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Old 11-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
SL1Joe
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Default Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

I wasn't sure whether or not I should place this thread in the Tech Forum or here as this is more of a rant then anything.

As the title says I failed the SMOG Check a few weeks ago, as if this year wasn't bad enough..
Thing that really pisses me off is that the Emissions Test was perfect, everything was great the HC's were almost 0, CO was 0, NOX was a little above average but nothing too bad there (thats probably the EGR Valve sticking a bit I do need to clean it). Visual Inspection all that crap passed with flying colors. We get to the lovely EVAP POS test (I hate California), and it fails with a gross leak. Tech says he ran it twice and same result each time.

Our Ford Van failed the EVAP Test a couple of years ago and all it was, was one of the EVAP Hoses right by the Canister was bad, fortunatley in that case the hoses were right on the side of the Van little effort was needed to fix that problem.. With the Saturn this will be more complicated as I still have to trace the route the damn hose travels, from what I can see of the hose by the Canister it doesn't look bad, doesn't even look cracked just dirty.
I just know the problem is at the tank and that I will need to drop the tank as it's most likely the damn O-Ring on the Fuel Pump. The fact it's a Gross Leak and the hose looks good (from what I can see anyway) lead me to that conclusion.

From Day #1 of owning this car I would occasionally notice a slight Fuel Smell after pulling into the garage, this would happen if the tank was 1/2 full or better and it was a relatively warm day. Never really paid much attention to it (bad move on my part). Then one day when I had a $25 Gas Card I tried to fill the tank up the prices had dropped below $2 a gallon (Thank you Recession) and I thought hell lets fill er up. Well I got maybe $20 worth in and fuel began spilling out above the tank (not at the filler pipe) which is another reason I think it's the O-Ring on the Pump.. I don't think the tank has a hole in it esp not on top, I would think that I would smell Gas all the time if that were the case. Filler neck hose looks good just dirty, as does the Vent hose but I know if I pull the tank I will end up replacing both of them as they look to have been on there for years even before I got the car, that outta lighten the bank account a little bit.

As if this problem weren't bad enough heres what really fires me up. California now charges for the lovely little red and white temp stickers that go in the window $50.00 that on top of the $75 registration fee, so $125 I had to cough up at the DMV just to keep things legit, ah and they wonder why people steal tags And since they didn't have any January stickers it has a 12 on it meaning I have until New Years Eve to fix this thing.



Not really complaining too much on the Reg fee itself I know it could be worse years ago before the Tax was lowered I would have been shelling out a couple hundred just for reg alone. The temp sticker fee which previously was free is what is pissing me off the most.


All of you non California Saturn owners consider yourselves lucky that is until your state decides to adopt these ridiculous regulations too.

...
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Eh it could be worse... Missouri registration went to $400 or so ..

Also was your service engine soon light on? Just curious..

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Old 11-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

I also live in California. During the last smog check my dads SW2 also failed the EVAP test. Same thing, it had a leak somewhere. It was easily found. The line going into the cannister had a small crack in it. Cut an inch off the rubber line and popped it back in. Took it back and it passed.

The gas station wanted $50 to diagnose the problem. Maybe you should of gone that route and saved $25. You can also make a very easy and cheap tool to diagnose it yourself. I used an old gas cap, drilled a hole in the top and epoxied an air fitting in it. Presurized the fuel system with a couple pounds of air. It doesnt take much, And heard the "psssssh" coming from the front corner of the car. Problem found.

You dont even have to use a fittng for an air compressor like I did. You can use one for a tire and use a bicycle pump.

All the evap test is them pressurizing the system and monitoring it to see if it maintains pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL1Joe View Post
All of you non California Saturn owners consider yourselves lucky that is until your state decides to adopt these ridiculous regulations too.
Its actually not that bad out here. I'd rather deal with our regulations, which arent really that bad than deal with what other states do. Imagine failing because you have a cracked taillight. Or a tire that might need replacing next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Also was your service engine soon light on? Just curious..
His car is a 1995. Not something OBDI monitors.

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Old 11-15-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
Its actually not that bad out here. I'd rather deal with our regulations, which arent really that bad than deal with what other states do. Imagine failing because you have a cracked taillight. Or a tire that might need replacing next year.
Hot damn, I thought (almost) all places that did emissions also did safety checks, and I thought CA did safety stuff too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
His car is a 1995. Not something OBDI monitors.
Oh. oops, nevermind then.

...
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Nope SES Light was not on, only time it's ever come on for me was when the EGR Valve got clogged and needed to be cleaned, this was usually preceded by the car trying to stall.

I know it's OBD I but I still think they fail it automatically if the tech see's that the light is on i'm not sure though I know they do for OBD II cars.

...
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL1Joe View Post
Nope SES Light was not on,
Wonder how one would fail emissions if the light was off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SL1Joe View Post
I know it's OBD I but I still think they fail it automatically if the tech see's that the light is on i'm not sure though I know they do for OBD II cars.
I always thought if that light was on regardless, you fail. IIRC once that light comes on you're about 1.5x or so over the emissions limit and can make you a target for getting jumped in Cali.

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Old 11-16-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

I wouldn't take it to the SMOG Place if the light were on, just a general rule I follow

With our 85 Ford Van since it doesn't have a light I have to randomly check for codes with my Code Reader (Test port is in the engine compartment). With it same thing if there are any codes chances are it will not pass smog. Lately it is throwing a Code 31, which is basically the same as a Code 32 on a GM Car, EGR Valve Fault. What is it with me and EGR Valves .

Anyhow fortunatley like I said the Emissions Part of the test it passed with ease had almost no emissions except for slightly elevated NOX. Just the silly EVAP Test which like Low Saturn said isn't monitored by OBD I Computer, gets me every time.

I hear they are considering expanding the EVAP Test to include the Purge side of the system which would mean even more expense in diagnosing a problem should it fail, thankfully for now I don't need to worry about that part of it because the purge valve (which knowing my luck is probably bad) is behind the engine near the Crank Sensor so getting at it would be a PITA.

...
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Mine failed the first time without the light being on. Everything was in range except NOX at 5-15 mph. Needed a cat. No light.

They will fail it for the "visual" inspection if a light is on.

The only time mine came on was before the ECTS and other sensors were changed.

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Old 11-18-2009, 12:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

I just got my car going again and everytime I open my gas tank I get no vacuum release. I expect to fail the EVAP too.

Last edited by NO_SPRK; 11-18-2009 at 12:55 AM..

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Old 11-23-2009, 05:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Well I put it up on stands and did a bit of poking around under there last night, first thing I did was trace the route of the EVAP Line from the canister to the tank, I've never had to mess with the Fuel Lines or EVAP Line since buying this car in 04 so I needed to familiarize myself with the layout here. Then I figured out where the EVAP line was at the tank (I depressurized the fuel system just incase I guessed wrong ) I mean I know which one is the main Fuel Line it's the largest one so I wasn't about to disconnect it.

So anyhow I disconnected the EVAP Line right by the tank from the little crusty looking rubber hose connecting it to the line running to the tank (there was a trickle of Gas in there bout 2 cc worth if that didn't think much of it because it was COLD last night). I pulled that little hose off too and plugged one end of it then hooked my vacuum pump up to it and tested it, it holds vacuum so despite looking old and ragged it's not leaking at all. I did the same with the EVAP Line, I pulled it off at the Canister, hooked my vacuum pump up and plugged the end near the tank. Pumped it up to 15 hg and held it there, 20 seconds go by and the needle on the pumps gauge hadn't moved but maybe 1 or 2 hg, I've had my Mity Vac Vacuum Pump kit since 02 and my rubber connectors aren't the worlds greatest I mean they work but not as well as new ones would obviously.

So it seems the problem is at the tank just as I feared, and as they say when it rains it pours, I have been unsuccessful in locating a replacement O-Ring for the Fuel Pump Module without buying a new Pump/Module. The O-Ring thats in there is probably old I have never had that tank down or replaced the Fuel Pump in the time i've had this car (5 Years now) going over some of the old Repair Slips the previous owner left in the car there is no mention of a Fuel Pump and/or O-Ring Replacement so replacing it certainly could not hurt the cause that is if I can FIND ONE!!!. No way in hell am I going to spend $200-$300 on a new Pump/Module just to get that O-Ring. I haven't tried Saturn yet but from reading other posts on those O-Rings they probably won't have them either.

Previous Owner was not a DIY'er judging by all the Repair Slips.

...
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:26 AM   #11
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Ok took the tank out of the car yesterday. Wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, didn't even have the car up all that high.. I used two bottle jacks with two pieces of old fence post on both sides of the tank, undid the straps, took the shield off, at this point the left strap nearly fell out, the right one got hung up on the exhaust and it took some wiggling to free it as well as clear the other end from the rear suspension but it eventually came out. The hardest part was detaching the filler neck, got a bruised knuckle from that one..

Lowered the tank down with my cousin helping me, the fuel lines came off relatively easy, except the return line which was being a pain, didn't spill too much gas but it helps that the car hasn't been running in a few days.

Anyhow after I got the tank out I tipped it over on it's side (there wasn't much gas in it maybe about a gallon and a half if that), wanted to see where the leak was and it didn't take long to find it. Almost immediatley I noticed fuel leaking from under the fuel pump lock ring and it wasn't a trickle either.
So at this point I figure the O-Ring is shot right... Maybe not I knocked the lock ring off (which sounds a hell of a lot easier then it actually was.. Major pain in the ass), took the fuel pump out and removed the O-Ring.. The O-Ring did not look damaged or feel brittle however I did notice alot of dirt and debris under where it sat so thats probably why it wasn't sealing. I cleaned that and put the pump back in. I only did that because I did not want Fuel Vapors building up in the garage, I still plan to replace the O-Ring especially now.

Now I just need to find a new one and order it, getsaturnparts.com has it I need to ask them though if it's the green one or the black one, the one I have is black and I hear the green ones seal better. I'm also debating whether or not to replace the Filler and Vent hoses, the Fuel Pump Strainer looks good so i'll leave that alone, I still want to put a new Fuel Filter in though since I have everything apart.

...
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

This thread has convinced me that if I ever have the misfortune of having to move to California, I'm going to open a garage, and just pass any car that comes in for inspection.

Those regulations are ridiculous.

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Old 11-30-2009, 09:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek McNelly View Post
This thread has convinced me that if I ever have the misfortune of having to move to California, I'm going to open a garage, and just pass any car that comes in for inspection.

Those regulations are ridiculous.
Or just convince people to move to Kentucky...

...
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Failed CA SMOG -- EVAP Problem

Haven't had a chance to post an update, but it's now fixed passed smog the other day, got my tags yesterday (damn DMV).

Basically I ended up buying the O-Ring Part I needed at a Chevy Dealership (awkward), Saturn of Roseville where I normally go if I need an OEM Part is no more it's basically been consolidated into the Chevy Dealership next door (same owner). The old dealership is being converted into a GM Certified Used Car Lot for all GM Brands, those that remain that is.

Part was $22 which is about the same as getsaturnparts.com only without the $7.50 shipping cost. after I got the part installed I put a little gas in the tank tipped it over, no leaks, so I dumped out the gas, and reinstalled the tank, really easy with no gas in it pushed it up in there one handed.
Next day took it down for the retest and success it passed, though the NOX Emissions are starting to creep up, it just barely passed that part so for my trick clean the EGR Valve yet again CAT may be on it's way out too.

Oh one more thing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NO SPRK
I just got my car going again and everytime I open my gas tank I get no vacuum release. I expect to fail the EVAP too.
Your car is a 96 so no worries you're exempt from the EVAP Test it's only for 95 and older models. Just noticed that meant to point that out sooner.

...
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Last edited by SL1Joe; 12-09-2009 at 04:21 PM..

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