Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I just tried to get my S4 inspected for Virginia (safety inspection, not emissions where I am, in Richmond). The Spider would've passed no problem except that the reverse light doesn't work. The shop determined it was the switch on the transmission and told me it'd have to come out to change, which is $$$.

Is there any other way to change the reverse light switch? I know probably not but was hoping the shop might be going the most expensive route (they were not very clear in communicating as it was and charged me for things I hadn't agreed to).

As it stands, I ended up getting an Antique plate in VA (no inspection needed) but I'd like to be able to get a regular plate if/when I need to drive it more, so I'd really like to get the inspection passed--and that switch replaced. Any suggestions or is it only transmission out?
 

· Registered
'82 Spider Veloce 2.0L
Joined
·
75 Posts
Backup lamps are not required in Virginia. However, if they are installed, they must be working. See page 10 of the attachment. Might you get by on a technicality if you "uninstall" the backup light? Might be worth asking a sympathetic inspector.
Also, VA antique plates allow for occasional pleasure driving (without defining "occasional") as long as you don't travel more than 250 miles from home. Just a couple of possible workarounds until you bite the bullet and do a proper repair/replacement.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
You can un-install the lights but you will have to change the light fixtures to remove the back-up light lenses to pass VA sate inspection. No one has ever said anything to me about using my vehicles with antique plates in VA (Newport News) and I have four Alfas and a Ferrari. Usually too busy talking about the car...
 

· But Mad North-Northwest
Joined
·
14,231 Posts
If you don't want to pull the transmission, it would also be fairly easy to wire them to a manual switch in the cabin, I'd think. Dunno if that would pass muster for the testing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Back in the 70s, my dad had a Fiat 850 which had a failed backup light. To get it through NJ inspection, he rigged a little hidden push button (momentary) switch that he could hold with his knee while shifting the car into reverse...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,701 Posts
I installed a manual switch with a buzzer (because I always forgot to turn it off;))
depends I suppose if the inspector tells you to sit in the car and turn on the lights/indicators, brakes etc whilst he walks round the car...or if his assistant sits in the car and he inspects.

my set up is quite neat, it uses a double fog light (from an alfa 33) identical to the s4 type, and I wired it thru the 'front' fogs half of the switch (which our cars do not have)
and a two bit buzzer wired in series (although it lights up when I turn them on, I kept forgetting to turn the off, hence the buzzer)
Steering part Motor vehicle Steering wheel Vehicle Vehicle door


Once it is time to change the clutch, I will renew the reverse switch, but keep the fog switch and build in some small front fog lights, hidden in the front air ducts.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
14,393 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
Having just worked on a spider with reverse lights I found out the reverse lights only work if the lights are on. Strange setup. Checked the wiring diagram and that's the way they are suppost to work.

Can be changed if necessary. Have to move the wire from the parking light (or headlight) fuse to one for one when the ignition is on fuse.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow--this is all really helpful and thanks to all for posting. I hadn't thought of some of these options. Addressing a few points:

-- the mechanic looked up the law in VA and said if it doesn't have backup lights it doesn't need them to pass BUT if it had them (like all modern cars, basically) they have to work. He'd specifically looked at the statute to see if he could remove the lights themselves so they'd 'not be there' but he said that was actually prohibited too. I didn't look at the statue myself but now I think I will (thanks for posting) as I'm not sure if they were just trying to get more work out of me (they were bad communicators at best, dishonest at worst in charging me so I'm not so comfortable with them).

-- the mechanic did say a manual switch, no matter how wired, would not pass. Maybe it's just that he won't pass it but someone else might. I have to look into it.

--I'll check to see if the backup lights come on when the lights are on. That'd be great!

--that's a great idea about testing the switch specifically. I don't know if he did that and will ask. Thanks for pointing that out.

-- I did get Antique plates for it and for now that'll have to suffice. I don't particularly like that, though, as I tend to drive to the bodega back and forth several times a week and now that my wife is going back to the office I'll no longer have the use of that car. Here in VA I once got a ticket for going 7mph over on the highway and was pulled over multiple times for illegal tint (it wasn't that dark, we bought the Passat that way without knowing the law about tinting). Meaning my experience with VA cops has been they can be very a**l retentive so I'd never really know and would prefer not to have that in the back of my mind when I go buy wine at Stella's.

--Re Newport News driver--nice to hear of another VA Alfa person. Know of any good mechanics in the RVA area for Alfa's? I'd like to have a second option..

Thanks again to all the advice, I'll see what I can do with some of these new options.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Wow--this is all really helpful and thanks to all for posting. I hadn't thought of some of these options. Addressing a few points:

-- the mechanic looked up the law in VA and said if it doesn't have backup lights it doesn't need them to pass BUT if it had them (like all modern cars, basically) they have to work. He'd specifically looked at the statute to see if he could remove the lights themselves so they'd 'not be there' but he said that was actually prohibited too. I didn't look at the statue myself but now I think I will (thanks for posting) as I'm not sure if they were just trying to get more work out of me (they were bad communicators at best, dishonest at worst in charging me so I'm not so comfortable with them).

-- the mechanic did say a manual switch, no matter how wired, would not pass. Maybe it's just that he won't pass it but someone else might. I have to look into it.

--I'll check to see if the backup lights come on when the lights are on. That'd be great!

--that's a great idea about testing the switch specifically. I don't know if he did that and will ask. Thanks for pointing that out.

-- I did get Antique plates for it and for now that'll have to suffice. I don't particularly like that, though, as I tend to drive to the bodega back and forth several times a week and now that my wife is going back to the office I'll no longer have the use of that car. Here in VA I once got a ticket for going 7mph over on the highway and was pulled over multiple times for illegal tint (it wasn't that dark, we bought the Passat that way without knowing the law about tinting). Meaning my experience with VA cops has been they can be very a**l retentive so I'd never really know and would prefer not to have that in the back of my mind when I go buy wine at Stella's.

--Re Newport News driver--nice to hear of another VA Alfa person. Know of any good mechanics in the RVA area for Alfa's? I'd like to have a second option..

Thanks again to all the advice, I'll see what I can do with some of these new options.
I do all my own work and have since I was a teen-ager. If you have have a new Alfa Checkered Flag Alfa in Newport News does good.
Ever eat at Bud and Ned's real Barbecue on Broad St or Perly's Deli on Grace St? both are good. There is a Cars and Coffee next Saturday 10/1 at old Regency Square Mall. My wife and I sometimes come up and look around.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ever eat at Bud and Ned's real Barbecue on Broad St or Perly's Deli on Grace St? both are good. There is a Cars and Coffee next Saturday 10/1 at old Regency Square Mall. My wife and I sometimes come up and look around.
I'd eaten at Buzz and Ned's on Broad years ago when I lived in RVA before--I think it's gone now (I just moved back here from Sausalito, CA several months ago). Perly's was a fav too--now it's a line-out-the-door Jewish restaurant owned by Stella's (which is a Greek restaurant in Sauer Gardens with a few old Fiats parked in front, as well as several neighborhood bodegas scattered around RVA).

I actually live on Grace St (back of my building abuts Grace--Miller Rhodes). Richmond changes at a glacial pace (they were talking about doing stuff downtown 10 years ago they're still getting studies on now) and yet there's a lot different, and better this time around. I always loved VA and missed it, even while in California. Best think so far I love to do is take the bike down to Hampton Roads (wife's car, not on back of the Alfa!) and do some bike exploring around Buckroe Beach with a swim off Fort Monroe. Next up is Norfolk's Elizabeth River bike path--that'll be really nice. Or perhaps an Alfa ride to the Rockfish Valley with dinner at Basic Necessities after a hike in the Blue Ridge and some wine tasting. Virginia--a true gem.

Ok, I'm done now.. sorry for the digression from much more relevant conversation--and if I'm in town on October 1 I'll definitely check out Cars and Coffee--thanks for the tip!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
I'd eaten at Buzz and Ned's on Broad years ago when I lived in RVA before--I think it's gone now (I just moved back here from Sausalito, CA several months ago). Perly's was a fav too--now it's a line-out-the-door Jewish restaurant owned by Stella's (which is a Greek restaurant in Sauer Gardens with a few old Fiats parked in front, as well as several neighborhood bodegas scattered around RVA).

I actually live on Grace St (back of my building abuts Grace--Miller Rhodes). Richmond changes at a glacial pace (they were talking about doing stuff downtown 10 years ago they're still getting studies on now) and yet there's a lot different, and better this time around. I always loved VA and missed it, even while in California. Best think so far I love to do is take the bike down to Hampton Roads (wife's car, not on back of the Alfa!) and do some bike exploring around Buckroe Beach with a swim off Fort Monroe. Next up is Norfolk's Elizabeth River bike path--that'll be really nice. Or perhaps an Alfa ride to the Rockfish Valley with dinner at Basic Necessities after a hike in the Blue Ridge and some wine tasting. Virginia--a true gem.

Ok, I'm done now.. sorry for the digression from much more relevant conversation--and if I'm in town on October 1 I'll definitely check out Cars and Coffee--thanks for the tip!
Bud and Neds is still there, ate there last week. If you want some Alfa company when in the area if you give me a little advanced notice my wife and i are always up for new friends.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bud and Neds is still there, ate there last week. If you want some Alfa company when in the area if you give me a little advanced notice my wife and i are always up for new friends.
Ah, glad it's still there--I'll have to check it out--thought I'd read they were closing and some other condo building was going up there.

When I get the Alfa back up to speed (someone slashed the top, out of anger for beautiful cars others own, I think) it'd be great to say hello and have a little drive. I'll keep you all in mind--thanks.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top