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"Emissions CODE???" Topic

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507 hits since 6 Jun 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Great War Ace Inactive Member06 Jun 2015 7:54 a.m. PST

Just got back from I&E. Inspection passed (need front brakes really soon, though). The assistant comes up to the desk while I'm talking with the boss, who has just swiped my CC and it's all done but the shouting. The assistant says, "I've tried four times, and it won't take it."

The boss goes with him and they're both gone for most of ten minutes. Then the boss drives my van up to the front and comes in and hands me my key and says something like this: "I've tried three times (that's seven total, I take it), and it's not a tailpipe test failure or anything like that; your code won't communicate with the computer. You'll have to come back in during the week, because the Health Department (WTH?) isn't open on Saturday. We'll have to call them and get the code to your vehicle and get this done."

It's always something! But that's a new one for me. I had no idea such a "code" even attached to my van, or anybody else's vehicle either for that matter, or that such a "piece" of the "system" existed until this morning….

Last Hussar06 Jun 2015 8:47 a.m. PST

Engines are managed by computers – oddly enough called the Engine Management System. That's why your vehicle is the cleanest and safest in human history. Unfortunately sometimes it glitches.

The real problem is the EMS isn't as good as a real mechanic, but we are raising a generation of mechanics who don't actually know the full job – they just do what the system tells them when they hook up.

Some years ago my then car failed the MOT on emmissions. The garage said 'Will need a new Catalytic converter' at £540.00 GBP+. The one they thought they could use turned out not to fit – apparently mine had an extra inlet or outlet or something they weren't used too(!!). However one of they guys said "Look, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I know a mechanic" – a little independent, rather than this national chain.

I drove up, this guy listened to the engine for 10 seconds and said "You've been putting 10w40 in haven't you? Fords need a really thin oil. I can clean it and get it through the emmissions test, but it will cost £120.00 GBP OK it cost me £120.00 GBP, but it wasn't a new Cat.

My brother and his mates were travelling in one of their cars, when one – a mechanic told them to be quiet and listened to the engine and said "You can't hear that [he could], and its not a problem at the moment but in 'x' hundred miles your [part] is going to go – get it into a garage so they can have a look'. He was right!

Great War Ace Inactive Member06 Jun 2015 10:46 a.m. PST

My van is a '96! In all these years nothing of the sort has happened. Why now? Why NOW??? How far back do I have to go to not have a 'puter on the engine that "communicates" with the health department?…

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member06 Jun 2015 12:04 p.m. PST

obviously the car has tipped off the health department about the nudie bar youve been parked outside of every Wednesday for lunch,
get your shot record updated and buy a '54 Olds Roadmaster.
no computers in that one.

goragrad06 Jun 2015 12:12 p.m. PST

Problem might be that the code for the 96 is no longer in the database due to age…

Noticed here in the US that for a number of Electronic Control Module (ECM) suppliers that 96 was as far back as they carried stock. Was looking for an ECM for a 93.

As to that last question, might be able to find something in the 80s that was too dumb to communicate with.

Amusingly, saw a low budget post apocalypse movie a while back. The band of good guys drove up in a 60s VW bus, early 50s truck, and another vintage car. Initially commented that the movie was really low budget if that was what they could round up for transport. Then stopped to think and admired the thought that went into that choice – several years after things fall apart those old ignition coil and distributor carburated engines are going to be what can be kept going.

Last Hussar06 Jun 2015 1:52 p.m. PST

That's a good point goragras – my first car in 94 was a 83 Maestro – manual choke and distributor. Also diesels, as no need to time a spark on them, plus they can be run on vegetable oil!

Great War Ace Inactive Member09 Jun 2015 11:38 a.m. PST

I found out what caused it: the driver's side door is not original. Of course, I knew that already, since I had a replacement door, from a junker, put on a couple of years ago. Previous I&E did not cause a problem because the "system" automatically took it. But for some reason (age of vehicle?), this year they had to put the information on VIN and vehicle weight in by hand, and the sticker on the end of this door does not work, no duh. The Gov't database would not recognize THAT vehicle with the license number and etc. So that is all cleared up and won't happen again. It's always something….

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