Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/26/2002 8:57:26 AM EST
Man! I'm tired of this crap! Went to get the van inspected and failed! Passed last year with no problems this year the numbers looked as if raw gas was pouring out the tail pipe. Went and had it fixed to the tune of $500.00. Reinspect and the thing failed again the numbers were worse. Under advise of first mechanic drove it a few days and reinspect again (that's $75 in inspection fees) failed again. Soooo took it to another Mechanic and another $600.00 bill and this one says that it will pass. I haven't inspected it yet but I feel confident that it will pass. Total outlay $1200.00+! I don't feel that I'm unreasonable but enough is enough. How do I fight this? The test is ambiguous as far as I'm concerned. Your told pass or fail that is all. Then you walk into a mechanic shop with an open jar of KY and a blank check and maybe you can get a inspection sticker, otherwise you sell the thing for junk. It's not like it is a piece of junk to begin with it's a 94 G20 Van. I like clean air just like everyone else but just two counties in the state require this level of inspection and the rest get away with a simple safety inspection.... Over 2/3's of the inspection stations in the city have stopped performing the service. It seems as if they expect everyone to drive new cars every year! I wouldn't plan on owning the same car for more that 3 years now. OK I feel a little better...
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:07:12 AM EST
It's also going to affect the resale of used vehicles. I have a '94 F-150 that I am a little worried about having inspected. I work with a guy that lives in Grand Saline and he said that they inspection there costs $10.50 and there is no emissions test. Tarrant and Dallas Counties get to pay $39.50.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:23:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:37:56 AM EST
move to somewhere like indiana (we don't have auto inspections).
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:47:02 AM EST
I had a car that failed inspection a few years ago... it wasn't for emissions. I don't think they have to check for that (or had to at the time) down here in Austin. They might have to now, or in the future, since we've had so many 'Ozone Action Days' this year. The car I had failed inspection because of one of the lights next to the headlight. It was an older Saab. They said it was a turn signal, but it wasn't. It was what I'd call a 'running light'. Had no other function than to be on. If they start checking emissions, I'll just laugh it off anyway... my vehicle is ULEV. Probably wouldn't even register on the equipment! Plus, it's a new car, and the inspection sticker is good for two years! nice! :)
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:58:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By sloth: move to somewhere like indiana (we don't have auto inspections).
View Quote
that sounds like a really safe idea
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 11:58:47 AM EST
Wow, your vehicle must be really 'dirty' - I&M (inspection & maintenance) tests are pretty minimal standards with which to comply, mostly to catch 'gross emitters' - these tests are 1000 times (or more!) less sensitive than manufacturer's certification tests. In my prior life we made aftermarket parts for cars and in order to be 'smog legal' we had to conform to the mfgr's standards, not just simple I&M tests. What make/model/year/engine is your van? Is this a modern engine with electronic engine control & fuel injection? Or is it carbed? Do they tell you how it failed - do you have a summary report on what was outta spec? HC? NOx? SOx? Sometimes engines running too rich fail tests due to dud catalytic converter. The term "kill the cat" means that the catalytic converter has been ruined by fuel in exhaust. Prob far more likely to happen on a carbureted car than one with EFI. Another way to run too rich is if the oxygen sensor fails, and this applies to EFI engines too - the feedback loop can't control air/fuel mix to stoich 14.7:1 ratio. Sometimes O2 sensor failure symptoms are mimicked by a cracked exhaust manifold: the 02 perceives "lean" from exhaust (due to outside air leakage) and richens mixture. Quite common on vehicles w/cast iron exhaust manifolds - prime example is 5.0L Ford V8 in late 80s trucks - prob other engines as well. Now, barring major engine work, perhaps replacing little (relatively) cheapie parts may solve problem... I don't think you have a major engine problem; something in control system is making it act up... DON'T LET THEM REPLACE THE COMPUTER (ECU, ECM, PCM, etc.) If the car feels like it's running fine, not missing, etc. than the ECU is more than likely NOT the problem: it's the sensors, actuators and connectors exposed to heat, cold, expansion, vibration, aging in the engine bay that are far more likely to cause problems than ECU. I'm assuming this is an EFI system... no particular order... not all systems may have all these parts... - run self-test diagnostics (late 80s & up Fords can check themselves, dunno others) - do you have any codes stored or is "check engine" light on? [Does this light work???] - replace O2 sensor (often toast at 65+K mi) - replace EGR valve & position sensor - check/replace thermactor bypass valve/ solenoids; - replace PCV valve - check/replace idle speed control valve; - check cat converter function (HC before/after) - check/replace throttle position sensor/switch; - replace MAP (manifold pressure) sensor; - check mass airflow meter (expensive to replace); - check engine position sensor (i.e., the sensors the ECM uses to figure out crank angle for proper fuel & spark event scheduling) And even if switches/sensors test good, you may wanna "test back" thru the wiring harness since connectors and wiring DO fail on occasion. Lotsa mechanics don't understand engine control, and try to fix what they do know (the engine itself). A nonabused *engine* of recent vintage that does not have serious mech problems should pass a basic I&M test even at 100K mi; it's the other thingies that can distort/magnify emissions when they fail. I don't hear of these probs in Kalifornia and we have pretty tight emissions test for post 74 vehicles... Good luck! Bill Wiese San Mateo, CA
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:15:16 PM EST
FreeBore, For that amount of money you could have replaced your catalytic converter!!!! Guarantee, replace that and you will pass your emissions. I had an 80 Toyota Corrola that passed for years. One year, it failed, just like your van. Took it a shop (miles away from the emmisions testting place) and the guy looked at it. Said the car was perfectly tuned (actually amazed at how well it ran). He then drilled a hole in the exhaust and put a scope in to look at the catalytic converter. Said it was bad. Removed it, put in a new converter and off I went. I ended up passes the emmissions test with flying colors. Actually passed to well. I was pulled out of line, and the car was subjected to an EXTENSIVE exam. I was actually accused of alterting the vehicle to circumvent the emmisisons test. I pulled out the reciept for the new converter and showed them what I had done. They really got rude, I asked for the site manager (I kept my cool). The manager looked things over and asked what the problem was. I explained the situation, and how rude the employees were. He checked out the car personally, read the reciept, took the other guys off to the side and talked to them. When he came back, he apologiesed profusely and refunded my money for the test and sent me on my way.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:44:11 PM EST
Excellent suggestions, [b]bwiese[/b]. Sounds like a bad case of "screwdriver mechanic" to me! One other item to check: The thermostat. If it sticks open, the engine almost never gets up to normal temperature (even though you'd probalby never notice it in Texas!). This makes the engine run rich all the time, and can ruin a catalytic converter in short order. Mitsubishi (and Chrysler products with Mitsubishi engines) are especially bad about having this problem.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:46:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/26/2002 12:49:25 PM EST by JasonF]
The emissions standards vary from state to state. From what I understand these new enhanced emissions tests are the result of some Federal Clean Air bill passed during the Clinton administration. The company that manufactures the testing equipment lobbied to no end to get the auto emissions standard into the bill. The part that really gets my ass is that while the emission standards are not mandated, the Feds/DOT use blackmail to get the states to comply. You don't want to comply?... Fine, we'll withhold highway funds. They did the same thing with seat belt laws, raising the drinking age, 55 mph speed limits (since been canned)etc. Anyhow, in my state there was a big battle over adopting the new enhanced system (our legislators were worried big time over losing Federal highway funds). They had to make some major concession with gas station and shop owners so they'd agree to spend the money for the new equipment. Testing is done every two years and only for vehicles manufactured after 1983 (post-ban/pre-ban vehicles?). There's a cap on how much you can be required to spend to fix the problem. For newer cars; it's something like $500.00. For older ones; it's around $200.00. If the cost of repairing the problem exceeds that amount, the owner can apply for an exemption (yeah, right). As far as getting borderline vehicles to pass, a few preventative measures help. Clean or replace the air filter. Change the oil. And running the engine for at least a half hour (preferably on the highway) has helped myself and others that I know of get a passing grade.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:05:38 PM EST
Excellent suggestions, bwiese. Sounds like a bad case of "screwdriver mechanic" to me! One other item to check: The thermostat. If it sticks open, the engine almost never gets up to normal temperature (even though you'd probalby never notice it in Texas!). This makes the engine run rich all the time, and can ruin a catalytic converter in short order... {snip}
View Quote
Ooooh, yes, I forgot to list that - and those damned temperature sensors as well (one of which in effect "reads" the thermostat). Often times there are two temp sensors: ACT (Air Charge Temp) and CTS (Coolant Temp Sensor). Either of these, when failing, can cause problems. They're also relatively cheap to replace and fall into the "small items" category if your car is a few years old. Failure of throttle position sensor/switch can be a nasty one too: bad switch doesn't engage idle mode but instead uses fairly decent settings from the lowest RPM & load ranges of the part-throttle spark & fuel maps in the ECM. So the engine 'feels' like it runs good but ECM doesn't think it's idling and doesn't deal with separate idle control system, which is sure to cause emissions problems. Is less prevalent on systems where a potentiometer without switch is used for throttle position and the PCM just infers idle or wide-open-throttle mode from a min/max reading of this sensor.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:20:46 PM EST
In any major place where these silly things are done, there are ALWAYS shops that will see to it you "pass", for a small donation. Screw it, pay the man and get on with it!
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:22:46 PM EST
From what I understand, the emissions standards for the few counties in TX that require it, are failing many vehicles.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:28:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja: In any major place where these silly things are done, there are ALWAYS shops that will see to it you "pass", for a small donation. Screw it, pay the man and get on with it!
View Quote
Hell, there was a time I used to get my sticker by mail. [:D] Not anymore though since they got stricter on (random inspections, stings) making sure the stations did the testing properly. And now all the information is transmitted to and stored by the DMV. And oh yeah; once the mechanic plugs your plate number and/or VIN, if you have any outstanding tickets... no sticker for you! [:(]
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:30:34 PM EST
They are also doing the roadside testing here in the DFW area. I have seen the white van on the onramp to 183 a few times now. If your emissions are not up to par, they snap a picture of your plate and send you a ticket. I guess the next time I see this setup I will stay on the access road.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:04:46 PM EST
I have a POS 87 Toyota Tercel that use to get to work. It's plug ugly and makes me look like a dork driving it, but it gets the job done. We lucky PRK folks have to do the smog check limbo every two years. This time my rice beater failed the CO2 test. Blue book on the car is $1k. From what's been said here it sounds like the cat is bad. This car isn't worth a new cat. Without a somg cert the Cali' DMV won't register the car, so I can't use it. No colored tags = instant CHP stop. Anyone know any "friendly" smog inspection stations in the L.A. area, ahem? IM me please.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:12:17 PM EST
Try Florida. No auto inspections whatsoever. No emissions requirements that I can see. My Mustang has a few exhaust mods - it's louder then stock, but not really annoyingly loud. I've been pulled over by several police agencies since I installed it, and they never say a word about it.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:03:25 PM EST
Just got back from the inspection and I passed! It just cost me $1500+/-. Damn I wish those guys would use more KY.... I have a 1994 Chevy G20 van with a V6 TBI. The codes that were being emitted with 45 and 32, which I believe to be the ERG circuit and the O2 circuit. The guy that fixed both of them charged $594.00 with $114.00 of that for testing. $250 in parts and the balance in labor. After the final inspection the numbers really lead me to believe that next year the van will fail as it only passed by a margin of a few points in the high speed test: Low Speed: Standard Current reading HC 143 125 CO 1.6% 0.24 CO2 14.5% O2 0.8% NOX 905 709 Dilution >6.0% 14.7% High speed: Standard Current reading HC 147 141 CO 1.24% 0.26 CO2 14.4% O2 0.8% NOX 990 988 Dilution >6.0% 14.7% As you can see the high speed is almost at the limit. The mechanic did say that replacing the Cat. converter needed to be done. That will cost another $200.00. I feel that selling the van is my only way out. I just got the thing paid for in March, as it was used. They have decreased the numbers on the test and now they run the car on a tread mill (lack of a better term). Yes they do blackmail the county as they have also lowered the speed limit here to 55. Now the courts are backed up with tickets... I'll heed your advice about the sensors. Thanks. FB
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:08:43 PM EST
im thinking you got fucked.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:14:52 PM EST
Man the yahoos down here get more per hour than my doctor!!! $50-$70 / hour. Parts are always two to three times the parts house cost...
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:21:40 PM EST
I use to put up with this kind of shit in the Republic of Jersey...10 years ago I moved to VA and since then...vehicle inspections are $10.00 and no emission tests...life is good [:D]
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:30:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/26/2002 4:37:46 PM EST by sharky30]
damn, not even NY is that bad $10 (or is it $15 now) for an inspection and there's no emissions test that I know of. basiclaly as long as the brakes work, tires have tread and the lights work you're good to go If a repair shop said they did enough work to pass, and it didn't, they'd be giving me more work for free, or better yet a refund
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:40:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By FreeBore: Man the yahoos down here get more per hour than my doctor!!! $50-$70 / hour.
View Quote
But at least the mechanics aren't asking you if you have a firearm at home or getting involved in gun control/safety issues. [;)]
Parts are always two to three times the parts house cost...
View Quote
Still cheaper than the cost of transplant organs. What's the asking price on E-Bay for a spleen or kidney nowadays?
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 10:27:08 AM EST
FreeBore... Sorry, you got reamed. When it's "little sh*t" like O2 sensor and EGR valve, DON'T PAY FOR DIAGNOSTIC TIME, JUST REPLACE THE PARTS. Take it down to a gas station guy that knows one end of a wrench from another, get the parts (get the RIGHT ones too - parts suppliers don't always pick the right ones, double check) and have him throw 'em in. 02 sensor should be, worst-case, $50, and maybe $45 to throw it in - even in Kalifornia. EGR setup may be a bit more - say, $100, but should only be, worst-case, $100 to throw in. You SHOULD be able to get a cheap cat for $100 and have a muffler shop put it on for $50. BTW, the bad O2 sensor prob killed your cat. If your van runs fine and you are happy with it (other than this BS) you might as well keep it and just beware next time that diagnostic time costs way more than parts - just start throwing all the little parts at it for the helluvit and you'll prob fix it. Bill Wiese San Mateo, CA
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 10:57:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By Will220: I use to put up with this kind of shit in the Republic of Jersey...10 years ago I moved to VA and since then...vehicle inspections are $10.00 and no emission tests...life is good [:D]
View Quote
I "got out" 7 years ago. Which Inspection Station? I used to use Plainfield if the car was near new, Somerville if it looked good, but had mechanical problems, and Kilmer if it was a smoker. [:D]
Top Top