In Québec, there is no periodical technical verification for regular vehicles. However, there is a mandatory one for cars coming from another province of Canada and, of course, for imported cars like this SM. The inspection, as it is called, must be done by a SAAQ approved workshop. SAAQ stand for “Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec” or Québec society for automobile insurance. The SAAQ manage vehicle registrations, driving licenses and driver insurance (people only, not their vehicle).

So, by May 2007, around one month after having the car out of its winter garage, I’m ready to try passing this inspection. I worked a lot on the car to make it drivable but there is one particular modification I made specially for the inspection, it was adapting the headlamps, which must be white, not yellow, as I was told. In fact I’m not sure that it’s really mandatory but I do the modification anyway because I prefer white headlamps.

I had to take off the headlamp glasses and then take off each headlamp. High beams have very nice reflectors inside but it’s not as nice for the low beams. I was surprised to see that the low beams from my other SM were in a better shape, so I decided to install them. They are not only in better shape, they already have the correct white color. For high beams, the bulb cap has to be removed to be able to remove the yellow insert glued on it. For low beams, there are 3 different attachments, they seem difficult to remove and I think there can brake easily, so I’m happy to avoid trying modifying them by now.

Once this modification done, I check everything and I discover that the turning lamps don’t work anymore. They were working a few days earlier. I quickly think about electrical contact problems in the fuse box, so I “play” with fuses by removing and putting them back, turning them, everything I can think of to get them back to work. But my problems is getting worse. Turning lamps are back but now I don’t have ignition any more and some headlamps don’t work anymore either. I finally use a electrical contact cleaner and I replace all fuses. It’s working but it’s not reliable for sure.

Other doubt related to the inspection, a very annoying noise coming from the front of the car. I don’t know if it’s a suspension or steering problem. I’m pretty sure that the inspection will fail but the inspectors will tell me what this noise is and so I will be able to fix it.

There is also a distribution noise. Valves will require tuning and timing chains will need tensioning (it’s part of the regular servicing if this car). It’s not too much a deal but when the engine is hot and on idle, it’s making a annoying noise. I’m pretty sure that this problem will not cause the inspection to fail, they check that the car is safe, not that it’s perfectly tuned.

I ask my antique car club for a place to go for the inspection. I’m suggested to go to a Chrysler dealer, why not, inspectors are know there to be friendly and a bit used to antique cars. I take an appointment and I go (one week later).

Almost every mechanic in this garage are very surprised to see this car arriving. The mechanic in charge of the inspection is interested in the car, this will facilitate the procedure. He mainly checks the brakes and every electrical equipment. Brakes are ok and almost all electrical equipments worked well, I’m lucky. The only exception is the windshield washer pump, which I didn’t really check.

Funny moment: when he didn’t find a brake disc in the front right wheel, the inspector came to me to ask if the car had only one brake disc for both front wheels 😉 I explained to him that this car is equipped with inboard brake discs and he didn’t even go to check their condition.

So everything went surprisingly well and the SM received its official conformity sticker, that should be on the car for one year I believe. Immediately after the inspection, I go to the SAAQ to make the good news official. To go to the inspection, I asked for a “transit”, it’s a paper we put on the rear window of the car as a temporary and limited licence plate. I now have a valid licence plate so I can remove this temporary paper, my pleasure.

Talking about licence plates, I discovered two days before the inspection that I didn’t put the correct plate on the car. I put the licence plate of my other SM 😉 In fact, as my other SM used two different bodies, I mixed the three licence plates I have for my two SM. Anyway, It’s now fixed.