Angie’s Blog

Because I Can

Texas Safety Inspections are no joke

On Tuesday night I got pulled over while heading home from work. I was given three warnings; I didn’t have a Texas license, I didn’t have Texas plates and my head was “out”, aka, the cop was fishing for excuses to pull a hotrod over at 11pm on a dark street.

I’ve had an awesome record with the cops these past three years. I went from 5 speeding tickets, one arrest (for speeding) and a pulled license back when I was 17-18 to having not one incident in three years. Since I really, really like having the cops leave me alone now, I decided to begin taking care of my warnings the following Wednesday morning. I took a trip to Cedar Park, a good 30 minutes away, to a DMW where I planned to get my license. Since the license only requires a vision test, i assumed it would be a quick in-and-out procedure. Well, I learned the hard way that the DMW won’t give you the time of day unless you have a Texas registered vehicle so I went back to Round Rock to get a safety inspection.


Totally failed the safety inspection. Apparently, they don’t appreciate a disabled power steering system (either, you have one and it’s functional, or you tear the damn thing out completely), or my custom exhaust (pipes exit underneath the trunk, oops?), or my totally awesome horn that sounds like a dying water buffalo on a good day. The shop where I got the inspection quoted me at least $1,000 to start fixing everything and I sobbed all the way to work because I’m BROKE. After a day or two of total and complete panic about my future transportation situation, I took the Mustang to a friend of mine at Texas Custom Auto for his advice. He said we can start with a new power steering pump, a new return line and a belt for $250, the exhaust can have extensions welded onto it and the horn just needs some new under-the-hood dohickies from Auto Zone. All for under $350. Far cry from $1,000, yeah?

Before I got this fantastic quote, though, I was seriously considering picking up a Ford Focus SVT or a 2005 Mustang. The great thing about the SVTs is that they have the most horse power out of all the other models of Focuses. An LX or SE Focus is about 110hp, a ZX3 is 130hp, a 2.3L ST is 151hp and an 2 door hatchback 2.0L SVT is 170hp. An SVT is also the only model that comes equipped with a 6-speed GETRAG manual transmission, opposed to the 4-speed automatic and the 5-speed manual of other models. An SVT, to my knowledge, does not come with an automatic option. SVT are hard to find though. They were only made in 2002, ’03 and ’04 and everyone wants one since they can cost less then $12,000 used. Ford can also use the SVT on other models, not just the Focus. SVT stands for “Special Vehicle Team” and is used on Mustangs, too. (2003 Cobra SVT, anyone? yummy..)

Even though I don’t immediately need one of these car yet, I’m still looking to buy one within the year. I’ve always liked the new Mustang style and the more I read on the Focus SVT, the more I’m beginning to like it, too. It’s like a super charged Geo Metro, but SO. MUCH. COOLER!

Wikipedia on the Focus SVT



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One Response to “Texas Safety Inspections are no joke”

  1. richard

    Too bad to hear Texas is one of the 18 states left still pulling that old boondoggle of safety inspections on its citizens. Anyone who studies safety inspection research will discover all they are good for is making money for mechanics, state officials, vendors of inspection equipment, and car dealers. They are a classic “golden fleece” government program that some states just will not give up because so many people make money off of them. Your story is typical. Shop around. Better yet move to Oklahoma where the legislature had the guts to get rid of safety inspections all together some years back. During debate on HB 1081,the OK bill to get rid of safety inspections a state House member quipped, “Ronald Reagan was right: the closest thing to immortality on Earth is a government program.”

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