[ba] someone explain this smog thing please

Buchholz, Steven Steven.Buchholz at kla-tencor.com
Wed Sep 27 17:41:52 EDT 2006

Yeah ... it is a bit mysterious.  I do believe that if your car is older than so many years you're relegated to the test only places no matter what.  When I needed a test to bring one of the V8s back to operating status the standard smog shop said I had to go to a test only place.  

The techs can still run the pre-test ... I'm pretty sure the computer still transmits the results to Sacto ... the funny thing is that they still have to run a regular test even if the car passes the pretest ... 

I don't know how many folks with older quattros get into the "catalytic converter preconditioning" mode where the engine has to run at 2500 RPM for 3 minutes ... the test only place I went to last actually did something similar by leaving the engine running at 2500 RPM for a minute before he plugged in the sniffer ... that way it passed the first time through ... 

Welcome to California Dan!

Steve B
San José, CA (USA)
> Don't ask me to explain the logic with the "test only"
> system.  Your DMV renewal notice will tell you whether
> you need to go to a test only place, or just to any
> shop.  This can happen either randomly, or if your car
> had previously failed a tes.  Yes they are more
> expensive.  Our '89 Dodge PU has been in test-only
> hell the last couple renewals after a marginal failure
> fixed  with a new O2 sensor, then our S6 avant got one
> via the random selection.  Lucky prize, not.
> We used to have a local guy who would run a "pretest"
> with the computer disconnected and only plug it in if
> it was passing.  He's gone, and I've heard the DMV is
> trying to put a stop to that practice.  Best to shop
> around and at least ask about a pretest.  And if a
> shop fails you for an actual tes, I would recommend
> tackling the repairs on your own or somewhere else.
> Make sure in advance the "free retest" offer is still
> valid if you don't let them do the repairs.

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