither buy there or support it financially.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Country
United States
"The Peoples Republic" of Maryland. What else do you expect. I live just across the border and took all my business I had with MD elsewhere. My Business used to be located there. The way business owners are treated there is just atrocious. Moved it to another state, what a relief. Dont go there anymore and make sure I neither buy there or support it financially.

I logged in after years, JUST to respond to this comment.

100% agree. I lived there in 2011 through 2014, left and will NEVER come back. Took last place, and second to last place many years in a row for the highest tax states and worst cost of living. In 2014, I only worked for 5 weeks there as I had moved to another state for employment. Maryland charged me 6 months of taxes because I worked at least part (5 weeks) in the state. Completely insane.

All of these programs are billed as "helping people." No one is helped by safety inspections. It's extremely rare in states with no safety inspection laws, to have vehicle malfunction as the cause of an accident. Maryland's safety inspection laws only hurt poor people... the very people they intend to help. I never had a problem because my cars were new, but I will never pay another dime of taxes in that state for as long as I live.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I give credit to Gov Northam in VA who tried to ease inspections as he viewed it as an annoyance to the citizens. The people were for it, but the police unions and the autoworkers unions absolutely bulldozed the legislation into the ground as I understand. Oligarchy is seemingly the new normal in the USA. It is getting bad in Northern VA. Seems like the pestilence is spreading here too.
I cannot believe the childish crap that is written on the OP's inspection failure list.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
35
Country
United Kingdom
Oh,I dunno - a broken suspension component should be a "fail", surely?

And headlamps which rattle around/might fall out/might blind other drivers, exhaust gases leaking (which if pre-cat will contain carbon monoxide), braking system components on the way to becoming dangerously corroded, and possibly bad exhaust emissions - doesn't seem unreasonable for them to need fixing asap.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
UK..... Yes, now we are in the loony bin of crazy senseless regulations.Pile on the safety hyperbole.
This is what a Cowboy looks like after it goes through a UK MOT test. But then the UK doesnt have cowboys..way way too unsafe to be allowed.
Just replace Osha with MOT in the image below and we are almost right on the Money.

At least it hasnt become reality here yet, but we sure identify it by looking across the pond and try to keep it from happening here.
You already have the reality.
All the crap diesel owners have to go through in the UK is hilarious.
osha_cowboy.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
35
Country
United Kingdom
Ridicule like that does nothing but show you have no rational case to make.

The car has broken suspension, faulty lights, possibly lethal gas leaks and a braking system on the way out.

And to you having any concern about any of that is "safety hyperbole".

OK.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Nope, I was born a subject of the qween. I know how things go over there.
Dont forget to go sleep without checking your mandatory issue diaper.

G/d I am glad I left.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Country
United States
Oh,I dunno - a broken suspension component should be a "fail", surely?

And headlamps which rattle around/might fall out/might blind other drivers, exhaust gases leaking (which if pre-cat will contain carbon monoxide), braking system components on the way to becoming dangerously corroded, and possibly bad exhaust emissions - doesn't seem unreasonable for them to need fixing asap.

I won't presume to criticize your country, it's not how I roll, but here in the United States, it's been proven time and time again that such laws don't have any impact whatsoever on the safety of roads.

I know that "logically" it would make sense that if a car isn't well maintained, it could break and hurt people. But the truth is, most people don't WANT to drive a car that's seriously unsafe, and ... if they find themselves in a situation where they actually need to drive such a car, they end up driving absurdly carefully to ensure nothing bad happens.

The state of Florida in the United States is a good example.

Back in 1996, the state conducted safety and emissions inspections. The "claim" was that by inspecting vehicles, they could ensure the air was cleaner, and the roads were safer. The previous Governor was a stickler for such things, and even fined people when their car failed inspection. This was abhorrent because quite honestly, the ONLY people who really ever ran into these problems, were low income families who could barely afford the car anyway. They were being forced to pay for an inspection,which they failed, and now they have to pay the fine for the failed inspection, AND now have to pay for the new part and repairs of the vehicle, and THEN pay for a re-inspection.

It turned out, this was having a profound effect on the poor, and they discovered the ONLY people it affected, were the poor. It was yet another example of rules that were put in place to supposedly help people, that only ended up hurting the most vulnerable in our society. So... the next Governor of Florida came in and eliminated all safety and emissions inspections. I won't get into politics, but the prior governor and the new governor were of different political parties. So they obviously disagreed.

The new Governor eliminated all inspections, and all of those inspection stations (what you would call your MOT) were sold off to private individuals. Almost all of them became performance vehicle tuning places... because they had dynamo-meters in them that had previously been used for the emissions testing (at speed).


Anyway, the political party of the previous governor insisted that people were dying and the air was getting worse... so the new governor had an independent council get together and perform a non-partisan study on both the emissions and increase / decrease in traffic accidents following an entire year of no inspections.

What they discovered...

- Emissions actually improved
- There was absolutely no statistical difference in traffic accidents or traffic injuries and / or deaths.


Emissions one didn't make sense, but they recognized that each successive year, vehicles were more and more environmentally friendly, and the cars coming out in 1997+ had what was called the OBD2 system, which were also more environmentally friendly anyway. So emissions were improving anyway by simply improving the standards of new cars.

As for traffic accidents or injuries... there was literally no difference. They've performed this test a couple of times when it comes up every now and then, and emissions are better every year, and there has been no difference in accidents and or car-related deaths per capita.



So really, my personal opinion, these things are just a total waste of money and are usually nothing more than an overreach, or a way to justify some kind of union or public employment.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
35
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks, Todd for that much more measured and mature response.

And a very interesting one. I confess I'd never given it much thought, one "takes it as read" that vehicles on the public road should have safety checks done, and going back to the OP it does not seem unreasonable that someone should not be allowed to run around in a car with broken suspension, dodgy brakes, flaky lights, and with the driver perhaps at risk of being incapacitated by toxic fumes.

SInce I read your reply I've done some internet searching for info on the topic, and yes, it seems as though the effect on accident rates of abandoning testing could be quite small. Not zero though, so we're into the realm (as always) of "does this expenditure save enough lives for it to be value for money?"

I would caveat what I've read so far with observations that the studies may not have been extensive, and that some of the people agitating for testing to be abandoned have a libertarian ideological bias.

But it certainly looks as though the issue should be looked at properly.

I know that in the UK it has been suggested that the initial test could be done later in a vehicle's life, and that subsequent ones could be less frequent. At least one motoring organsation (which historically has always been on the side of the driver vs the government) is opposed, but I wonder how much of that is because they "take it as read".

Data on failure rates is easy to come by - the UK's is here (only had a cursory look so far)


But of course the fact that 885,000 vehicles a year fail the test because of dangerous brake defects that doesn't mean that without the tests there'd be 885,000 more accidents.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Country
United States
SInce I read your reply I've done some internet searching for info on the topic, and yes, it seems as though the effect on accident rates of abandoning testing could be quite small. Not zero though, so we're into the realm (as always) of "does this expenditure save enough lives for it to be value for money?"
I think this is the main argument here, (at least it is for me) and there's a few things to consider:

1 - What additional fuel and emissions are released / caused by people waiting in line at the emissions testing center? When I used to have to take my car (a little two seat mid-engined Pontiac Fiero), there were always, always, very long lines. Everyone had to do it every year based on either their birthday or time of registration. People sat in running cars for ~45 minutes. Most people passed, so the fact that everyone else had to sit there burning fuel, probably negated any positive gain from taking the few cars off the road that wouldn't have passed.

2 - Big point for me... these laws only hurt poor people, and disproportionately so.

3 - Each newer car is not only more emission-friendly, but they are also safer for the occupants as well. So even if there was an accident caused by vehicle failure from them or someone else, the chance of serious injury is far less.

4 - Vehicles that were "on their last leg" so to speak, were unlikely to remain on the road for much longer. At least here in the US, we have somewhat of a "throw-away" culture, and people buy new cars every few years. Something that's old with some faulty parts, probably isn't going to be around much longer and will end up in the junkyard fairly soon anyway, so with 1-3 above, is it worth it?


But of course the fact that 885,000 vehicles a year fail the test because of dangerous brake defects that doesn't mean that without the tests there'd be 885,000 more accidents.
This is something I've always questioned. I think the UK (and NHS, especially important lately) does excellent work keeping track of statistics on various things. This from the MOT is no exception. But I do question the implicit bias of the source (not the UK government, but the shops that are providing the information). I want to assume honesty in every situation, but one of the reasons why I taught myself to work on cars was due to what I perceived as dishonesty. I do it all now, rebuild engines, paint and body, suspension, whatever. It's not my job or career, I just do everything myself (except surgery, hahah). When I used to take my car in, or even in instances where I take my car in because I just don't feel like doing it myself, they always come up with nonsense issues. I had someone tell me that my brakes were worn and they recommended replacing them. I'd literally just swapped out the rotors, rebuilt the calipers, and replaced the pads, hoses... literally everything.

Florida is a non-union state (you can HAVE unions, but they aren't forced participation, so most people don't participate). But many of the other states do. When other states have tried to eliminate such things (safety inspections, etc.) the shops, many of which were unionized, would lobby their government and insist that it remain. I think kind of like what you were saying earlier as well. So these policies remained, even though people wanted them eliminated.

In Florida, the safety inspections were done by garages. Since the garage was the "keeper" of whether or not you passed or failed... it was quite often that they would invariably always say something was broken, so that they could get some work out of you. It was very dishonest... and very frustrating.


As for the value / benefit... I'm just not seeing it.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads


Top