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Old 07-17-2021, 09:26 PM   #1
Dvroofer
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Default California Smog Testing Will Now Sniff Out (and Fail) Tuned ECUs

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mot...fications/amp/

Just read this. Not that it applies to older non obd2 cars but the point is California is doing everything possible to follow ridiculous rules all the time. Im not even going to say what my catalytic converter cost… about to attempt to pass before I +t and +ms while knowing in 2 years I will have to bolt my old junk on. Sorry for the rant .. just frustrating living in the land of regulation.

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Old 07-17-2021, 09:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dvroofer View Post
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mot...fications/amp/

Just read this. Not that it applies to older non obd2 cars but the point is California is doing everything possible to follow ridiculous rules all the time. Im not even going to say what my catalytic converter cost… about to attempt to pass before I +t am +ms while knowing in 2 years I will have to bolt my old junk on. Sorry for the rant .. just frustrating living in the land of regulation.
I get relatively annoyed by California's approach to older pre-OBD2 cars myself. That said I would like to see tighter restrictions for the OBD2 cars but I would just want to see a tailpipe test. The VW diesel scandal (and every other manufacturer who was caught following it) has shown how easy it is to cheat emissions tests using a computer. I do though want to see restrictions lessened for older cars regarding visual inspections. So long as it passes it is fine in my book. For newer stuff where you can still get parts easily? Test those more strictly as they are likely to be the ones on the road in numbers.

People will figure out ways around this though. Probably by swapping ECUs or something similar when it comes time to get the test done. They mention an OBD2 system called Hondata Flash Pro in the article. Solutions like that will probably become more prevalent.

I just ended up going pre-smog myself. But I still want a nice stock-ish turbo car with EFI so that may change in the future.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:33 PM   #3
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With so much drama in the LBC
It’s kind of hard trying to tune your obd
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:51 PM   #4
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All this accomplishes is making sure no tuning companies get cores back for tuned ECUs. That being said most tuned cars I've worked on have disabled emissions equipment in the name of power anyways, and won't set various drive cycles. But quickly flashing the stock tune or swapping the stock ECU in you'll

I agree with Austen, as we have discussed before, that a tailpipe test should be the only requirement for pre-OBDII cars. If I have an extra cam, cylinder, turbo and vastly more advanced EFI system outputting cleaner emissions why should it not only fail, but be sent to a BAR station with a State ref ticket.
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Old 07-18-2021, 05:19 AM   #5
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I'm gonna feel so accomplished when I have to set up a GoFundMe to cover my bill to CARB/the EPA.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:16 AM   #6
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All this accomplishes is making sure no tuning companies get cores back for tuned ECUs. That being said most tuned cars I've worked on have disabled emissions equipment in the name of power anyways, and won't set various drive cycles. But quickly flashing the stock tune or swapping the stock ECU in you'll

I agree with Austen, as we have discussed before, that a tailpipe test should be the only requirement for pre-OBDII cars. If I have an extra cam, cylinder, turbo and vastly more advanced EFI system outputting cleaner emissions why should it not only fail, but be sent to a BAR station with a State ref ticket.
Even if they just made the BAR ref process more clear I would be fine. Maybe a forum or something where you can post pictures of what you are thinking and get refs to chime in on whether they would fail or pass it before you sink money and time into a mod or swap. It is kind of hard to do so over the phone.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:24 AM   #7
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between that and the epa crack down on all of this stuff, the outlook has gotten pretty bleak. reckon openly flaunting rules for decades will get that for ya
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by S70T5fivespeed View Post
With so much drama in the LBC
It’s kind of hard trying to tune your obd
Thanks
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:50 PM   #9
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It seems reasonable to hold OBDII cars to a higher standard then whats currently there. The OBDII stuff can easily be hacked and tweaked and something that passes a scan test might be a way worse polluter then a pre odbii car thats stock.

Based on the amount of people around me that take their cats off just so they can shoot flames putting around town... They make a good point for putting more oversight and enforcement into place. Most of the stuff people do doesn't even make the cars faster or more efficient. Its just about scene points.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:02 PM   #10
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I agree with Ben. A lot of people do stupid stuff just for the Instagram ****. It’s beyond annoying, I’m mostly looking at you mustang, challenger owners. Honestly, it feels like they are just effecting people that buy and hold onto cars. Alot of those people I see change their cars long before they even have to smog them!!!! They buy a new car, change parts out, then end up selling the car after a few years when they want to try something else, or get a newer model. If they want to change something, get rid of the 8year smog abatement for new cars. Why don’t they just run the tailpipe sniffer on obd2… if it burns clean, who cares what’s done…

I’m not looking forward to next year tho… have to smog the lotus and the previous owner had a tune flashed. Not looking forward to having to fix that.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:04 PM   #11
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They don't even tailpipe test 2002+ cars out here just plug in. The ecu can't read exhaust gasses so it very well could be polluting by their standards lol.
They just don't want older cars on the road out here and they dont care. The govt party out here isnt doing us any favors either. Easier to move vs fight them.
That or register it out of state.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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Washington doesn't even test cars anymore. Everything pre-OBDII is exempt from testing.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:41 PM   #13
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Even here in NJ they figured out the IM240 testing cycle is a bunch of crap and they dropped it many years ago. Now pre 96 cars are inspection exempt and they only plug in the computer to test OBDII or newer. They can use a tailpipe test but only do so when they see visible smoke. In fact they can fail you for any visible smoke even without the tailpipe test. All of my vehicles are pre 96 so I am saving money and time without inspections to deal with.
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Old 07-18-2021, 04:32 PM   #14
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Well the guy was cool and said he could fail me for my adjustable fpr and cam gear, but said he really didn’t care. Put the stock injectors back in and left the ipd turbo cam in. Here’s my results for my 30 year old Volvo 240 wagon. not bad, now the 2 year countdown starts and I can throw on all the fun stuff
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:27 PM   #15
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Thats freaking clean. I bet they will ship less stuff to cali now or thats coming next.

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Old 07-18-2021, 07:51 PM   #16
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On newer cars, I would just use a handheld flash tuner. I have one for my V50 T5, takes 3 minutes or so to set it back to a stock tune. Rica iSoftloader
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:02 PM   #17
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Thats freaking clean. I bet they will ship less stuff to cali now or thats coming next.
He must have a fresh cat on that car or something to get it that clean.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:41 PM   #18
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He must have a fresh cat on that car or something to get it that clean.
Yes I bought the cat directly from magnaflojo a couple months ago replaced pretty much everything got to stage 0 . Put in my cam because….. and made sure everything was fresh. Muffler, egr, are original. Canister was found in junkyard , same with vacuum solenoid thingy, replaced all vac lines. Warmed it up and hoped for the best. Came out squeaky clean for a 800$ Smoking Hoopty on the way the the crusher 2 years ago.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:01 PM   #19
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Yes I bought the cat directly from magnaflojo a couple months ago replaced pretty much everything got to stage 0 . Put in my cam because….. and made sure everything was fresh. Muffler, egr, are original. Canister was found in junkyard , same with vacuum solenoid thingy, replaced all vac lines. Warmed it up and hoped for the best. Came out squeaky clean for a 800$ Smoking Hoopty on the way the the crusher 2 years ago.
That is awesome. My 240 would just barely pass smog each time or otherwise be borderline. Usually on the second try it would pass. It was probably the original cat.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:07 PM   #20
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That is awesome. My 240 would just barely pass smog each time or otherwise be borderline. Usually on the second try it would pass. It was probably the original cat.
This is what was left of the original
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Old 07-19-2021, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 2turbotoys View Post
On newer cars, I would just use a handheld flash tuner. I have one for my V50 T5, takes 3 minutes or so to set it back to a stock tune. Rica iSoftloader
apparently the software used can tell if you've done that. now whether or not they actually check, that may vary, but apparently they can tell.

also, as this progresses, the amount of changes you're allowed to do decrease with the various tuning systems as well. HPT has for the last year or two already been removing functionality
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:45 AM   #22
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apparently the software used can tell if you've done that. now whether or not they actually check, that may vary, but apparently they can tell.

also, as this progresses, the amount of changes you're allowed to do decrease with the various tuning systems as well. HPT has for the last year or two already been removing functionality
The tuners in this case are really just hackers and the manufacturers or smog techs are the defenders.

One thing I've learned from working in cybersecurity is that hackers will eventually find a way around any mechanism the defender deploys. Whether it be through sidestepping the tech or exploiting a vulnerability. The hacker only has to get lucky once. The defender has to be successful every time.

As such I don't think this will stop people from tuning their cars through flashing the ECU or otherwise modifying the EFI system. They will just get more creative in how they do it.
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:42 PM   #23
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Well the OEM can always set the write once bit on the prom and it can't be overwritten. That would force all the tuners to change the prom used in the ECU making it obvious there has been unauthorized changes in the unit. Then it's easy for them to void any warranty.

I'm surprised CA hasn't started using the drive by sniffers to catch gross polluters. I can see a CARB officer now running from car to car in the usual traffic jam to check cars. He will make a beeline right for any older car.
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Old 07-19-2021, 04:11 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 2turbotoys View Post
On newer cars, I would just use a handheld flash tuner. I have one for my V50 T5, takes 3 minutes or so to set it back to a stock tune. Rica iSoftloader
The software would always register this as event and log it in the non-erasable memory. Manufacturers protect themselves from invalid warranty claims this way. So now BAR is simply getting access to this level of information on the ECU.

Last edited by PCH; 07-19-2021 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 07-19-2021, 08:02 PM   #25
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Directly from the BAR-OIS Modified Software Implementation guide. If a vehicle fails and the owner insists the software is OEM, substantiation of an OEM calibration would require the following information from the dealer:
  • Software Version
  • Calibration ID
  • Calibration Verification Number (checksum)

This is nothing new. Since the requirement in 2005 that all vehicles report this information, BAR has always had access to this information when doing smog checks. It's just now being enforced that those items have to match what they have from the OEM's in a database. They've been documenting how many vehicles don't have OEM software, which is how they generated their fail statistics. I'd imagine the entire purpose of this new law follows the amount of data they've collected for vehicles that will fail.

Flash counter isn't part of that list. It's not uncommon for OEM's to update software in vehicles that would increment the flash counter, meaning two identical vehicles of the same model year can both have OEM software with different flash counter readings. It's not an issue for the OEM to track this info within their own system, but there's nothing yet requiring an entire database from each dealer in the entire state to submit updated flash counter info for each and every vehicle on the road. The state just wants to see the above listed conditions in their OEM state.

Unless the flash counter alters the CVN (which isn't the case for any Ford or GM PCM I've ever dealt with) then flashing back to stock should not be an issue for smog.
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