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Old 08-25-2012, 11:52 PM   #21
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I had read on some forums that others were able to clear out codes and passed the emissions tests in other states. That trick didn't work for me, I just didn't want to push my testing back a few weeks if I could get it to pass. I believe the paperwork after a failure stated you had a certain amount of time to pass the emissions test, but after 3 failures, you were required to get the car fixed and show proof of the repair at that point. Since it was only my second attempt, I did the repair myself and check engine light never came back on and no failures were picked up by my ODBC reader. The emissions place never asked for any repair proof and I didn't bring it with me.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Yes, but that's not the issue. It's not about 50% of cars being 2x over the limit, it's about the 2% that are malfunctioning, that might be 1000x over the limit. When everything is functioning reasonably well, pollution really is cut by a huge amount. One fault, and that all flies out the window. Not by a little - by a lot. It goes from an in control situation, to an out of control one.
That's a good point and makes a lot of sense. But you would still need to see the actual numbers to know whether testing an entire population at considerable expense is worth it to catch the ones that fail.

There's some evidence to suggest that the smog check program may not be as effective as one would hope. For example, a 2009 report by the CA Air Resources Board found that "our analysis of the newer (2003-2006) Roadside dataset indicates that 49% of 1976-1995 model year Smog Check failures are failing again within a year of a passing re-test." and that "many of the vehicles that initially failed during the previous Smog Check cycle either were not actually repaired or were repaired only temporarily."

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/smogche...sidereport.pdf

Even with these compliance issues, it may be that test and fix after it's broken is the most cost effective way of reducing emissions, but I can't help thinking that it would be better to deal with the problem upstream: e.g. make emissions equipment more durable from the beginning, encourage reduction of total miles driven, do something about motorcycle emissions (in CA motorcycles are something like 1% of vehicle miles traveled but 10% of emissions).
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #23
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...

Even with these compliance issues, it may be that test and fix after it's broken is the most cost effective way of reducing emissions, but I can't help thinking that it would be better to deal with the problem upstream: e.g. make emissions equipment more durable from the beginning, encourage reduction of total miles driven, do something about motorcycle emissions (in CA motorcycles are something like 1% of vehicle miles traveled but 10% of emissions).
I agree, it's pretty tough to know what compliance level is really cost effective and what isn't. Also agree about reducing miles, and targeting motorcycles, and large trucks too.

And lawn mowers - they account for a significant % (something like mowing the lawn once equals a week of commuting) - I keep thinking we could go air powered on those. 'Charge' them with air at home with electricity, the lawn services could have a compressor on their truck, and that would be powered from the relatively clean truck engine. Air powered isn't all that efficient, but even so it would be cleaner than those nasty little lawn engines.

I think the emission controls are pretty reliable/durable, they are by nature a pretty sophisticated and precise system, I don't think we can expect much beyond what we are getting. Out of all the cars we've had over the years, I've only had a few check engine lights. Back in the 80's a bad O2 sensor, my Volvo has the intermittent sensor I mentioned (I monitor and then ignore it). On one other 90's car, it just showed the typical problems you can expect over time - a bad coil, and then a bad fuel injector. I'm not complaining.

-ERD50
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