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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manassas, VA
Posts: 33
bad cat or something else

I have been trying to pass VA emissions for s few months now. I have paid for so many dyno based tests i have financed the shops retirement plan.

Anyway.. I had a new universal cat welded to my exhaust 2 years ago because my NOX ay 25 mph was high. All other readings were ok.

All of the measurements were well below specs. Drove car for two years maybe 4000 miles with lots of 4 mile trips.

In May I failed with high NOX at 25 mph and all other tests ok but levels are a little higher than when the new cat was installed.

I changed lots of vac lines, plugs, intake manifold gaskets, checked everything sensor-wise, to Haynes specs. Still didnt pass... no difference in emissions at all.

Took it to a BMW-Porsche shop who checked it for any problems and verified my observations, ran a little cat cleaner through it and still didnt get it to pass NOX at 25 mph. They conclude that the cat is bad.

I looked at a number of cat sites on the web and they say that cats should last for a significant period of time. several state that if NOX is high repair the problem first then buy a new cat.

I am really at a loss as what to do. I do lose a very small amount of coolant but there is a leak somewhere as i see it on my garage floor. There is absolutely NO smoke from my exhaust. Today I did a compression check 1=175 psi, 2=180,3=180 and 4=175. Added 3 squirts of oil and readings were up by about 5 psi for each. So I dont think I have a head gasket prob and cylinders should be fine Also no coolant in oil and no oil in coolant. any suggestions?

Should I buy an OEM cat this time?

1983 red 944 was black
beilstein F and R
Old 08-14-2004, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manassas, VA
Posts: 33
thank you. i have the 1 wire O2 sensor should i upgrade? These guys here in Va do have the car idle for maybe 10 mins then they do 15 mph test for at least 5 min then 25 mph test untill gas measurements stabilize so i think sensor is up to temp.

Also do you recommend leaving the dme fuel quality switch in pos 4 for normal use? or change back after emissions.

the shop added a cat cleaner and it didnt help much. but now that i think of it i dont know where they added it. Seems like a fuel tank addition wouldnt work in the few hours that they had the car...

thanks again
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1983 944 red was black.
99 4 runner
02 minivan
05 boxster
Old 08-15-2004, 04:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tucson AZ USA
Posts: 8,229
I cannot believe the amount of effort that the States put into inspections.
I have done some research on the "lower 48" and specs vary all over the place, many reasonable, some downright diobolical. Some exempt new cars for three years, others exempt cars over 20+ years old, some exempt low mileage (under 5k per annum) and so on. Some states inspect ONLY for emissions; mechanical safety checks are not required. How would you like to stop into a Midas shop, see a travel home up on a lift with a pair of vise grips clamping off a left front brake line? Then there are places like CA and VA. All states claim they are constrained by EPA. If this were so, then why 48 different sets of rules?

Personally, I think, with the new computer controls and the ability of law enforcement to check "on the fly", that inspections, especially in those states where the state runs the stations, are just a money making opportunity.

Ever wonder just how much pollution is caused by driving to, running the car while and driving home from the inspection station? Millions of cars times a minimum number of miles must equal a LOT of added pollutants. Better they should do it on a random basis.
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Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 08-15-2004, 07:34 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manassas, VA
Posts: 33
Angry

hey ...you will love this.... in Va only SOME COUNTIES REQUIRE EMISSION TESTING. I get so pissed seeing smoking, polluting pieces of sh** driving around here and i have spent hundreds trying to pass emissions.
Old 08-15-2004, 10:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NY
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thats messed up...around here they kind of do the same thing. You see all those old cars blowing smoke from leaky valve seals or bad compression, but they always pass somehow...once place i was going to (that is now out of business) used to make you wait more than 2 hours before putting your car on the dyno, so it would be cold when they did it, and you would fail (unless you have a new car or a good running 944 you would almost never pass because on warmup, hydrocarbon count is extremely high due to the car being rich). They failed my truck 3 times, and i threatened to take them to court for the BBB. Turns out they had been doing this to a lot of cars to make them fail and force them to pay the $35...thank god someone else did the dirty work and they are no longer in business. I took my truck to another place after all that, and they let it warmup and get hot, and they put it on the dyno and it passed with flying colors (not bad for a 87 isuzu trooper that was a carbuerated 4 cylinder..)
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1985 944 / 2007 335i / 1987 325is / 1985 535i / 1999 528iT / 2006 X5
Old 08-15-2004, 11:13 AM
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