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G&J helps families obtain emissions repair vouchers

Janice and Lonnie Curtis got bad news recently when their car failed the inspection emissions tests. The couple didn’t have the several hundred dollars needed to fix the problem. But without the repairs, they couldn’t get a new inspection sticker. The Curtises need their car to get to work every day and couldn’t afford to get a ticket any more than they could afford the repair costs. Worried about what to do, they heard that G&J Garage could help them get a voucher for up to $600 to cover the cost of emissions repairs if they qualified.

“It was helpful learning about the program since we don’t make a lot of money,” said Lonnie.

The staff at G&J helped Janice with the application and it took four to six days to recieve the voucher. “[Cynthia] gave me an application. I gave it back to her. She faxed it in, and I got [the voucher] in the mail,” Janice explained.

The shop that initially inspected the Curtis’ car did not tell them about the Texas Environmental AirCheck Texas program. Though the program is much needed, HGAC does not have the funding to advertise the benefit. G&J Garage stepped up to fill the gap by advertising the program as a service to its customers.

“If a car fails, I always take the extra time to tell them about the program. It only takes a couple minutes but it can mean so much,” said owner Saad Qamar. He said that he has received several thank you cards from appreciative customers who learned about the program through his shop and advertisements. “It is a beautiful program. It helps customers and us both. People are thanking me for this ad,” Qamar said.

The garage’s office manager Cynthia Terrell walks clients through the AirCheck application process and explains how the program works. The vehicle must be 2 to 24 years old, failed the emissions test but passed the DPS safety inspection. The vehicle needs to have been registered for the past two years in a participating county. The owner must live in a participating county. Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston and Montgomery Counties all participate the the AirCheck program.

Customers can pick up an application from G&J, fill it out and mail it themselves. Or for faster results, G&J can fax it in for the customers at no charge.

To complete the request, the application needs to be accompanied by a proof of income (check stub, social security benefit statement, or tax record) and the VRI report which is generated by a garage to show that the vehicle failed the emissions test but passed the safety requirements. Whether mailed or faxed, the voucher will be mailed directly to the customer.

Repairs typically average a day to a day and a half depending on parts availability. G&J will even give clients a ride home if they live near the shop.

G&J begins by running a diagnostic test to tell what repairs should be done. They prioritize the list based on what is needed to pass inspection. Customers are called and told the estimate before any work is begins.

Client must pay a $30 deductible to use the voucher and any costs that exceed $600. “We try our best to keep them under $600,” Terrell said.

Mechanic Steven Rodish who completes the repairs said that 100% of the cars he fixes passes the inspection. “I never cheat it through. I just fix the car,” Rodish said. G&J Garage is a DPS recognized emissions repair facility. All their repairs come with a 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty.

For more information on the DPS AirCheck Program, call G&J Garage at 713-695-0816.