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

tdtdi98

New member
Joined
May 28, 2017
Location
Central Coast CA
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
My 98 Jetta TDI just failed recent smog check in CA. Everything was good but the amber light on the smog techs scanner -- my EGR readiness monitor is not ready and not sure why. No CEL nor DTCs (except one for a warning lamp). I've never chipped nor tuned the ECU and am a novice mechanic but was able to get it to pass 2 years ago following advice on forum (re: glow plug replacement). I read somewhere else that it could be a bad MAF but don't understand why that would not throw a CEL nor a DTC and don't want to spend $ to find out that is not the problem. Vacuum leak? Sticking EGR? I'd appreciate any advice and ideas. Thanks
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf 5MT, '97 Passat sedan, '96 Passat variant
My 98 Jetta TDI just failed recent smog check in CA. Everything was good but the amber light on the smog techs scanner -- my EGR readiness monitor is not ready and not sure why. No CEL nor DTCs (except one for a warning lamp). I've never chipped nor tuned the ECU and am a novice mechanic but was able to get it to pass 2 years ago following advice on forum (re: glow plug replacement). I read somewhere else that it could be a bad MAF but don't understand why that would not throw a CEL nor a DTC and don't want to spend $ to find out that is not the problem. Vacuum leak? Sticking EGR? I'd appreciate any advice and ideas. Thanks
ECU monitors EGR by interpreting MAF flow. If actual MAF flow is higher than requested in the RPM/load range where EGR is expected to be active, ECU interprets as reduced EGR flow and will throw a DTC if deviation is great enough. If deviation is less than that threshold level, it won't throw a DTC but MAY still effect EGR readiness, but that is my speculation only; I have no proof. This all assumes that significant deviation is not present in RPM/load ranges where EGR is NOT expected to be active, which would trigger a MAF DTC.

Much less likely is the opposite scenario where MAF actual flow is less than requested in the EGR-relevant range which is interpreted as unregulated, excessive EGR and which will also trigger throw a DTC if deviation is significant enough.

I would log MAF flow requested vs. actual while driving as a starting point. If it shows some deviation at any point, clean the EGR valve seat and verify the diaphragm is intact and diaphragm vent is not plugged up.
 

tdtdi98

New member
Joined
May 28, 2017
Location
Central Coast CA
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
Thanks for the reply Chris. I'm not exactly sure how, but I got the EGR readiness monitor back to ready-state this morning and suspect your theory is correct re: MAF deviation. Between a combination of cleaning the EGR valve, cleaning the MAF sensor (which I had not done since...oh, never), fixing a vacuum leak, thinking about it from 1:30am to 4am and then following the drive cycle instructions closely, my monitor is actively running again. Hopefully it will last until the smog shop opens on Monday. I appreciate the response and insight. Respectfully, Td.
 

skromfols

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Location
Valley Springs
TDI
2017 Jaguar XE TDI, 2014 Sportwagen TDI
How to avoid smogging

Some Kalifornia counties don't require smogging except when a vehicle changes hands, and my county (Calaveras) fits into that category. I had a Malone 1.5 tune on my 2014 Jetta Sportwagen TDI until VW announced a factory engine management update about 18 months ago. I ignored it because I knew that it would remove my Malone tune, but when I tried to renew my registration DMV required that I get the VW update before they would renew my registration. As I expected, that eliminated my tune and cost me 30 hp and tons of torque.

I'm not going to put the tune back on the car until VW finally gets their emissions settlement corrections installed. I keep checking with VW and they keep putting me off. Hopefully it won't be too much longer, and when they complete their corrections I'll take their refund, put my Malone tune back and be a happy camper.

For anyone who has a problem with smogging their TDI you might consider contacting anyone you know who lives in one of the counties that doesn't require smogging and use their address when you register your vehicle. That will eliminate the problem until you sell the vehicle.
 

dlai

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Location
The Insane Asylum Known As CA
TDI
2005 Passat, Stonehenge Gray, 2002 Black Golf 5M
"For anyone who has a problem with smogging their TDI you might consider contacting anyone you know who lives in one of the counties that doesn't require smogging and use their address when you register your vehicle. That will eliminate the problem until you sell the vehicle."

Are you volunteering? :)
 

dirtride

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Location
GROK-west coast, USA
TDI
2003 Golf
"For anyone who has a problem with smogging their TDI you might consider contacting anyone you know who lives in one of the counties that doesn't require smogging and use their address when you register your vehicle. That will eliminate the problem until you sell the vehicle."

No chance of it being that simple. The "E-****'s" are on to that old trick... :eek:
 

pappyhat

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Location
Spring Valley
TDI
2004 Wagon
Just took my 2004 to dealer yesterday for the glow plug recall. Now they tell me they may have to replace the glow plug harness as is cracked and brittle and may be damaged when they remove the glowplugs. $500 bucks!! I told them to be very careful as I didn't have that money to spend on a "free" vw recall. I'm waiting on the decision this morning. And they also found another $2500 in repairs that should be done?? B$#*rds!!!
 

kooyajerms

grocery getter
Joined
May 5, 2004
Location
Pomona, Southern California
TDI
97 B4V (mine), 11 x5 35d (hers) 04 V10 (that one you want), 2014 Q7 (mom's) 74 Shasta 1400
Just passed smog with the 04 V10 Touareg with a tune.

Been clearing codes like crazy fixing things for the last couple months. Drove it for 4-5 days on and off and checked VCDS. readiness monitors were finally all showing pass.

Went to smog, passed without any problems.
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Palermo, State of Jefferson/Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
Just took my 2004 to dealer yesterday for the glow plug recall. Now they tell me they may have to replace the glow plug harness as is cracked and brittle and may be damaged when they remove the glowplugs. $500 bucks!! I told them to be very careful as I didn't have that money to spend on a "free" vw recall. I'm waiting on the decision this morning. And they also found another $2500 in repairs that should be done?? B$#*rds!!!
They should replace the harness as part of the recall if they wanted to be certain any problems were fixed.
 

02AutoWag

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Location
Vacaville, CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, 2000 Golf, 1998 New Beetle
A couple more CA smog data points:
1) We just got our 2002 Wagon smogged without issue. It has Sprint 520 nozzles and a Rocketchip 2 (RC2) tune (last tune modification was sometime back in 2008/2009). Being from California, I had requested the maximum reduction in EGR, not total elimination.
2) Less than a year ago, the 2005 Golf had issues with smog. It was purchased used with a Malone 1+ tune. In order to pass, the Malone tune had to be reprogrammed due to EGR readiness monitors issues.

My conclusion:
Smog problems arise not as a result of any specific tuner, but rather in the way the tuner codes the EGR program.

Regarding the glow plug harness (a little late I know):
I have cut and crimped on many replacement harnesses without issue. Procedure listed in first post of this thread... http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=79819
A 2004 glow plug harness itself should only cost ~$80 from any of our fine vendors here onsite.
 

Renee

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Location
Railroad Flat, CA
TDI
2004 Jetta
I am the original owner and purchased the car in Colorado in 04.
My car has never had the 28F6 glow-plug recall as I had found steel tipped glow-plugs to replace the ceramic ones. I did the work back in 2010. I remember the debacle ....

VW paid me for the new plugs....I have all the receipts and check stub (in 2011) for the recall.
The car has start/run flawlessly even in extremely cold weather. Commie CA is requiring me to go to a dealer and have that recall done so I may continue to register/drive in CA.

So my thoughts are a get another ECU match two of them for just plug and go , then let VW here do their thing and put my original back in car. then I can have one to adjust and one original.

no smog checks as I am in Calaveras ( stink weed ) county, that means I have to go to Folsom / Stockton/ or other dealer ship. not my idea of fun idea.

Anyone have issues with the flash? did they really fix the problem?

Since I have proof do you think a stop at the dealer without the car and the paperwork/proof they will just give me the orange slip to appease the bureaucrats?

Thanks for the ideas...
Renée
 

Clatterman

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 30, 1999
Location
So Cal
TDI
1999 Golf GLS
CATDI, did you just 'fail' the test, or did they tag your car as 'TAMPERED'?
(you can check on the DMV site)
 

CATDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Location
Bay Area, CA
TDI
2006.5 A5 Jetta TDI Pkg #3
Just failed. Once I found out what the problem was (RC1+ tuning without dynamic EGR), I got it fixed (Read- installed Malone tuning with dynamic EGR), drove it until the readiness codes set and got it smogged.

No problems.

-Ed

CATDI, did you just 'fail' the test, or did they tag your car as 'TAMPERED'?
(you can check on the DMV site)
 

KDG

Veteran Member
Joined
May 10, 2006
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI running on HPR Diesel
Also passed smog, no problems, with RC2 and EGR setting mods, in Santa Cruz area.
 

bati

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Location
irvine
TDI
jetta
i FAILED smog this weekend all monitors were set on the car. The car passed visual inspection
but when the smog tech select to printed the report the computer said DATA FAIL and i have to go
to a state referee.
 
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tomotdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Location
CA
TDI
'03 Golf GLS, '00 Golf GL auto/5sp swap, '03 GL wagon ,
Those in Sonoma County may consider Cheap Smog Test on Petaluma Hill Road in Santa Rosa. They performed a pre-check on my 03 TDI wagon At no charge, and found out that the CEL for a recent glow plug failure, corrected, was still hiding in the computer. Once I had driven the car far enough, another free pre-check to confirm that the fault code had cleared completely. Car passed with Malone stage 1.5 in place. $38 out the door with online coupon. Great place!
 

Soupinmycoupe

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
HELLA NorCal
TDI
Manual ALH wagons.
Those in Sonoma County may consider Cheap Smog Test on Petaluma Hill Road in Santa Rosa. They performed a pre-check on my 03 TDI wagon At no charge, and found out that the CEL for a recent glow plug failure, corrected, was still hiding in the computer. Once I had driven the car far enough, another free pre-check to confirm that the fault code had cleared completely. Car passed with Malone stage 1.5 in place. $38 out the door with online coupon. Great place!

Good to know, I’m in Coffey Park!
 

aslspiderman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Location
NorCal--Modesto
TDI
98 Jetta
EGR readiness failed/incomplete

So--I just had some work done on my 98 by Matt(big shout-out to a fantastic Guru!) and he told me that my egr readiness monitor would not set. I had this problem last time I had this smogged(1 1/2 yrs ago) and a new MAF "fixed" the problem.

Fast forward to now and the little gremlin is back. In Sept 2019 it will be due for another smog. Matt seems to think that it is my tune. Unfortunately I have no history on it as I purchased the car the with the current tune. I suspect the tune also.

Everything appears to be functioning properly and the car runs great. (BTW I love the current tune). Before I spend money on another tune that I know will set that readiness monitor, I just want to throw it out to the TDI community: is there anything else to check to rule out anything but the tune?

Thanks :D
 

dlai

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Location
The Insane Asylum Known As CA
TDI
2005 Passat, Stonehenge Gray, 2002 Black Golf 5M
Listen to Matt. If he says it's the tune, it's the tune. You already had your answer. Have Matt retune it, pass smog, end of story...
 

aslspiderman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Location
NorCal--Modesto
TDI
98 Jetta
Listen to Matt. If he says it's the tune, it's the tune. You already had your answer. Have Matt retune it, pass smog, end of story...
Thanks for your input dlai. That is no doubt my eventual plan. I just wanted to throw the question out there because I really like the tune that I have, whatever it is. At one point I think someone said it might be an alligator tune. I just didn't want to spend the money if I don't need to.

Of course then I start thinking about larger injectors, and the rabbit hole just gets deeper :cool:
 

kwong7

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Location
Southern Caifornia
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI / White
It's that time again. I really haven't been driving our TDI much since getting a used Tesla Model S 85 and used Fiat 500e, but I still need to get the TDI smoked for registration. After a series of Murphy's law, I'm now trying to swap the RC2 ECM with my stock OEM ECM. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble with the Immobilizer just like last time. I suspect the pins on the ECM aren't connecting to the entire harness.

Last time, it was just trial and error; it took my 10 efforts of plugging in and unplugging to get them to all line up properly. It'd be a whole lot easier if the harness cable was a little longer...and if the ECM was located in an open space. I'll give it another try tomorrow.

UPDATE: I unplugged and replugged the original ECM in a few times and it finally fired up, I guess the immobilizer pin finally has proper connection. Now my issue is a CEL for glow plug harness and my Comprehensive Components and EGR tests are incomplete or failed. I'll clear the CEL and drive the car around, my guess is that the Comprehensive Components and EGR tests cannot be completed without the engine reaching operating temperature.

UPDATE 2: Took car out for a drive to breakfast and everything was fine. I restart the car and the throttle position sensor must not be registering due to a bad connection at the ECM. Unfortunately my screwdriver is at home so I decided to exercise AAA towing. Spent 1 minute unplugging and replugging the connector into the ECM and everything is fine...expect the damn glow plug light and CEL is on again.
 
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JELLOWSUBMARINE

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Location
yes
TDI
2011 JSW 2008 E350 6.0
So--I just had some work done on my 98 by Matt(big shout-out to a fantastic Guru!) and he told me that my egr readiness monitor would not set. I had this problem last time I had this smogged(1 1/2 yrs ago) and a new MAF "fixed" the problem.
Fast forward to now and the little gremlin is back. In Sept 2019 it will be due for another smog. Matt seems to think that it is my tune. Unfortunately I have no history on it as I purchased the car the with the current tune. I suspect the tune also.
Everything appears to be functioning properly and the car runs great. (BTW I love the current tune). Before I spend money on another tune that I know will set that readiness monitor, I just want to throw it out to the TDI community: is there anything else to check to rule out anything but the tune?
Thanks :D
Im in this area. Who/where is Matt?
 

4Gman

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Location
ClaremOnt, CA
TDI
2000 Jetta
Just to add to the thread...I had a problem with SMOG on an aftermarket MagnaFlow CAT.

But all the shops were wrong! It was grandfathered in because it was installed before January 1, 2009.



Part# CA / CE 93006 D 93006D
 

dlai

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Location
The Insane Asylum Known As CA
TDI
2005 Passat, Stonehenge Gray, 2002 Black Golf 5M
Just to add to the thread...I had a problem with SMOG on an aftermarket MagnaFlow CAT.

But all the shops were wrong! It was grandfathered in because it was installed before January 1, 2009.



Part# CA / CE 93006 D 93006D

When did you do your smog, and did it finally pass with your cat and the mods in your signature?
 

4Gman

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Location
ClaremOnt, CA
TDI
2000 Jetta

52172

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Location
Buellton, Ca
TDI
2001 Golf TDI GLS
Anyone running a Malone stage 2 or RC stage 1 with all emissions stuff left intact and pass smog? On a common rail? Thanks
 
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