Help! Does anyone know anything about smogging their car?

Page 1 of 2  
Crud. I feel like I'm about to be pouring money down an endless pit.
I went to get a smog check for my 1991 Hyundai Excel. It flunked. The guy showed me the printout and pointed to where it says the car can only
have a maximum of 847 polluting points, and my car showed 2,559 points, making it a Gross Polluter. He said I need a new catalytic converter and then it would pass.
I drove two blocks away and had the muffler guy install a new one for $95.......I drive right back and have it tested again, and would you believe it went from 2,559 points, to 3,428 Gross Polluting points!!!! It actually tested WORSE with a new converter!!!
So now I'm asking him what happened?? How can this be? He tells me that I should drive the car around and put about 50 miles on it and then he will retest it and maybe it will pass?? I said what if it doesn't? He said maybe you need and new ECR, or PCV, or some other 3 initial type valve.......I'm so ticked off.
Does anyone have any advise for me? And how can my test results WORSEN after I just put a new converter on??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The reason is for the worse results is that your original converter was probably fine and that new converters that can be installed for $95 don't cost enough to cover the cost of the precious metals necessary to do a good job. Can you have the original one put back on? You don't want to hear the price of a new factory converter. It'll probably be close to $1000.
To help you find out what may be wrong with the car, I'll need to know why it failed. "Polluting points" don't give me much information, and in fact, I've never even heard the term "polluting point." I'm interested in the HC, CO, NOx, and any other specific readings that were taken, and the maximum/minimum reading in each category. Also let me know what sort of test was done (e.g. dynamometer, idling tailpipe).
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
After I read your post I jumped in the car and flew back to the muffler shop to retrieve my old catalytic converter. I was shocked to find that the muffler shop owner WOULD NOT let me have it!!...He said that the state collects those from him and he has to have an old one for each new one he sells ....Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.....but I wasn't going to argue as it wouldn't of helped.
Yes, I don't think they're called polluting points either...lol! I tried to scan the printout so I could post the numbers but my darn scanner just went on the fritz. I'm thinking that posting a photo using my camera would probably be too small to read. Would you happen to have a fax number that I could zap you the page to?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They have high scrap value. I'm not sure of the number but we are talking over $50, not pennies that steel alone would bring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EdwinPawlowski wrote:

A-ha! That explains why he wouldn't remove his grubby little paws off the converter! That's a nice chunk of change. I'm surprised that crooks haven't resorted to stealing those for scrap. ( I guess technically that just happened to me..Ha!)
Heck, it's pretty bad here in California as they are digging through parks and school yards ripping out the copper wire to sell for scrap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

A-ha! That explains why he wouldn't remove his grubby little paws off the converter! That's a nice chunk of change. I'm surprised that crooks haven't resorted to stealing those for scrap. ( I guess technically that just happened to me..Ha!)
Heck, it's pretty bad here in California as they are digging through parks and school yards ripping out the copper wire to sell for scrap.
*********************************
I've not heard of it locally, but I understand they are being stolen in some places, rigt from under your parked car. As for copper, a nearby church had copper roof flashing stolen during Good Friday services.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EdwinPawlowski wrote:

That's really pathetic! And as this economy continues to slide into the toilet, these incidences are on the rise. If gas goes up too much higher we all might have to put locking gas caps on our cars!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I guess not. Didn't you say it was a day or two later that you went back to him? How long should he hold the part, just in case you might decide you want it back? What about core parts? It is common to require the old part to be turned in as part of the price of the new part.
That said - converter theft is actually on the rise. Thieves have taken to cutting them right off cars parked during the night.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like BS to me, too. Not sure what state you're in, or what their regulations are, but that sounds rather odd. The scrap value is indeed high, as Edwin states. Check your local regulations about return of old parts. Most jurisdictions have laws that require shops to return parts to customers at their request. Since you left without requesting the parts, you may no longer have standing, but by the same token, they still had it and refused to give it to you. The local BBB or consumer assistance office may be able to help you on this.
As far as the numbers go, just type them in. I suspect there are about four readings. Just tell me the heading, the reading, and the max/min allowable entry.
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also, is your check engine lamp on?
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hyundaitech, I'm in California, and the engine light isn't coming on....not yet anyway...Ha!!
I took photos of the numbers. The yellow highlighter marks are from the smog tech guy.
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL836/446301/527393/313605467.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL836/446301/527393/313605234.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL836/446301/527393/313605063.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL836/446301/527393/313604916.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL836/446301/527393/313604631.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
From the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site :
NO (PPM): Oxides of nitrogen (more commonly called NOx) are odorless gases that help form smog, and give smog its characteristic brown color. NO is produced when temperatures in the combustion chambers exceed 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. Excessive engine temperatures could be caused by a lean fuel mixture, by retarded timing, by carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber, or by a malfunctioning engine cooling system. The function of the EGR System is to reduce NO. Unhealthy levels of NO emissions result in a vehicle failing its Smog Check. NO is measured in parts per million (PPM).
--


"Pamela G." <Peaches snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3233.bay.webtv.net...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Partner wrote:

Thanks Partner....wow, it doesn't say that a worn out catalytic converter could be the culprit.......Dang, I just wasted $95
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Okay. The only category in which you've failed is NOx (oxides of nitrogen). This occurs when combustion chamber temperatures get too high and the nitrogen in the air begins to react with the oxygen in the air. So you'll need to check things that would make the combustion chamber temperature too high.
1. Check the (coolant) thermostat. Make sure it's opening at the correct temperature. If it opens at too high a temperature, your combustion chamber temperatures can be excessive.
2. Check the ignition timing. Over-advanced ignition timing can cause the fuel to burn prematurely and increase combustion chamber temperatures.
3. Check the function of the entire EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system. The purpose of EGR is to introduce exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber for the purpose of cooling. If any part of it doesn't function properly, your combustion chamber temperatures will go up. You'll need to make sure that the EGR solenoid is working, that the EGR valve is working, and the EGR passages are clear. You'll also need to verify that the ECM commands the EGR valve to open at the proper time.
Of course, I don't expect that you'll be able to do any of this yourself. Any good emissions diagnostic technician should already know what high NOx readings mean and should know to run the tests I've mentioned above. I also don't advocate just going out and replacing some of the parts. There's no guarantee that will fix anything. If you want to take a cheap shot at passing, try running your tank to empty and refueling with premium. There's a possibility that'll compensate for over-advanced ignition timing, but by the same token, resetting the ignition timing is fairly simple and cheap.
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
hyundaitech wrote:

Thank you so much for the info and advise! You've given me a 1,000 times more information than that nitwit who is supposedly a smog technician!!!!!!
Again, there is no mention of a bad catalytic converter being the possible problem. I blame both myself and that nitwit for this. When he said my car failed, I asked him what I needed to fix it. He said it needs a new catalytic converter. I drove a block away and had one installed, drove right back and had it retested and it had a WORSE test score. After I got home I looked at the inspection report and it said "Catalytic Converter---PASS"........Why did that nimrod tell me I need a new one when the report says it Passed!!! I'd like to kick him in the nuts!!!!!
My first plan is to try that premium gas thing next Monday or Tuesday....Unfortunately I just filled up my tank with el cheapo gas so I'll have to burn all of that off first.
Again, thank you so much for educating me on this subject. I really, really do appreciate it!
I will post my results next week. Got my fingers crossed :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A faulty catalytic converter can indeed be the cause of NOx pollution. I've seen it before (once), and it was very difficult to find and fix. The car's emissions were tested in another state and they had a different procedure. We eventually called a dealer in the other state, and they were able to tell us that in their experience, if normal diagnostics turned up no problems, that the catalytic converter was the likely culprit.
Again, I'm going to put emphasis on the normal diagnostics. In your case, there's no reason to go replacing a catalytic converter until it's been verified that the other things I've mentioned are working properly. That's effectively just guessing a part to replace and retesting to see if it fixes the car. The computer in your car will report to a technician with the proper tooling significant information that will allow him to do some of the diagnosis in a few minutes just by monitoring the data the computer will show him.
When the report says that your converter passed, that means nothing more than it is present and doesn't appear to have been tampered with. It doesn't indicate that it's functioning normally.
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pamela G. wrote:

Your Excel is 17 years old, if it was not designed and maintained for the CA emission standards .... it will never make it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
VicHyuGarcia wrote:

Yes, it passed two years ago, and two years before and so on and so on.....It's a California car, not from some other state. I suppose it's just old now and going to be more problematic at these smog tests.
It really should be put to sleep :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know that I agree about putting the car to sleep, but I don't know the condition of your car, either. As long as the car doesn't have any serious mechanical issues and is otherwise in reasonable condition, there's little reason to replace it. If the fuel management system is operating properly, it should still meet most if not all jursdictions' emissions requirements.
-- Message posted using http://www.talkaboutautos.com/group/alt.autos.hyundai / More information at http://www.talkaboutautos.com/faq.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 02:27:52 -0700, Peaches snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Pamela G.) wrote:

Since you are in California the state has a couple of programs you may want to check out.
One will assist you up to $500 to repair the car to where it will pass smog.
The other may give you as much as $1000 to junk a gross polluter car.
Check out this web site
http://www.smogtips.com/consumer_assistance.cfm
Old_Timer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.