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Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

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Old 04-21-2018, 02:14 PM
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Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

First of all - whats up guys? Long time no see.

I had a new cat put on my ride maybe 10 years ago, it's always blown super clean and never been a problem but this year they're telling me it's the wrong EO number, D-193-85. Which I suppose they're right because looking at this file Camaro isn't listed.

Did I get the wrong cat a long time ago and nobody ever noticed? Did something change in the last couple years?

Am I boned?
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:48 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Your correct. The system changed. Before you could use just about any cat. Now you have to use a oe# cat and they have to enter the number from the cat into the system. Started about 7 years ago. No way around it. Oh and cats are about 250 now as well
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:08 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

if your cat was installed prior to the new law being put in place, you can still pass with the cat that is installed
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:07 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

https://www.smogtips.com/cat.cfm

Cali wants ALL older cars crushed and gone.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:43 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Had a similar problem about 2 years ago with star smog station failing due to wrong cat even though car passed all other tests.
A local muffler shop replaced cat when car would not pass smog when I bought car about 6 tears ago. Passed two separate smog checks after cat was replaced. Took car back to muffler shop with receipt and explained car failed due wrong cat. The owner looked up the cat on CAL Cat web site. Interestingly the state had disapproved the cat about 1 1/2 years after it was installed.
Had the muffler shop owner install another new cat. His price and work are always reasonable so I paid him rather than see if a referee would be allowed to approve the existing cat since the emission were fine on the failed test due to wrong cat.

You might call state and see if a referee would be allowed to give you the waiver
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:06 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

I just went through emissions and have done more reading about this stuff than I ever really wanted. I'm done with it now, and maybe the OP is also, but I'll go ahead and post this in case it's useful to anybody.


https://www.bar.ca.gov/PubWebQuery/E...ssageKey=34105
When dealing with pre OBD-II vehicles (pre 1996), the inspector is not expected to match up the cat for your specific model of car. They still have to look it up, but pre OBD-II vehicles are lumped together more generically. With these older cars, CA just lists the cats for general categories of vehicles, not specific models.
EDIT: there's a caveat though. If your car has a secondary air connection on the cat, then they'll check for that so the replacement also needs to have it.

https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/afterm...atpreobdii.pdf
lists D193-85 as category T-1 (for trucks). You need a cat that's listed as PC-1. The legend at bottom defines this as "Pre OBD2 passenger cars with 1 cat per exhaust bank".
It's a dumb reason to fail when the cat obviously works, but that's how it is.

If you click on the EO# links in that PDF, it will bring up the "executive order" PDF for each catalyst. Some of the approvals have been withdrawn, meaning they are no longer legal if you buy them today. Probably not because anything is wrong with them, but just because somebody stopped paying for the expense of maintaining the approval on that model of cat. There's a reason California cats are so expensive.

Before buying a cat, look up it's Executive Order and make sure it's still current. Save it, just in case you need to show it to a shop someday. They're supposed to look it up themselves, but do everything you can to cover yourself in case you get hassled.

Make sure the cat is installed so that the CA approval markings are visible, and hope that they stay legible, or you'll be screwed. Some shops might lift the car, others rely on a mirror and flashlight.

After buying a California approved catalyst, save your receipt. If the cat's approval is withdrawn, it's still legal as long as you can show that it was purchased prior to the withdrawal date.
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/afterm...catrescind.pdf
The letter of the testing rules says it's based on the *purchase* date, not the installation date, and not the date of manufacture.

2009+ California cats are marked with a standardized date code showing when it was manufactured. My cat's certification was withdrawn in 2014 but it has a 2012 mfg date. Thus far I haven't been hassled over it. I assume the mfg date has satisfied them, but some shops could ask for a dated receipt.

Last edited by armos; 06-09-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:25 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Some more general comments:
If you want to read the detailed testing rules that the shops go by, look here:
https://www.bar.ca.gov/Industry/Smog...nce_Guide.html
And if you want to see a forum where some emissions guys talk shop, look here:
http://www.stopthestarprogram.com/Forum.html
It seems the techs are getting more paranoid than ever due to how the state comes after them nowadays.
They are being scored. Apparently if they pass a car and it is failed in it's next test (2 YEARS LATER) - the last shop to pass the car gets scored negatively by the state.
This means that even if your car is okay, if a shop "predicts" you might fail visual inspection 2 years later then they'll make an exaggerated effort to fail it now. Old cars make them nervous, and mechanics have a cynical view of DIYers. They will be inclined to assume that you aren't going to maintain your car for the next 2 years.
They're not only worried about something degrading in the next 2 years. They're also worried about a simple difference of opinion. There's a lot of subjectivity, and if Shop A passes and Shop B fails, Shop A gets their score dinged.
It's possible a shop might be less paranoid if they know you are loyal and won't go somewhere else for the next test.

They might also be expected to fail some percentage of cars.

Besides the scoring system, shops are also getting hit with undercover cars. The Bureau of Automotive Repair is modifying cars (which may be a violation of Federal law, but we know CA doesn't care about that) then driving them around to smog shops. Any shop that passes it gets hit with a citation. It looks like the typical fine nowadays is $2000 per incident, and they can also lose their license. Forum posts have complained about some of the cars being very sneaky.

You can search for smog shops on the BAR web site:
https://www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/s...ationlist.aspx
I looked at this recently and noticed that 2 popular shops within 1 block of each other were hit with a $2,000 fine on the same day, and one had their STAR cert suspended. Clearly they were hit by an undercover car that fooled both of them.

It's an insane system, really. All this bureaucracy, expense, and harrassing atmosphere in the state created to catch the tiniest supposed issues in visual inspections. And the efforts needed to overcome frivolous test failures also carry environmental impacts that the state apparently doesn't think about.
I miss the simple tailpipe tests that other states use. I think they were far more sensible, objective, and practical. But there wouldn't be as much money in that.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:40 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Besides the scoring system, shops are also getting hit with undercover cars. The Bureau of Automotive Repair is modifying cars (which may be a violation of Federal law, but we know CA doesn't care about that) then driving them around to smog shops. Any shop that passes it gets hit with a citation. It looks like the typical fine nowadays is $2000 per incident, and they can also lose their license. Forum posts have complained about some of the cars being very sneaky.

Are you f***ing kidding me? California sucks!
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Old 06-10-2018, 03:43 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

I don't know how you people live in California...
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:52 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Hey guys I'm a licenced smog tech and ase certified tech but I after I received all my certifications the military out me at 100% unemployable and 100% disabled so if anybody needs me to do a pre visual inspection before you go also i have a lot of friends in the area that will help us out
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:03 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Originally Posted by T.L. View Post
I don't know how you people live in California...
My wife and I stay because we have adult kids and other family, here!
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:06 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Originally Posted by T.L. View Post
I don't know how you people live in California...
Because you don't have to shovel sunshine!
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:53 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

What about the fires and floods?
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:04 PM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
What about the fires and floods?
...and don't forget about the earthquakes. People need to stop getting their information from the ratings-starved news cycle. Believe it or not, but fires are actually a part of the ecosystem in some areas. Don't know what floods you are talking about. That's stuff that happens in the mid-west. Say what you want, but I can drive my convertible with the top down nearly year round.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:50 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Originally Posted by blacksunshine'91 View Post
...and don't forget about the earthquakes. People need to stop getting their information from the ratings-starved news cycle. Believe it or not, but fires are actually a part of the ecosystem in some areas. Don't know what floods you are talking about. That's stuff that happens in the mid-west. Say what you want, but I can drive my convertible with the top down nearly year round.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:11 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

Originally Posted by blacksunshine'91 View Post
Because you don't have to shovel sunshine!
ima save this quote because it made me have a good laugh
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:47 AM
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Re: Who knows the smog rules pretty well?

California sucks to live in and pay the outrageous amount of rent, but the smog laws suck the worst they haven't updated or mandated their own inspection laws since 1995/96 time frame they stole ideas from arizona, oregon, Texas, and a couple other states and made their own ridiculous laws up around it they didn't even have a proper obd2 reading tool at the smog shops the system they use now was borrowed from other states.
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