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#1981996 - 08/10/10 04:27 PM Oil change before smog test
saturnsw2 Offline


Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA
I need an oil change before getting a CA smog test. I failed by 4 points HC on the low speed (15mph) test. It passed everything else with flying colors. So I need to minimize the HC. A simple servicing should nudge it into compliance.

I changed the plugs and air filter. The old plugs looked fine. It was running great before and still is, no difference.

Oil is at about 7k -- mostly long highway trips -- so it's due. Started with Kendall 5w30, but makeup has been MaxLife 10w30. It stopped a small leak, and there's no more blue smoke at startup so it probably helped the valve seals. Uses a little less too. So I'll stick with MaxLife, or another HM if they're all just as good.

What viscosity though? Is it worth seeking out 10w30? Will higher vis, HM, or both help my HC for the smog test? Or will any fresh oil do that just as well?

If I can find a MaxLife change I'll go for it. Otherwise I'll get whatever's cheap and put HM in for makeup oil.

I'm going through 1qt/7-800mi, typical for an old Saturn S (188k). Otherwise the car runs great.

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#1981999 - 08/10/10 04:34 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: saturnsw2]
5sfe91 Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 754
Loc: Corpus Christi,Texas
Kendall makes a HM oil I've seen it a Pep Boys if you want to continue using Kendall.

And welcome
_________________________
1991 Toyota Celica 319,000 miles
Current fill
Peak 5w-30

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#1982000 - 08/10/10 04:34 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: saturnsw2]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 14339
Loc: Niagara Falls, ON, CA (near)
welcome to BITOG!

I would suck some Seafoam through a vacuum line with the engine revving at 2K RPM and fully warmed up.

Changing the oil will not help nudge a high HC at idle.

A long good drive with a PEA fuel based cleaner will if you have time before your next test.

If you have worn plugs have them replaced with the proper AC Delco ones.

Is your thermostat the correct temperature for your vehicle or did you change to a cooler one?

How many miles on the current coolant temperature sensor? If it is original this might be the cause.

Is your MAF clean? or is your MAP sensor worn out?
_________________________
'06 Hyundai Sante Fe - 330K KM's
Current Oil: RLI 0w30 (Ask me why)

Don't be part of the Sheeple, check frequently for wool over your eyes. wink

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#1982002 - 08/10/10 04:35 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: 5sfe91]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23789
Loc: ME
Yes do it and get 'er good and hot as well.

I liked pennzoil Long life 15w40 (but any HDEO will do) in an oil burning saturn, ran better too especially sitting in traffic getting warm then nailing the gas when the light turned green.

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#1982013 - 08/10/10 04:48 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: eljefino]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3592
Loc: north carolina
run the tank low and put a lot of alcohol, denatured perhaps 20% or more. some e-85 fuel if you have a station nearby. after the test fill up .
_________________________
13 elantra 27k penplat5w30
03 chevy avalanche63k m1 0-30
02 saturnsc1 55k pennultra
01 saturnsc1 160k nextgenhm
93 ciera 63k 5w30 nexgenhm
gz250 hdeo15w40

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#1982019 - 08/10/10 04:52 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: spasm3]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 26346
Loc: a prison island
I wouldn't run a smog test on fresh dino.

I'm thinking that there's going to be a short period of time early in an oil's life where it's more volatile than later.

Prolly wrong.
_________________________
2003 Nissan Navara ZD30 TD, 4L Penrite racing 5W30, 3L M1 5W50
1997 Statesman Caprice, L67 (10psi), Castrol Magnatec 5W30.
Briggs Quantum, Penrite 20W60


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#1982021 - 08/10/10 04:52 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: eljefino]
jona20062000 Offline


Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Germantown, TN
Hi,
Your problem made me want to read up, and here is a link I think would be helpful, too (for other noobs like me).

http://www.smogtips.com/failed-high-hydrocarbons-HC.cfm

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#1982023 - 08/10/10 04:53 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: StevieC]
saturnsw2 Offline


Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA

Quote:
I would suck some Seafoam through a vacuum line with the engine revving at 2K RPM and fully warmed up.


I'm concerned about hurting the cat if it's on its last legs.

Quote:
A long good drive with a PEA fuel based cleaner will if you have time before your next test.


No time for this. I do it periodically though -- maybe once a year.

Quote:
If you have worn plugs have them replaced with the proper AC Delco ones.


Done. The old ones didn't seem worn at all when I pulled them out (~30k on them).

Quote:
Is your thermostat the correct temperature for your vehicle or did you change to a cooler one?


No, it's the correct one.

Quote:
How many miles on the current coolant temperature sensor? If it is original this might be the cause.


It's the "good" brass one so it was replaced at some point, but no idea how long ago. Seems the car runs too well for this to be bad.

Quote:
Is your MAF clean? or is your MAP sensor worn out?


I'll check.

Thanks!

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#1982026 - 08/10/10 04:56 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: saturnsw2]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 14339
Loc: Niagara Falls, ON, CA (near)
Is your CEL on? If not then it's a stuck ring problem given the information you have given me. Do they check to see if the breather/PCV's are hooked up or do they just sniff the pipe?

Disconnecting them for the test and venting to the atmosphere (both if you have them, will help the HC's for sure if the rings are stuck as it won't be venting the blow by back into the engine.

Connect after your emission test and then concentrate on unsticking your rings with a seafoam soak etc.
Steve
_________________________
'06 Hyundai Sante Fe - 330K KM's
Current Oil: RLI 0w30 (Ask me why)

Don't be part of the Sheeple, check frequently for wool over your eyes. wink

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#1982028 - 08/10/10 04:57 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: jona20062000]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12901
Loc: Irvine, CA
I would change oil now and add a bottle of fuel system cleaner such as Chevron Techron or Redline SI-1 in one tank before smog check.

Maxlife is available at Kragen, may be at Walmart. I stay with 5W30 or 10W30.
_________________________
'94 LS400
'00 E430
'04 S2000
"Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry" Pop Francis

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#1982038 - 08/10/10 05:14 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: StevieC]
saturnsw2 Offline


Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA
Steve et al,

No CEL. Of course the rings are stuck but that's Saturns for you. Like I said, I don't want to do a Seafoam or whatever because that can definitely take a toll on the cat, which might be marginal. Besides I have nowhere to do this. It makes a smoky mess which would not go over well in my condo or neighborhood. Compression is fine. And I doubt this is affecting my low speed HC.

Just 4 points and I'll pass. So I'm hoping new plugs and filter, clean oil, pumped up tires, and a cool damp morning will do it, along with anything else that's simple.

Denatured alcohol might be a good idea. I was thinking about HEET which is the same thing, but maybe a bottle of that is not enough.

Also, I'm not changing my own oil, so it's hard to be choosy about brand. They charge too much for "premium" oil so I've been getting a basic $20-25 change then topping up with HM.

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#1982042 - 08/10/10 05:16 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: HTSS_TR]
saturnsw2 Offline


Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA
Quote:
I would change oil now and add a bottle of fuel system cleaner such as Chevron Techron or Redline SI-1 in one tank before smog check.


What about doing the test with that stuff in there?

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#1982043 - 08/10/10 05:18 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: StevieC]
saturnsw2 Offline


Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA
Quote:
Do they check to see if the breather/PCV's are hooked up or do they just sniff the pipe?

Disconnecting them for the test and venting to the atmosphere (both if you have them, will help the HC's for sure if the rings are stuck as it won't be venting the blow by back into the engine.


Everything has to be hooked up or the car won't pass "visual" inspection in CA.

I did check this, no cracks/leaks and the PCV valve seems fine (rattles like it should).

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#1982057 - 08/10/10 05:38 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: saturnsw2]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12901
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: saturnsw2
Quote:
I would change oil now and add a bottle of fuel system cleaner such as Chevron Techron or Redline SI-1 in one tank before smog check.


What about doing the test with that stuff in there?

I would not do it.

My '94 LS400 was barely passed smog check some years ago, I used 1 bottle of SI-1 in 1 tank before the next smog check, the result was passing with 90% margin or more.

Since then I added 1 bottle of SI-1 or Techron in a tank before smog check for all my cars.
_________________________
'94 LS400
'00 E430
'04 S2000
"Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry" Pop Francis

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#1982076 - 08/10/10 06:04 PM Re: Oil change before smog test [Re: StevieC]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11260
Loc: apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: StevieC
welcome

Changing the oil will not help nudge a high HC at idle.
I am going to disagree with you here. Changing the oil just before a smog test is a trick us Ca folk have been using for years to get through the Ca emission test.

I hope that the OP will post the before and after results for us to see.


Edited by Chris142 (08/10/10 06:04 PM)
_________________________
02 Jeep Wrangler super-s 10/30
87 F250 Diesel Delo 15w40
04 Tahoe STHM 10w30
Z400 napa 15w50
KLR250 Maxima 10w40
Polaris Trailblazer delo 5w40

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