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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont really know where to put this, but I'm a 'Luder at heart, even though I dont own one anymore... so it goes here... Mods, move it to where you see fit.

Anyway, as some of you know, I own and operate my own emissions inspection station in the state of Georgia. I am about to tell you the secrets of emissions programs in all states. The only state I am not talking about is California, as they do things for different reasons.
NOTE: California will not apply to anything I say in this thread. It does apply to every other state's emissions programs. EDIT: California details are posted further down on pg. 1 and 2

First and foremost, emissions programs are about money. There is no other reason for them aside from that. They get away with the program though, because it does address some legitmate environmental concerns. But it is all about the almighty dollar.

I can say this because it is true. The state of Florida abolished their emissions program a few years back because studies showed that emissions in the state were carried away out to sea by the wind, away from the populated areas that emissions programs target. Studies right here in the state of Georgia have shown that one of our public transportation buses in Atlanta pollutes more on it's daily routes than 87,000 passenger vehicles registered in the city during daily driving, and we dont test these buses because they're overweight. Emissions programs do not test deisel engines, because they would never pass any sort of standard. Emissions programs do not test anything of significant weight, because the more load put on an engine, the higher the emissions. In Georgia, anything over 8500 GVWR is exempt from testing. This is because they too, would never pass any type of inspection. This includes tractor trailers, semis, farm vehicles, any industrial vehicle, F250s and up, C2500s and up, even Excursions.

75% of cars on the road fall into the lightweight passenger vehicle category. This is the demographic emissions programs target, because they are the largest group on the road where they can make the most money.

How the program works
Basically, in order for me to run a test, I have to purchase a certificate number from the state. The state only sells certs in sets of 50, and it's $7 per cert, $350 for the set. I charge $25 for a test, for an $18 profit. Considering the dyno was about $20,000 and the analyzer was close to $45,000, that's not a lot. Anyway, you bring your car to me, I run the test, send the information to the state, and you can register your car. If you pass, you just pay your money and wait until next year. If you fail, you take your car somewhere to get repaired, or you fix it yourself, and you try again.

Free retesting
In Georgia, the state requires that stations give one free retest for every paid test. So basically, the customer has to pay every other time. This is a state wide mandate, but not all of us follow. Like me, I've been doing this long enough that I can use the analyzer's functions to give me unlimited free retests, and do this for my customers. I do not, however, give free retests to customers from other stations. Why should I waste my time testing their car if they're not going to pay me? Either way, if you've paid for a test and failed, you're entitled to a free retest, generally at the same inspection station.

What cars require testing
In Georgia, any car that is three model years old or newer is exempt from testing. Anything over 25 years old is also exempt from testing. If it's diesel, it's exempt. If it's over 8500 GVWR, it's exempt. For the 2006 model year, anything between 82-03 requires a test. Other states may have other criteria, so check with your local station to find out.

About buying a new or used vehicle
If you recently just purchased a new or used vehicle from a dealership within a covered county, you should already have a passing emissions inspection with the vehicle. If not, the dealership is required to either reimburse you for the passing test, or should it fail, fix the problem and pay for another, passing, test. If the dealership fails to meet either of these requirements, you can notify the state and the state will take action, generally in the form of a few thousand dollars worth of fines or the revocation of their dealership license. Most dealers will work with you to avoid interaction with the state.

Should you believe the inspector or equipment failed your car incorrectly or intentionally...
You have the right to request what is called a Referee Test, within 15 days of the original inspection, provided no repairs have been made. A state representative will come out and oversee the retest to ensure accuracy and legitimacy. Contact your state's waiver center for more infomation.

My car failed, and i've spent a shitload trying to get it fixed, it still fails
The state gives waivers for almost everything. One of the waivers they give is called a repair waiver. If you have your car tested, and it fails... you can spend a certain amount of money trying to get it fixed and still have it fail, and still be able to register your car. (see why I say this is all about money?) Here in Georgia, the cost is $689 in provable reciepts, trying to get your car to pass. Trick is, you have to show improvement. If you spend the money and you fail worse, the state won't give you a waiver. If you improve, you'll be granted the waiver and can register your vehicle. This waiver is good for one year only.

the $689 changes annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.

waivers and exemptions
State emissions programs give waivers for cars that cannot be conventionally tested or have had extensive modifications to where they would not pass a conventional test. This applies to kit cars, engine swaps with engines that were never offered in that vehicle, OBD1 conversions, amongst other heavy modifications. These waivers are good for one year, and must be certified and approved by a state representative. You'd have to go to a waiver station to apply for the waiver, and a representative would have to verify your claim before the waiver was issued. Every year, you'd have to do this again.

these waivers do not exempt you from a test in most cases. Some do, but most dont. What they're for is to allow you to take a different version of the test, with different allowable limits based on the modifications you've done. With tuning and effort, you should be able to pass one of these tests.


Different Types of tests
There are three different types of emissions tests, OBD, ASM, and TSI. OBD tests apply for any vehicle model year 1996 or newer, equipped with OBD2. This consists of plugging into the diagnostic port and scanning the computer for fault codes. ASM (advanced simulation mode) is for 1995 and older cars, and is what you would call the dyno test. A 2WD car is driven on the dyno at two different loads, one which simulates driving down a flat road, and another load which simulates driving up a slight incline. In both tests we take samples straight from the tailpipe. TSI (two speed idle) test is for 1995 and older cars that cannot be dyno tested, such as full time 4WD cars or those equipped with non-disengageable traction control systems. The car is run in park or neutral at 2500rpm for 30 seconds, and again at still idle for 30 seconds. tailpipe samples are taken at both high and low idle.

in '03, some car manufacturers came out with a new diagnostic system called Controlled Area Network. CAN equipped cars cannot be conventionally tested with an OBD2 scanner, as they are not OBD2 equipped. These cars will be dyno tested with the ASM mode test.

all cars are also subject to a gas cap pressure test to ensure you are not evaporating fuel. The evap/charcoal canister is a major component of this system, along with the gas cap. if you do not have a gas cap, you fail.


My car failed! OBD
If your car failed and is OBD2 equipped, repairs are simple. Your check engine light is on, a code is stored in your computer and will print out with your inspection report. Take the printout to your local repair shop, they'll diagnose and repair what needs to be repaired. They'll reset your computer to clear the fault codes, and you'll take it back to the testing station. In order to pass however, you will have to put your computer through it's drive cycle to pass for readiness. Drive between 60 and 150 miles (or a few days) before taking your car to be retested. Be sure the light does not come back on within this time. After that, your car will have had time to gather information from the sensors and set all of the readiness indicators. With no fault codes and completed readiness indicators, your car will pass an inspection.

My car failed!! ASM and TSI
On these tests, your inspection report will give you a listing of three gases from your tailpipe, and the recorded measurements for your car on each one, along with the state's allowable limit for that gas. Repairs will be needed to make your car pass. Cars taking this test always test better when warmed up. Be sure to drive for 20 minutes or so before going to the inspection station, to be sure your car is efficiently warmed. Otherwise, take your inspection report to your repair shop and have them diagnose and repair effectively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
These are the gases that come out of your tailpipe
a car puts out six different types of gases through the tailpipe. these are

N2 - nitrogen gas
CO2 - Carbon dioxide
H20 - water vapor
C0 - Carbon monoxide
HC - Hydrocarbons
NOx - both NO and NO2, together called NOx, or nitrogen oxides.

The first three are not harmful. Emissions programs test for the last three. carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are broken down by sunlight to create oxidants, which in turn react with NOx to produce O3, or ground level ozone... Ground level ozone is the whole reason we have emissions programs.

the catalytic converter is designed to reduce the output of CO, HC, and NOx. This is why they're called three way catalytic converters, because they try to eliminate three gases.


HC : Hydrocarbons
this is an unburned fuel measurement. repairs needed in this category, should you be failing, include but are not limited to:

spark plugs and wires
ignition and distributor points
air/fuel mixture adjustment
fuel injection system
timing and spark advance
MAP sensor
Mass Air Flow sensor

CO : Carbon Monoxide
this is caused by impaired airflow through the engine. repairs needed include, but are not limited to:

Air Filters and breathers
PCV system
Vacuum leaks
air injection and reaction systems
idle speed adjustment
coolant temp sensors

NOx : Nitrogen Oxides
this is a load bearing, heat index. Repairs include, but are not limited to:

Catalytic Converter
EGR System
O2 Sensor
incorrect thermostat

a quick talk about catalytic converters
It is a federal offense to tamper with a catalytic converter. FEDERAL. now, the feds aren't gonna come after you or anything, but it is. It is illegal in all fifty states to remove one. If you own a 1995 and older car and have removed the catalytic converter, you're pretty much out of luck passing an emissions test on that car. The reason is, on '95 and older models, inspectors physically verify the existence of a catalyst. Meaning, I'll actually look for one, and if I dont see it, you fail, whether you pass a tailpipe test or not. If you've removed it on your 96 or newer OBD2 model, then you're in luck!! the trick is to make the removal of your converter not be noticed by your ECU. This way, a scan of the computer will come up with no codes, even though the cat is no longer there. This is done with an O2 simulator... basically a resistor that sends the expected voltage to the ecu, although the sensor is not reading that voltage.

and i think that's about it
well, I hope this was helpful to some people... feel free to ask any questions you have about emissions testing, and i'll be sure to answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cool... it might apply to you at some point though, even though I stated earlier about how Florida abolished their emissions program...

How govenments choose where and where not to have testing
is all based on population density. Emissions programs are installed based on the amount of people living within a certain square mileage. Censuses tell us where our most densely poplated areas are, and how many of them drive cars. In the greater atlanta area, tested motor vehicles are driven over 115 million miles every day.

In outlying areas, it's not necessary to have emissions testing because the population isn't as high, so not as many people drive cars, meaning less pollutants are in that area. This is why cities like LA have major smog issues, where the sky is actually a different color because of it.

As the years pass and our country's population grows, you'll see emissions testing installed in many places and current programs area of effect will grow. Here in the atlanta area, as of '06 there are 13 covered counties. In '07, there will be 19 covered counties. Expect that to happen all across the country.
 

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I thought of an interesting fact yesterday concerning the Greddy E-manage Ultimate. It's supposed to offer the options of a standalone but in piggyback form. Also I think that you don't have to convert your car to OBDI to use it. So you should be able to pass emissions with it and have a nice tune. Anyone know for sure? If it's true I'll probably be getting an Ultimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't really help you there... California's testing is very, very different and much more strict than any of the other states' programs. Reason being that California has the highest population density across the entire state than any other state in the nation.

wish I could help you, but I can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did some digging... here's what I found out about California

Not all vehicles must get a Smog Check. Additionally, some vehicles only need a Smog Check when they are being sold or being registered in California after previously being registered in another state. Whether or not a vehicle needs a Smog Check depends on the type of vehicle, the model-year, and the area in which the vehicle is registered.

Some vehicles are exempt from the Smog Check program

Legislation enacted during 2004 made several changes in motor vehicle Smog Check exemptions that will become effective next year. Following is a summary of the revised exemptions and the effective date of each change:

Beginning January 1, 2005, vehicles 6 or less model-years old will be exempt from the biennial Smog Check inspection requirement. For vehicles with registration renewals due in the 2005 calendar year, this exemption includes model-years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Beginning January 1, 2005, vehicles 4 or less model-years old will be exempt from the Smog Check inspection requirement upon change of ownership and transfer of title transactions with DMV. In 2005, this exemption includes model-years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Beginning April 1, 2005, the 30-year rolling exemption will be repealed. Instead, vehicles 1975 model-year and older will be exempt. Therefore, 1976 model-year and newer vehicles will continue to be subject to biennial inspection indefinitely.

Beginning April 1, 2005, vehicles being initially registered in California that were previously registered in another state will be exempt if the vehicle is a 1975 and older model-year vehicle. Newer vehicles, the first 6 model years, are not exempted upon initial registration in California. These vehicles are required to undergo a Smog Check Inspection


Change of Ownership Areas vs. Basic and Enhanced Areas
Most areas of the state require vehicles to have a Smog Check performed every two years, when being sold, and when being initially registered in California. These areas are referred to as the state's Basic and Enhanced Areas. However, Change of Ownership Areas only require a Smog Check when the vehicle is being sold or initially registered in California. You can determine the Smog Check area you are in by calling the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair toll-free at 1-800-952-5210

Not all counties in California require testing. To see which counties are covered, click here to download an area map in .pdf form: California Program Map

How do I know if my vehicle requires a smog check?
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will note on your DMV Renewal Notice whether a Smog Check is required to reregister your vehicle. In addition, an information insert explaining the Smog Check Program requirements should be included in that mailing.

No Smog check is required on vehicle sales within immediate family
Section 4000.1 (d)(2) of the California Vehicle Code exempts from the change of ownership Smog Check requirement vehicles being sold or transferred between certain family members, such as parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, or spouses.

Current law exempts vehicles 30-model-years old and older from the Smog Check program.

Consumer Assitance Program and Gold Shield Stations
The Consumer Assistance Program is available at participating Gold Shield stations for motorists who need assistance (up to $500) in repairing a vehicle when it fails a biennial (every other year) Smog Check. Click here to learn more about the Consumer Assistance Program and to obtain an application
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
About California Emissions equipment
The State of California uses a Bar-97 5 gas analyzer, just like the ones we use here in Georgia. California, as far as I can tell, does not do OBD testing. They only do ASM and TSI testing (described above) so as to read the emissions directly from the tailpipe, and take no trust in the car's computer.

This is not verified information, as the literature I was privy to stated that only ASM testing was accepted in the Enhanced testing areas of the state... so OBD testing may or may not be accepted in the basic areas of the state. I dont know.

Vehicle Exhaust Noise Level Certification
California law requires that all vehicles must be equipped with an adequate muffler to prevent excessive noise from the exhaust system. It also prohibits the operation of a passenger vehicle (other than a motorcycle), or a truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 6,000 pounds, that has an exhaust noise level greater than 95 decibels, when tested under specified conditions.
If you have been issued a citation for operating a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 27150 or 27151, you must take your vehicle to a state Referee Center.

Note: The Referee is only authorized to inspect and certify passenger cars and trucks under 6,000 GVWR that have been cited for a violation of Section 27150 or 27151 of the Vehicle Code. The maximum decibel level applies only to those vehicles. Citations issued to other vehicles (motorcycles, trucks exceeding 5999 pounds GVWR) are not part of this program. Check with the agency that issued the citation, and/or the court, to find out how to show proof of correction for these other vehicles.

The following steps outline the procedures you'll need to follow to get a certificate of compliance, which shows your vehicle's exhaust noise level is within the applicable standards.

STEP 1

If you feel your vehicle's exhaust system has been modified or has deteriorated so that the noise level exceeds current standards, you should have the exhaust system repaired before proceeding to step 2.

OR

If you have reason to believe that your vehicle's exhaust noise level meets the current standards, proceed directly to step 2.

[Note that citations have a court appearance date.]
[Timely action can help you avoid additional fines and penalties.]

STEP 2

Have your vehicle tested at a state Referee Center. To make an appointment, call the Referee Scheduling Center at (800) 622-7733. Have the citation and vehicle registration with you when you call. The Center will tell you any fees that will need to be paid for the test.

STEP 3

The Referee will conduct an exhaust noise level test in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J1169, May 1998, to determine if your vehicle's exhaust noise level exceeds the noise standard (95db).

If your vehicle meets the standard, the Referee will give you a "Certificate of Compliance." Take the certificate to the court (See Step 5).

If your vehicle does not meet the standard, the Referee will give you a report that lists the recorded decibel readings. Your vehicle must be repaired to meet the standard of not more than 95 decibels (See Step 4).

STEP 4

If your vehicle does not meet the standard, additional repairs must be made before you can make a second appointment with the Referee Scheduling Center.

STEP 5

Once your vehicle receives a "Certificate of Compliance" from a Referee Center, present the certificate to the court as proof that your vehicle is in compliance with California law.

NOTE: Inspection fees and any necessary repairs are your responsibility. You may also be required to pay a fine and other legal costs when reporting to the court. Also, note that most citations have a deadline. Timely repairs can help you avoid additional fines and penalties.

If you have any questions, please contact the local law enforcement agency that issued the citation or the Bureau of Automotive Repair at (800) 952-5210.
 

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Stop worrying about emissions - There is an easy solution

If you get your car running the pill you can reduce the toxins spewed out. As long as you can get the noise level down, you will be good to go. It reduces tailpipe emissions drastically and gets all the crap out of your engine and it's components. At the same time it saves you gas. This is a fuel conditioner, not a fuel treatment. Please don't mistake it for many bogus products marketed today.

As stated earlier, we donot have testing in Florida anymore. Even if we did, I would not worry one bit. Lower emissions and saving gas is just a byproduct of the pill.
The real reason I use it is because my Prelude gets more response. :fire
It was originally used by NASA as a rocket propellant :bomb



http://www.thepowerpill.com/thepill


(English live presentations are at 9:00PM EST Everynight)

To attend a conference goto the address below. Say you were invited by the South FL team

http://www.theenginepill.com






.
 

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RunninSOHC said:
If you get your car running the pill you can reduce the toxins spewed out. As long as you can get the noise level down, you will be good to go. It reduces tailpipe emissions drastically and gets all the crap out of your engine and it's components. At the same time it saves you gas. This is a fuel conditioner, not a fuel treatment. Please don't mistake it for many bogus products marketed today.

As stated earlier, we donot have testing in Florida anymore. Even if we did, I would not worry one bit. Lower emissions and saving gas is just a byproduct of the pill.
Ummm...that's fine for OBDI cars. Hell if I was OBDI I wouldn't worry about emissions. It's easy enough to pass a sniffer test. It's us OBDII cars that want to run aftermarket engine management but still need the OBDII connection port to work that's the problem. :noo
 

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i failed inspection for "having an aftermarket exhaust" but they didn't tell me whether it was for emissions, noise level, or what.

is there any referee center in jersey? or is there any way i can pass without having to put my stock exhaust back on???
 

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If you have a 95SE like in the picture, the congrats because you have the last year OBDI was manf. The powerpill will clear your emissions from the pipe, but I don't think that's your problem. It cannot do anything about noise, and it looks like that's why they failed you for an aftermarket exhaust system.

BTW: It must suck to have OBDII
 

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noopie said:
does it actually work?

maybe someone with emissions testing capability can run an experiment *hint hint*
*points at PreludeClone* :ninja
 

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twokexlv6coupe said:
i <3 my OBD1 :hug :hug :hug
:fu Damn lucky bastards, lol. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
twokexlv6coupe said:
i failed inspection for "having an aftermarket exhaust" but they didn't tell me whether it was for emissions, noise level, or what.

is there any referee center in jersey? or is there any way i can pass without having to put my stock exhaust back on???
the inspection report you got after you failed should have a phone number on it for either the station itself or contact information for the state. Call up the state and ask them about it. "having an aftermarket exhaust" is not a valid reason to fail a car in any state, provided the exhaust is street legal (which most aftermarket and custom peices are, provided the catalytic converter is in place and it does not violate noise ordinance). Call the state and they'll let you know what you need to do to pass emissions, whether it be a referee test or whatever.

as for this pill thing... as far as I can tell, it's just a lead substitute. They took lead out of gasoline when catalytic converters came around because lead eats away at the element in the converter, causing it to fail. You can go to any auto parts store and find lead substitute that's safe for catalytic converters. Having lead in gasoling improves combustion, adds power, and somewhat reduces emissions.

I can tell you what I know about fuel conditioners and fuel treatments... they're the same thing. And every car I've ever tested that has used this stuff has had little or no decrease in emissions readings and has still failed. I've looked at the pill's website... and I dont believe the kind of results they're claiming. If it was really that good, it'd be available everywhere and no one would ever get their cars repaired... they'd just use this.

I'd be more than happy to run a test on it for you guys... I'm 99.9% positive that the tested vehicle will still fail a tailpipe test. If a car has problems, those problems cannot be masked by fuel additives/conditioners/treatments. It's just not possible.
 
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