New California smog checks.......

JohnTF

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Location
St. Paul , MN.
TDI
2003 Jetta 1.9 TDI ALH A.T. Wagon
Stating the facts , are not always obvious to to all .

And kinda a ass reply ?

When I last was doing smog testing in CA in the 80s , it was a $500 fine --- for every day that the deleting has been going on , as an example if you get tested every yr. , and then the next yr. you get tested again , [ and you can show proof when you deleted ] they can charge you one years worth of $500 , x 365 = $182,500 , just to let those that do not know what they are doing .

Any decision , hopefully is fully informed - before you make it .

Rolling coal - can screw all diesel owners , and other also !!!

When we were doing smog testing back then , there also a race shop , we played with testing modified cars & trucks - most of the time we could tune a car / truck [ with no emission devices ] to pass ;)
But most people do not take the needed maintenance etc. to keep a car / truck to pass .

Not that I agree with all [ either smog laws / or coal rollers ] ---- but the smog that used to be in LA is mostly gone !!!

Be responsible for your actions - take on whatever happens , to yourself , and others .
You force an exhaust pipe down my throat - be prepared .

There are ways to run clean / efficient - most do not know how to do either .

Freedom is for everyone - taking away others freedom can lead to all kinds of issues - mostly more laws / regulations - I do not want either !!!

I call it the " the law of lowest common denominator " take everyone's freedom , because of a few peoples being irresponsible .

Where " WE " draw the line on rules , should / use to be , up for discussion , now we are moving more to a Marxist rule - only a few at the top have a say .

Filling our intakes with sludge , or the air with the same ???
" should be up for discussion " neither side should be put down , put the facts up for discussion , not put down the other side !

Now how to get the most out of my toys .
 

oldpoopie

Vendor
Joined
May 14, 2001
Location
Portland Oregon
TDI
2001 golf gl, 2006 jetta, 1981 ALH swapped rabbit pickup, 1998 beetle
I don’t disagree with a word you said..... except calling me an ass.

I was Just pointing out your first post was stating the obvious. Find me someone with deleted emissions equipment that doesn’t know it’s a crime.
 

NervGS

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Location
Los Angeles, CA
TDI
Golf 2-door, base 5 sp.
I too don't disagree with everything said above, and am too young to have witnessed how bad smog used to be Los Angeles. It's interesting though when I first purchased my TDI that it didn't even require a smog check, then a few years later I have to. The car has been passing just fine, though now this can come as another hurdle that might have to be passed if I ever run into any issues.........

For people that need to jump over it, I've been reading they just simply retune the car back to OEM stock, and put whatever parts needed back on. I was also thinking they can swap ECUs, but then there is the hassle of needing the instrument cluster and immobilizer that need to be installed as well, which sounds like more work then just getting it retuned.

It sure is becoming more difficult to own a modified car that wasn't manufactured before '76 here. I'm not about to even get into classic cars with how the market for them has been - it's insane.

-glenn
 

wildn

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Location
Ventura,CA
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI wagon 5spd! 2011 Jetta JSW TDI DSG
I too don't disagree with everything said above, and am too young to have witnessed how bad smog used to be Los Angeles. It's interesting though when I first purchased my TDI that it didn't even require a smog check, then a few years later I have to. The car has been passing just fine, though now this can come as another hurdle that might have to be passed if I ever run into any issues.........

For people that need to jump over it, I've been reading they just simply retune the car back to OEM stock, and put whatever parts needed back on. I was also thinking they can swap ECUs, but then there is the hassle of needing the instrument cluster and immobilizer that need to be installed as well, which sounds like more work then just getting it retuned.

It sure is becoming more difficult to own a modified car that wasn't manufactured before '76 here. I'm not about to even get into classic cars with how the market for them has been - it's insane.

-glenn
its just adding some un-needed hassle and stress, its funny the TDI's are more efficient tuned. Hopefully it doesn't make smog more exepsnive
 

NervGS

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Location
Los Angeles, CA
TDI
Golf 2-door, base 5 sp.
I'm kind of thinking twice now on my car.......

Long story short, the turbo ranaway and it blew the engine last week (2nd engine swapped last October!!). I'm in the planning stages of swapping in another engine, which is kind of a hassle with the logistics (borrowing/renting a truck, getting the engine, borrowing or buying a stand and lift (and I really, really don't want to buy a lift), etc), and because I'm planning to move in the next 45 days and have to have it done well before..... I've never done that kind of work on this car (plenty 10+ years ago with my own RWD cars), including a belt job - this doesn't include parts like a VCDS cable and other things like that I'll be needing. I've put too much money into the car to just abandon it, but it's a fun little car that doesn't attract the wrong attention on the road unlike the other fun cars I own that aren't running at the moment.

I bought an '05 Prius in the meantime to get me around, and that came with its own set of issues I'm dealing with now (someone straight piped the cat), and is this car super boring to drive. Out of the 10+ cars I've owned since I started driving, this is the first automatic I have ever bought, and I didn't think the lack of a manual transmission would be this bad.

-glenn
 

turbodieseldyke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Location
Free Mustache Rides
TDI
98 jetta
For people that need to jump over it, I've been reading they just simply retune the car back to OEM stock, and put whatever parts needed back on. I was also thinking they can swap ECUs, but then there is the hassle of needing the instrument cluster and immobilizer that need to be installed as well, which sounds like more work then just getting it retuned.
Sounds like they need a spare ecu with immo delete.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
I'm not seeing any other links/reports of this, but I certainly believe it.

I haven't messed with our '15 TDI yet, wondering if they'll pick up the difference on our '03, and if this holds it's one more reason to finally swap an AFN into my '94 Audi Cabriolet that's just sitting at the moment.

From reading other reports/articles, this is the Feds looking to CARB to trial policies that they'd like to implement nationally. And the EPA's driver is really the blatent diesel pick-up modifications market more than passenger cars.

Regarding swapping parts, I had a '99 Tahoe that I put an eBay-sourced CAI on. It had CARB approval but the sticker was missing(likely placed on a non-EO modification). So every 2 years I had to put the stock intake back on/off to pass inspection.

One trick I've seen here in California was to buy 80s-90s 6.2/6.5 Chevy diesel pick-ups, and transplant a gasser engine into it. Since emissions testing isn't required on pre-96 diesels in California, as long as they didn't inform DMV of a 'change in motive power', they could do whatever they wanted with that gas-powered vehicle without having to bother with emissions inspections.
 

dirtride

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Location
GROK-west coast, USA
TDI
2003 Golf
Well, since the OP's question still has not been answered, nobody really knows and only time will tell.

Being born and raised in the Government Republic of Kontrolifornia, I have to say that I cannot wait to get out! This is just another reason. You would think that with soo many citizen's leaving already, the corrupt people in charge would get a clue.

But I guess with all the persons leaving, there will always be an immigrant to replace. Especially with the tax payer support and all the free services they get....
 

eddnyster

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Location
Ontario, CA
TDI
MK4 Golf BEW
I have to smog soon.
Currently tuned, not deleted, going to flash back to stock. I should be ok.
Although, it should be interesting to see how vehicles with newer engines will be treated as that's still legal here in CA.
 

capt_slow

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Location
SoCal
TDI
2015 GSW TDI SEL
A repost of something I put in another forum...

I was a bit curious about this, so I think it merits some poking around. The smog test checks the car over generic OBDII, not the special Ethernet link BMW uses for E-Sys or ISTA. Using the generic OBDII functions of VCDS, I scanned my F31 328d N47 on Mode 9 (Calibration Identification) that is supposedly what CARB is looking at:
Type 02 - VIN : WBAxxxxxxx (Address E8)
Type 04 - Calibration ID : CC5xxxxx (Address E9)
Type 04 - Calibration ID : DE8xxxxx (Address EC)
Type 06 - Calibration Verification Number : CC5xxxxx (Address E9)
Type 06 - Calibration Verification Number : DE8xxxxx (Address EC)
Type 0A - Controller Name : TCM-TransmisCtrl (Address E9)
Type 0A - Controller Name : EACM-ExhaustAftCtrl (Address EC)
Type 0B - In-use performance tracking :
OBD Monitoring Conditions Encountered count : 1677
Ignition cycle count : 3789
Conditions completion count / Specified conditions encountered count
NMHC Catalyst : 0 / 0
NOx/SCR Catalyst : 1054 / 1676
NOx Adsorber : 829 / 1677
PM Filter : 561 / 69
Exhaust Gas Sensor : 974 / 1677
EGR and/or VVT : 1164 / 1677
Boost Pressure : 1188 / 1677
Fuel : 1188 / 1677
From my car above:
  • Only two ECUs are checked
  • I suspect the "TCM-TransmisCtrl" is the EGS module in BMW speak
  • I suspect the "EACM-ExhaustAftCtrl" is the SCR module in BMW speak, but note SCR is exclusive to diesels
  • Calibration ID and CVN are the same numbers, I think if the two match you will pass smog

A few months ago, I VO-coded in 205 for a test drive and then coded back in stock 2TB, so the EGS module was definitely touched. So based on what I see, VO-coding back to stock doesnt alter the CVN.

Please fact-check me.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Most all the OBD tests across the country are essentially the same, and are using the Generic OBD2 protocols, as that is what OBD2 was mandated for in the first place.

Our system, which I believe to be typical, checks for:

Readiness: 1996-2000 gasoline cars, two are allowed unset, 2001+ one is allowed, 1997+ diesels, they ALL need to be set, despite the rules not specifically stating so. Note: for gas cars, if a catalyst DTC (P0420/430) was previously the reason for failing, then the catalyst monitor MUST be set for it to pass, regardless.

MIL functional test, and MIL request: turn key ON, the MIL should come on; start the engine, MIL should go out, and the ECU cannot be sending an active MIL request.

Engine running: means, the engine has to be actually RUNNING in order to be passed. The older system used to not require this for hybrids, but for some reason this feature was forgotten about in the current updated system. I have no idea why, but it is a royal pain sometimes to keep the engine from shutting itself off on some cars. I think this is to stop any "fake" cars/ECUs from being hooked into the system, although we are also required to take four photos of the car at each test as well (rear, with plate visible, VIN tag on dash, odometer, and VIN tag on door pillar).

Supposedly the cutoff year the gov't mandated VIN residency in the ECU, which was somewhere around 2005, gets verified, but I have no confirmation of this. With the old system, it always attempted to look and if it was present it would auto-populate the field, but with the updated system we have to first scan the VIN barcode on the tag. So I have no idea if it actually verifies it on applicable vehicles or not. It used to flag it if there was a difference in VIN, like if someone installed a used ECU in a car. But I have not encountered that in a while.

This is all stuff that is easily skirted by the tuners. I was told by someone I know to have some information regarding our testing that the EPA was going to implement a secondary check system, in which it would clear the DTC table (regardless of anything present) which resets all the monitors. If all the monitors instantly reset, something that normally requires a period of driving, then it would flag it as having been tampered with, and fail the car. However, I have no idea what they would intend to have us (the technicians/testers) do after that. So while the capability for that may exist, the implementation of it may not be realistic.

I cannot speak to other parts of the country, but around here, the added emissions (both imagined and real) from "tampered" or "tuned" cars/trucks under GVWR 8500 pounds (8501+ is exempt anyway) is probably so tiny that it couldn't even be measured. And in the case of our TDIs, most all tuning results in an averaged out increase in overall fuel economy which means a decrease in some emissions anyway, specifically CO2 (greenhouse gas). NOx almost certainly goes up, but that is a red herring for the most part anyway.

Right now, the STL area is putting up with these stupid OBD tests to grace ourselves with Federal road money... money that we could more easily raise ourselves and with far less waste. But politicians love to pat people on the head when they "give" you 50 cents on the dollar they took from you, so....

At least we are done with that miserable centralized IM240 nonsense they tried here a few years ago. THAT was an albatross of epic Fail. And the funny thing is, the company that was given the contract for doing so had already been booted out of Texas. That was a racket, and a HUGE taxpayer money fire if there ever was one. And it got worse, as they had to buy out their contract a few years early just to end it.
 

Cuzoe

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
MK7 Golf S
For what it's worth, and not specifically related to ECU Tune checks...

2007+ Diesels in CA can pass with two monitors not set. You obviously cannot have a current CEL... but you are allowed 2 incomplete/not ready monitors. A pending fault, even one that will cause a CEL does not cause a smog check failure either... ask me how I know :LOL:.
 

VLS_GUY2

New member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Location
Camarillo, CA
TDI
2002 NB
OK,
I just smogged a 2002 NB with a stage 1 Upsolute tune. All smog equipment intact. I passed with flying colors. For the ALH equipped cars CARB is bluffing when they say they can detect a tuned car via the OBD II port. I am not saying it is not possible but it is not implemented. I think CARB is concentrating on more numerous models particularly pickup trucks. Some of the tunes and hardware alterations on pickups are a no brainer to find when they roll through the test station. Altered, unapproved, or missing emission equipment is an easy score for CARB and that is still their main focus.
It would be interesting to hear from PD and CR owners with stock hardware and mild tunes to see if they have the same experience.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Gresham, OR
TDI
2001 Golf TDI, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
OK, so I was doing a little homework on this subject last night. I will be making a more in-depth post.

Basically, what this boils down to is CARB/smog stations are using "Mode 9" to see the engine computer part number and software version number (which will make up the 'CAL-ID' portion of this check) and there is a checksum, which is referred to as a CVN (acronym for Calibration Verification Number).

I actually have a list of VW engine computers, gas and diesel, from 2005 through 2010, what each of their CAL-ID and corresponding CVNs are supposed to be. I then also found later that VW actually has a website where you can look this up yourself, it will also include the vehicle "Test Group", which you can see displayed on the 'Catalyst' sticker under the hood of your car. On Mk4s, it's supposed to be on top of the radiator core support.

The Volkswagen CVN info is found here.

You will notice that it only goes as far back as model year 2005 for most cars. So, this tuned ECU detection WILL NOT APPLY to ALH cars. And, apparently won't apply to 2004 BEWs, BHWs or BKWs (my Touareg V10 being an example--though mine is stock so not a concern at all).

Now, I have heard that some tuners can spoof the CVN. I would need to get my hands on a tuned 2005 or newer car to verify this for people using VCDS. I will also add, I have noticed that Rocketchip and sometimes TDTuning like to change the engine computer part number and software version number to give it its own identification, that might show up as a non-existent CAL-ID, giving away that it's a tuned ECU, even if the CVN is correct. So, Rocketchip owners beware (at least for cars 2005 MY and newer--once again, it appears ALH guys have nothing to worry about).

I will also add that there are CAL-ID and CVNs for automatic transmission computers as well. So those with DSG tunes may also want to double check that the CAL-ID and CVN matches in Mode 9 data on top of checking the engine computer, if you have VCDS, it does have a generic OBD2 feature where this should be able to be displayed.

If you have a CAL-ID and CVN that don't match, get ahold of your tuner and see what they can do.

Coming soon will be a more comprehensive post detailing step by step on how to check this out yourself using VCDS, with screenshots and all.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Gresham, OR
TDI
2001 Golf TDI, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Looking into this some more, take a read on this page from BAR's website:


Over the past year, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has been extensively studying Cal ID and CVN and working with the California Air Resources Board (ARB), vehicle manufacturers, Smog Check industry representatives, and BAR Advisory Group members to gather input and develop an implementation plan. In accordance with California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 3340.42.2(c)(8), beginning July 2020, BAR will implement Cal ID and CVN checks for most model-year 2000 and newer vehicles as part of the On-Board Diagnostic Smog Check inspection failure criteria. Owners of vehicles identified with unapproved programming modifications will need to restore the computer to either stock or ARB-approved software in order to pass a Smog Check inspection.
I just used VCDS in the "OBD II" mode (when you first start the application, you have buttons labeled "Select", "OBD-II", "Applications", "Settings", "Auto Scan" etc. "Select" is what you normally use to select the individual control module in the factory protocol, OBD-II button is what you use to see the generic/standardized OBD information that any generic OBD-II scan tool can do--and is the standardized protocol used during smog checks). Once the page loads/connection has been established, click "Mode 9" and it will display the CAL-ID (which, again, is your engine computer's part number and software version number) and CVN (checksum).

My 2001 Golf DOES have a CAL-ID and CVN displayed. But, VW has not put on that public list what the CVN should be. So, will be curious to know if CARB does have a list of 2000 MY and newer ALH CVNs that it's checking, or if they go on what info VW makes public about the CVN, which would mean they can only verify back to model year 2005.

To be on the safe side, we could ask people with stock ALH ECUs if they could post their CAL-ID and CVNs as found in Mode 9, then you can compare if your modified ECU matches or not. I have a few 02-03 ECUs in storage somewhere I could plug into my 01 Golf and see what numbers they have. Most of them were junkyard finds, so they're *likely* stock, but I can't say for certain. My 01 Golf is NOT, it does have a mild Malone tune on it, but the injectors are stock and all the emissions equipment is intact and functioning. I also don't live in California anymore, so it's not a direct concern to me, but I do want to do what I can to inform my friends in California.

I can post the CAL ID and CVNs from my Touareg (it will have 3--two engine computers and a transmission computer), but there's not a lot of people in California that will be helping. lol. That one has remained stock. I figure it's fast enough as it is and overly labor intensive to fix, I'd rather not push my luck and make any component shorter lived than it needs to be.

TL;DR

California says they check as far back as Model Year 2000. I have checked my 2001 Golf and it does indeed have a CAL-ID and CVN in Mode 9. But, VW does not list publicly what those should be, so it's hard to say for certain if CARB has the data or not to come after pre MY 2005 owners if the CVN does not match the CAL-ID (or if the CAL ID is invalid because it was tampered with by a tuner).
 

VLS_GUY2

New member
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Location
Camarillo, CA
TDI
2002 NB
Matt,

I dragged the VCDS out and under MOD 9 I found this:

TYPE 04
CAL ID: 038906012FF 4104 (ADDRESS 0A)
TYPE 06 This may take a while... (after 30 minutes I think it wasn't happening at all, closed out VCDS)

I went to the VW website to retrieve the correct CVN and on the pull down menu where it asks you the model year you can't go older than 2005. So that ended that.

Just reporting what I saw.

Mark
 

52172

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Location
Buellton, Ca
TDI
2001 Golf TDI GLS
OK,
I just smogged a 2002 NB with a stage 1 Upsolute tune. All smog equipment intact. I passed with flying colors. For the ALH equipped cars CARB is bluffing when they say they can detect a tuned car via the OBD II port. I am not saying it is not possible but it is not implemented. I think CARB is concentrating on more numerous models particularly pickup trucks. Some of the tunes and hardware alterations on pickups are a no brainer to find when they roll through the test station. Altered, unapproved, or missing emission equipment is an easy score for CARB and that is still their main focus.
It would be interesting to hear from PD and CR owners with stock hardware and mild tunes to see if they have the same experience.
I'm going for my semiannual emissions test on my 2001 Golf with stage 4 Malone tune and dynamic egr. I believe I'll pass like I always do because I've passed last 4 smog tests with same equipment. I'll update here in another month after I pass.
 

52172

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Location
Buellton, Ca
TDI
2001 Golf TDI GLS
OK, so I was doing a little homework on this subject last night. I will be making a more in-depth post.

Basically, what this boils down to is CARB/smog stations are using "Mode 9" to see the engine computer part number and software version number (which will make up the 'CAL-ID' portion of this check) and there is a checksum, which is referred to as a CVN (acronym for Calibration Verification Number).

I actually have a list of VW engine computers, gas and diesel, from 2005 through 2010, what each of their CAL-ID and corresponding CVNs are supposed to be. I then also found later that VW actually has a website where you can look this up yourself, it will also include the vehicle "Test Group", which you can see displayed on the 'Catalyst' sticker under the hood of your car. On Mk4s, it's supposed to be on top of the radiator core support.

The Volkswagen CVN info is found here.

You will notice that it only goes as far back as model year 2005 for most cars. So, this tuned ECU detection WILL NOT APPLY to ALH cars. And, apparently won't apply to 2004 BEWs, BHWs or BKWs (my Touareg V10 being an example--though mine is stock so not a concern at all).

Now, I have heard that some tuners can spoof the CVN. I would need to get my hands on a tuned 2005 or newer car to verify this for people using VCDS. I will also add, I have noticed that Rocketchip and sometimes TDTuning like to change the engine computer part number and software version number to give it its own identification, that might show up as a non-existent CAL-ID, giving away that it's a tuned ECU, even if the CVN is correct. So, Rocketchip owners beware (at least for cars 2005 MY and newer--once again, it appears ALH guys have nothing to worry about).

I will also add that there are CAL-ID and CVNs for automatic transmission computers as well. So those with DSG tunes may also want to double check that the CAL-ID and CVN matches in Mode 9 data on top of checking the engine computer, if you have VCDS, it does have a generic OBD2 feature where this should be able to be displayed.

If you have a CAL-ID and CVN that don't match, get ahold of your tuner and see what they can do.

Coming soon will be a more comprehensive post detailing step by step on how to check this out yourself using VCDS, with screenshots and all.
good to hear Matt I just emailed you in regards to taking my 2001 in for test next week.
 

03TDICommuter

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
I got a reprieve. I was expecting to have to smog check this year as historically this car was smogged on odd years, but I had to smog it for the title transfer when i bought it a year ago and it looks like that adjusted my smog year. . . . I didn't think they did that.
 

G3TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Location
CA
TDI
1994 Golf TDI http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=305898
Matt,

I dragged the VCDS out and under MOD 9 I found this:

TYPE 04
CAL ID: 038906012FF 4104 (ADDRESS 0A)
TYPE 06 This may take a while... (after 30 minutes I think it wasn't happening at all, closed out VCDS)
“This could take a while” showed up initially on our ‘03 (Malone tuned) wagon too. But after a few mins it popped up:


 
Last edited:

G3TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Location
CA
TDI
1994 Golf TDI http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=305898
I ran our 02 ALH AT wagon too, I don’t know if it’s tuned or not, I never did tune it but it’s always felt as if it might be mildly tuned, not sure what to make out of this:


Our 2012 Sportwagon has me a bit concerned as I can’t find any matching ECU (ECM) nor TCM numbers on the VW website:

 
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