Sunday, June 16, 2019

Titles, Tags, and Tuneups

Friday was an interesting day.  And by "interesting", I mean "a total pain in the ass".

I went to AZDOT to get the title transferred over to my name.  No big deal, right?  I mean, you go, stand in line, get a number, go to the desk, and do the deed (as it were).


I found out after standing in line for almost an hour that a car which requires an emissions test must have said test done prior to transfer of title.  Allegedly, if the prior owner has proof of this, then you can use that--but I didn't have that, and apparently the AZ DOT doesn't keep that information in their own computers.

I had checked online for the requirements and this wan't listed anywhere.  I asked, and it turns out the policy changed THAT WEEK and the website hadn't been updated yet.  Come on.  Someone didn't think this through--you publish something like that a couple of months before you do it.

I had two alternatives:

  1. Drive Lola to get an emissions test, then use that (failed or no) for the title transfer.  The only problem was, Lola isn't exactly roadworthy.
  2. Pay someone to come out to my house and do a "Level 1 inspection", which from my experience with Gidget meant "pay someone to look at the VIN and say it matched".  Or, drive it to the DOT office--but again, I wasn't too sure about that.
And did I mention it was 104 degrees out?  And Lola's A/C doesn't work?

Well, no way was I paying someone.  And I had a week to decide--or I'd get a penalty for not transferring title in 15 days.  What a racket.

I bit the bullet.  I got home, got Lola running (she does run and drive, just badly; how else did I get her home?) and drove to the emissions test facility.  It was an interesting drive.  The suspension is not what I would call 'sporty' right now, and it was hot.  I did learn that the top's rear window zips out--nice!

I guess I picked a good time of day, or got lucky--in 5 minutes I was in the bay and getting tested the old fashioned way.

I told the tester that I didn't expect to pass, but I needed to get a record of it so I could transfer title.  He was really nice.  He ran the test.  He inspected the engine.  He took my money.  And he gave me this.


That was totally unexpected.  All I had done was change plugs.  Wow.

So I trundled back over to the DOT office, waited in line for another half hour, presented my emissions form, and got a number to go stand in line for another half hour, at which point I finally got the title transferred and a plate (two years; I'm taking advantage of this test).  I got a customized plate--but it's a surprise.

 Again, wow.  Lola is legally mine and legal to drive.

On to the tuneup part of this episode!

The first thing I did was change the cap, rotor, plugs, and wires.  I had put a used set of plugs from Gidget in Lola to get her running better, but I bought a new set, so in they went.  It turns out my car has electronic computer-controlled ignition, because there ain't no points on that distributor.


Look at that rotor and cap.  Ugh.

So in went new parts, and there's more zip now than before.  And the red wires look nice.

There's still some problems to sort out, and now they have to be fuel-related.  Lola is hard starting without pumping the pedal a couple of times, and while there's grunt at idle there isn't a lot of top end.  I did determine that the speedo reads low by 5MPH, so that helps a bit. 😀 I know the fuel filter needs changing, possibly the fuel pressure regulator, maybe the injectors, and I hope it's not the fuel pumps (one in the tank as a booster, and one main pump).

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