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Failed Smog Check Questions & Answers - Page 3

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Question: I failed my smog check due to a check engine light on my 98 Honda Accord.  Everything else passed fine.  I'm about 75% sure that the problem causing the engine light on is fixed and the light is off.  If I take it to a different smog check station, will they know that I had failed previously and thereby scrutinize my car even further?

Answer: No, they will not know the car previously failed unless they look up this information on the internet.


Question (a): Ok so my friend went to take his Ford truck to get a Smog Test. The person said they cant test hi struck cause the check Engine light was on and we know it was on because his Alternator was bad. So how can we get a smog test even if the lights on or what should we do to turn it off. We got an Engine Diag... But it said nothing about Emissions so please help us get a Smog Test his registrations already late.

Question (b): I'm due for a smog check on my 1998 GM SUV and my check engine light is on.  I had it diagnosed, and I'm told it had an emissions problem and that I need to replace a part that would run me over $300. Is there an amount beyond which you're exempt from having to fix a problem that would make you pass the smog test?

Question (c): I just moved to CA from NJ anf I need to get a smog check. I have a Chevy Cavalier (1996) in very good conditions. The only problem is that the "check engine light" is constantly on, not because of a real problem with the engine but because whoever did the tune-up on my car he last time (December 2005) messed up the engine test. Other than that I am sure my car will pass the smog check. What could I do? I really don't want to spend another $100-$300 on a tune-up.

Answer: Contrary to public belief, the Check Engine light being illuminated anytime during the smog inspection is automatically a smog failure. Vehicle manufacturers have placed the Check Engine light inside the passenger compartment to inform the driver there has been or is an engine or drive train malfunction. Very often you may not notice an engine problem, but this is only because your engine's computer is operating under pre-programmed information rather then of real-time. In other words the problem still exists but your engine learns to live with it. To avoid spending hundreds down the road, the Check Engine light should be diagnosed as soon as possible by a reputable and certified auto repair station.
Our recommendation is you have a certified and experienced smog repair shop conduct a full system diagnosis. Along with the "Check Engine" light being illuminated, there are stored computer codes in the engine control computer which the smog station will be able to retrieve and use for diagnosing purposes. These codes more then often will direct the smog technician in finding the fault.


Question: My 94 Chevy Impala failed Smog 3 times. I have replaced the converters, O2 sensors, and muffler. I have taken it to be diagnosed 2 times. The last time it showed lean with nox at 1072. I took it  to get diagnosed again and he thought the EGR valve was faulty  so he ordrered a factory EGR valve and it did not work. What else coulld be going on?

Answer: Vehicles fail their smog inspection for different reasons based on the variety of emissions control systems used on production vehicles. There are several reasons vehicles encounter NOx failures. The most common is the malfunctioning EGR system.


Question: I was told that the check engine light on my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder was on because the CAM SENSOR AND SYNCHRONIZER have a problem and need replacing. This will cost me over $800 to fix in order to pass the smog!!!   where can i get this fixed at a reputable place and for ALOT less expensive?

Answer: Unfortunately there is no limit on bringing a car to passing emissions. However, California can help you repair your vehicle. You may receive up to $500.00 dollars in FREE smog diagnosis and repairs through the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP Repair Assistance program is designed to help consumers bring their vehicles into compliance with California emission standards. Through the CAP program the State will pay the CAP repair shop you choose up to $500.00 dollars for repair work performed on your vehicle. You may contact the BAR at (800) 952-5210 for an application.


Question: I have a 2000 Toyota Tacoma 2.4 liter with 408,000 trouble free miles.   I took it in for a smog check with the check engine light lit.   The mechanic did a scan and replaced the CAT and the two oxygen sensors but the check engine light is still lit and I am afraid he will just keep replacing parts until he fixes it.  (He did show me the scan showing that the rear oxygen sensor was "firing" too much prior to the replacement.) The engine is is great shape and uses no oil between changes and has plenty of power.   It had a recent tune up by the same mechanic.  I have spent $1,367 so far on this problem and I don't know the best solution.

Answer: Unfortunately the Check Engine light problem must be found and corrected. Perhaps further diagnosis is required. We can only suggest a more accurate hands on inspection.


Question: I have a 1997 VW Jetta and it didn't pass the smog test.  I have spent over $1100 and it's still not passing. the car drives just fine..... the dealer wants to charge me over $200 to tell me what the problem is and that does not include the fixing. I did take it to them once because I was told the part that it needed could only be taken care of at the dealer...... I have an extension on my tags  till June but I would like to take care of it now. I am afraid of spending more money than my car is worth. What can I do?

Answer: You must get a hands-on diagnosis... It's the only way to find out exactly what's causing this smog failure. It's not required that the dealer repair this fault, but if you've had a certified smog repair station suggest the dealership, this may be the only way to go.

Question: It is my mom's car and she feels like she might have been taken advantage of.  I am trying to figure out what happened before she has it fixed or decides she needs another car. The car is a 1984 Nissan 200SX, the idle emission test results passed, the visual inspection failed because of 1) the spark controls, 2) needing a new fuel cap, and 3) engine ignition timing was listed as defective.  Two years ago the engine ignition timing was listed as 0 TDC (I do not know what that means). The service description reads:  "All cars that did not pass the smog test require three things, diagnostics, repair, re-test. She also didn't drive her car or warm it up before taking it in for the test.

Answer: Apparently something is wrong with the vehicle's ignition timing. It must be diagnosed by a smog check repair station and retested. If this particular smog station is allowed to perform repairs, ask them to conduct a diagnosis (there will be a charge for this). Then you'll know exactly where the fault is and how much it will cost to repair it. NOTE: Spark control failure and Engine timing defective are similar faults related to ignition timing and firing the spark plugs. The fuel CAP issue is some what common. Gas caps are usually equipped with rubber seals which with time dry up and require replacement. These worn out seals may cause harmful gas fumes to escape through the gas tank. The smog test is designed to inspect your vehicle's gas cap for proper operation. Vehicle's which fail this portion of the smog test are required to replace the gas cap before passing the test.


Question: I appreciate your feedback. What a nightmare this has been so far. I've taken vehicle (2001 Ford Taurus) to a friend's shop. He ran compression checks, etc. and was able to pinpoint the cylinder responsible for the misfire as cylinder #5, (not altogether positive) and if that's the case, that cylinder sits in the engine in such a way that he would have to take apart the head gaskets, which would prove extremely costly. Without my having to evade the issue any longer, and also to save time, what do you recommend? attempt to repair first since the misfiring cylinder has been detected? or just go ahead let it fail?

Answer: A cylinder misfire due to head gasket problems or damaged piston rings, will not be covered in the CAP repairs due to the fact they are mechanical engine problems and not emissions. You should probably get this misfire problem fixed before hand. The only thing I suggest have your mechanic ensure the compression problem before the engine is torn down.
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