Dealer won't pass my car on inspection because of cleared headlight assembly??? - AcuraZine Community

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Old 06-13-2008, 1:21 PM   #1
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Dealer won't pass my car on inspection because of cleared headlight assembly???

I broght my car into the dealer for three things. Two recalls and a state inspection. I got a call from the service writer saying they can't pass the car because my headlights have been modified. I have cleared the headlights out and I have the 18 light AMBER led turn signals with the resistor mod. The car has brighter lights than any stock ones. I found that to be pretty sad.

He also started to mention the suspension being a problem on passing inspection and I was like what? I have it Koni yellows and H&R sport springs. He dropped that and just said, without the oem light housing with the amber sides, the car will not pass.

My question to all the hundred's of people here who have modified there lights, has this every happened to you? The car is at Hendrick Acura of Charlotte, which is a good dealer. I have no problems with them at all. I just felt like this was such a bs claim to failing the car. Am I wrong here guys?
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:29 PM   #2
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I've never heard of this.

J, somebody needs to dig up the NC lighting requirement, BUT my *guess* is it says AMBER front signals NOT Amber lenses.

I cna't see where the drop is a problem either. I assume there may be a minimum ground clearance requirement, but your front strake is lower than your body and that strake is a fixed point. Ground clearance ~ 5.x inches stock.

IMHO, total . BUT, you need to read the lwa to see what is legal, BS or not.
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:30 PM   #3
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Whoa weird. I thought the only thing that really mattered from an inspection standpoint is that the turn signal is amber in color when it blinked. Maybe they're looking at it as no longer being DOT approved since it was modified from stock.

Maybe try taking it to a shadier shop to get passed? haha
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:34 PM   #4
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This is weird, in my 00TL I was 3" of the ground, I passed inspections fine.

Take your car for inspection at a local shop. Stealership is looking to make some $$$ on you.
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:37 PM   #5
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There are fairly strict federal guidelines that all the states are required to adopt as part of their vehicle code (unless they'd prefer to pass on millions of federal dollars of transportation funding). As far as lighting goes, you're technically not allowed anything that is not DOT approved. Obviously a lot of people do it anyway and it's usually not a big issue (that purple brake light fad was a big issue by comparison). In the end, they're probably in the right to fail you on the inspection. Your best bet is take it somewhere else where they don't care.
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:41 PM   #6
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im callin on dealership.
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Old 06-13-2008, 1:55 PM   #7
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i'm not sure of this, but i had heard that almost all modifications to a vehicle is illegal, except maybe rims and window tint ... so maybe they are allowed to, but i would juss go to a small garage where they don't care and will juss passit
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Old 06-13-2008, 2:26 PM   #8
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Mostly, they have no idea what the real rules are, so when they see something not stock, they say it fails. When my brothers wife brought their SAAB into a place that I guess was not familiar with SAAB's, they told her the car was not going to pass because of the exhaust. My brother brought it back and said WTF the car has a STOCK exhaust. The manager said, "yea our guy thought it must have been modified, we don't see many SAAB's"
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Old 06-13-2008, 2:49 PM   #9
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Im callin at the stealership. I understand most mods are not DOT approved and some you can spot right off the bat, which we know wont past inspection.
So what about cars that come with clear lenses? Its not a mod but its clear. Just becuase Acura didnt make theirs clear doesnt mean you fail inspection for having clear ones. If you kept the lenses yellow and put in a lower watt bulb, bet he wouldnt say a word. That to me would be cause to fail inspection. Its not bright enough to be seen.

Nationwide most laws in each state say "any" modifications are illegal. Thats probably to cover themselves from having to create detail laws of what is and what isnt outlandish on a car, per each year of car that comes out.

Dude take it to a different dealer.
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Old 06-13-2008, 2:53 PM   #10
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It is BS. I have posted the NC GS associated with inspections/turn signals a couple of times. You can have either amber or white bulbs up front. The lens does not need to be amber (my old car didn't have amber lenses, only amber bulbs...OEM). Federal law does require the reflector, but NC law does not (and they don't make a provision referencing the federal law). There is no law regarding vehicle height in NC or federal law.

EDIT: also, laws on lights say visible from 500 feet, if I remember correctly.
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:01 PM   #11
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Here is the official guidebook for inspection places. It says what is allowable and illegal.

http://www.ncdot.org/dmv/vehicle_ser...nforcement.pdf

NC General Statutes, Chapter 20 - Motor Vehicles. This is where all of the general statutes referenced in the first link can be found.

http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Statu...l?Chapter=0020
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:03 PM   #12
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You have modified a DOT approved lighting assembly--thats probally illegal--the manufacture had to get approval for the light design from DOT before production--and yours is not "as designed" anymore. Seems like chicken sh!t but its the law. Problem is that if one shop failes you in some cases that failure is registered with the state DMV and another shop may not pass when one station fails--give it a try and good luck. I know for a fact that some of the replacement "ricer" tailight assembly that are silver and clear are not DOT approved--if the inspector does not see the DOT cast in the lense then it fails.
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:05 PM   #13
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^That's probably true. That's why you don't take it to a place that can spot such a modification (ie. the dealer).
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:15 PM   #14
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Thanks guys, got the car back and the recalls were completed. I figured the inspection is up this month so why not have it done at the same time. I usually have a friend of mine at a shop inspect my cars as I use to have illegal tint. I know my local tire guy won't even be able to tell the lights were modified. I will have them do it next week. It's just more time spent at another shop that I was trying to avoid. Childog, what are you doing tomorrow? Bearcats coming over in the morning to do his intake if you want to swing over.
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:21 PM   #15
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I know what you mean. I've always done my inspections at one of the Quicky Lube/Jiffy Lube/whatever's near my house. Granted, I have nothing illegal, but when I do, they won't know the difference. Of course, they busted my balls for my intake the first time I went there with it...spent ten minutes checking it out making sure I didn't make some illegal connnections or something. I just walked out and basically said "what's the deal?"; they explained; I pointed out the obvious; they were cool and life went on. Guess they hadn't seen a TL with an intake before an wanted to make sure everything was kosher . This last time, no hassle, and they even complemented me on my exhaust.

Morning? Spraying weeds if the weather's clear and then cleaning the house . I'll be out and about tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:37 PM   #16
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^^^ They actually bitched about an air intake? wow..

+1 NYC
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeaTron
There are fairly strict federal guidelines that all the states are required to adopt as part of their vehicle code (unless they'd prefer to pass on millions of federal dollars of transportation funding). As far as lighting goes, you're technically not allowed anything that is not DOT approved. Obviously a lot of people do it anyway and it's usually not a big issue (that purple brake light fad was a big issue by comparison). In the end, they're probably in the right to fail you on the inspection. Your best bet is take it somewhere else where they don't care and don't stock OEM parts to upsell you.
fixed
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:47 PM   #18
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I once failed a NY State inspection because I converted my headlights to HID and I didn't install the bights. They said without bights the car fails. I know in NY that the orange side marker reflectors are required to pass the safety side of inspections. Most will pass you with cleared reflectors but if they are non-existent then you will probably fail.
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Old 06-13-2008, 3:50 PM   #19
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Hendrick is where I got my car inspected with my illegal tints and it placed with flying colors.
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Old 06-13-2008, 4:00 PM   #20
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off topic but..
Here in Calif. we do not have equipment inspections
Was wondering how much moola they charge you for these equipment inspections, and is it yearly?
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Old 06-13-2008, 4:15 PM   #21
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you will need to call BS on this......
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Old 06-13-2008, 4:21 PM   #22
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In NC it's yearly safety and emissions inspection.

~$30 plus (IIRC) $10 extra if you've got tints.

Failure to get an inspection will block registration renewal, hefty fine and possible ticket and add'l fine if stopped by the police - (don't ask me how I know).
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Old 06-13-2008, 5:09 PM   #23
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Got mind done today, no issues, only thing was asked if I changed the headlights.. I said it's the same modified.
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Old 06-13-2008, 5:36 PM   #24
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Not all states are exactly the same requirements. The OP is having problems with the NC state inspection.

J, IMHO, no way the dealer is right. Here is a summary of the Inspection Standard:

Head lights:

a. - Must have 2 in working order
b. - Lens produces only White or Yellow light
c. - Lens must be clean and unbroken and properly positioned
d. - High and low beam must function properly
e. - Lights must not be loose or able to move by hand
f. - No foreign material (paint, brush guards, etc) that interferes with light beam of the lamp
g. - Must be properly aimed
h. - Cannot be dazzling or glaring on low beam
i. - Must be within aiming tolerance based on type (Mechanical, Optical or on-Board).

Part "f" is the only concern because it uses "half painted lenses" as an example but a cleared/blacked headlight is NOT a painted LENS and does NOT necessarily "interfere with the light beam of (the) lamp."

FYI
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Old 06-13-2008, 6:01 PM   #25
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If you have an amber bulb then they shouldnt say anything.
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Old 06-13-2008, 7:03 PM   #26
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Well I can understand why the dealer is not going to pass it and it really depends on the inspector. As for the dealership think about it like this, say you were pulled over by a state trooper and they do an onsite inspection and fail you for numerous components not D.O.T legal there is a slight chance you could get the inspector/facility you had your car inspected at fined possibly losing there inspection license if the trooper finds that the car was passed with illegal equipment

Also if the car had modified equipment and was involved in an accident and the state investigation sighted the non dot approved equipment was the reason for the accident you could possibly sue the facility/inspector for passing your car by being stupid and saying you didn’t know since it passed inspection. Both are a little extreme and probably highly unlikely scenarios but you never know.

I would just take it to a filling station. I was a mechanic at one and while I was there we had three inspectors come and go. Each one was nit picky about different things, car being to low, modified exhaust etc...One inspector didn't care as long as all the lights worked and had the proper color bulbs, tires were good, brakes were good etc....as long the car had the main safety features he could have cared less about your exhaust and intake or cleared out lenses. I also live northern va where the troopers and the local cops will pull you over for BS such as exhaust, tint and signal bulbs not of the amber or red color.

You could also just leave a 12 case with a 20 sticking out of the top in the passenger seat when the inspector pulls you car in.
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Old 06-13-2008, 7:37 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmrgoodcatx
slight chance you could get the inspector/facility you had your car inspected at fined possibly losing there inspection license if the trooper finds that the car was passed with illegal equipment

Also if the car had modified equipment and was involved in an accident and the state investigation sighted the non dot approved equipment was the reason for the accident you could possibly sue the facility/inspector for passing your car by being stupid and saying you didn’t know since it passed inspection.
YEah because nobody swaps equipment before/after the inspection
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Old 06-13-2008, 7:47 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avs007
YEah because nobody swaps equipment before/after the inspection

Ha I know you were being sarcastic but in my hypotetcial example the car was inspected and passed with non dot equipment installed. Yeah it could become a he said she said battle weather the equipment was installed post inspection but some places especially dealers will not take the chance.
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Old 06-13-2008, 8:53 PM   #29
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Wow thats a crappy situation, like the others have said try and find another place for an inspection. You would think with the orange/amber turn signal bulb it would be fine. Maybe its because there is no defuser?

Here in Michigan we don't have any inspections, but Cops do pull you over for having super bright lights. I never had the Blue looking HID's (they hurt my eyes when looking at them, why would i want those ) but since some HID are so bright they create a driver distraction..resulting in getting pulled over. Same with license plate neon light covers and ground lighting.

Either way i'm sure other places would pass you with no problems.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #30
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Guys, thanks for all the input but for me, it's a pimple on my ass. No big deal at all. I will get it inspected at another shop with no issues. I wanted to know if anyone with the cleared headlight mod has had any problems getting it inspected with the dealer. My car is way legal and there is no issues with passing inspection as long as I bring it to a normal shop. No worries here. Thanks to everyone with there two cents.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:11 PM   #31
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Guys, thanks for all the input but for me, it's a pimple on my ass. No big deal at all. I will get it inspected at another shop with no issues. I wanted to know if anyone with the cleared headlight mod has had any problems getting it inspected with the dealer. My car is way legal and there is no issues with passing inspection as long as I bring it to a normal shop. No worries here. Thanks to everyone with there two cents.
My dealer told me that they would not pass my car because of having clear reflectors. I told them that I will just take it to the same place that passed them last year, there loss not mine.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:22 AM   #32
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move to florida. then you won't have to have your car inspected! and it's warmer!
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:07 PM   #33
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The guy who inspected my car, had a TL and understood modding lol. He did not care!
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:08 PM   #34
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You need to come out to brooklyn, They dont ever give a fuck
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:46 PM   #35
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i had my car inspected at the dealer and i didn't have any problems. my headlights are cleared with the chrome/amber replacement lights. not the nicer LED lights.
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Old 06-14-2008, 1:41 PM   #36
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move to florida. then you won't have to have your car inspected! and it's warmer!
I lived there--the roads are a scary place..beater cars, bad tires (seen a domino's delivery car with 2 temp spares on it weaving in and out of traffic), bad lights, bad brakes, cracked windshields, no insurance, no drivers licence, illegal aliens, and no regard for others on the road. Plus the roadways are full of trash..moved back north--lifes better here.
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Old 06-14-2008, 2:03 PM   #37
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Funny how different States work, here in MA, I had a '02 RSX-S, catback Magnaflow, chip, dropped... , anyway as I went to form a line on a Inspection Station, the owner said, please leave the line as your car will not pass... , so I drove down the street and asked another Inspector to look at my car before I formed the line, he said...no problem....your car is within specs... , go figure....and so did my wife when she placed a "adopt a pet" frame around her rear license plate, one dealer said it blocked the words "ASS A CHUSSETTS"...lol and another didn't bother to fail her .... ...so IMHO depends where you go....
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Old 06-14-2008, 9:33 PM   #38
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We have talked about this legality/inspections issue many times a I think this is the first documented case where someone has run into a real problem now. I don't think anyone has had tickets or inspection problems yet.

Actually it is true. Altering the headlights can make them illegal. They are carefully engineered considering light output and visibility at different angles and different weather conditions. They are DOT approved and once something is altered it can't be considered "legal". Especially if lenses are removed (Changing refractive properties) or reflectors are blacked out. Normally nobody gives a hoot and notices except one important aspect. You have to have an amber reflector in the front. If it is missing, smoked or white it is illegal. It needs to be amber for safety. Most of us are rolling without reflectors with no problems. If you ask me the rear red reflectors are the ones that are really important for safety.

The reason why your cleared headlights were noticed is because you went to the dealer. They definitely know the difference in the modding you do more than anyone. They can easily differentiate stock from yours because they see stock cars all day. They are definitely hating on you because for most of them it's a peeve to see someone modify a car designed by their own company.

It is your $35k luxury so tell them to go suck on a nut and take your car elsewhere for inspections. They won't notice and you will pass.
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Old 06-14-2008, 9:37 PM   #39
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i'm not sure of this, but i had heard that almost all modifications to a vehicle is illegal, except maybe rims and window tint ... so maybe they are allowed to, but i would juss go to a small garage where they don't care and will juss passit
That's not true at all. Most modifications are legal for sure!! Just depends what they are and what systems they affect.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:44 PM   #40
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They are definitely hating on you because for most of them it's a peeve to see someone modify a car designed by their own company.
Or maybe they don't want to look at the fine & hassle for the falsification of an inspection if someone picks it up after they pass it.

Some chump gets a ticket & his first line of defense is "i didn't know, beside the dealer said it passed the inspection". It would be real hard for a dealer to claim they don't know there own cars have amber reflectors.

Same old same old for this message board - some guy makes a change to something illegal then whines about the unfairness of having problems over it.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:44 PM
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