Few events raise terror to the classic driver as effectively as the annual inspection. Somehow I manipulated my inspection so it occurs during the winter, the worst possible time of the year. Actually, mine is next week.
Maine's required inspection doesn't differ greatly from those of other states: tire tread depth and condition, working lights, directionals, horns, wipers/washers, seat belts, brakes, suspension and structural rust.
So today I finally decided to check out the simple stuff - taillights and directionals. All went great until I noticed the left front directional lamp. Nope, no illumination there - so off came the amber lens only to see rust, and lots of it. Sure enough, the entire socket had rusted away. I couldn't even remove the bulb.
Only by breaking the glass could I remove the bulb and that's when I realized the socket had dissolved in a year's worth of water and salt. I got on the phone quickly and Rovers North had one in stock; it should arrive tomorrow.
The rusted and rounded exhaust header nuts will be a bigger problem. I was able to spray a great deal of rust-buster all over the nuts but still they won't budge. If I try and force them with a breaker bar, they will, well, break. I do have a used exhaust manifold so possibly I can just sway it out in a pinch.
Inspection comes on Monday, and I have another two weeks to work on the car before the sticker runs out. On the island, an expired sticker does not present a major problem; with only one garage on the island, the deputy has to be generous with time for repairs. This might limit trips to the mainland, though.