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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:09   #1
CATDI
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Default Warning- CA residents with TDI tuning- You might fail your next SMOG check

Hi:
A friendly warning to California residents with a TDI and aftermarket tuning.

You might not pass your next SMOG check even though you passed several times before.

How do I know?

It just happened to me. My 2005 BHW Passat TDI with Rocketchip RC1 failed the most recent smog check. I was shocked. I had no check engine lights and the car had been running just fine.

I never had an issue before with the last 3 SMOG checks.

More details on my issue including a graph of the MAF here

I tried to find a problem but couldn't. I did verify that EGR readiness was failed or incomplete via VCDS. Could never get it to set because the MAF-S was constant. When that happens, there is no way EGR readiness will ever set.

Why did my car pass before?

Effective May 4, 2015, all available readiness monitors must be set. Previously you could have any one not set. This is why my tuned TDI could pass before without issue.

Full details from CA BAR here

So make sure your tune is up to date and all readiness monitors are in the pass state before your next smog check!

Now if I could only get a hold of Jeff at Rocketchip.

-Ed
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:54   #2
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He's really not all that hard to get ahold of.. mid morning is usually a good time to call. remember he's in the eastern time zone
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Old May 10th, 2017, 05:15   #3
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Forgive the dumb question, but what is the smog check? Over here in Blighty, we have an annual MOT test where the exhaust on a TDI is subject to a particulate test. Wondering if its the same thing? Or similar at least.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 05:37   #4
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Hopefully I don't get this too wrong!

But I understand in many states they have the yearly tests which isn't quite as much as an MOT but also CA is super strict has has road side smog tests.

Flip side I think you can get away with Murder in Florida and convert a FWD car to AWD/RWD with very little fuss/if at all any care.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 06:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonutopia View Post
Forgive the dumb question, but what is the smog check? Over here in Blighty, we have an annual MOT test where the exhaust on a TDI is subject to a particulate test. Wondering if its the same thing? Or similar at least.
It is an emissions compliance test. Similar to your particulate test. The very first part of the test is a readiness check with the engine computer and the "check engine" light on the dash. Fail at that point - ends the test immediately. This is in California, other states are different. But many follow the California example on vehicle emissions.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 06:35   #6
Ed ke6bnl
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time to find that special smog tester.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 07:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john.jackson9213 View Post
It is an emissions compliance test. Similar to your particulate test. The very first part of the test is a readiness check with the engine computer and the "check engine" light on the dash. Fail at that point - ends the test immediately. This is in California, other states are different. But many follow the California example on vehicle emissions.
Am I right too that you can be roadside tested if pulled over too?
My understanding in CA is that mods are targeted by the police too, would be handy to correct my understanding if wrong here.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 08:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonutopia View Post
Forgive the dumb question, but what is the smog check? Over here in Blighty, we have an annual MOT test where the exhaust on a TDI is subject to a particulate test. Wondering if its the same thing? Or similar at least.
As mentioned, each state has different requirements. In North Carolina, all cars are subject to an annual safety check (horn, lights, signals...) and gassers have to have an emissions test. If you have a gasser with a check engine light on, it's an automatic failure. On the diesels, the check engine light is ignored. My beetle had a check engine light on for at least the last five years I owned it and it passed every time. The check engine light was due to a fault to the airbag.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 09:02   #9
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Am I right too that you can be roadside tested if pulled over too?
My understanding in CA is that mods are targeted by the police too, would be handy to correct my understanding if wrong here.
In reality, roadside testing is a rare phenomenon.
I have seen it maybe once in the last 45 years driving in southern CA.
There is a phone number one can call to report 'gross' polluters, though.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 18:43   #10
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Quote:
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Am I right too that you can be roadside tested if pulled over too?
My understanding in CA is that mods are targeted by the police too, would be handy to correct my understanding if wrong here.
Roadside tests are for gathering real world data. No danger to registration from participating in the roadside test. I was in one earlier this year for the first time. Got my California drivers license in 1965.

If you have a muffler loud enough to tee off your neighbors and they complain. Yes, you might get a ticket. If your car belches blue clouds of smoke where ever you drive, yes you might get a ticket. As flee said, you can call a phone number and report excessive smoke.

Do the cops target modified cars? Seriously NO. I find it amazing how these tales get spread. It usually involves a stupid driver doing something stupid, unsafe to attract attention. They get stopped, then want to argue with the cop. Funny how that works. About 5 years ago, I saw a jerk on a motorcycle go on the wrong side of the road to pass a couple of cars. Unfortunately for him, there was a San Diego motorcycle cop coming around the corner. Loved seeing that guy get pulled over!
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Last edited by john.jackson9213; May 10th, 2017 at 19:20.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 00:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john.jackson9213 View Post
Roadside tests are for gathering real world data. No danger to registration from participating in the roadside test. I was in one earlier this year for the first time. Got my California drivers license in 1965.

If you have a muffler loud enough to tee off your neighbors and they complain. Yes, you might get a ticket. If your car belches blue clouds of smoke where ever you drive, yes you might get a ticket. As flee said, you can call a phone number and report excessive smoke.

Do the cops target modified cars? Seriously NO. I find it amazing how these tales get spread. It usually involves a stupid driver doing something stupid, unsafe to attract attention. They get stopped, then want to argue with the cop. Funny how that works. About 5 years ago, I saw a jerk on a motorcycle go on the wrong side of the road to pass a couple of cars. Unfortunately for him, there was a San Diego motorcycle cop coming around the corner. Loved seeing that guy get pulled over!

Thanks for the clarification - and tbh thinking about the context of where I've heard this from (various sources/people) on cops pulling more cars in CA actually I should of correlated people with aggressive/extreme mods with similar driving and likelihood of getting pulled.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 08:14   #12
2many diesels
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"Effective May 4, 2015, all available readiness monitors must be set. Previously you could have any one not set."

Don't think this is completely true.

I have run 4 cars through emmisions testing in the last month. One in particular, 2001 audi A4 1.8t...This car is not required to pass the evap test...and it didnt. I knew that when I set the car up for testing so I wasnt concerned. Didn't pass evap, but did pass test.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:14   #13
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I passed w/o a problem in September 2016 and my Malone Stage 1 tune with Dynamic EGR & Dynamic Idle.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 19:05   #14
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Just received my 2017 DMV renewal for my 2004 Jetta Wagon. It states I must go to local dealership for my Mfg Recall #28F6. I wonder what this is?????? Then with my Proof of Correction Certificate and Smog certificate send to DMV... I have RC 1+ and have passed previous years smog tests...
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Old May 11th, 2017, 20:47   #15
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That is a recall from 2011 on the glow plugs. Just take your VIN into a dealer and ask for a list of completed recalls on that VIN.
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