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Old 3rd March 2006, 17:48   #1
dgriner
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Where to get M5 Emissions Test in Virginia/ Failed State Inspection

Hi Everyone,

I only recently joined the M5 board a couple of months ago and bought my 2000 M5 in early January. I have put off getting it Titled in Virginia and Registered for a while and finally got on the ball this week. I had to go get a Virginia State Inspection and Emissions test completed before I went to DMV. They require an Emissions test to register the vehicle in Virginia.

I took my car to my local Inspection Station this morning and my M5 failed the State Inspection. 

Apparently the left windshield wiper isn’t up to snuff and my headlight aiming is too low. Neither of these problems I could readily see, but oh well, I now have a Rejection sticker on my windshield. Also, in shock to me, the technician said that they couldn’t do an Emissions test on my M5 because it’s too LOW! I was a little surprised by this since the M5 is low but not THAT low.

So now I’m in a rush to get an Emissions test from somewhere quickly so I can go to DMV. Does anyone know of a place in Northern Virginia/Fairfax area that the M5 will have no problems being tested at? The technician said I should maybe take it to a dealer. I tried making an appointment at Fairfax BMW but their website would only let me schedule one for at the earliest, March 11th. Do the dealers even do emissions tests?

So my question is where can I go to get my Emissions done quickly and where is a good place to get this headlight aiming and windshield wiper taken care of?


I know a few of you on this board are in Nova so I thought I would ask. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Last edited by dgriner; 3rd March 2006 at 17:52.
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Old 3rd March 2006, 18:47   #2
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Well not from VA but PA has pretty much the same rules...that being said

surely their are dealerships up and down the beltway not just in Fairfax---- Tysons Corner is that Va or MD? im thinking VA.

I would stick with a dealer..... they do emissions if required by the state but then again most would want an appointment I presume

I guess Im not much help after all

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Old 3rd March 2006, 18:53   #3
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I guess I stand corrected the only dealer I could find on google was

the one from Arlington the other ones look to be south of richmond

BMW of Arlington
3154 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22202
703-684-8500 Phone
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Old 3rd March 2006, 19:51   #4
ard
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Use some social engineering...forget setting appointments on the website!

Call up, ask to speak to the Service Manager... Shmooze him... "Hello, I'm a new owner of a ____M5, and wanted to start off with your dealership- which SA would you recommend that I use for all my service visits? I want the best team for working on my M5"


Then talk with the SA. "I need to get this VA smog/inspection done- it will be the first visit to you, and I know anyone can do it, but I wanted to start off with one relationshop with you guys"

Stuff like that- make a connection, there is a chance he will say "just bring it in ___day and we can squeeze it in"

The "too low" comment is laughable... he probably could interface his electronics to the BMW system... If you measurement is below the minimum detectible limit of the system it passes...(If the limit is say "10" and someone with a "9" passes, why would an M5 with a "0" or "1" not pass... dumb...) My guess is that he was not even a qualified shop to do the test and should not have even CHARGED YOU OR DONE THE TEST if his equipment couldn't do it...
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Old 3rd March 2006, 23:45   #5
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I was just thinking.. I was failed in my state inspection for headlights being aimed too low; aren't the Xenon HID's self leveling? How could they be aimed wrong? I see them adjust when I first turn them on. Is it possible this guy just messed up?

BTW.. I went to another place to get my Emissions tested and this time the guy advised me to come back tomorrow because the M5 takes a lot longer than most cars to perform an emissions test on.

DMV closes at Noon tomorrow and I won't be able to get it in by then it appears
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Old 4th March 2006, 03:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgriner
II was failed in my state inspection for headlights being aimed too low; aren't the Xenon HID's self leveling? How could they be aimed wrong? I see them adjust when I first turn them on. Is it possible this guy just messed up?
Frankly, I think the "technician" you ran across is an idiot if he said he can't do your test because your M5 "is too low." VA has a procedure for OBD II equipped cars (required after 1996) where they hook up your car and read the emissions codes. If there are none, you pass - regardless of how low your car is. Apparently Goober Einstein hasn't heard of it. Take it to another emissions test facility; they are all over the place.

As to your headlights being too low, it's possible. They are self-leveling, but that assumes they are set correctly at the "baseline" level. If they are adjusted up too low, then even after leveling they will be "biased" low.

Again, go to a competent shop - there are many around. I live in Prince William County rather than Fairfax, so I'm not familiar with shops in Fairfax. But if you can't find one up there, I can recommend a couple in PWC.

Good luck
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Old 4th March 2006, 04:28   #7
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Thanks ykm5too,

The second place I went to mentioned what you said about the OBD II. They also recognized that I had an M5 even before I said a word to them. The first tech didn't really say much and looked a bit confused at times. I'm definitely not going there again.

Where in PWC do you normally take your M5 to get tested? I used to live down there and should be familiar with some of the places.

Looks like I'll have to schedule a dealer appointment for the headlights, but at least I feel a little better now.
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Old 4th March 2006, 05:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgriner
Where in PWC do you normally take your M5 to get tested? I used to live down there and should be familiar with some of the places.
I've been taking cars to Dale City Exxon - on Dale Blvd near Quate Lane - their inspector has been around for several years, and really knows his stuff. I've taken several high-end cars there - he takes good care of them, and does the inspection right.

Also, if you have a dealership you trust, it's probably worthwhile to take your car back to them for the headlight adjustment. On the other hand, if you don't have that trusted relationship, I could ask my son about this issue - he's a professional Porsche tech, but works at Arlington Porsche/BMW. He owns a BMW himself, so he has several buddies over on the BMW side, and of course he takes care of my 2000 M5. If you wish, I'll ask him to check on how difficult a procedure the M5 headlight adjustment is - with the auto-adjust feature, I just don't know if it's complicated adjustment or not.

Let me know - I'm not trying to take business away from BMW, but if you don't have a trusted relationship already, I've got a "connection" to such a thing.
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Old 4th March 2006, 23:29   #9
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Thanks for the info ykm5too.. Luckily I didn't end up having to drive down to Woodbridge today.


I took my M5 to a place in Oakton and pulled off my rejection sticker from the first place I went to. This inspection station passed my M5 on the State Inspection and Emissions. The guy just said I should replace my left windshield wiper, but that he'd let it pass.

These people were sooo much nicer than the original place I visited. I will definitely give them my business as much as possible now. It was a Sunoco in Oakton on Hunter Mill Rd, so if any of you on this board are nearby you know a good place to check out. They also do inspections and emissions up to 7pm in the evening!

Now to deal with DMV to get this thing titled and registered, and get some personalized plates


Thanks for everyone's help, this board has to be the best I've ever joined.
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Old 4th March 2006, 23:33   #10
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Oh, I almost forgot..

The Arlington BMW/Porsche place was where I had been considering going to, to have them look at my headlights and wipers.

It definitely would be nice to know how much effort this is to adjust the self-leveling headlights so I know what I"m getting myself into.

I have been trying to decide which BMW dealer to start a relationship with. My options are pretty much Sterling BMW, Fairfax BMW, and BMW of Arlington.

There is also an independent place I've been looking into called onlybmws.com in Manassas. They seem to have a great reputation, would love to know if anyone on here has used them before.



Last edited by dgriner; 4th March 2006 at 23:33.
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