Warning- CA residents with TDI tuning- You might fail your next SMOG check

CATDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Location
Bay Area, CA
TDI
2006.5 A5 Jetta TDI Pkg #3
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
 

devonutopia

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Location
Devon, U.K
TDI
PD300 Skoda Fabia
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.
 

Layerz

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Location
Leicester
TDI
Audi A4 2.5 TDI AKE
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.
 

john.jackson9213

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Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
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.
 

Layerz

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Location
Leicester
TDI
Audi A4 2.5 TDI AKE
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.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
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.
 

flee

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Location
Chatsworth, CA
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS wagon
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.
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
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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Layerz

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Location
Leicester
TDI
Audi A4 2.5 TDI AKE
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.
 

2many diesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Location
Nor Cal
TDI
rabbit pickup 1z swap Audi A4 Quattro ALH. 02 Beetle TDI. 99 Golf TDI. 03 Wagon TDI. 914 Porsche ALH t
"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.
 

pappyhat

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Location
Spring Valley
TDI
2004 Wagon
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...
 

NFSTDI

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Sunny California :)
TDI
'98 Jetta
In CA, all vehicles that burn gasoline have been subjected to SMOG tests every two years. Some years back, Diesels vehicles with a manufacture date after 1997 are also subject to SMOG checks every two years. My 1998 Jetta TDI with RC2/3 has only had problems on two occasions. The first time, it failed due to an error code. I cleared the code and it passed. The second time it failed because I made the mistake of clearing all codes right before the test, as a preventative measure. I simply had to drive enough miles to accumulate sufficient data. If you clear any codes, you will have to drive enough to make sure that there is sufficient data. You can determine this by checking for "readiness" using VCDS.

CA does not test the tailpipe emissions of diesels. It is simply a visual inspection followed by an error code and readiness scan.
 

CATDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Location
Bay Area, CA
TDI
2006.5 A5 Jetta TDI Pkg #3
"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.
It depends on if it is a diesel or gas and the model year car.

Did you actually read the CARB document I linked to?

If you did, you would see that pre 2007 diesel cars have to have all readiness indicators set in order to pass.

Gas and diesel cars 2007 and later, can have up to two readiness codes NOT set and still pass.

So I was accurate in my statement.

-Ed
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Palermo, State of Jefferson/Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
Here is where all your questions will be answered:

1. https://smogcheck.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_Manual_ENG_2013.pdf

SPECIFICALLY see page 2, then read Section 1.3, Sections 1.4.1 through 1.4.2 (pages 20 & 21) and Appendix B.

2. https://smogcheck.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_OBD_Reference_Lite_Version.pdf

These are the vehicle tables; for some reason the full PDF returns an error when I try to access/download it.

BTW, I believe the reason I did not have a problem last year is because my car is a Federal standard, not CARB standard so CARB's requirements to pass don't affect me.
 
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NomadMac

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Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Location
San Anselmo, CA, USA
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen S
I reported a gasser the other day for blowing smoke.
She got around not having a biennial smog check by not having registered her car in four years!
 

N.CaTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Location
NorthBay San Francisco, CA
TDI
2005.5 Jetta
It depends on if it is a diesel or gas and the model year car.

Did you actually read the CARB document I linked to?

If you did, you would see that pre 2007 diesel cars have to have all readiness indicators set in order to pass.

Gas and diesel cars 2007 and later, can have up to two readiness codes NOT set and still pass.

So I was accurate in my statement.

-Ed
I would check that the car was entered into the system correctly. Note your 2006.5 Jetta TDI was not allowed to be sold in CA new. This car was a federal car and sold in another state then imported into CA used. Totally legal but looking at you link it could make a difference in what CA is looking at when it runs its test.
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Palermo, State of Jefferson/Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
I would check that the car was entered into the system correctly. Note your 2006.5 Jetta TDI was not allowed to be sold in CA new. This car was a federal car and sold in another state then imported into CA used. Totally legal but looking at you link it could make a difference in what CA is looking at when it runs its test.
Mine is a Federal car and when I have it smogged, the machine shows it is a FEDERAL, not CARB vehicle. This is determined by the VIN. See Section 1.1.1 of the SMOG CHECK MANUAL
 

DeliveryValve

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Location
Western US
TDI
Passat GLS Wagon
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...
With the diesel scandal, California just now is catching up with their original intent with this campaign from 2011.
The dealer will have to erase your tune and reflash with the 28F6/T9 software along with the updating the glowplugs.

http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/4848/GP_recall_redacted.pdf




.
 

kwong7

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Location
Southern Caifornia
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI / White
I just failed my california smog test on my 01 Golf with RC tuning. I haven't had an issue in the past, but I'm having a lot of issues now. First, I tried to have it checked at my friend's shop. His smog computer wouldn't communicate at all with the VW, but his regular scanner had no problem. He was puzzled until I told him I had a flashed ECM; he said the state is cracking down on stuff like that. So I switched the transmission code to manual (0001) to get rid of the TCM (transmission control module) error code and to bring it back to factory fuel/turbo map…still no communications between the smog machine and the ECM.

I took the VW back to the last smog test facility that passed my car 2 years ago. It passed every test but the OBDII test. He said there might be a bad connector somewhere and to take it to a repair shop. I have a feeling it's the RC ECM. Luckily I still have my original ECM that has been sitting on the shelf for 12 years. I just need to figure out how to recode the immobilizer and I'll take it back for a retest.

BTW, going back to stock from the RC stage 2 is just an unpleasant experience. The car feels sluggish all over, but especially between 1,800-2,500rpm. I found myself going a little harder on the throttle and still feeling like I wasn't going anywhere.
 

2many diesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Location
Nor Cal
TDI
rabbit pickup 1z swap Audi A4 Quattro ALH. 02 Beetle TDI. 99 Golf TDI. 03 Wagon TDI. 914 Porsche ALH t
I know for a fact if I subjected my kerma tuned car to testing ...it would fail, but that's not the fault of kerma.
 

Mountain TDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Location
Oakhurst, CA
TDI
2002 and 2003 Jettas and 2015 Passat 6M
Has anybody lately failed our Kalifornia republics smog/emissions test with a Kerma tune installed?
Hi Mark, Yes just "inherited" my daughter's 2002 Jetta with a Kerma tune and smogged about 1 month ago. Did major head work and then did the driving sequence required to reset readiness. There's a thread I posted to in the 101 section May 2015 that spells out exact sequence 3rd gear acceleration to 75 miles per hour etc. resetting readiness is only necessary if you cleared codes or disconnected battery recently. You can check for readiness if you have VCDS. See ya Brian
 

dirtride

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Location
GROK-west coast, USA
TDI
2003 Golf
Hi Mark, Yes just "inherited" my daughter's 2002 Jetta with a Kerma tune and smogged about 1 month ago. Did major head work and then did the driving sequence required to reset readiness. There's a thread I posted to in the 101 section May 2015 that spells out exact sequence 3rd gear acceleration to 75 miles per hour etc. resetting readiness is only necessary if you cleared codes or disconnected battery recently. You can check for readiness if you have VCDS. See ya Brian
I guess I should elaborate on this a little. Just curious to know that with recent scrutiny here, if anything has changed to where they can tell you have a tune just by plugging in and fail you because of that.

My readiness is good, only have a radio fault because of an aftermarket radio installed.
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Palermo, State of Jefferson/Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
I guess I should elaborate on this a little. Just curious to know that with recent scrutiny here, if anything has changed to where they can tell you have a tune just by plugging in and fail you because of that.

My readiness is good, only have a radio fault because of an aftermarket radio installed.
No. I had mine smogged in 2014 and last year and it has a Malone tune.
 
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