It's been our experience that good behavior minimizes encounters with the man. Showing off, exhibition of speed, overly loud stereos, and so on just give an officer more reasons to scrutinize your truck.

To find definitive answers to your questions, you should study your state's vehicle codes. An internet search of topics such as Department of licensing or Vehicle Regulations should get you headed in the right direction. Most states have a master site or 800 numbers for additional information.

You could also contact the State Patrol. Most departments have a division that inspects vehicles from out of state or custombuilt vehicles before they can be licensed in that state.

In general, headlight heights, bumper heights, and whether or not tires are sufficiently covered are key vehicle code areas. The limits usually deal with the safety of other motorists. A bumper that lines up with the roof of another car doesn't provide much protection.

Once you determine that your truck is legal- although teetering on the far edge of legal-it might not be a bad idea to copy the pertinent parts of the code and keep the info in your glovebox. if you are really cool, you'll check out the Jan. '06 issue of Sport Truck, in which we highlighted the anti-lift laws in all 50 states.

Not So Cool
The air conditioner in my '99 Dodge Durango has been getting less and less cold over the past year. How can I fix this? It's still better than plain old vent air but not like it was when I first got the truck.
Mike Elliott
via e-mail

This is a relatively common complaint with '98 and '99 Dodge Durangos. Most often the problem is with the air-conditioning evaporator. Replacing the evaporator should restore the A/C performance, but it would be a good idea to have a qualified air-conditioning shop check the whole system.

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