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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:50 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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Getting e39 through Maryland safety inspection mission impossible?

I am considering the Maryland area but am discouraged by their safety inspection process even though it is only done when transferring title or registering for the first time.

Fudman how did it go for you at inspection, I understand your state is very picky?

Here's what I know will fail:

Headlight adjusters: do I risk baking headlights , they'll fog up then I'm behind $600 (adjustable tie zips have held up for a while now)

CCV: No symptoms but oring at bottom of dipstick is moist DIY can break more things. I top off oil every 3000 miles but that's enough for them to fail me on a oil leak. At Least $500 more in the hole

Tie rods don't have play but they look a bit rusted. Parts and alignment at least another $200

Tires have 50 percent tread left borderline. At least another $450 . What else can go wrong?

$1750 for a Maryland plate? I passed in New York for $37 but I'm ready to become a visitor. I can live without the cost of living and parking situation.

Last edited by energizedmortal; 01-16-2013 at 09:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:33 AM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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Tires have 50% left and you'll fail? I have never heard of a car failing inspection for an oil leak. It would have to be pouring out on the garage floor to be considered a hazard. Don't bother with the tie rods if there is no play.

It's a 10 year old car, if the inspection process was a difficult as you make it out to be, how is anyone on the road?

http://www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MV....htm#appendixA

According to this maryland inspection item list, it appears they have a pretty standard test. Nothing special

Last edited by dannyc9997; 01-16-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:54 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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It all comes down to the inspector. Some are anal, some are loose. In my experience, I see an awful lot of unsafe cars when I drive in MD so their process can't be that strict. Plus, inspection is only a 1 time deal, unlike in VA where I need to get one every damn year.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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http://www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MV....htm#appendixA

It's based on 25 categories. You are right I did not see anything about oil leaks. Hopefully I will just have to get headlights to adjust correctly. Some say to try and avoid shops that have mechanics that try to make money off labor. I will try to find a gas station that doesn't do major repairs and gives a fair inspection report.

Last edited by energizedmortal; 01-16-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:07 AM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energizedmortal View Post
http://www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MV....htm#appendixA

It's based on 25 categories. You are right I did not see anything about oil leaks. Hopefully I will just have to get headlights to adjust correctly. Some say to try and avoid shops that have mechanics that try to make money off labor. I will try to find a gas station that doesn't do major repairs and gives a fair inspection report.
Those 25 areas are probably covered by every state's inspection. That looks very basic and like I said, nothing special.

Every repair shop, gas stations included, make money off labor and parts. So here's a suggestion to you. Bring your 2003 BMW to a new off make dealership who does inspections. A Toyota dealership won't and can't upsell you on repairs for a car they don't service. AND, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:10 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Here in the People's Republic, gas stations handle all inspections. And as long as the car passes emissions and everything works, you are good to go. My daughter's Civic has a misaligned headlamp (hard to adjust tiewraps!) and she passed easily. A failing CCV will not fail inspection unless you are burning so much oil it affects emissions. A rusty tie rod will not fail emission unless the ball joint is loose. Headlamps are fine as long as the hit the board in the general area of the stripes. Don't sweat it. Find a garage who will "work with you".
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:11 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyc9997 View Post
Those 25 areas are probably covered by every state's inspection. That looks very basic and like I said, nothing special.

Every repair shop, gas stations included, make money off labor and parts. So here's a suggestion to you. Bring your 2003 BMW to a new off make dealership who does inspections. A Toyota dealership won't and can't upsell you on repairs for a car they don't service. AND, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee!
Great idea. Thanks for the advice!
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:20 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Here in the People's Republic, gas stations handle all inspections. And as long as the car passes emissions and everything works, you are good to go. My daughter's Civic has a misaligned headlamp (hard to adjust tiewraps!) and she passed easily. A failing CCV will not fail inspection unless you are burning so much oil it affects emissions. A rusty tie rod will not fail emission unless the ball joint is loose. Headlamps are fine as long as the hit the board in the general area of the stripes. Don't sweat it. Find a garage who will "work with you".
Thanks for input Fudman

you all make good points it probably is not as big of a deal as I thought.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:35 AM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Originally Posted by BentValve View Post
It all comes down to the inspector. Some are anal, some are loose. In my experience, I see an awful lot of unsafe cars when I drive in MD so their process can't be that strict. Plus, inspection is only a 1 time deal, unlike in VA where I need to get one every damn year.
LOL try every six months like here. But I like to know if there is stuff wrong with my car so I can fix it.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:43 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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LOL try every six months like here. But I like to know if there is stuff wrong with my car so I can fix it.
You as the driver should know if something is wrong.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2013, 01:18 PM
TIm_ TIm_ is offline
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Mine failed for hazy headlight covers and rear brake rotors. I was concerned that the CEL would fail it, but the shop told me CELs are not part of MD's safety inspection. It's only about $80 to have it done and at least you'll know what is wrong with it. Once you get it inspected, you'll have 30 days to make repairs and get it reinspected for $0.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:51 PM
ND40oz ND40oz is offline
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Originally Posted by TIm_ View Post
Mine failed for hazy headlight covers and rear brake rotors. I was concerned that the CEL would fail it, but the shop told me CELs are not part of MD's safety inspection. It's only about $80 to have it done and at least you'll know what is wrong with it. Once you get it inspected, you'll have 30 days to make repairs and get it reinspected for $0.
CELs are part of the every other year emissions testing, they won't even test the car if you have it showing and they'll tell you to come back if you've just cleared it and it doesn't have enough miles on it yet for an OBDII reading.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:14 PM
Bandem Bandem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BentValve View Post
It all comes down to the inspector. Some are anal, some are loose. In my experience, I see an awful lot of unsafe cars when I drive in MD so their process can't be that strict. Plus, inspection is only a 1 time deal, unlike in VA where I need to get one every damn year.
Thats good...you should feel safer knowing your state has stricter inspection laws.

I think there need to be much stricter laws for inspection personally.

You decided to change the brakes yourself?...Whoops...Jail.
You decided to modify your suspension yourself?...Whoops...Jail.

All cars should be required for...lets say...a 3-month interval mini-inspection by any certified private mechanic to check for the suspension, tires, and brakes. If anything is wrong with them, the customer must have it fixed by law. If the person neglects something, thats a major fine.

If something is broken with your power train or you don't adhere to emissions standards or such...thats your problem that doesn't affect safety. If your brakes or suspension are unreliable/uneffective, thats everyone's problem.

If you want to 100% DIY your car and install modifications at your own will...on something that affects safety (tires, brakes, and suspension mainly)...FINE. However you should be required by law to take a test or prove that you know what you're doing and you'll take 1,000,000% responsibility if something goes wrong with it.

I may seem extreme, but I can't tell you enough about how much idiots are on the road with cars that can loose control any second and how many life-threatening situations they have caused or can. This will save many more lives than Obama's gun control plans for example...just saying.

"But what if I can't afford all this ?"...That's a personal problem. If you can't afford it then you shouldn't be driving a car.

My main point is that MD's inspection is a tax-money wasting joke.

Last edited by Bandem; 01-16-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:13 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Thank God I live in CA, in spite of all the Liberals here!

All the CA DMV cares about is if your CEL is off. Then, they run the car at 15 and 25 MPH on a chassis dyno to sample tailpipe pollutants.

The Subie escapes the dyno indignity, since it's all-wheel drive.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:15 PM
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MD has some tough inspection aye.

I know people now think that inspections are stupid which I agree but I like knowing that everyone else's car is drive-able. Same with emissions testing Have you seen China holly god its gross
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2013, 04:03 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BentValve View Post
You as the driver should know if something is wrong.
I must not be quite the car whisperer you are then. When I replaced my rear sway bars due to the inspection they were just starting to develop a small amount of play, you wouldn't feel them until much later. Same with lots of suspension components where there is gradual wear.
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