Sunday, January 18, 2009


Thursday morning I experienced failure --my car's inspection test. Let me start from the very beginnning so I don't leave out any details. About 8:00am, Camille and I headed over the hill to Philipsburg so I could get my car inspected. Each year new license plates have to be bought, inspections have to be up-to-date, and insurance has to be purchased. I had the insurance, but the inspection expired so I had to do it before it got too late and all the places would be crazy with people that waited till the last second. We arrived at the inspection center, paid the money, and drove the car around the building to the inspection tunnel. It was inspection time!!

I got to the tunnel entrance and got a little nervous. There were ramps that I had to put my car on--I'm not the best judge of where my tires are compared to the ramps. I didn't want to run off the ramps and bust out a tire or anything. With a little help, I finally got my car straight up on the ramp. He then put a black gate across the front of my car and started giving orders...lights on, brights on, left signal, right signal, horn, brake lights, reverse lights. I was struggling to understand the orders and act them out quickly so he wouldn't have a reason to take points off and fail me. I even had Camille roll down her window so he could help me figure out the tasks I was suppose to be doing. He then opened the black gate and had me keep driving on the path. He wanted me to drive along--starting and stopping so he could test the car with some computer program. The last driving test was to gas it fast and then slam on the problem. Finally, he asked me to put my hand break on and open my hood. He looks for a split second, closes the hood, and mumbles something about a battery clamp. He marks on the paper "FAILED" and then explains to me that I have a break light out, but that's not the reason he is failing the car.

He failed me because the car didn't have a battery clamp...a what? Who knew a battery had to have a clamp on it?? He continues to direct us to the closest auto parts store. We pull out of the inspection tunnel in shock. We started cracking up--brake lights are not a concern but a battery clamp is a must. Now, I must admit that I'm not a mechanic so the clamp might have some significance, but enough significance to fail my dependable little 'dragon' car....I'm not so sure! We found a battery clamp and head back to the inspection center. I showed him my clamp, he wrote passed on my new inspection sheet, and told me that I had to pay another $10.50 to get the car re-inspected. I literally didn't do anything--I just showed him the clamp I had bought and he passed me. I asked him if he could put it on my battery for me because I don't have the right tools available--he declined. I now have a battery clamp inside my car, not on my battery, but riding along in the middle console. But don't worry--I have a street legal car!


Lacey and Kevin - Island Life on St. Maarten said...

oh geez, these people out here. well glad you finally passed hehe.

Tom, Laura & Ella said...

Hahaha!! That is awesome! What's next, right?! I'm proud of you, though! You're very brave! It's good you took Camille with you. I would've been scared to do that myself!

islandstories said...

Ya, how is a battery clamp more important than a break light? Thanks for sharing: I'll make sure our "clamps" are in order before the next inspection!! haha