If you've ever received that dreaded rejection sticker on your car's annual inspection, you know getting up to code can be expensive.
My car loan has been paid off for years, and I do not miss that monthly bill, so I do my best to keep my car running. Last month, when I was having my belts changed, the mechanic warned me I had one tire that wasn't going to pass inspection - and that's coming due this month.
My brother suggests switching to the full-size spare to pass inspection. That would work, but it's also flat. So now I really need two tires to be safe on the road. It will cost me at least $250 to replace and mount new tires.
"Tires tend to be one of the biggest items that we sell," said Troy Webber, president of Chesterfield Auto Parts. "Our tires start at about $10. Just bring a buck and a toolbox."
We scoured the yard at Chesterfield Auto Parts and found appropriate sized tires that are in good shape. Troy estimates there's 5000 miles on them. Total cost: $86.
The automotive experts at Richmond Gas mount and balance the tires and my car passes inspection. Total cost for the work and inspection: $55. Now I've spent a total of $140.
Using my own wheels, and returning the ones that came with the tires, gets me $40 back.
"Everything has a 30-day, unlimited mileage warranty, so if it comes back and the battery's no good or the tire has a defect in it, we'll be happy to give your money back," said Webber.
Webber sells a lot of mirrors, lights and wiper blades for those trying to pass inspection, but there are many bargains here. Batteries sell for $25. Recycled antifreeze is only $5 a gallon. In the end, I'm paying $100 for two tires and an inspection to make my ride safe and legal.
Chesterfield Auto Parts has a feature on its website that lets you search the inventory for what you need before you make the trip to the yard - http://www.chesterfieldauto.com/
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