Friday, February 11, 2005


I did not receive my vehicle registration renewal notice on time for year 2004. I waited for it till there was no hope for it to come.

I called the DMV to check on the status of my renewal notice. I learned from them that it should have reached me but some reason it has not. To avoid the late fee and a potential traffic ticket I should send the check for a specific amount ASAP.

I did so and did not bother about it any more till after nine months when a police officer stopped me for one broken rear break light. Then he also noticed that the sticker on my license plate had expired. That’s where 'the situation' started to shape up.

He gave me a correctional ticket which means that I had to fix the issues with in 30 days.

Since 30 days is a long time, I did nothing for first two weeks because I had some other work that kept me very busy. But this issue could not be postponed any further so I decided to get over with it.

I knew that to get the sticker from DMV I will have to do a SMOG test which I was supposed to do with my last registration. For SMOG test I will have to fix the "Service Engine Soon" light that was on for last 6 months because that’s a sure shot smog failure. Besides my car needed many more fixes including the break lights.

I decided to take the opportunity to cover all of it. Generally car dealerships are supposed to be a rip-off so I decided to go to a quick and cheap car service shop to get the car fixed.

I took an 8AM appointment and left the car at the shop (which made me late for the office) for the whole day and picked it up in the evening only to learn that they could not fix "service Engine Soon" problem because the corresponding code required the computer of the car to be reset by the dealer.

When I reached home I noticed that the break light was not fixed also. GREAT the only two things that mattered for the current crisis were not fixed everything else that was not required to be done NOW were done.

I went to the same shop again next morning to get the break light fixed. This again made me late for the office. Two days were wasted and only a break light was fixed.

I checked with dealership and found out that the code that was mentioned was covered under warranty and would be fixed for free by the dealer. Should have gone to dealer at the first place you cheap bastard.

So I took the next available appointment because thats what was available. Somehow it occured to me that the first shop, even though they could not fix the problem, had reset the "service Engine Soon" light off. which meant that dealership will not be able to do any analysis on the car since the problem has been reset. Also we can not do a smog check on a vehicle who's computer has been reset recently and the car has not run 80 miles after that.

So basically I could not get the SMOG done unless the "Service Engine Soon" light came up again". I always wanted that light to go away, but this time I wanted it to come back on so that I could get it fixed for FREE..:-)

The last date of the ticket was approaching fast and I was stuck with the SMOG issue. All i had been able to do so far is to fix the real break light and get a bunch of unnecessary things done on my car.

While I was all frustrated, I thought of trying to get the sticker from DMV, without doing any smog test. What could happen? they would say NO. I was prepared for that. I went to the DMV 7:30 in the morning, got the sticker and the problem was solved. much for trying to be smart ass. But wait I still need to show all the corrections to a police officer to get the ticket requirements fulfilled.

I will also need to do the SMOG / Service Engine Soon at some point soon becaue the renewal for the next year is right around the corner. I do not want the history to repeat itself.