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SES Lights & Emission Inspection ( A Racket Is all It Is )

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posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:07 AM
Hi all, My first post in car forum and it aint a good one. We all have those pesky SES (service engine soon ) lights on our cars & trucks, that is if your vehicle is 97 or newer. My wife drives a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. A great car, you can't kill em, trust me my wife has tried.

Here in N.C. our inspection is directly tied to registering our vehicles. If your car fails inspection, you do not get your registration & tags. If your SES light is on the folks who you took it to for inspection want touch it, until the SES light is not on. Or problem is corrected.

So every year we go thru same thing, getting the car to pass inspection. Get the SES light out. I own a code scanner with erase ability. So I check code, po1130 a (swirl valve sensor). So I correct that problem, simple fix of cleaning out the vacum lines in this system and lubricating the mechanism on the intake. I erase the codes, drive the car 63 miles, no SES light.

So wife takes car for inspection. Wife calls says call failed because of exhaust leak at catalytic converter. I asked to speak to mechanic. He tells me the car has bad CC and needs re-placing both sides and quotes a price of $1,200. I asked which code came up? He said there were no codes in computer. I said then car passed inspection. He said no, it was a judgment call on his part.

I sais to my wife, leave, take the car to another place for inspection. She calls ma bout 20 minutes later and tells me the SES light just came on, 6 miles away from 1st inspection place. So that evening when she came home I checked the SES codes and low & behold I have two new codes, both dealing with low oxygen at sensor bank one & two. I pull the car on the ramps to see this leak & bad CC. What I found was two loose oxygen sensors, I could literally turn them with my hands. I feel the mechanic at inspection place did this so the SES light would come on, he knew she was going somewhere else for inspect.

I tighten sensors, check the CC which arent really CC, this car has direct fit CC right off the exhaust manifold, the ones in question come to find are called, Non California Compliant Catalytic Converter and they do zero for the performance of the car.

So this is what I have came to the conclusion of. SES lights are a good idea, except they now cause a monetary problem for a lot of folks come inspection time. Most big mechanics shops want work, so they'll do as the arse hole did with my wifes car. No telling how much revenue this generates for car shops. I found, take it to Jiffy Lube type place, they want a sale, normally they tell you your car needs wiper blades before it will pass, so you purchase a $17 pair of wiper blades, they get a warm & fuzzy you get a warm & fuzzy and your car is legal.

Versus the $1,200 CC fix of two items that arent really CC. Summation. Be damn carefull who you get to inspect your car come inspection time. Get comfortable with your car, learn about the sensors and their locations on vehicle and what they do. It saves time & money. Hope this helps some one out.
edit on 25-5-2012 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:20 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

I recently had a leak with my power steering pump. Went to a garage, and the guy tells me it will cost me over 1000$, because there is prestone leaking in the engine... Then he tells me its Christmas for everybody...

So I went to the garage my father-in-law goes, even though it IS far from home,and all was repaired for under a hundred...
I went to see him again recently, to have rims and summer tires. He made a mistake and didn't chose rims that would fit on my car. A few days later, he calls me to say he found MAGS, that he wouldn't charge me because it was HIS mistake...

I was surprised to find a real and honest mechanic in 2012!!!

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:56 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

The SES light or (MIL malfunction indicator light) Is commonly mistaken.
The OBD2 system, (on board diagnostics 2) was pretty much designed for a tattle tale emissions watch dog.
Ultimately your MIL will only come on, if an emissions problem is detected. And then the PCM can make changes to the fuel mapping and ignition timing to attempt to correct the emissions problem. There is even a newer OBD system being made, that if your emissions are far enough out. It won't even start your vehicle. Or just shut it down.

Have you ever noticed your MIL light flash? That is there to let you know you have a serious emissions issue. And to NOT drive the vehicle.

Here is some tidbits about the OBD2 system

The service industry calls the Check Engine light on your dash an "MIL" or Malfunction Indicator Light. It shows three different types of signals. Occasional flashes show momentary malfunctions. It stays on if the problem is of a more serious nature, affecting the emissions output or safety of the vehicle. A constantly flashing MIL is a sign of a major problem which can cause serious damage if the engine is not stopped immediately. In all cases a "freeze frame" of all sensor readings at the time is recorded in the central computer of the vehicle.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with reducing "mobile emissions" from cars and trucks and given the power to require manufacturers to build cars which meet increasingly stiff emissions standards. The manufacturers must further maintain the emission standards of the cars for the useful life of the vehicle. OBD-II provides a universal inspection and diagnosis method to be sure the car is performing to OEM standards. While there is argument as to the exact standards and methodology employed, the fact is there is a need to reduce vehicle emitted pollution levels in our cities, and we have to live with these requirements.

OBDII info

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by NowanKenubi
I have to ask, was this mechanic and older person or a youngster? I find the older guys are a bit more honest and rely on actuall skill and education as a mechanic, More so than the youngsters that rely completely on the computer.
If we ever have an EMP pulse all of us are walking. Unless you have a really late model vehicle. One with points, plugs, condenser, some shat we can work on. Like that old Ford truck sitting in my garage. I have a nice supply of plugs, points, extra condenser, distributor, rotor, all the things that wear out.

Wife ask's me all the time."Why do you keep that old truck in such good shape" And I answer the same way everytime , "When the SHTF we aint walking"

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:06 AM
There's all kinds of insanity around inspections, especially in California. I've come to believe that the state government and automotive special interests have colluded so they both make money. Lots of money.

California has a program where they supposedly pay you $1000 to get old polluting cars off the road. I had a little 1988 Chevy Nova (actually a Toyota, made in Japan). I liked the little thing; paid a buttload to get it up to code so it would pass inspection, so I could get it registered. It passed, but a day later overheated and blew a head gasket. (I suspect the mechanic of foul play.) I let it sit in the driveway for too long, and the date for registration passed.

So I decided I'd sell it to the program for the $1000. I found out it had to have current smog inspection (which it had) and be able to drive something like 200 feet (which it would with a cold engine).

I drove it to the place to turn it in (a pick-and-pull yard). It overheated, but that was OK. I filled the radiator with water and let it sit for a half-hour and took my paperwork to the office. They faxed it off to Sacramento DMV. Waited 45 minutes. They faxed back that it had to have current registration also.

Drove it home. Few days later went to DMV to get it registered. Including late fees and various dings for one thing and another, about $300. I thought: That's OK. I get $1000 back. Drove it back to the program to turn it in--same deal: overheated, waited a half-hour, drove it into the lot, faxed the paperwork, waited 1 hour.

NO JOY. The registration had to be continuous. Rejected because the registration had elapsed before renewal. No $1000. Sold it to a junk-car buyer for $200.

The entire thing is insane. If the state's trying to get polluting cars off the road, why does the car have to PASS SMOG!? If they're trying to get polluting cars off the road, why the hell does it have to be registered? What does that have to do with anything? If they're trying to get polluting cars off the road, yet they have to both pass smog and be registered (which indicates a perfectly driveable auto), why the hell does the registration have be continous? What the hell difference does that make?

And when it was all said and done, I'd wasted both the money I paid to get it up to Smog, plus a loss of $300 for a pointless registration. (Not counting the $200 I sold it for.)

It's all a scam....
edit on 5/25/2012 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:07 AM
reply to post by MoosKept240
I understand the premise as to why we have the Obd. My problem is the shear amount of sensors todays vehicles have and the "over-riding of the rules" by a mechanic out to earn a quick $1,200. If the OBD says there's no codes then the car passed the emission part of the inspection. When the mechanic put the car on the lift, because he heard a exhaust leak then tells my wife it failed, it failed because he needed the work. I have now found out that he was in the wrong.

If car has zero codes in memory, car has ran a diagnostic check and no codes found. Car passed inspection for emission as that is the emission test.CHECKING THE CODES. Shatty arse money hungry mecanics, I can only imagine how many people( women) get taken for an expensive ride at the hands of these crooks.

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

To answer your question, both mechanics were of the same age ( Close to 40 ). The one trying to rip me off was working in a big name Garage while the other was working on his farm land... But I have to say that the first mechanic was trying to have me accept to send my car to another garage, and that if I gave him time enough, he could get me a vehicle to use for the reparations duration...
Problem is, his boss told me a month before they could do the kind of reparation the other one said couldn't be made there. And they had already plenty of cars to have customers go back home on wheels...

I have a feeling I would never have seen my car again.

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:03 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

Checking for codes, isn't really an emissions test. Relying on o2 sensors to give a 100% reading is a stretch. Could of probed your exhaust. Your cats could be running hot. And the cost of those are not cheap. It looks to me as though it varies greatly. Between $170 - $780 per cat. And I would believe the more expensive would be a genuine nissan part. And the higher quality shop is going to use a higher quality part.

posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:48 PM
reply to post by MoosKept240
In N.C. checking the OBD is the emissions test. We don't use the exhaust probe any longer. So when the code reader says no codes, car pass's inspection. There is no clause in the DMV website in N.C. that states the mechanic can override and make a judgment call and fail the vehicle.

posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 11:35 AM
reply to post by openyourmind1262

Wow thats funny. Because there are many many many ways to trick your obd system into thinking it is running right. You can buy o2 simulators to replace your o2 sensors that make your pcm think everything is fine. You can even jump and old obd1 ecu to and obd2 pcm and make it run off of basics.

And how do they test cars that run off stand alone fuel management systems? Vehicles completely bypass the obd system.

If I didnt live in kansas where an inspection is just checking the VIN. I would move there. lol.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 06:45 AM
Well, Catalytic converters are an expensive piece of bull# that late model vehicles have to have. My gripe? Though they may make for slightly cleaner emissions they choke your engine resulting in poorer performance and MPG. One of the oldest auto adages is "A well-breathing engine is an efficient engine." or "Let it breathe and it will pay you back in performance and MPG." I used to have a 1960 Rambler American, one of my friends with a Honda used to say things like "How can you afford to drive that?" He would never believe that it got 35 highway mpg, untill once we took a trip down to texas and I was averaging 36mpg at 75 miles per hour. Granted it was a 90hp flathead six with a single barrel carb, but it also had no emmisions equipment, zero, zilch. My 64 dart was 145hp and got 27-30 highway mpg. Luckily I live in Oklahoma, and don't have to worry about inspections or emissions.

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