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Thread: CA Smog Check woes

  1. #1
    DonTom
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    CA Smog Check woes

    The used RV dealer who sold me my 2000 Tioga a couple of months ago claims they made a mistake. They forgot to do a CA smog test. Well, I have been keeping the RV here at my Reno, NV home, but made arrangements to go get it smogged in Truckee, CA today. The dealer said they would pay for the smog test.

    The dealer and CA DMV recommended this place. So we drove it to Truckee and then they (smog test place) discovered during the last test it was a "gross polluter" so they said they could not smog it, but a "Gold Shield" (needed for gross polluters) and "enhanced" (means they can smog it for a different county) place in Kings Beach, CA could.

    Carfax shows it was a gross polluter, but it also shows it as being repaired and smog test completed and it passed last December 2008, just a month before I purchased the RV. But neither CA DMV nor any other place has any record of it passing.

    So we go to King's Beach and have it tested. It fails, but not by much. But it's still a "gross polluter" because it has not been TOTALLY repaired. The smog test place says since it failed, they canNOT fix it because it's the dealer's responsibility and they broke the law by selling it to me without completing the smog test.

    Now, I have to call the dealer when they are open and see what they say. I might just have to drive it back to them and let them deal with it, as they are supposed to by CA state law.

    We wasted most of the day with this, along with several gallons of gasoline. Don't mind that so much, but I do wonder if I will ever get this thing registered.

    BTW, I cannot register it here in NV until it's complete as registered in my name in CA.


    -Don- Reno, NV

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Don, I'm surprised a savvy guy such as yourself did not demand proof of successful smog test passage prior to money changing hands.

    I know just how much of a hassle this situation can be - and always advise people who are looking to buy a used vehicle subject to smog test as a condition of registration in their home state/county to insist on the vehicle successfully passing smog before sale - and as a condition of sale.

    I'm sorry you got burned... if the vehicle has been tampered with your hassle could be just beginning....

  3. #3
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Don, I'm surprised a savvy guy such as yourself did not demand proof of successful smog test passage prior to money changing hands.

    I know just how much of a hassle this situation can be - and always advise people who are looking to buy a used vehicle subject to smog test as a condition of registration in their home state/county to insist on the vehicle successfully passing smog before sale - and as a condition of sale.

    I'm sorry you got burned... if the vehicle has been tampered with your hassle could be just beginning....

    This has to be an honest mistake for several reasons. One is that they cannot legally sell the vehicle to me without the smog test being completed. There is no doubt they want this problem fixed as much as I do.

    Besides that, look at this carfax report for my RV:


    07/16/2005 California
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Tracy, CA Title issued or updated
    New owner reported
    07/19/2005 Vehicle Repair Center Vehicle serviced
    ECM repaired
    07/19/2005 94,627 California
    Inspection Station
    Manteca, CA Passed emissions inspection
    09/06/2005 95,992 Service Plan Co. Service contract claim
    Vehicle serviced
    Electrical sys. serviced
    07/08/2006 96,569 Service Plan Co. Service contract claim
    Vehicle serviced
    Engine serviced
    08/03/2007 97,537 California
    Inspection Station Failed emissions inspection
    Designated GROSS POLLUTER
    10/08/2008 100,247 California
    Inspection Station Failed emissions inspection
    10/22/2008 100,271 California
    Inspection Station Failed emissions inspection
    12/17/2008 Vehicle Repair Center Vehicle serviced
    PCV Valve repaired
    PCV hose repaired
    Spark plugs repaired
    Ignition wires repaired
    CAP/Rotor repaired
    Initial timing repaired
    Fuel filter repaired
    Air filter repaired
    12/17/2008 California
    Inspection Station Passed emissions inspection
    12/22/2008 Livermore Ford Lincoln Mercury
    Livermore, CA
    925-294-7700
    www.livermoreautogroup.com
    ww.livermoreautogro
    up.com Vehicle serviced

    Look what it says for 12/22/2008 "
    inspection Station Passed emissions inspection." But CA DMV has no record of it. And I can see the other work was done as the RV has a new air filter, new plugs and wires, etc.

    BTW, it did not pass, but was close enough that it is possible that it passed before in December. It failed for the HC at idle. Max allowed is 150. Average test shows 39. My RV failed at 190. To be a "gross
    polluter", it has to be above 300 (twice the allowed).

    Under the RV, I see two catalytic converters, one on each side of the exhaust. One looks like new, the other looks very old and is probably the original with just over 100,000 miles on it. I bet the old one is the problem.

    -Don- Reno, NV





  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    If state law requires the dealer to have passed the vehicle before it was sold, it sounds like you need to lean on them to get this handled. It should not be your hassle!

  5. #5
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    If state law requires the dealer to have passed the vehicle before it was sold, it sounds like you need to lean on them to get this handled. It should not be your hassle!
    It's probably a lot more their problem than mine. CA is very strict about these things and they broke the law by selling it to me. The fact that it is a gross polluter makes it even a lot worse as it's illegal to do anything with a gross polluter except for THEM to have it fixed or for THEM to sell it to the state of CA.

    BTW, we do NOT get a paper about smog then we buy a used vehicle, but it's probably a good idea to have such a law. During a CA smog test, they have to communicate the data with a machine to CA DMV. In fact, the smog tester does NOT even know if it will pass or not until they get a reply from DMV with all the data. They have this system set up in such a way that makes cheating on a CA smog test almost impossible.

    BTW, it's probably not a catalytic converter problem as I previously thought by noticing one of them is old and the other new. I drove the RV back here to South San Francisco and at about 6,000 feet in elevation, I got a "Service Engine Soon" light. When I got home, I checked to see what the OBD2 code was. It was an 0171 (system too lean) that was current and had a 0304 (cylinder four misfire) in memory.

    I was somewhat surprised by a "too lean" condition coming on at high elevation. The code 0304 must have been from before I owned this RV as I had no other MIL's (Malfunction Indicator Light) other than this 0171 since I owed it.

    The RV runs very well. Could not run any better. Seems like it has a lot of guts even going up hill at 7,000 feet elevation.

    I drove it here because I may have to drive it to the main office of the RV dealer in Livermore, CA this week, which is much closer to this home. They might even come to pick it up from here. They offered to do that before they discovered I was keeping it at my Reno home.

    This Monday, I will talk to them and see how they wish to handle this. It's a bigger problem than they expected, as it failed the smog test and is still a "gross polluter". A Gross Polluter" stays as such until it totally passes the smog test and this limits who is allowed to repair and retest it.

    I hope I didn't complicate things by the work I did on it, such as adding a cruise control, tachometer, backup camera, keyless entry and changing the radio to a stock radio with CD player (the after market one it came with was a very mickey-mouse install) and many other such things. It's obvious I have done work around the engine, especially with the after market cruise control install.


    -Don- South San Francisco, CA


  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    I hope this turns out ok - especially since it runs so well!

    By the way, I thought vehicles over a certain weight were exempt from emissions? I guess not in CA....

  7. #7
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I hope this turns out ok - especially since it runs so well!

    By the way, I thought vehicles over a certain weight were exempt from emissions? I guess not in CA....

    Nope. AFAIK, CA has the toughest anti-smog laws in the world. But over a certain weight they are exempt from the treadmill testing, but that is only because large vehicles don't fit!

    Here in CA, cars are tested for smog under load hence the treadmill.

    They have to check ignition timing, be sure nothing is missing, check exhaust emissions and even a pressure check on the gasoline cap to see how many seconds it will hold air. And if anything has been changed or modified, it flunks. And the check engine light must be working and not lit and set. "Set" means it has enough miles on each sensor to be sure there's no codes. IOW, you cannot clear the codes with a OBD2 reader or disconnect the battery and then expect it to pass because the check engine light is not on. IOW, don't disconnect the battery (or replace it ) without driving it about 100 miles before a smog test.

    OBD2 is quite tamper proof. You have to fix it right, they made it almost impossible to cheat in CA.

    -Don- SSF, CA

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post

    Nope. AFAIK, CA has the toughest anti-smog laws in the world. But over a certain weight they are exempt from the treadmill testing, but that is only because large vehicles don't fit!

    Here in CA, cars are tested for smog under load hence the treadmill.

    They have to check ignition timing, be sure nothing is missing, check exhaust emissions and even a pressure check on the gasoline cap to see how many seconds it will hold air. And if anything has been changed or modified, it flunks. And the check engine light must be working and not lit and set. "Set" means it has enough miles on each sensor to be sure there's no codes. IOW, you cannot clear the codes with a OBD2 reader or disconnect the battery and then expect it to pass because the check engine light is not on. IOW, don't disconnect the battery (or replace it ) without driving it about 100 miles before a smog test.

    OBD2 is quite tamper proof. You have to fix it right, they made it almost impossible to cheat in CA.

    -Don- SSF, CA
    Another reason to flee CA!

    Damn, it's sad to see the Golden State become a nest of bureaucrats, illegal aliens and the pathologies that accompany both.

    I love it that I can drive my catastrophic converter-free Nissan pickup (and my even more planet-unfriendly Trans Am) with impunity here in rural SW Virginia.

  9. #9
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Another reason to flee CA!

    Damn, it's sad to see the Golden State become a nest of bureaucrats, illegal aliens and the pathologies that accompany both.

    I love it that I can drive my catastrophic converter-free Nissan pickup (and my even more planet-unfriendly Trans Am) with impunity here in rural SW Virginia.
    I really don't mind the CA smog test. It's nice to know that your vehicle is running perfectly, which is required to pass a CA smog test. The slightest problem will show up in a smog test here. For an example, say you have a bad ignition wire. You might not notice on a V-8, but it will show up on a CA smog test right away.

    I know you don't care about
    efficiency , as IIRC, you have your OBD2 system running in open loop all the time. Didn't you remove the O2 sensor or something like that in one of your vehicles? I wouldn't go for that, I like things to be efficient. But an OBD2 system stuck in open loop is still a lot better than the carburetors you like so much.

    In the 1980's, all the anti-smog junk reduced performance and efficiency. What a big change that made in the later 1980's when almost every vehicle went to EFI. IMO, we should be happy that are new vehicles run so much better. At 7,000 feet, going up hill, a little four cylinder car of today can pass a large V-8 of the 1970's. I can still remember the days where all the cars would be going 35 MPG up hills on 80 when above about 5,000 feet. These days, the cars don't even begin to slow down up there.

    Today, I gave the RV place a call and got in contact with their office that does registrations and told them my story and how the RV they sold me is a gross polluter. The first guy I spoke with yelled at me "THAT"S IMPOSSIBLE, WE DON'T SELL GROSS POLLUTERS!!!" Then I gave him the name of the woman who called me last week and from that point on they were all very apologetic and were in a big hurry to solve this problem.

    They made arrangements with their service shop, which is 80 miles from here, to come over and pick up the RV. It seemed they got here in less than an hour!

    The service shop called me to let me know they are working on it right now, which is only a few hours after they picked it up. They said they expect it to be repaired by tomorrow and they will give me a call to tell me what they did to fix it after it passes (with the data transmitted to DMV).

    I told them about the vacuum problem and that I didn't see a MAP (Manifold Air Pressure) sensor when I ran the vacuum lines so the heater and vehicle A/C would work correctly. But perhaps it uses a MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor that does not require engine vacuum. He also didn't know off hand, but will check into it. When I check for parts on line, it seems they may have changed from a MAP to a MAF in the middle of year 2000, or else it uses both! However, I think if vacuum is missing from a MAP sensor the engine would run very rich. But the OBD2 code I got (0171) means the system is too lean, so that's most likely not the problem.

    Anyway, it's now all their problem and it seems they are in a much bigger hurry to get it fixed than I am!

    -Don- South SF, CA

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Good to hear they are handling it promptly and (hopefully) efficiently!

    Yes, I removed the catastrophic converter from my '98 Nissan pick-up, mainly because the exhaust was rusting out and, at 100k-plus miles, the converter was probably in need of being replaced. "F" spending $300 for a new converter when my buddy can weld in a section of straight pipe for $10!

    So now, the "check engine" light is on all the time - and has been for the past three years. Truck runs great, though!

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Good to hear they are handling it promptly and (hopefully) efficiently!

    Yes, I removed the catastrophic converter from my '98 Nissan pick-up, mainly because the exhaust was rusting out and, at 100k-plus miles, the converter was probably in need of being replaced. "F" spending $300 for a new converter when my buddy can weld in a section of straight pipe for $10!

    So now, the "check engine" light is on all the time - and has been for the past three years. Truck runs great, though!
    You may not notice the difference in performance, but your MPG will improve if you can get that thing out of full time open loop.

    BTW, you might as well throw your O2 sensors away. They are not doing anything. Don't waste your money replacing them because they won't do anything while your check engine light is on.

    -Don-

  12. #12
    DonTom
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    The service center called me today to say that my RV is ready, it passed and the data has already been transmitted to CA DMV. They said they will deliver it tomorrow morning. They would have delivered it back here in South SF today if anybody was home when they called. I got back to them too late for today.

    The story I got from them I really didn't like. They say they checked everything out that they could think of and couldn't find anything wrong. So they decided to test it again at a "test only" station (the service center cannot do "test only" as is required for "gross polluters"). It not only passed this time, but passed by a nice margin.

    But since they claim they didn't find anything wrong (even though it flunked on them a few days ago), I am thinking something must be intermittent somewhere. But as long as it runs well, I won't worry too much about it.

    Tomorrow we will drive it back to Reno and leave it there. When the CA registration expires, it will next have a NV plate where the smog checks are more mickey-mouse, much more likely to pass and a lot less hassle to repair when it doesn't. None of that "test only" nonsense in NV, which seems to be designed only to hassle people. Here in CA, you usually cannot legally test a "gross polluter" in the same place that repairs it, so it's easy to get stuck in a run around back and fourth.

    I don't know if it's true or not, but I was told (but not by anybody who should really know) when once a gross polluter in CA, from then on they require a smog test at a "test only" station every year.

    Also, I hear CA registration fees are going to double this year because this state is going broke.

    There are MANY reasons for me to register it in NV after the CA registration expires, besides for the fact that it should be registered in the sate where parked the most anyway, which is NV.

    -Don- SSF, CA

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    The service center called me today to say that my RV is ready, it passed and the data has already been transmitted to CA DMV. They said they will deliver it tomorrow morning. They would have delivered it back here in South SF today if anybody was home when they called. I got back to them too late for today.

    The story I got from them I really didn't like. They say they checked everything out that they could think of and couldn't find anything wrong. So they decided to test it again at a "test only" station (the service center cannot do "test only" as is required for "gross polluters"). It not only passed this time, but passed by a nice margin.

    But since they claim they didn't find anything wrong (even though it flunked on them a few days ago), I am thinking something must be intermittent somewhere. But as long as it runs well, I won't worry too much about it.

    Tomorrow we will drive it back to Reno and leave it there. When the CA registration expires, it will next have a NV plate where the smog checks are more mickey-mouse, much more likely to pass and a lot less hassle to repair when it doesn't. None of that "test only" nonsense in NV, which seems to be designed only to hassle people. Here in CA, you usually cannot legally test a "gross polluter" in the same place that repairs it, so it's easy to get stuck in a run around back and fourth.

    I don't know if it's true or not, but I was told (but not by anybody who should really know) when once a gross polluter in CA, from then on they require a smog test at a "test only" station every year.

    Also, I hear CA registration fees are going to double this year because this state is going broke.

    There are MANY reasons for me to register it in NV after the CA registration expires, besides for the fact that it should be registered in the sate where parked the most anyway, which is NV.

    -Don- SSF, CA
    Registering in NV seems like the ticket, based on what you wrote!

    Seriously - CA is a hassle. I bet it was a great place to live 20 or 30 years ago but it has been ruined by uncontrolled illegal alien migrations, overpopulation, overbuilding and all that comes with those things - from a suffocating, inescapable bureaucracy to an absurdly high cost of living.

    Ever read the stuff on Vdare.com? There's an ex-CA public school teacher who posts there regularly with some bitter things to say about what CA has become.

  14. #14
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Registering in NV seems like the ticket, based on what you wrote!

    Seriously - CA is a hassle. I bet it was a great place to live 20 or 30 years ago but it has been ruined by uncontrolled illegal alien migrations, overpopulation, overbuilding and all that comes with those things - from a suffocating, inescapable bureaucracy to an absurdly high cost of living.

    Ever read the stuff on Vdare.com? There's an ex-CA public school teacher who posts there regularly with some bitter things to say about what CA has become.
    There are still some very nice parts of CA, but they are getting rarer by the day. One thing nice about this area is that it cannot get any worse than it is now. There's no place left to build much of anything. Many people in this area tear down their homes and build a new two story home on the same lot. Many within two blocks of this home have done such. There's plenty of space when looking up. I know you would hate it here, but since I was born in this area and lived here all my life, I got used to it.

    We are going to drive the RV back to Reno about an hour after it gets here. Will come back the next day. Not much room for RV's in this area and I could even get a ticket for parking it on the street in this area.

    -Don- SSF, CA

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    There are still some very nice parts of CA, but they are getting rarer by the day. One thing nice about this area is that it cannot get any worse than it is now. There's no place left to build much of anything. Many people in this area tear down their homes and build a new two story home on the same lot. Many within two blocks of this home have done such. There's plenty of space when looking up. I know you would hate it here, but since I was born in this area and lived here all my life, I got used to it.

    We are going to drive the RV back to Reno about an hour after it gets here. Will come back the next day. Not much room for RV's in this area and I could even get a ticket for parking it on the street in this area.

    -Don- SSF, CA
    I have traveled through CA many times, including two trips up and down the entire length of PCH as well as extended stays in SF, LA and SD. It was a beautiful state, as you say. And you can still catch glimpses of that beauty here and there. But the few areas that are still nice are mostly for the uber-rich only. To get something comparable to what we have now - and by that I don't mean just our house/land but the surrounding environs - we'd probably have to spend around $1-2 million, maybe a lot more.

    And even then, all you'd get is a relatively small "island" in the greater sea of shit - which you'd have to wade through once you left the "island" to go shopping, etc.

    Blech.

    Of course, much of the rest of the country is going down the same road. Too many maggots, relentlessly breeding.

  16. #16
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I have traveled through CA many times, including two trips up and down the entire length of PCH as well as extended stays in SF, LA and SD. It was a beautiful state, as you say. And you can still catch glimpses of that beauty here and there. But the few areas that are still nice are mostly for the uber-rich only. To get something comparable to what we have now - and by that I don't mean just our house/land but the surrounding environs - we'd probably have to spend around $1-2 million, maybe a lot more.
    Just get far from the better paying jobs and the crowd and then you can find some very nice places in the mountains that don't cost all that much. For an example, the very northern part of the state. Just get far away from everything. What you would like anyway.

    Around the Happy Camp area, for an example. And you can look for BigFoot there as there have been countless sightings in that area!


    -Don- SSF, CA

  17. #17
    DonTom
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    I got my RV back today (for a little while) I am having a hard time believing that somebody would try to get away with this in CA. This story continues, it is NOT over yet. Let me start with some facts:

    On March 13, 2009 when I had the smog test done in King's Beach, CA, it flunked, and here is the info.

    Idle speed was 625 and the HC measured at 190. 39 is average for this vehicle (2000 Tioga, or, Chevy Express Cutaway, 7.4L, MPFI) and 150 is the very max allowed. So it then flunked with the 190.

    This RV was picked up by the dealer and was sent out for a re-test on March 19, 2009 (Yesterday):

    This time it passed, BUT the print out shows:

    Idle 1067 !!!!!, HC only measured 68.

    The RV would almost not be drivable at such a fast idle, so it's obvious to me that they CHEATED to make it pass. I cannot believe anybody would try something so stupid in CA unless they are trying to be put out of business by the BAR. I also have a hard time believing that the max idle allowed for this vehicle is so high, when it's controlled by a chip in the ECM that will keep the idle around spec (which is ~650 RPM). And idle at 1067 proves there is something very serious wrong and my RV has never idled anything near 1067 under any conditions.

    It's obvious to me that they used the "stick" they use to hold the gas pedal down for the 2500 RPM test but set it for the upper allowed idle to make it pass. Illegal as can be here in CA!

    So I called back the dealer. We made an agreement to meet at the smog test place where we could watch the tester do a re-test at the real idle speed.

    The RV was very warm after to 80 mile drive to get it there (makes it MUCH MORE likely to pass because the catalytic converters will be hotter) and they were able to test it right away. The did and they got a HC reading of 460!!!! Yes, 460, more than three times over "gross polluter"!!!! A gross polluter is when the HC reading is more than double the max reading (of 150).

    Of course the guy tried to Bull Feed me , with all types of nonsense but I simply said "I am not trying to get anybody in trouble, I just want it fixed correctly". I also explained that I knew enough about vehicles that he will not be able to "bull fed"
    (I really used the other term) me, but if he wants to continue to try, he will end up arguing with the CA BAR instead of me.

    At that point, they decided to keep the RV and fix it right and let us have a car to get home in.

    I am quite sure now the problem is the older catalytic converter. They tried to be cheap and only replaced one before I purchased the RV. Seems when they go out, they get worse and worse very fast. IAC there's no excuse for a "test only" station to do what they did.

    I do wonder who the other culprit is between the RV dealer, the repair place and the "test only" smog place. Obviously the "test only" station did what they did for somebody to save money at my expense.

    I do not want to get in a situation where I will have to fix this at my expense next year when it's their problem by CA State law. They illegally sold me the RV without completing the smog test.

    In just gasoline alone, I have spent a lot of money on this problem of theirs! Drive to Truckee, drive to Kings Beach, drive to SSF, they pick it up on a full tank to drive it to Livermore and back. Tom & I drive it to Livermore today. And then pay sixty bucks for the failed smog test at King's Beach. I wonder how much the RV dealer will reimburse me for all this.

    At least I will get the registration as they illegally made it pass and it's unlikely anybody at DMW will notice. But I certainly noticed. I bet they could get away with this with 99% of the population and so they took a chance with me, not knowing I would check the VIR (Vehicle Inspection Report) and understand it.

    This Monday, they are going to put on a new catalytic converter to replace the one old one and I assume that will fix it correctly.

    BTW, does anybody here know the minimum temperature that a catalytic converter is effective at? In RV's they are often a bit more critical because they are often located somewhat far from the engine where they will not get as hot.

    -Don- South San Francisco, CA

  18. #18
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    This is an extreme degree of cheesiness.

    To be blunt, once you discovered what they were up to I would have never allowed them to touch the RV again (unless I was able to be there the whole time to watch). Do you trust these assholes? I wouldn't. By now, they may be pissed at you - and who knows what else they may do to the vehicle to "get even." Shops that pull this type of thing are either rip-off outfits or outright incompetent. I'd want neither working on any vehicle of mine.

    You might have been better off talking to the CA smog police - as I think you have these guys by the balls.

    Of course, I know you've already given the vehicle back - but one thing you should check is that they use a proper cat. My bet is they will use the cheapest, lowest quality POS converter they can find at NAPA - such as a generic $75 unit that will last just long enough to pass smog but which will fail within a few thousand miles or which will prove to be very restrictive and choke the mileage/performance of your RV.

    I bet a factory-type replacement cat costs $400 or more.
    Last edited by Eric; 03-21-2009 at 06:22 AM.

  19. #19
    DonTom
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    To be blunt, once you discovered what they were up to I would have never allowed them to touch the RV again (unless I was able to be there the whole time to watch). Do you trust these assholes? I wouldn't.
    Of course I don't trust any of those assholes, but there's not a whole lot I can do. They are 80 miles from here.
    By now, they may be pissed at you - and who knows what else they may do to the vehicle to "get even." Shops that pull this type of thing are either rip-off outfits or outright incompetent. I'd want neither working on any vehicle of mine.
    I have no choice unless I want to pay for what is their responsibility. I know they already took a big chance and got caught up in it. I would think they would be careful from here on in if they want to avoid serious trouble. I already have enough on them as several CA state laws were broken. It starts when they sold me the RV without a smog test. Not only that, a "gross polluter" which cannot be legally driven in CA at all, except for drives to get it totally fixed! The only legal sale they can do with this RV is to direct to the State of CA. The state of CA will pay for gross polluters just to get them off the road. This is mainly for vehicles that are not worth fixing.
    You might have been better off talking to the CA smog police - as I think you have these guys by the balls.
    No doubt, and I would think they would know that by now! That's why I think they should now try to make me happy!
    Of course, I know you've already given the vehicle back - but one thing you should check is that they use a proper cat. My bet is they will use the cheapest, lowest quality POS converter they can find at NAPA - such as a generic $75 unit that will last just long enough to pass smog but which will fail within a few thousand miles or which will prove to be very restrictive and choke the mileage/performance of your RV.
    Don't forget, it already passed the smog test as far as DMV is concerned. I just don't understand how CA could allow such an high idle for an EFI vehicle which is controlled by a computer chip!

    BTW, now they can even cheat in more ways as they do not have to report to DMV. But even if it's allowed at such a ridiculous idle speed, they cannot legally cheat by forcing a different than normal idle. If you're correct, then I have solid proof they broke the law and can prove it. There are many "49 state legal" catalytic converters that cannot even be sold or shipped to a CA address.

    BTW, I checked for the prices of the 2000 Chevy Express catalytic converters on the internet. Each side of the engine has a different one. Remember, it has one shinny new one and another very old one (when I purchased the RV) The once closest to the engine only costs a couple of hundred bucks. The other cost about $700.00. You want to guess which one was changed last time?

    I assume the more expensive one works at a lower temperature because it's farther from the engine than the other.


    -Don- SSF, CA

  20. #20
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Of course I don't trust any of those assholes, but there's not a whole lot I can do. They are 80 miles from here.I have no choice unless I want to pay for what is their responsibility. I know they already took a big chance and got caught up in it. I would think they would be careful from here on in if they want to avoid serious trouble. I already have enough on them as several CA state laws were broken. It starts when they sold me the RV without a smog test. Not only that, a "gross polluter" which cannot be legally driven in CA at all, except for drives to get it totally fixed! The only legal sale they can do with this RV is to direct to the State of CA. The state of CA will pay for gross polluters just to get them off the road. This is mainly for vehicles that are not worth fixing.
    No doubt, and I would think they would know that by now! That's why I think they should now try to make me happy!
    Don't forget, it already passed the smog test as far as DMV is concerned. I just don't understand how CA could allow such an high idle for an EFI vehicle which is controlled by a computer chip!

    BTW, now they can even cheat in more ways as they do not have to report to DMV. But even if it's allowed at such a ridiculous idle speed, they cannot legally cheat by forcing a different than normal idle. If you're correct, then I have solid proof they broke the law and can prove it. There are many "49 state legal" catalytic converters that cannot even be sold or shipped to a CA address.

    BTW, I checked for the prices of the 2000 Chevy Express catalytic converters on the internet. Each side of the engine has a different one. Remember, it has one shinny new one and another very old one (when I purchased the RV) The once closest to the engine only costs a couple of hundred bucks. The other cost about $700.00. You want to guess which one was changed last time?

    I assume the more expensive one works at a lower temperature because it's farther from the engine than the other.


    -Don- SSF, CA

    Question: If these guys deliberately rigged the test in order to get a "pass" when the vehicle should have failed, wouldn't that be sufficient grounds to force them to buy back the vehicle/return your money? Or at least, to get them to do that under the threat that you were going to turn the entire thing over to CARB? (Which could cost them a huge fine, possibly shutter their operation?)

    Maybe you could get them to cut you a check for the cost of the $700 converter - plus the labor for another shop to install it... ?

    I hope this works out well.

    And if I were you, after I got the vehicle back (repaired right, to my satisfaction) I would still drop a dime on them to CARB. You know you're not the only one this place has screwed, or tried to....
    Last edited by Eric; 03-21-2009 at 11:15 AM.

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