Kizashi Club

Your Kizashi Owners Club and Forum 

Non-Suzuki related topics. Anything can go here.
 #49901  by LPSISRL
 Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:34 pm
I took my 2011 SLS in for it's annual Virginia State inspection. Never had any issues in the past. But the shop I normally use went under new ownership when the previous one suddenly passed at a pretty young age. I did my normal walk-around and everything was fine. So I dropped it off at another shop I've used in the past. When they called, the inspector, to my surprise, told me it had failed on three things.

1. The HIDs in the headlight and fog light positions were not DOT approved and therefore he could not pass them
2. The license plate lights were LEDs and also were not DOT approved.
3. The shading strip on my windshield was too wide. The windshield did not have an S1 line (or something like that) so he had to go by the not wider than 3" guideline and mine 4" and even wider at the edges as it was tapered.

So, while the shading strip was on the car when I bought it back in 2013, has always passed. The HIDs and plate lamps were installed a couple three years ago and have passed as well.

The inspector was doing his job and protecting his livelihood as passing cars that don't meet the spec could result in having his license pulled. After some serious checking, he was correct. ALL aftermarket HIDs are not DOT designated and are, at least in Virginia, illegal to operate on public roads. The packaging on LED bulbs says, "For off road use only". The shading strip on my windshield is wider than the allowed 3".

So, after pulling my HIDs and putting halogens back in, replacing the plate lamps (a pain) and peeling the shading strip off my windshield, my car, according to state guidelines, is safer now to operate on Virginia roads.

Here's why:
1. The sun now blinds me when it shines down just below my roofline since the dark strip is gone.
2. I can't see as well at night as my back-to-stock halogens are not as bright as my HIDs. Lookout little animals and pedestrians.
3. A trooper or other law enforcement officer will not be able to identify my car as easily with the dimmer incandescent bulbs installed. Good for me, but bad for troopers trying to get me off the road as I'm a hazard to other drivers my vision impaired from being sun-dazzled and then after dark being unable to see down the road as well.

:facepalm:

The best part? I now get to pull my bumper once a year again to replaced the left headlight bulb when it burns out.
Thanks for listening to my rant...
 #50037  by KuroNekko
 Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:49 pm
Yeah, it's annoying but it's all about where you take your car. I learned that many years ago with a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T. It was a car my brother got used with a number of aftermarket parts and mods from the previous owner. After my brother decided he wanted the family Suzuki Sidekick instead, having grown tired of a lowered and noisy turbocharged coupe, I had the Eclipse for several months before selling it. I had to smog test it during that time so took it to a smog test location. The first one failed me only because the cone air intake didn't have a CARB (California Air Resource Board) certification sticker on it. After hearing the reason, I told the tech I would fix it and come back but I simply went to another smog test location with a different tech. He passed me in a matter of minutes. Ironically, the second test center was across the street from the DMV office. :lol:

It's the same with state inspection. For things like bulb modifications, it's all up to the inspecting tech and how stringent they are going to be. Of course, you have to repay the inspection fee to take it elsewhere but it's often less of a hassle than compliance just for one's standards.

I agree with you it's stupid in many cases but overall, I get why these regulations exist. We all know the idiots who put in aftermarket light bulbs and don't bother to adjust them properly hence they blind oncoming traffic. I'm sure many of you have also seen trucks running on the road with their offroad light bars on. Many cars have tint so dark, you can't see the occupants at all, making seeing and communicating with the driver difficult, especially at intersections where it is important. I know a number of people who have very dark tint and then ponder why they get into more accidents than most others. I kindly hint to them their very dark tint has a lot to do with it. However, for some, the reason why they have dark tint makes sense: for security, sun-blocking, and for many women, to prevent gross men from harassing and cat-calling them on the road. I get it. However, given my Kizashi came from the previous owner with 5% rear and 15% front tint, I can personally say such dark tint is not a smart thing for safe driving. Nighttime visibility out of the windows were severely reduced to the point I felt uncomfortable with the lack of visibility. When Maryland state inspection later failed me only for the tints, I wasn't surprised and didn't really object to removing the too-dark tint. I later replaced them with 40% ceramic tint all around which I find much better.

Again, dealing with these issues is quite annoying and costly, but getting around minor and nit-picky compliance issues often just involves finding the right place/guy who will focus only on the things that actually matter rather than going strictly by the book each and every time. This sometimes just takes trial and error.
 #50039  by LPSISRL
 Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:36 pm
When talking to the counter guy, who had the conversation with the inspector and knew I would have questions brought up an interesting point. Since it was rejected, it went into the system rejected and for what reason. It has a rejection sticker on it and 15 days to fix. If I took it somewhere else and it had the rejection sticker on it and they did a new inspection and passed it, it may flag them to be checked out by the state police as they should have found the same violations.

Either way, I could put my HIDs back in but I may wait for my left front to fail again and I'm forced to take the bumper off anyway. I'm also kind of curious as to the difference I'll notice going back to the halogen bulbs. I may simply go to LEDs as a lot of them are DOT approved and they should be plug and play. No ballasts to deal with I think. The kits seem to simply the bulbs. Seems it will most likely be a fitment issue.
 #50041  by KuroNekko
 Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:23 pm
LPSISRL wrote:When talking to the counter guy, who had the conversation with the inspector and knew I would have questions brought up an interesting point. Since it was rejected, it went into the system rejected and for what reason. It has a rejection sticker on it and 15 days to fix. If I took it somewhere else and it had the rejection sticker on it and they did a new inspection and passed it, it may flag them to be checked out by the state police as they should have found the same violations.

Either way, I could put my HIDs back in but I may wait for my left front to fail again and I'm forced to take the bumper off anyway. I'm also kind of curious as to the difference I'll notice going back to the halogen bulbs. I may simply go to LEDs as a lot of them are DOT approved and they should be plug and play. No ballasts to deal with I think. The kits seem to simply the bulbs. Seems it will most likely be a fitment issue.


My understanding of DOT regulations is that any change of lighting device is illegal for road use unless the manufacturer installed them. So essentially, many "kits" aren't road-legal because they are HID and LED conversion systems for use in housings intended for halogens by the manufacturer. I think the exceptions are bulbs (typically brake and license plate) that the bulb manufacturer designed for the purpose of DOT approval. For example, my Sylvania ZEVO LED brake light bulbs are DOT approved.
I can't imagine HID and LED kits for headlights would have DOT approval given they were designed to be plug 'n play for many different halogen housings but let me know if you find DOT-approved kits.
 #50042  by LPSISRL
 Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:37 pm
Interesting. The gal at the auto parts store said all LEDs are illegal and state on the packaging "For offroad use only". I checked the Sylvania bulbs and indexed, that's what it said. Is also learned the the burden of proof lies with the car owner to prove that say, an LED bulb has a DOT stamping on it.
 #50048  by johnhenrydale
 Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:35 am
I was about to do either an LED or HID conversion as i just had another bulb fail for the second (possibly third?) time in a year. But this thread is giving me pause. But then, I live in Florida where the state gov, apparently, does not require vehicle inspections or emissions tests. I love my MT “GLS” but I’m getting really tired of dropping that goddamn bumper every time a bulb goes out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 #50050  by BLyons
 Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:24 pm
If they don't do inspections, you should be fine. Anything other than stock is technically illegal in Wisconsin, but there are all kinds of aftermarket bulbs in cars and no one cares, and we have no inspections either. As long as you get a white tint and not the blue ones, no one will know the difference considering how many cars come with those stock these days.
 #50064  by KuroNekko
 Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:48 am
California is very strict on smog and that's it. No inspection other than originally registering the car and it's a simple walk-around by a DMV rep, not a mechanical inspection. I had no issues with my HIDs and LEDs or even my tints which met Maryland regulations and technically not CA's. Smog is every two years here and I'm actually due for it now.

You basically have to get rather unlucky like LPSISRL even in an inspection state like VA to fail inspection for something as minor as HIDs in projector lenses. While technically illegal, it's really a discretionary call in my opinion. Some techs are just too by-the-book. :roll: