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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Palo Alto, CA
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Failed Cali emission results...any advice?

So I just recently moved out to California from Pennsylvania and had my car checked for emissions. I'm pretty sure this is the first time it was ever checked for emissions, and not so unexpectedly it failed...although not by much. I am thinking that the car might need a new O2 sensor, I was thinking of just buying a new one and trying to replace it myself, but I'm not totally sure this it the problem or if it is, that it is the only problem. Here are the emissions numbers for my car:

15 mph: 1698 rpm
HC (ppm): 185 (max:138) FAIL!
CO(%): 0.88(max: 0.98) PASS!
NO (ppm): 981(max: 1136) PASS!
CO2 (%): 14.2 no limits required
O2(%): 0.4 no limits required

25 mph: 1943 rpm
HC (ppm): 109 (max:110) PASS! (barely!)
CO(%): 0.36(max: 0.78) PASS!
NO (ppm): 484(max:966) PASS!
CO2(%): 14.9 no limits required
O2(%): 0.0 no limits required

As you can see, the only place it failed at was HC emissions at 15 mph. (the gas cap also failed, but I believe i fixed this simply by buying a new $8 gas cap, taking the O-ring from that cap and then placing it on my old cap...this should work right?) The emissions guy said I might be able to pass if I simply put in some high octane fuel and then drive it around to get it really warmed up before I test it again. The car could also use an oil change too, could this help it at all? Sounds easy enough to try these things, but I suspect there may be something more to it than that...on occasion the car has a rough time idling (it fluctuates up and down a bit), but the normal idle is at 950 rpm. I also noticed a new sound to my exhaust a little while ago, it sounds like something is rattling around a bit and may be loose...I've just been kind of ignoring it as I can't seem to locate the source of the rattling and it doesn't seem to be affecting performance at all. I suppose I could just have a mechanic look at this all, but I'm trying to save on $$$ here...by the way if I do take it to a mechanic I was thinking of taking it to Tony and Bros. on Fair Oaks Ave. in Sunnyvale, it just happens to be next to the cheap smog test place that failed me today, I saw another early 944 sitting out front, and some good reviews online. Anyone ever hear of them or suggest someone better/cheaper in the area? Thanks to all who read this long message! Hopefully you can tell me something about my car by the emissions output..

Old 08-11-2007, 03:45 PM
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A new O2 sensor.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:06 PM
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Where are you located at exactly?

I dont know much about smog test readings.
I just know to make sure I have a good working catilytic converter, O2 sensor, and that the car doesnt run rich.
It is a good idea to run higher octane and give the car a good hard run in the higher rpms RIGHT BEFORE getting to the smog test place. It makes the CAT hot which means it makes it work. The hotter the CAT the better it does its job. To a certain degree of course lol.

What model is it and what engine does it have?
Old 08-11-2007, 05:08 PM
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Sorry I forgot to mention that it is an early model 1983 944
Old 08-11-2007, 05:12 PM
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Hi, my 83 failed failed echeck here in Ohio and I had to replace both the O2 sensor ( 1 wire sensor and pretty easy to do) and put on an aftermarket cat converter as well and it has passed every time now. You however didn't fail by much so I would just try to change your oil and put a couple of cans of dry gas in the gas tank with 1/2 half gas tank full or lower and run the car on the highway for about 20 minutes and then just drive right into echeck station and hopefully you won't have to wait in line long at idle and your 83 should pass.
Old 08-11-2007, 05:36 PM
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That rattle noice coming from the exhaust could be what happened to me. If so, it is a crack being started around the pipe on the exhaust. Mine was in front, towards the cat. It started out as a little rattle, and I went and moved the muffler back and forth, which then broke the pipe completely all the way around. Now, I am looking for a welder to fix it. More annoying than a problem.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TibetanT View Post
That rattle noice coming from the exhaust could be what happened to me. If so, it is a crack being started around the pipe on the exhaust. Mine was in front, towards the cat. It started out as a little rattle, and I went and moved the muffler back and forth, which then broke the pipe completely all the way around. Now, I am looking for a welder to fix it. More annoying than a problem.
Wait, the pipe broke completely all the way around and this was not much of a problem...just an annoyance?
Old 08-12-2007, 03:24 PM
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Sorry, probably a poor choice of words on my part.
I guess I was glad the entire pipe and muffler are not rotted with rust so the weld works.
The annoyance was the rattling sound I would hear when started and idle.
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:49 PM
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Zeloy, where in Cali are you located?

I have an 83 944. 4 years ago, I failed smog. I only changed the O2 sensor and it passed 4 years ago. 2 years ago and 2 months ago. The tech was a former Porsche mechanic before a cut back. He told me that I might never need to change out the cat because stock Porsche Cats are near "bullet proof".
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:35 AM
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Just thought I'd fill everyone in on the conclusion of failed emissions test issues....As it turns out the rattling noise that I was hearing was really just the O2 sensor itself that got knocked loose so it was just rattling around in there. Just tightened the O2 sensor and it passed....silly me. Anyway I'm living in Palo Alto, CA south of San Francisco for anyone unfamiliar with the area. Thanks for your help everyone.

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Old 08-22-2007, 10:30 PM
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