My California Dogooder Enviro-nut Nightmare

Ladies and Gentleman, I can now personally attest to the fact that the environmentalists are making the state of California absolutely unbareable to live in. My car registration was due in August of last year, I went and paid it and I was due for a smog. I took my car down to the smog station and when the guy opened my hood, he looked at me and said that if he ran the smog test, it would fail. I asked him if he could give me an explination and he said that because I have performance parts on my car, the car would fail visual. Now my performance parts were not “The Fast and the Furious” style illegal street parts, these were perfectly street legal parts. The guy doing the smog told me to go and take a closer look at the packaging and when I did, it said “legal in 48 states, excluding California and Alaska.” The big trouble was I inherited this car from my brother and these were his parts and I did not have the original ones. So between my brother and I, me in Orange County and my brother in Modesto, six hours away, we had to find all of the original parts to put in my car.

Meanwhile, because my tags were expired I was getting tickets left and right, I would walk up to my car to see cops writing tickets and I would have to go to them and beg them not to put the ticket on my car. I recieved one regular ticket and two parking tickets, one in Costa Mesa in OC and one in Modesto where my brother lives. I am a poor college student, so I went to the police station and asked what I could do to get the tickets reduced. The policeman kindly told me that if I got my updated tags, the police department would reduce the tickets to $10, he looked over the ticket and said there was no time limit, just to make sure I did it before August of this year.

We had finally found all of the parts in November and had put them on the car, I was literally two days from going to get my smog when my check engine light came on. A check engine light is an automatic fail in the state of California. I went to a mechanic I knew growing up in Modesto, and he ran the engine through a diagnostic and said while he couldn’t find anything wrong with my engine, he was dead sure turning off the light would just bring it back on again. He turned it off and sure enough on my way to OC it turned right back on. I took it to another mechanic down here and he said the same thing: my engine was fine and the check engine was coming on inexplicably. He turned it off and later that evening, it turned right back on again.

So, I drove around for FIVE MONTHS with expired tags, tickets on hand explaining to the cops that stopped me that this was in process and I’d get it done as soon as I could figure out what was going on. I had all of my mechanical friends take a look at my car and they couldn’t figure it out one of my friends familiar with the smog process took a look at it and said it should pass smog, no problems. Finally when one of my headlights when out, I happened to be in Santa Rosa visiting my parents with my brother who was visiting them at the same time. We opened the hood and my brother had a revelation. The headlight that needed to be replaced sat in front of the battery and the battery had to be removed in order for us to replace the headlight. My brother said removing the battery should reset the check engine light. Sure enough, we removed the battery and the check engine light disappeared and has not come on since.

My Dad took me to get my smog and it seemed this was finally over! When I went intio the DMV to get my smog check done, the lady at the counter informed me that I had to pay $325 in unpaid parking tickets. I told her what the police had told me and she said that was fine, but she could not give me my tags until my parking tickets were paid in full.

So now I’m in the process of working that out with the police, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to pay that $325 before I get my tags. 10 months after I paid my registration and I have still not gotten them because of the ridiculous environmental standards that have been placed on us here in California by the Green Gestapo and an incompentent bloated beauracracy!

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