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View Full Version : Diesel Smog Checks in California


sikwan
01-15-2008, 11:21 PM
Guess I won't be looking at all the new diesels that will appear in passenger vehicles in 2009+.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/about/leg/leginfo_vr.htm

Adds diesel-powered vehicles manufactured after the 1997 model-year that have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,501 pounds to be in the biennial smog check program.

I'm glad my Sprinter just barely made the cut.

Altered Sprinter
01-16-2008, 12:08 AM
Seek blue-tec and diesel electric hybirds look at New York euro v and V1 already on the go
Richard

sikwan
01-16-2008, 01:07 AM
One of the last few things to look forward to having a diesel is avoiding the bi-annual smog check here in California. I guess they (government) knew about the impending flow of new diesel vehicles coming in 2009, so what better way to increase the revenue stream.

It doesn't make sense to me that vehicles' gvwr less than 8501 would pollute more than one that is larger. Most of the ones with gvwr's larger than 8501 have 6 liter + diesels.

Not only do you have to pay a premium for a diesel, you now have to go through the dreaded smog check.

Altered Sprinter
01-16-2008, 02:38 AM
Seek it's a double edged sword , not just diesel but gas as well .
The bush administration is vetoing CA Laws saying it does not have authority over Federal EPA governance, yet at the same time as quoted by the politicians in Congress and senate on both sides of the fence... they are protecting local manufactures etc.
CA and four other states have directly challenged their rights to enforce higher emission standards. presently before the courts.
If you look at the Mercedes Sprinter specific there is not a single 4-inline engine that has not been developed for alternative fuels with NOx emissions below 0.25 ppm in a commercial based van that has weight capability's up to 20 T
Bluetec Hybrid Diesel electric, HP synthetic Diesels LP gas bio fueled variant engines each developed for emissions up to 2018, the problem is the fuel source? 2008-2009 Already available, But not one single refinery in the USA can produce the fuel in both Gas and or Diesel.
For example Just assume the Californian Government funded the monies for the fuel companies to rebuild the refineries to produce synthetic fuel based supply alternatives, This alone with fast tracking all building process, would take five years minimum! to get one single refinery on line. with out the added infrastructure's required for delivery to new pumps no mix and match No cross contamination etc. If Mercedes said OK we will send in a few thousand Sprinters and Vito's Just to add a little extra model line ups for fun , these vehicles would be limited in travel capability's as to where the vehicle can be refueled standard ULSD Diesel would stop the engine if it was used. Purchase pricing, add another ten grand for limited production models specific for one single state.
The only viable alternative is Diesel electric, all electric or the cheapest to produce, HP Synthetic based fuels from coal, you then have the opposite problem of rebuilding existing Coal fired power stations, to met Green house gas emission targets.
It will take a New Government! to seriously commit to industrial changes, if it was approved today it will take 20 years before change becomes apparent , with population growth increasing at worst..you still have todays pollution levels in 2018 unless there is rapid and continuous development towards more environmentally sounder infrastructures.
The concentration of fuel efficient passengers sedans 35 MPG, and lesser emissions from exhaust. OK! But why are the larger SUV's and cargo vans exempt from the same standards as a passenger based vehicle.{double Standards}.
Daimler AG has the most advanced technologies in place for tomorrows Industry from space aged technologies to transportation.
Richard
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jdcaples
01-16-2008, 02:46 AM
One of the last few things to look forward to having a diesel is avoiding the bi-annual smog check here in California. I guess they (government) knew about the impending flow of new diesel vehicles coming in 2009, so what better way increase the revenue stream.

It doesn't make sense to me that vehicles' gvwr less than 8501 would pollute more than one that is larger. Most of the ones with gvwr's larger than 8501 have 6 liter + diesels.

Not only do you have to pay a premium for a diesel, you now have to go through the dreaded smog check.

I've endured diesel smog checks in Washington State for a decade or something like that.

It's a terrible test called the diesel SNAP test. The machine measures particulate matter (opacity of the exhaust) exiting the tail pipe while you floor it for a few seconds.

It's unnerving and I'd prefer not to stomp on the accellerator of my Sprinter to "prove" (in my case) my particulate filter is working. The test costs $15.00 for your first two tries (flunk the first and you get a freebie). You get a free "walk" if you fail as long as you have a receipt from a qualified service business that you spent $300 (or something like that) in labor and parts trying to purify your exhaust.

T1Ns... I'd bet that two gallons of B100 in a nearly empty tank would reduce the particulate count to something approximating 5.

On the other hand, I heard that eventually diesel tests will look more like modern gasoline smog tests in Washington State: they plug into the OBD connector, look for codes and if there aren't any, you pass. I bet a skilled electrical engineer could build a counter-measure defeat such a test w/o breaking a sweat. :) Not that anyone would do such a thing.... that would be wrong. No one should try. Some people have kids, you know.... the world can't get enough clean air.

-Jon

PS: Did I mention that Washington State doesn't have state income tax?

sikwan
01-16-2008, 03:07 AM
PS: Did I mention that Washington State doesn't have state income tax?

At least we have sunshine for most of the year here in the northern California. :tongue:

I did not know WA had diesel smog checks. What does it entail besides the sniffer in the exhaust pipe? How much soot can I really spew (see) out of my tail pipe before I fail?

jdcaples
01-16-2008, 04:57 AM
At least we have sunshine for most of the year here in the northern California. :tongue:

I did not know WA had diesel smog checks. What does it entail besides the sniffer in the exhaust pipe? How much soot can I really spew (see) out of my tail pipe before I fail?


There are no requierments besides the sniffer test and the vehicle must be 5 or more years (I think) old. If you're unlike me and never own a vehicle for 60 months, you never have to suffer this indignation in WA. The 5 years-old requirement is for both gas and diesel burners. I always forget that part because I only discard vehicles when I have to... the Sprinter was just too enticing to pass up. I'll own it for as long as I can keep it running, not-rusting out from beneath me and can get parts for it.

My '93 GM 1-ton cargo van needed a test before my Sprinter arrived (which was extremely disappointing, but never mind that now).

Older diesels were allowed a cloud of "60," which the $10/hour test human said was 60% by volume. Mine was allowed 40. I never bothered to look up the metrics.

Using a biodiesel fuel concentration very close to B99 and 16 oz of Power Service, my 6.2L with 206,000 no-rebuild, original miles got a 4 out of 40 before I gave it to one of my best friends to replace his '91 6.2L diesel cargo van of the same geneology. The same vehicle on a 40-degree F day on straight number 2 and around 170,000 miles measured 27. So you can see that temperature, fuel and god-knows-what-else can significantly impact this nearly useless test. You have to stand on the accellerator - I mean floor it - for way more seconds than I'd ever consider doing in the real world. It's a worthless test.

WA also allows you to use a test that is less than or equal to 6-months or a year (I forget) old. That means you can take the test on the hottest day of the year and increase your operating temperature to promote the most full-combustion of fuel during the test.


-Jon

BaywoodBill
01-16-2008, 03:34 PM
Is it still the case, either nationally or in CA, that the big SUVs and 1/2 ton and larger pickup trucks and Hummers get a pass or partial pass for smog tests?

topless
01-16-2008, 04:07 PM
So far here in the Midwest, no smog checks on anything. Over the years, most of what I own somehow lost their kitty's.:idunno:(not my Sprinter, I want it quiet and 50 states legal).
But, then with the wind blowing here (Kansas is the 5th windiest state), 82,277 sq mi and a population of about 2.2 million. It's kinda hard to keep track of that kinda stuff. Every farm truck I've ever seen since the 70's gets it's cat. converter cut out the week after it's bought. No farmer/rancher wants to burn up his truck or crop because of it, so they get tossed.

jdcaples
01-16-2008, 04:14 PM
Is it still the case, either nationally or in CA, that the big SUVs and 1/2 ton and larger pickup trucks and Hummers get a pass or partial pass for smog tests?

Not in Washington State....