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Old 02-16-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
bountyhunter
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Default SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

My 1992 SL2 is failing HC emissions by a very small amount. The bad news is, nearly all the emission equipment (cat, O2 sensor, thermostat, coolant temp sensor) have been replaced less than 15k miles of service.

It was suggested to make the engine run hotter to reduce HCs.

HOW CAN I INCREASE THE ENGINE TEMP?

Before the test I got the car fully hot, drove for 20 minutes (10 on freeway) and it idled at about 2k RPM for 15 minutes servoing the fan on and off waiting to test.

There is only one thermostat temp available.

1) Is there a place to get a hotter thermostat?

2) Is there a way to trick the fan sensor so it will turn on at a higher temp?

I changed the oil, flushed the fuel system, cleaned the throttle body, changed the spark plugs. I checked the engine compression and it is as new (190 - 195 psi). Engine runs perfectly, like new. Doesn't use a drop of oil.

Any tricks to get the HC's down?

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
chingondearmona
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

there is no way of tricking a smog test unless its like the old days when the car didn't pass smog and they would use the tailpipe rod on a different car to make it pass, the thermostat recommended on these cars is the stant 195 cartridge style thermostat.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Before going to the SMOG-nazi site be absolutely sure you have at least 15 minutes of highway running in and do not let the car sit and idle or start cold into the test. A cold CAT will fail.

Siting and waiting while holding a high idle will cool the CAT.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Before going to the SMOG-nazi site be absolutely sure you have at least 15 minutes of highway running in and do not let the car sit and idle or start cold into the test. A cold CAT will fail.
I had to wait about 15 minutes after driving, but I held the engine RPM at 2k for the whole time to keep the cat hot.

In the bay area, there are so many people that everywhere you go is crowded. Kind of funny, you will go to a restaurant that's always packed and then it goes out of business...... which would seem impossible when you think about it.

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
My 1992 SL2 is failing HC emissions by a very small amount.
Engine runs perfectly, like new. Doesn't use a drop of oil.

Any tricks to get the HC's down?
A 92 Saturn that Doesn't use a drop of oil. OK

But I'd bet your Hydrocarbon emissions is from burning oil
and blowby not unburned gas from running rich
O2 sensor, thermostat, coolant temp sensor etc won't help
I'd first do a MMO piston soak A PVC OIL catch can
And try a Autozone, PVC valve part no. PCV1009
And a new set of NGK plugs JUST before you go test

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Long thread here:

http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=1119.0

...
Ed

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

i forgot to comment about how i passed this last test with the HC level being at max on the 15mph run. i sea foamed my car before i took it in, ran it around for about 15 to twenty minutes in the city and on the highway, took it it, and barely passed! im so glad i did that before i took it in!

...
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spud42 View Post
A 92 Saturn that Doesn't use a drop of oil. OK
It's true. It's the backup beater car now and only gets driven about 3k miles a year now. I change the oil every six months and it requires no oil add in between. It has about 130k miles on it now and has had excellent care. No spots on the driveway under it, no smoke. Runs like a swiss watch.

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chingondearmona View Post
i forgot to comment about how i passed this last test with the HC level being at max on the 15mph run. i sea foamed my car before i took it in, ran it around for about 15 to twenty minutes in the city and on the highway, took it it, and barely passed! im so glad i did that before i took it in!
I dd the seafoam "suck" into the intake manifold to clear carbon out. Repeated it with an even stronger cleaner. Chambers are clean. Also cleaned the throttle body insides.i did install new spark plugs the day before the test.

Last edited by bountyhunter; 02-16-2011 at 07:09 PM..

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spud42 View Post

But I'd bet your Hydrocarbon emissions is from burning oil
and blowby not unburned gas from running rich
I doubt it. just checked compression and it was 190 - 195 which is "as new" according to service manual. Maybe a touch past the valve seals, but the rings seem very tight.

Another thing: looking back on the older smog tests, this car always seems to be high on HC even 10+ years back.

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

You need a new thermostat as your normal temp indication should be 1/2 on the gauge. Use a STANT 14279 or NAPA equivalent, these are 195F thermostats and will get your temperature up. A high RPM with no real load on the engine will cool the cat rapidly.

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

does anyone know if a vacuum leak at the intake manifold gasket would cause high HC's?

...
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

If you have an elevated idle RPM it very well may.

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Well, high HC readings are indicative of unburned fuel out the pipe, so what shape are your plug wires and coil/ignition module? The wires should be OEM (will read Packard on them) and less than 30k miles in service. I trust your plugs are NGK copper and nothing else.

If that is all in order, make sure there are no vacuum leaks, as a previous poster noted. Also, does your car have an EGR valve and/or AIR pump? My memory is failing me as to whether the 92 had them or not. If the EGR is sticking or the passages are clogged it could affect emissions readings, and if the AIR pump is not operating properly it could as well. Since you didn't mention any problems with these I am guessing you don't but I haven't worked on a first-gen s-car in awhile so I get forgetful

Finally, beware of attempting to make the engine run hotter-not sure where your NOX readings stand but they will rise as the combustion temps increase. Good luck.

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

plan a: your cat aftermarket? if so maybe try a oem cat.... or the oe cat off any other < 2L powered car seems like alot of aftermarket cats leave a P0420 in their wake, maybe yours isnt nearly that bad, but not up to factory specs.


plan b:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
HOW CAN I INCREASE THE ENGINE TEMP?
think you could get away with/ be allowed to run a hot or warm air intake for a test?

...i'm thinking they'll help mileage at the expense of power, however i dont know if it would help the % of whats in the exhaust, so much as it might just reduce the total volume of whats coming out.. which doesnt matter.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You need a new thermostat as your normal temp indication should be 1/2 on the gauge. Use a STANT 14279 or NAPA equivalent, these are 195F thermostats and will get your temperature up. A high RPM with no real load on the engine will cool the cat rapidly.

OK, sounds good.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000mc View Post
plan a: your cat aftermarket? if so maybe try a oem cat.... or the oe cat off any other < 2L powered car seems like alot of aftermarket cats leave a P0420 in their wake, maybe yours isnt nearly that bad, but not up to factory specs.


plan b:


think you could get away with/ be allowed to run a hot or warm air intake for a test?

...i'm thinking they'll help mileage at the expense of power, however i dont know if it would help the % of whats in the exhaust, so much as it might just reduce the total volume of whats coming out.. which doesnt matter.
CAT is whatever MIDAS installed as new OEM replacement in 2005.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

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Originally Posted by MoparNut View Post
Finally, beware of attempting to make the engine run hotter-not sure where your NOX readings stand but they will rise as the combustion temps increase. Good luck.
I have quite a bit of headroom to the NOX limit which is why cranking up the temp might get it to pass. I am only about 12PPM over the 73PPM limit on CO.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Thought from your earlier post the catcon was new...being over 5 years old it may have deteriorated somewhat, especially if there were misfires in it's past before the new plugs.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: SMOG Test Tricks to Reduce HC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
CAT is whatever MIDAS installed as new OEM replacement in 2005.
thats my definition of a questionable aftermarket cat

...especially considering being a 92 your dont have any catalyst monitoring anyway

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