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Old 02-23-2005, 06:43 PM
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dieseldiehard dieseldiehard is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bay Area No Calif.
Posts: 4,368
Why I like DIESELS (Because Smog Tests Suck!)

There is more than meets the eye with this smog test stuff. I don't own a car that needs smog checks but I have a friend that does. He recently went through similar circumstances as BENZ-LGB.
First, note that he always has a service performed prior to testing, including an oil change, new plugs, O2 sensor and fresh tank of hi octane, etc. He recently took his car to a smog only garage and the man commented that it really met the levels easily and will passe "no problem" Car is a Volvo 240 with Bosch FI engine and a stick shift. Keep in mind he needed to go to the test only site next, it was just a mile away, to get a certificate for the state of Crapifornia. And yes he made sure his catalytic converter was good and hot.

When tested, the car failed! He asked them to retest it they did and it still failed, he insisted something was wrong, he happened to have a friend along that knew the owner of the place and they together said it had just passed a smog only test. So the owner of the shop moved a large fan over to the front of the car, switched it on high and ran the test the third time and it passed with flying colors. The theory I have is that the Mass airflow sensor or something in the front of the engine needs cooling air or air flow to read the proper signals into the computer. I do not know which parameter failed, all I now is it failed some spec big time.
The car is sitting there with its engine loaded by the dynomometer type load (they will tell you its not a dyno at all, just loaded cylinders that the wheels are driving) with no air flow, very unlike the real world where air is blowing into the front of the car.

So you see, this whole system is a bunch of non scientific hogwash. The shop owner even sugested he call the BAR while at the same time he said they know that since they started using these dyno things they have had tons of problems like this.

Lastly, be warned anyone that owns a stick shift car, most of these Smog test places do NOT know how to shift stick transmissions! 90% of the cars they see are automatics. My friend said one guy ground his gears real bad. And they are supposed to put it in 3rd gear I believe but he revved the ***** out of it in 2nd and didn't use the clutch one time he tried to shift gears. Your insurance company won't cover it if they waste your synchros or worse!
Smog Checks Suck! Just ask Texas. There they scrapped the whole plan after the courts decided this was wrong from the start. This after many people invested a lot of their own money in building smog test centers to a State supplied specifications. Lawsuits are probably still running in the courts there.

All this is yet another reason I DRIVE DIESELS!
'95 E320 Wagon my favorite road car. '99 E300D wolf in sheeps body, '87 300D Sportline suspension, '79 300TD w/ 617.952 engine at 367,750 and counting!
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