'93 civic failed emission or suspicious emision test ?

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Need some help determining if emision failed due to real problem and how to fix *OR* was this a suspect emission tester and i just wait for different tester ?
what to do ?
I am original owner of '93 civic Si HB 205,450 miles.
I do most all basic maintenence (filters/oil/etc) and repairs (eg. brake pads/ radiator replace/master cylinder replace/ ignitor replace/ replace distributor, etc ) honda dealer gets the bigger invasive stuff like timing belt, water pumps, clutch ...
The car has passed emissions by no small margins till this year and it FAILED miserably ? *BUT* only on the 25/25 test ?
Only 5,400 highway miles were put on the car from 2008 test to 2009 test.
2009 numbers ==========================...................25/25 test............50/15 ----------------------................--------- HC ppm .....288.....................65 CO %..........9.38 **...............0.20 NOx ppm....345.....................255 RPM............2718..................1971 CO + CO2 %....18.3..............15.1
2008 numbers ==========================....................25/25 test...........50/15 -------------------------.............--------- HC ppm .....73........................70 CO %..........0.22.....................0.23 NOx ppm...236......................212 RPM...........2100.....................1925 CO + CO2 % 15.1.................15.1
Ques 1: Does this test failure look like real (possible) numbers ? that is, how does it fail 25/25 ***SO *** bad and not the 50/15 ?
Ques 2: if these are real numbers then what repair am i looking to fix this ?
Ques 3: Can the tester muck up the test and get that 25/25 test failure ? Not that he wanted to muck it up but maybe a little incompetent because he had these several problems ...
- Could not get the tack sensor in the right place , kept moving it all around like on top dash , center dash, on mirror , under dash, on windshield, on the hood , under the hood ? could not seem to find a place that gave good tach readings and kept saying, "your RPM is bad"
- He tried the clip on tach wire but could not get the wire connected to machine correctly.
- at some point during testing he could not seem to get the gear shifted so he left it in 1st and ran the car up to about 20 miles per hour in 1st gear the car was running really loud so i peeked in at the tach which up around 5000-6000 yes that is 5K-6K and held it there for about 30 seconds waiting for the machine to do something ?
Anyways, i would appreciate some helpful advice on what to fix or do please
robb
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robb wrote:

Sounds like you need to get it tested by a different tester. Incorrect rpm data and not shifting the gears will screw up the test easily.
--
Steve W.

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Thanks Steve, for the reply and advice.
robb
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The CO is way high regardless of RPM. Something has forced the FI pig rich. Further diagnosis is next. HTH Ben

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Thanks Ben, for the reply and help.
Would you not expect some scaling of failure into the 50/15 test considering the severity of failure in the 25/25 test ?
After researching some , would you expect a Oxygen Sensor malfunction or something else ?
Can the original O2 sensor last 18 yrs ? The O2 sensor is the original :}
Thanks again, robb
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O2 sensors are spec'd to last 60-100K miles. They can get "slow" before that,and affect emissions and mileage even sooner.
Google is your friend.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Thanks Jim, for the helpful info.
I say it is original. I think it is the original. Does honda service ever replace O2 sensor in any of there regular service intervals ? I do not remeber ever seeing the O2 sensor being replaced but i did take the car in for whatever the **BIG** service intervals were ( ? 90K / 120K / 150K ? the numbers escape my memory)
Oh well, time to start replacing stuff.
So, in other posts i read... Denso seems to make good O2 sensors ? Is that a good brand to look for ?
Thanks for any helpful opinions and advice,
robb
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<snip>

Did you even bother to read Steve W's post?
There may be nothing at all wrong with your car, but there was LOTS wrong with the technician's actions durng the test.
--
Tegger


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Tegger wrote:

i'm not sure i buy that - this guy's story doesn't add up. testing machines won't accept a test unless the test protocol is followed closely, and 2718rpm at 25mph is not first gear like the op alleges. the machine checks for rpm's and won't accept if not in range. and not only must they be in range, they must be relatively constant. if they're not constant, the machine extends the test until they are and held there for the requisite test duration.
bottom line - this is probably a valid test and a simple failure. given that the op hasn't changed the sensor in 18 years, he probably hasn't changed plugs or leads either - a much more likely cause of incomplete combustion and high readings.
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Hello OP here ... While i applaud your deductive reasoning on my story to keep me honest , the story is a truthful rendition of what occured durring the emission test.
the only thing i allege is what i saw, which was a big 20 something on the emission monitor and peeking at the tachometer that was in the car and seeing it hovering around 5-6k or there abouts for about 30 seconds (while the tester watched the monitor) and me realizing that for the 25/25 test it seems he never shifted out of first gear , next he ground the gears again a bit and managed to get it into to second for the next test.
I was not really paying attention to the testing until i heard the engine reving really high, i didn't remember that during any past test and when he slightly ground the gears i became more watchful and started adding up all the other stuff he did like move the tach sensor all around the car and the comment about the bad RPM made me wonder if the tester guy just flubbed my test or is it reallistic to think that 1 year and 5400 miles later my car has gone from clean to enviro-mean,
maybe the emmision machine was reading 2700 when he had it reved up to 5K ? i do not know but someone probably knows there are alot of experienced and smart people here.
anyways that seemed like alot of useless fill for my questions which were... can these emission tester guys muck up the test like that or do i really need to start looking for the problems and more importantly what to concentrate on ?
I do appreciate the help.
robb
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robb wrote:

no, he cannot fuck up the test - the machine will not accept it. you need to concentrate on fixing the problem, not the blame. based on your response, that might be something you find hard to do.
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robb wrote:

Well, it was stated that the tester was having a hard time positioning the machine's tach pickup... and 2700 is suspiciously close to 1/2 of 5000 (maybe the car's tach was actually reading 5400). IF the tach pickup was only getting every other spark (like from only one coil of a 2-coil pack on a 4-cylinder) then it could easily read 1/2 the correct value.
Get it tested again somewhere else- that'll give you a final answer.
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Steve wrote:

that's the worst thing about the op's description of the test - the tach reading, unless it's a obdII vehicle, is taken by putting a sensor on one of the plug leads, under the hood, not a "paddle" on the dash. and revving the engine is perfectly kosher if the cat is cold or there is a misfire.
bottom line, the test was good. the op's description was unreliable. and his paranoia unjustified. the emissions result was perfectly consistent with the failure that followed.

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jim beam wrote:

Actually, I've seen OBD-1 inspections done on machines where a mag-mount antenna is stuck to the underside of the hood or fenderwell near the engine, not on a plug lead. Not all machines are made the same, and I immediately thought that design was just begging for a frequency error- crappy machine design if you ask me. But even clamping on a plug wire can have an error. I have used enough induction-pickup timing lights that get enough cross-talk between plug wires that they sometimes fire multiple times per distributor rotation, unless you position the pickup *very* carefully. And with a single antenna system like I described, you can get exactly the opposite problem on waste-spark ignition systems. The machine expects to pick up all spark pulses and divide by 4, but if it only picks up the spark from 1 coil and divides by 4, it will get 1/2 the correct RPM.
and

If the description was so poor, then you have no stronger case that it was good than I have in saying that it is questionable.

Some aspects were, I'll give you that. He admitted he wasn't paying close attention. But if he *EVER* saw 6000 on the car's tach, that alone make me suspicious. 3500 RPM or so- sure. 6000? No WAY.

MAYBE.
$30 for another test will remove all doubt. Cheap. If my wife came home with the same story, I'd take it myself and have it tested before I started throwing money at emissions parts.
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yes i did read it. steve said it sounds like i need to find a new tester. Thats what i thought too but i do not think this was his first day and i do not remeber testers ever having trouble getting a good tach reading in the past. They always just plopped that paddle up on the dash and the test done in about 10 minutes.
Then with (Ben and Jim) i have two strikes against the car and 1/2 strike on my story.
I did not know it was standard practice to replace the O2 sensor every ~80K ? i know i have never done it.
I can and will test it (as i can) to see if it is suspect but according to those O2 comments and even some of your own posts about O2 sensors ... the O2 should probably be replaced ?
Anyways what happens if you get failed twice ? Right now i have to show proof of work done to get it tested again for free ? other wise i am out $50.
thanks for all the helpful advice, robb
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robb wrote:

what is smarter?
1. doing the same thing you did before, and expecting a different result [retesting]? or
2. fixing the freakin' car, /then/ retesting???
denial will only get you so far dude. it certainly won't save you money or stop wasting electron on usenet!
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jim beam wrote:

I think he has reasonable concerns that the test was not done correctly and that there may not be a problem at all with the car.
The *correct* answer, instead of shotgunning the car with parts when it may or may not actually need them, is to take the car to a shop with its own exhaust gas analyzer, NOT an emissions test station, and find out if there is actually a problem.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

snip
Pay no heed to beam as he resides in his "special" corner of the world having little to do with the rest of us free thinkers.
I agree that the test may have been botched. Beam's assertion that the "machine" is infallible is, well, ah... fallible.
BTW, how's JP doing these days?
JT
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Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

you're a "free thinker"??? on reflection, i suspect you probably are!

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Nate Nagel wrote:

he's telling us a bunch of stuff which is inconsistent from post to post, and which does not accord with the facts.

if he can't do the usual pre-test prep, yes.

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