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Topic:  Smog Check II and the SUV pollution myth

Ever heard how loose the smog rules are for SUV's? we know we've heard it many times.  At a recent party someone was preaching at me about my over-polluting SUV (which now gets smogged as 1995 Camaro by the way).  So, we decided to check the regulations (the Internet is wonderful thing).  What I found certainly surprised me.  The standards are very close for newer SUV's and cars, but the history of smog check in California is what really shocked us.  Did you know that mini vans and SUV's are in the same class?  Oh, did we mention that some of the new standards are actually tougher for the SUV's?  The two classes examined below are 1) cars, 2) trucks less than 6000 lbs.  The second class includes mini vans and SUV's.  we inspected many tables of smog standards from the very early checks to the latest revisions.  One thing we can tell you is that the new smog laws are tough.

The new "acceleration simulation mode" (ASM) emission standards are very tight and CARB (California Air Resources Board) can adjust them +/- 30% at their whim.  The new test will be very restrictive and your car will be tested on a "dyno" (a device with rollers for your car to sit on to simulate actual driving conditions).  One more thing, smog checks will cost more too!  We'll show how California law has changed from the two speed idle test to the new dyno test (ASM).  The tables below are portions of the actual CARB tables. See their page for an explanation.
Old two speed test at end of 1996
(actually was extended to end of 1997)
 
Pass/Fail
Standards
Idle HC Idle CO 2500 HC 2500 CO
1975-1980 Car 220 2.00 180 1.70
1975-1978 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
250 2.50 200 3.00
1979-1983 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
250 2.00 200 2.00
1993+ Car 100 1.00 130 1.00
1993+ Truck
 < 6000
100 1.00 170 1.00
Gross Polluter
Standards
Idle HC Idle CO 2500 HC 2500 CO
1975-1980 Car 470 4.50 430 4.20
1975-1978 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
500 5.00 450 5.50
1979-1983 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
400 3.50 350 3.50
1993+ Car 250 2.50 280 2.50
1993+ Truck
 < 6000
250 2.50 320 2.50

 
New ASM - Dyno Test @ End of 1997
(actually to start in early 1998)

Pass/Fail
Standards
ASM 5015 HC ASM 5015 CO ASM 2525 HC ASM 2525 CO
1975-1980 Car 140.3 0.91 90.3 0.71
1975-1978 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
155.0 1.08 105.0 0.88
1979-1983 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
145.0 0.88 95.0 0.68
1993+ Car 84.3 0.29 34.3 0.09
1993+ Truck
 < 6000
97.5 0.30 47.5 0.10
Gross Polluter
Standards
Idle HC Idle CO 2500 HC 2500 CO
1975-1980 Car 315.3 2.50 265.3 2.30
1975-1978 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
330.0 2.60 280.0 2.40
1979-1983 Truck
 < 6000 lbs
320 2.40 270.0 2.20
1993+ Car 243.3 1.80 184.3 1.60
1993+ Truck
 < 6000
247.5 1.60 197.5 1.40
 
  • What is all this about? They want our 4x4's.
  • Why? If we don't have 4x4's we can't go off-roading.
  • If we can't go off-roading who will fight the wilderness builders?
  • Beginning to see the plan?
  • The next time a mini van driving zealot talks about smog laws you will be informed and can politely correct the poor misguided soul.

Check the laws for yourself.

You'll have to search for them, though!


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