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Old 07-28-2019, 12:24 PM   #1
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Smog Test - CA

I recently had an EGR valve replaced after a limp home mode/Check Engine.

No problem and done under special warranty.

A few days later my annual DMV renewal came in the mail and this time it required a Smog Test.

For our vehicles this really only amounts to a visual inspection and reading the scan codes.

Turns out, although the primary codes were cleared by the dealer after the EGR valve replacement, it does not clear another set of codes. These are only reset after the vehicle is driven for about an hour (so I am told).

So I'll take it for a little trip then back to the test station. Maybe they'll cut me a break on the fee for the re inspection!


FYI
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:29 PM   #2
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Same thing happened to me but with the batteries going dead on my dually day before inspection had to drive it 200 miles to get it to pass.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:38 PM   #3
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This seems to be a fairly common issue.

So question: Since you "failed" the test, are you now driving illegally while you're trying to get the computer to reset itself? Or do they allow you some leeway?
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:43 PM   #4
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Our State just discontinued all "Smog Testing". Here it was nothing more than an extra $15 "tax" every other year on our license renewal.


Even for vehicles that failed, all the owners had to do is show that they spent a few hundred dollars attempting to cure the issue and if it still failed they were granted a waiver. Repairs to obtain the waiver were far cheaper than purchasing a new vehicle and off the old one went to spew un-burned hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide, into the atmosphere.

And that doesn't include the number of vehicles that used "tuners", bypassing emission related controls for everyday driving, then returning to OEM programming for their trip through the test station.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
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No. My tags haven't expired yet. so as long as I get the smog test completed and fee paid, no problem, Just a wasted trip and maybe an extra fee.

So the word to the wise is, if you have any repairs or to your vehicle be sure you drive it a while before you take it for a smog check.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
This seems to be a fairly common issue.

So question: Since you "failed" the test, are you now driving illegally while you're trying to get the computer to reset itself? Or do they allow you some leeway?
The "leeway" is usually until the current registration or depending on State, the inspection sticker on the windshield expires.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousin01 View Post
I recently had an EGR valve replaced after a limp home mode/Check Engine.

No problem and done under special warranty.

A few days later my annual DMV renewal came in the mail and this time it required a Smog Test.

For our vehicles this really only amounts to a visual inspection and reading the scan codes.

Turns out, although the primary codes were cleared by the dealer after the EGR valve replacement, it does not clear another set of codes. These are only reset after the vehicle is driven for about an hour (so I am told).

So I'll take it for a little trip then back to the test station. Maybe they'll cut me a break on the fee for the re inspection!


FYI
In CA, you can mail in your registration with a check or even do it online and your new sticker won't get sent to you until you get the smog check done. The smog station will electronically notify the state that you passed and the sticker will get sent to you.

At least for gasoline vehicles, the vehicle has to go through 3 or 4 cold starts up to full operating temps(drive cycle) after a full code reset. There is a counter in the ECU that increments and the smog test machine reads this counter. A cold start is anything under around 140F. Not sure if the diesel is required to do the same after a full code reset but it sounds like that is what you are running into.

On one car I was selling, I had to get it smogged in the same day I reset the codes. I ran it up to temp and read the increment of the counter and brought it home and ran water over the engine for 30 minutes to bring the temp down. I repeated the process until the increment counter went up to 4 and brought the car in for its smog where it passed.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:55 AM   #8
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Thanks Babcock, all good info.

I remember getting dinged on late registration because I waited on the smog cert. I'll send that in and then go ahead and re-test.

Wish I knew if it was starts or miles/hours running time. I doubt if my scan gauge can monitor the counters you are referring to.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:41 AM   #9
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Regardless of whether a "reset" has been done, it's a good idea to "take the long way" to the smog test station. This makes sure the engine is nice and warm and operating at it's most efficient temps.

On old carburetor equipped vehicles they often dumped excess gasoline into the engine (choke, pump throttle, etc). Some of it leaked past the rings and made it's way into the crankcase. Until the oil got nice and hot, evaporating the gas, the engines often tested with high hydrocarbon readings as well as high CO.

It was also recommended to get the oil changed close to test date.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:11 PM   #10
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When we registered our MH in California we had to get it smogged. The Mercedes dealer had updated our system prior to us buying the MH. It took us forever to get the codes reel for smog. We drove it over 500 miles. Still wasn't good. I was doing alot of research online and came across an article followed their instructions and it worked. The website is repairpal.com the article is How to perform a basic drive cycle. It involves numerous steps as you will read. We used a rural road where we live to do the driving and letting the vehicle slow to a stop without touching the brakes. It's a process but it produced the desired results that putting over 500 miles had not produced. Let us know if you are successful.
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