State OBDII vehicle inspections rile shop owners

Jan. 1, 2020
Many states are in the process of adding on-board diagnostic (OBDII) testing to heir existing vehicle inspection programs, which is leading to added equipment purchases from repair shops who already administer government emissions tests.

The state of New York is in the process of adding on-board diagnostic (OBDII) testing to its existing vehicle inspection program, which will lead to added equipment purchases from repair shops who already administer government emissions tests.

The state is one of many across the country to add the computerized equipment to the required inspection tools, a move made in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. OBDII tools, said to be easier to administer and quicker than tailpipe testing, are made for vehicles manufactured in 1996 or any year after, and will run shop owners about $1,600 for the first unit and more for subsequent units, according to the state of New York, which has only increased its testing fee by $5.

Shop owners say the increase will not be enough to cover the added costs.“Most of our people are basically outraged,” says Bob Pulverenti, executive director of the Service Station and Repair Shop Owners of Upstate New York, a non-profit trade association.

He believes the move to OBDII tools could make medium and small shop owners abandon government vehicle inspections altogether. “Shop owners would probably embrace the program if they would be compensated,” he says.

Installation of the equipment, basically a computer with an OBDII cable, barcode scanner and printer, began in June, with implementation expected in upstate New York by September. The metro area of New York City will join in by April 2005. The computer will share information with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Along with the cost of the equipment, stations also must incur the expense of printer cartridges, paper and other related supplies, as well as 36 cents for each telephone call made by the state’s modem. Pulverenti says the two phone calls required for each OBDII test will eventually add up for service stations.

Though manufacturers are offering wireless barcode scanners and printers, Pulverenti says there has been reported interference during use, forcing wired versions of the equipment, and further limiting testing areas.

Designated inspection stations can only use the equipment in state vehicle programs and even if a station has its own OBDII scan tools, they must purchase mandated equipment through one of the state-approved vendors, such as SGS Testcom, of Ballston Spa, NY, IBM and Actron Manufacturing, based in Cleveland.

About 33 states perform emissions testing, and a majority already added or are in the process of adding the new emissions equipment. If your home state conducts OBDII testing, you may want to discuss with your customers ways to reduce these costs.

Sponsored Recommendations

Best Body Shop and the 360-Degree-Concept

Spanesi ‘360-Degree-Concept’ Enables Kansas Body Shop to Complete High-Quality Repairs

Maximizing Throughput & Profit in Your Body Shop with a Side-Load System

Years of technological advancements and the development of efficiency boosting equipment have drastically changed the way body shops operate. In this free guide from GFS, learn...

ADAS Applications: What They Are & What They Do

Learn how ADAS utilizes sensors such as radar, sonar, lidar and cameras to perceive the world around the vehicle, and either provide critical information to the driver or take...

Banking on Bigger Profits with a Heavy-Duty Truck Paint Booth

The addition of a heavy-duty paint booth for oversized trucks & vehicles can open the door to new or expanded service opportunities.