Frequently Asked Questions

Do you perform NYS safety and emissions inspections? Yes, but please do make an appointment.

Do you still perform photo inspections for insurance companies? No. Double no. We stopped participating in the Carco program in 2013 but we still keep showing up on their website. Don't believe the hype, or rather, don't waste the trip.

Do you offer towing for my disabled vehicle?Forest Auto does not have a tow truck, instead customers generally find their own tow service or use our recommendation - Chris at Continental Towing @ 863-8497

What are the rules of NYS inspections that most vehicle owners should be most aware of? This is a juicy topic, here goes:

  1. If your inspection sticker is past due, the inspector by law must scrap the sticker off as the very first act of inspection. If your sticker is of the current month or later, your sticker is safe.
  2. Inspection prices are mandated by the state of New York, and are tax exempt. Usually the cost is $21. For newer or much older cars the price can be $10.
  3. For OBD2 vehicles (1996 and newer), your check engine light must be off to pass inspection. No other dash light matters in this regard. Also, your check engine light must illuminate when you first turn the key on, for at least a few seconds.
  4. If you've lost battery power or had your check engine light codes cleared recently, your vehicle may not be "ready" for inspection, and would fail for having too many monitors "not ready". This is a bigger subject about how every modern car runs a series of self-tests called Monitors to determine if each emissions system is functioning properly. Your vehicle's computer requires time and driving distance in order run it's Monitors. In most cases all but one monitor need to be "set" in order for this vehicle to be ready for NYS inspection. Check out this page for more info, and consider purchasing a basic code reader that can be had for under $20, such as the Autel MS 300 (found on
  5. Exhaust is not a part of inspection, and neither are other obvious mechanical problems like oil and coolant leaks. There are situations where a vehicle can drive into a shop and receive his safety/emissions inspection, then proceed to drive away and receive a traffic ticket for a loud exhaust.


Can I bring my own parts and have Forest Automotive install them?Generally, no. There are certain cases where we will make exceptions. We prefer to install parts we sell for a number of reasons. The most controversial one is that we make a lot of our revenue from our markup on parts. This is a dirty aspect of the automotive repair industry, at least in the respect that it is so infrequently made clear to customers that auto shops are marking up their parts. To anyone that has worked in retail this is probably obvious, but this is not everyone out there. We do not believe it's unethical to make a reasonable profit on parts resale, but it does seem dishonest to hide this fact. Our parts markup is, on average, 55%. The markup is higher on less expensive items and less on more expensive items. Our percentage is on the low side in the industry, as it's been found that local chains go as high as 100%.

The next problem with customer parts is the case of a warranty issue. In the event that there is a problem with a customer's radiator (for example) that we installed, how are we to determine if the fault lies in the radiator itself or with an installation error? When it's the shop's parts, it doesn't matter, because we are going to warranty the situation in either case. When it is not our part, then it's easy to see how it can get complicated.

Lastly, it's common for us to order parts using our best judgement and receive something that isn't correct. Normally we then call the parts warehouse and order another hopefully correct part. This is a typical part of business, and often it takes place with the vehicle halfway dismantled on one of the lifts. The time it takes to get the correct part is a crippling obstacle that the shop must hurdle in order to complete our work orders on a given day. What happens when the part we start with is the customer's part, and that part isn't quite right? It is reasonable to wait for the customer to bring us the correct part? Hopefully it's clear that this isn't practical.

Who painted your sign? Our friend Nicole Dionne.

What's the phone number for the Heritage Center? 716-833-8601

What's the Heritage Center? As far as we know, the Heritage Center is an organization that helps people with stuff. Also, they have a phone number very close to ours, hence, we receive many, many phone calls per week in regards to the Heritage Center, all of which we feel unqualified to discuss. Often, we direct these confused individuals to the previous FAQ.

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