Well, yes and no. Purchased at the filling station, it is. But some of
us have alternative sources*. this is not easily done with petrol,
unless you distill your own ethanol and buy an E85 vehicle. But then the
BATF will be watching you. Rumor has it that one reason the feds were so
interested in cracking down on moonshiners during the Prohibition was
that they didn't want farmers running their product in their vehicles,
bypassing the taxable sales outlets for petrol.
*With respect to 'alternative sources', then next time you people come
up with an idea like running your cars on used cooking oil, please keep
your yaps shut! Now the recyclers buy it all up and tack road tax plus a
'green fuel' premium on it.
Paul Hovnanian email@example.com
Uh, diesel is twice the price of gas in the U.S.
Also the diesels sold here during the past turned a LOT of people away
from them. They were VERY noisy, low powered and STANK to high heaven.
The modern engines are much better but nobody want to try the experiment
and see IF they would sell.
For a while there were a lot of diesels available, GM had the LUV,the
S-10, Chevette, the Cutlass and a few others. Ford had a similar line up
as well. Chrysler was about the only one that didn't have a bunch, but
that was also the era of the Kcar rebound and they had enough problems
at the time.
Currently there are a few imports available but they don't sell well
except to folks who came from Europe OR ones who just want to stand out.
You also have to remember that drive distances and times are usually
much higher in the US, and the small engines sold in Europe just won't
take that kind of use for long periods.
I regularly do 250 miles each way non-stop on motorway / dual-carriageway
all the way - so at 70-80 mph. At the end of the journey, it's me that's
tired, not the car!
The car's done 138,000 miles since new, and the only things that have failed
have been the sort of things that could fail on any car: fan belt (twice in
succession - garage didn't spot a wobbly pulley the first time), clutch
(after about 70,000 miles) and routine service items like brake discs/pads,
tyres and shock absorbers / dampers.
It's still returning the same fuel consumption that it did when it was new
(well, excluding the first few thousand miles till the engine was properly
loosened up) and it still feels to have as much acceleration and
If you are in Europe, I might add that maintenance items are required under
the EU inspection that are not even considered in the USA.
A lot of the cars on the road in the USA today would not be allowed on the
road if they had to pass European rules.
Therefore, service items might appear to be more severe than they actually
are, on an equal basis.
At one time garages used to fail a car on its MOT (annual inspection) if it
had a blown light bulb in the indicator or brake light, then make you pay a
retest fee. There seems to have been a change in the rules because now they
will simply replace the bulb and record that as a pass. Even for major work
they will do it (after getting your permission) and record that as a pass.
From memory, the things that are covered in the MOT are: brakes (visual
inspection of pads and discs; rolling road test for equal braking force
left/right; handbrake applies at least a certain force when it's on), tyres
(tread and sidewall), suspension (check for leaking dampers, check for
bouncing), windscreen wipers and washer (do they clean the screen without
leaving smears), structural load-bearing bodywork (or chassis, for cars that
have one), exhaust emissions (CO2, CO, NOx, particulates for diesel etc),
indicator/break/side/tail, alignment of headlights (check that they don't
point too low or high when dipped and that they dip to the left (kerb)
side), number plate (font, size - see next paragraph). Until the emissions
test was introduced, it was not actually mandatory that a car being tested
had a working engine - or even an engine at all ;-) What do US inspections
test, and do the requirements vary from state to state or are the same
across the country?
There are several construction and use regulations in the UK which are
different: indicators must flash orange and must be separate to any other
light, unlike in the US where combined indicator/side or indicator/brake
lights are permitted; cars must have a front number plate as well as a rear
one and both must be a prescribed size of plate, size of text and typeface.
On the other hand, headlights may be rectangular as an alternative to round
and they may swivel with the steering to "look" into a bend - I believe
several European cars had to have their headlights modified from rectangular
to round for export to the US and the Citroen DS had to have its steered
headlights locked to the straight-ahead position. Maybe those restrictions
have been relaxed in the US as well now.
US testing does indeed vary widely from state to state, and even areas
within a state. As an example of the later, TX has an annual safety
inspection which does cover lights, brakes, etc. similar to what you
noted, but whether there is an emissions inspection depends on the
county, and in my county there are no emissions inspections.
The biggest example I can think of is Texas vs. California. Texas has
safety inspections (lights, wipers, brakes, fluid leakage, they're
SUPPOSED to check for structural rust or damage, etc. Plus the
designated EPA "non-attainment" areas (Austin, Houston, El Paso, D/FW,
maybe San Antonio) have emissions tests.
California: No safety test. If it passes an emissions test but has
enough rust to see the pavement between your feet, no worries.
As was mentioned by another poster, in Texas they check the lights
and function of the brakes. Bald tires will fail you, wipers should work,
etc. Minor stuff. Emissions tested in some counties.
An EU test takes a look at all those things and others, such as dripping
motor oil, broken ball joint rubbers, broken CV joint rubbers, rust,
and other things. You have to have them fixed or walk. I have mostly
heard the term MOT used in the UK, and am not sure if this is now
the same as the EU inspection or not.
Whenever my van is ue for a new safety sticker, I drive over to Pete
Robertson's auto repair shop.He scrapes off the old sticker and then
puts a new sticker on there and I pay $5.00 and that is that.
I don't know whether there's an EU-wide standard for vehicle inspection
tests and whether the UK's is more or less stringent than those in other EU
There used to be a big black market trade in forged MOT certificates to make
it look as if dangerous cars were still roadworthy. However the bottom
dropped out of that when a computerised system was introduced, because the
entry in the database became the definitive record, rather than it being the
piece of paper. If the police suspect any fraud, they check back in the
database - which is much harder to forge than a piece of paper. It also
means that when applying for an annual road tax disc, for which proof of
insurance and MOT is needed, it can be done online rather than requiring the
local post office who issues the tax disc to check the insurance and MOT
forms - apply online, giving your credit card, the system checks your
registration in the insurance and MOT databases and the new tax disc arrives
by post a few days later - nice and easy.
I think most MOT failures are not regarded as a reason for immediately
grounding a car. Obviously there will be some things which will be reason
for condemning a car immediately, but in many cases you are allowed to carry
on driving until the current MOT runs out - and you can get your car tested
up to (I think) a month before the expiry of the certificate, which gives
you leeway to get the faults fixed when it's convenient. But if you take the
car away rather than getting the testing garage to fix it, you pay for it to
I'm surprised that some counties and/or states in the US don't do emissions
tests, because I'd always thought that emissions tests and standards were
pioneered there. Certainly US cars required catalytic converters on all new
cars a long long time before they became mandatory here in the UK.
I'd guess that emissions tests in the U.S. are the exception rather than
the rule. Same for so-called safety inspections. In Arizona only two
counties require emissions tests and there is no safety inspection.
Except for the DOT (and perhaps EPA) standards for vehicles, there is no
country-wide standard or testing for much of anything regarding cars &
trucks...it's mostly up to the states. Ditto for most other things as
well (education, voting rules, etc.).
On the original topic of this thread...I believe Honda is planning to
offer a Diesel engine in 2010, in the Accord, I think.
I doubt too that there would be an EU-wide standard for that. Here in
Finland people consider our tests most stringent in the EU. I believe it's
among the most stringent ones but still probably not the most stringent. Of
course, people whose cars have got failed in an annual inspection keep
grumbling how in _any_ other EU member state their car would've passed with
However, I know there _are_ differences in accepting imported (outside of
Europe) vehicles first time to be registered for road use. In Finland it
seems to be often outright impossible to get accepted a car or truck
imported e.g. from US. I don't have first-hand experience about this but I
believe the problem is that the inspection offices here would require some
certificates that only exist for vehicles that have been sold in Europe
originally by manufacturer.
The solution? People simply have their imported vehicles first registered in
e.g. Sweden. And once a vehicle has been found to be road legal in one
member state, every member state will have to accept it in the condition in
which it was accepted in the first one. It seems that in several other
member states procedures exist to find out if a car or its component despite
lacking certificates still meets the requirements, but in Finland officials
are afraid to make their own decisions as one day some of them might turn
out to be bad ones.
Honestly, these "safety" inspections are mostly just another tax, since
for private vehicles, probably less than 1% of accidents result from
Heavy trucks are a bit different in that the professional drivers are
usually better, and the trucks log a lot more miles than a passenger
car. Even there, mechanical failures probably account for a single digit
percentage of accidents, with driver exhaustion and accidents caused by
passenger cars doing stupid things accounting for most accidents.
This afternoon, I think that married Irish woman wayyyyyy over yonder
across the big pond in Bognor Regis,England got unpizzed off enough at
me, because she emailed me twice.I asked her if she is still driving
that Fiat Punto car and does it have a diesel engine?
Later,,,,, no telling when she might decide to tell me.
On 12/23/2008 5:04 PM Mortimer ignored two million years of human
evolution to write:
The requirements vary *wildly* from state to state.
Some states have no inspections at all, except for emissions testing in
built-up urbanized areas. Washington state has no overall vehicle
inspection requirements; emissions inspections are done only every two
years in urbanized areas, Seattle and surrounding regions being the most
obvious. Cars older than a certain age are exempt from emissions
testing. Yes, you read that correctly: if your car is an old polluter
built in 1965, but still running all right, there are no inspection or
emissions requirements of any kind.
Oregon state is similar.
wrote in message >> If you are in Europe, I might add that maintenance items are required
Things are are not a pass on EU inspection will not necessarily get you off
road immediately, but you will have to have them fixed within a period of
If you do not, cannot, past the inspection, the car can be taken off the
Rust is one issue that is seldom considered in the USA. Lack of integrity
used to be considered on the MOT(such as rusted sills, rust around struts,
and I suppose still is.
Oil drips are considered, including grease seals at hubs, ball joints, CV
tranny, etc. These, if they catch the eye of the inspector, have to be
it goes on and on.
Cuhulin just gave you a clue as to what is really done here. They often
the old sticker and put on a new one..Typically American way of doing
We Americans stirred up the shit about pollution, about
a number of other issues ,but we typically do not taste of our own medicine.
the news stories lately, there is a new scandal almost every day, and our
our moral highground is less and less credible.
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