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#2626202 - 05/14/12 08:42 AM Honda failed CA emissions... any advice?
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Last year I took in my 90 Civic w/1.5 for smog and it barely passed. In the last couple months/5000 miles I've replaced the fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, oxygen sensor, ignition wires, distributor, and PCV valve. The car does consume about half a quart of oil every 500 miles. I've been using Valvoline Maxlife 10w30. Car has about 250K miles. Took it in for smog again and it failed the sniffer. Everything else passed. The smog tech suggested replacing the catalytic converter. Any other tips/advice before I spend $200+ on a new cat? Thanks in advance!

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04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
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00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2626208 - 05/14/12 08:53 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 8353
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Did you take it out for some hard full throttle runs on the highway before you went in? The cat may well be poisoned by now with that oil usage. And the new cat my well get trashed soon and not work in a year. Good luck anyhow.
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#2626210 - 05/14/12 08:55 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
95busa Offline


Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 1045
Loc: Virginia
Maybe check and make sure the air pump is working? Dont know too much about Hondas, but the air pump is pretty important in making sure contaminants are burned up. EGR valve working? Take it in for testing with a fresh oil change and do a sea foam on the top end prior to the oil change?


Edited by 95busa (05/14/12 08:56 AM)
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#2626227 - 05/14/12 09:14 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 9085
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Quote:
90 Civic - MaxLife 10w-30 & Kreen w/Puro Classic

Did you do a smog test with Kreen in the oil?
That may have effected the gas analyzer readings.
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#2626235 - 05/14/12 09:22 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Trav]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Trav
Quote:
90 Civic - MaxLife 10w-30 & Kreen w/Puro Classic

Did you do a smog test with Kreen in the oil?
That may have effected the gas analyzer readings.


Actually I did... didn't even think about the Kreen being in there.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2626271 - 05/14/12 09:51 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
TomYoung Offline


Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 477
Loc: New Jersey
Your CO number would easily come into spec with a new catalytic converter. The HC numbers are very high and I am not sure that the cat is going to fix that. I would do a compression check to get a sense of whether your valves and piston rings are doing their job.

I agree that your cat is probably past it, but it is very likely time for an engine rebuild after a quarter of a million miles and 22 years on the road.

Where this is weird is that I would have expected higher oil consumption. Good luck.

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#2626285 - 05/14/12 10:02 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33204
Loc: New Jersey
Id say poisoned. Why? Because both your oxidation (CO and HC) and reduction(NOx) characteristics are high. Unless there is an oxidation state shuttle in the catalyst in there that is overcome, Id say you have a poisoning issue. Especially because of the parts that you have installed, which I assume yields no CEL?

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#2626290 - 05/14/12 10:06 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1407
Loc: Northern NY
Move to Arizona.
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#2626303 - 05/14/12 10:26 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11043
Loc: apple valley, ca
Since the cat has been eating a qt of oil every 500 miles I'm sure that the cat is bad. If you don't fix the oil burning the new cat will fail soon too.
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#2626414 - 05/14/12 12:24 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12266
Loc: Silicon Valley
If you want to keep this car you probably should rebuild the engine to fix the oil burn (most likely stuck ring and valve stem seal), then replace the cat (Walker has a CARB certified one that cost something in the range of $300-400).

Or you can sell it out of state and buy another one that pass smog locally.
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#2626631 - 05/14/12 03:42 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
EricF Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 1536
Loc: SF Bay Area
I'd definetely look at the vacuum hoses for any leaks, and check the plugs to make sure they look good.
as for the NOx, I'd take the EGR valve off and soak the EGR valve and components/lines with carb spray and break that carbon up.

then I'd do 2 seafoam treatments and then throw a can of it in the gas as well.

Drive a hundred miles and then head back to the smog place.
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#2626704 - 05/14/12 05:16 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Thanks for all the tips everyone. I did a vacuum leak test recently and it came up fine with no leaks detected. This particular motor doesn't have an EGR system, so no worries there. The plugs are only 5000 miles old and look good. I did a seafoam treatment through a vacuum line and tons of white smoke has been dumping out the rear. Haven't had a proper chance to drive the car to clear out the seafoam yet because I am at work.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2626872 - 05/14/12 07:45 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Texan4Life Offline


Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 2083
Loc: Texas
I would change oil to get rid of the kreen, and run it to burn off any leftover seafoam.

for kicks I might replaced the Tstat if it hasn't be done recently.

if it still fails, yeah time for a new cat... its got almost a quart million miles. chances are its empty, like when i finally did the cat on our 1990 deville w/ 260,000 miles. The cat was empty except for a few pellets rolling around. It pass emissions after that.
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#2626918 - 05/14/12 08:19 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
sunfire Offline


Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1571
Loc: Ca, US
_________________________
2005 Toyota Corolla LE | 65,000 | PYB 5W-30

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#2626997 - 05/14/12 09:48 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
I did a seafoam treatment through a vacuum line and tons of white smoke has been dumping out the rear. Haven't had a proper chance to drive the car to clear out the seafoam yet because I am at work.


Big mistake, seafoam is a cat killer, the worst thing you can use. The white cloud is pale oil which further contaminated your sensors and cat.
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02 Camry XLE 2AZ-FE 305k M1 HM 5w30, 9k OCI.
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#2627024 - 05/14/12 10:20 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: LeakySeals]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
I did a seafoam treatment through a vacuum line and tons of white smoke has been dumping out the rear. Haven't had a proper chance to drive the car to clear out the seafoam yet because I am at work.


Big mistake, seafoam is a cat killer, the worst thing you can use. The white cloud is pale oil which further contaminated your sensors and cat.

I'm going to replace the cat so I figured some seafoam before replacing the cat is no big deal.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2627026 - 05/14/12 10:20 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: sunfire]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal


I'd love to replace the valve seals, but I don't have the time or money since I'm going back to school

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#2627044 - 05/14/12 10:58 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
Chevron Techron concentrate is what to use. Its the real deal Techron was developed specifically for better emissions and valve cleaning in a modern engine, unlike the motorboat tonic from 1930 you used. Has PEA, an additive which is modern chemistry. It takes time to clean stubborn carbon buildup. You put it in the tank and drive, no games. I would flood the car with that, they have specials, 2 for 10 bucks at AAP. After a few bottles the change is dramatic. No pale oil smoke shows, because actual carbon is hard to see. Techron got me passed after rejection, others too. Good luck whatever you decide!
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02 Camry XLE 2AZ-FE 305k M1 HM 5w30, 9k OCI.
13 Malibu 9k unknown..

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#2627118 - 05/15/12 02:06 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 839
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
Looks like it's going to be mostly cat that fixes it. CO and HC will definitely be cleaned up. NOx should clean up with a cat too but it may be close. You say it has no EGR, but it shows the EGR functional test as pass, not N/A. Are you sure it has no EGR?
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2012 Honda Civic Si, Dyno Blue Pearl

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#2627206 - 05/15/12 08:35 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Scott_Tucker]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Scott_Tucker
Looks like it's going to be mostly cat that fixes it. CO and HC will definitely be cleaned up. NOx should clean up with a cat too but it may be close. You say it has no EGR, but it shows the EGR functional test as pass, not N/A. Are you sure it has no EGR?

The results are on the left side, which shows N/A for both Visual EGR and Functional EGR. Only the automatic transmission models had EGR
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2627256 - 05/15/12 09:28 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
If you can get the cat off they can be cleaned...
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02 Camry XLE 2AZ-FE 305k M1 HM 5w30, 9k OCI.
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#2627279 - 05/15/12 09:47 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: LeakySeals]
sunfire Offline


Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1571
Loc: Ca, US
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
If you can get the cat off they can be cleaned...


I wonder if a water decarb might help clean the cat enough to pass inspection.
_________________________
2005 Toyota Corolla LE | 65,000 | PYB 5W-30

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#2627292 - 05/15/12 10:00 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 839
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
Originally Posted By: Scott_Tucker
Looks like it's going to be mostly cat that fixes it. CO and HC will definitely be cleaned up. NOx should clean up with a cat too but it may be close. You say it has no EGR, but it shows the EGR functional test as pass, not N/A. Are you sure it has no EGR?

The results are on the left side, which shows N/A for both Visual EGR and Functional EGR. Only the automatic transmission models had EGR


Lol, sorry I was so tired I read it wrong.
_________________________
2012 Honda Civic Si, Dyno Blue Pearl

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#2627312 - 05/15/12 10:39 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 7832
Loc: NorthEast
I am assuming you had the car really hot for the test otherwise you would get bad numbers. If you are waiting in line, keep the engine running.

But the numbers do signify a dead cat. Didn't the car gave you P0420 about five years ago? :-)

- Vikas


Edited by Vikas (05/15/12 10:40 AM)

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#2627329 - 05/15/12 11:13 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: sunfire]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: sunfire
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
If you can get the cat off they can be cleaned...


I wonder if a water decarb might help clean the cat enough to pass inspection.


Laundry detergent and a pressure rinse. Comes right off
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02 Camry XLE 2AZ-FE 305k M1 HM 5w30, 9k OCI.
13 Malibu 9k unknown..

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#2627719 - 05/15/12 08:11 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 4852
Loc: CT
How much money is the car worth?

You want it properly fixed or to just pass and keep it on the road until the next smog check?

Properly I'd look at doing at least the head if not a bottom end rebuild, along with a new cat.

If your hard up:

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#2627835 - 05/15/12 10:53 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
paulo57509 Online   content


Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 1770
Loc: Tracy, CA
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
I did a seafoam treatment through a vacuum line and tons of white smoke has been dumping out the rear. Haven't had a proper chance to drive the car to clear out the seafoam yet because I am at work.


Big mistake, seafoam is a cat killer, the worst thing you can use. The white cloud is pale oil which further contaminated your sensors and cat.

I'm going to replace the cat so I figured some seafoam before replacing the cat is no big deal.


eBay...search: "36635 magnaflow" $218 shipped. Direct fit, CA certified.
_________________________
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1992 Lumina Euro Coupe 3.1L
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2003 GMC Safari

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#2627879 - 05/16/12 01:26 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
garlicbreadman Offline


Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 734
Loc: USA
new cat = 200
new used engine: 200-400 new used engine

if you're capable of doing an engine swap, swap in a new engine.

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#2627882 - 05/16/12 01:33 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: hattaresguy]
Texan4Life Offline


Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 2083
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
How much money is the car worth?

You want it properly fixed or to just pass and keep it on the road until the next smog check?

Properly I'd look at doing at least the head if not a bottom end rebuild, along with a new cat.

If your hard up:





wow never heard of that... did some googling and apparently it works well. I would have tried that if I would have known about it before putting a new cat in our deviile.
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2005 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7L
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#2627966 - 05/16/12 07:32 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33204
Loc: New Jersey
Isporopyl will reduce combustion temperatures, helping the NOx, but likely making the HC worse.

I didnt realize that so many people had a halogen chemistry lab in their garage to "clean" PM-based items.

Actually a reduction in Hydrogen at temperature (very dangerous) might work.

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#2629041 - 05/17/12 10:42 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: JHZR2]
SOHCman Offline


Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 836
Loc: Indiana
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#2629393 - 05/17/12 05:53 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
ChrisW Offline


Registered: 11/04/03
Posts: 923
Loc: Central Valley, CA
My trick was to blend a couple gallons or so of E85 with 87 gas, this worked well for reducing all my numbers at 15 and 25 mph. Don't use too much E85 otherwise you'll have trouble starting the engine. I started noticing starting and running issues when I blended at pretty much a 50% rate. This was all on my now retired 94 civic which had a 1.5L jdm motor in it.
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#2630106 - 05/18/12 01:55 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: SOHCman]
Malo83 Offline


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1015
Loc: Cali
Originally Posted By: SOHCman


Works for me!! wink2

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#2635507 - 05/24/12 11:16 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Thanks for all the tips and opinions! I replaced the cat ($180 installed) and took it back for a pre-test. Nox numbers are now within spec, but HC got worse and CO stayed the same. I'm currently looking into swapping in a used lower mileage engine or trying the denatured alcohol / E85 trick that I've been reading about. I've tried the "Guaranteed to Pass" stuff before in a different vehicle and it didn't work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This car has served me well and I'd like to keep her on the road.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2635790 - 05/25/12 10:35 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 7832
Loc: NorthEast
Bad HC/CO says your car is not in tune i.e. the air/fuel ratio is not right. If all the tune-up parts are new, all the sensors are functioning and there are no leaks, I am out of ideas!

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#2635807 - 05/25/12 10:49 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Bandito440]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 2929
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Move to Arizona.
OR Florida.

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#2641582 - 05/31/12 06:48 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Update:

Per the advice of a smog tech, I replaced the coolant temp sensor and patched a tiny vacuum leak @ the throttle body. Got the cat really really hot and had it tested again. Passes no problem @ 15mph. At 25mph NOX is below average, CO is below average, but HC barely goes over MAX (MAX is 74 and I got a 79). With an almost empty tank of gas, I dumped in two quarts of denatured alcohol and had it tested again. Results were AWFUL!!! The HCs jumped up to 250, NOX to 600 (from 150), and CO went up to .70 (from .10). The smog guy called me stupid for even trying the denatured alcohol trick. He advised me filling up with 87, dumping in a bottle of Amsoil Fuel Performance Improver, driving it to empty, then filling it back up with 87 and getting it tested again.

This is driving me bonkers...
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2641588 - 05/31/12 06:53 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11043
Loc: apple valley, ca
Change the oil and put new NGK plugs in it. Often if you change out dirty oil the HC will drop 20ppm or so. I can't explain why but it does.
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#2641590 - 05/31/12 06:55 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Chris142]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Change the oil and put new NGK plugs in it. Often if you change out dirty oil the HC will drop 20ppm or so. I can't explain why but it does.


Thanks, but I changed the plugs two days ago with the correct NGKs. Oil & filter are only two weeks old.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2641624 - 05/31/12 08:00 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
antiqueshell Offline


Registered: 03/02/12
Posts: 3822
Loc: chicago, Illinois
Techron Concentrated Fuel System cleaner. Do two treatments as directed in instructions.

Also have you changed the air filter, and replaced the distributor cap and rotor, also make sure to clean out any oil residue from the throttle body and air intake snorkel,

ONE MORE THING.... ARE THE EGR port passages plugged?

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#2641650 - 05/31/12 08:22 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: antiqueshell]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
Techron Concentrated Fuel System cleaner. Do two treatments as directed in instructions.

Also have you changed the air filter, and replaced the distributor cap and rotor, also make sure to clean out any oil residue from the throttle body and air intake snorkel,

ONE MORE THING.... ARE THE EGR port passages plugged?

Hey, thanks for the info. I ran some Techron fuel system cleaner about a month ago. The distributor, cap, and rotor were all replaced less than 2000 miles ago. I cleaned out the throttle body and intake hose. Air filter was replaced less than a month ago. This particular motor (D15b1) with manual transmission does not come equipped with an EGR system.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2641965 - 06/01/12 08:57 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
sunfire Offline


Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1571
Loc: Ca, US
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
He advised me filling up with 87, dumping in a bottle of Amsoil Fuel Performance Improver, driving it to empty, then filling it back up with 87 and getting it tested again.


I'm going to place a big order for Amsoil PI if this works. Keep us updated.
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2005 Toyota Corolla LE | 65,000 | PYB 5W-30

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#2642138 - 06/01/12 12:00 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11043
Loc: apple valley, ca
Change the oil and put new NGK plugs in it. Often if you change out dirty oil the HC will drop 20ppm or so. I can't explain why but it does.
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#2642161 - 06/01/12 12:28 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12266
Loc: Silicon Valley
You can probably also try new plug wires if they are old and gap the plug slightly smaller than spec (to reduce misfire).
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"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#2642187 - 06/01/12 12:51 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 1603
Loc: California
Clean up the EGR passages even though it will affect NOx more than HC, you're looking for 4-5 small aluminum plugs on the intake manifold, drill them out carefully to keep shavings out and spray a good amount of carb cleaner/top engine cleaner into them. Also, adjust your valves too.

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#2642259 - 06/01/12 02:01 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 839
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
I think he's established that he doesn't have EGR. I would double check the vacuum and mechanical advance in the distributor because if you are getting too much advance it could cause the high HC and NOX. It looks like you came close to passing, just slightly high HC. Anything that causes combustion temperatures or pressure too be excessive will cause the engine to have high NOx and likely increase HC. It's also possible that cat is just too cheap and isn't working well. Have you changed the O2 sensor?
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2012 Honda Civic Si, Dyno Blue Pearl

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#2642261 - 06/01/12 02:02 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 839
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
Sorry, just saw you replaced the O2 sensor.
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2012 Honda Civic Si, Dyno Blue Pearl

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#2642289 - 06/01/12 02:34 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
2008wrx Offline


Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: CA
the o2 pecentage is very low. Looks like the cat is doing his job. High HC, is it miss fire?


Edited by 2008wrx (06/01/12 02:36 PM)

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#2642305 - 06/01/12 02:51 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 7832
Loc: NorthEast
OP needs to summarize what has been done so far to the vehicle. I vaguely recall him mentioning burning substantial amount of oil. If that recollection is true, it is going to be tough to pass the stricter CA emission test.

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#2642354 - 06/01/12 03:32 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
TC Offline


Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 1638
Loc: California
This may not be the answer you wanted, Teambeechstreet, but a viable Plan B for this 1990 Honda is.....retire it. I'm not sure of the current status of the state program (sometimes funds temporarily run out), but you may be able to retire your older California registered car by selling it to any of a few sanctioned junkyards and receive a check for either $1,000 or $1,500 in return. For some older, low-value cars that are insisting on expensive repairs to pass smog (I'm not suggesting this would necessarily include yours), this is the best option.
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/avrp/avrp.htm

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#2642496 - 06/01/12 06:51 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2111
Loc: California
I failed the sniff test on a Honda (CRX) I had a couple vehicles ago - after I changed oil, new filters, plugs, wires, cap & rotor etc. It didn't seem to run right after the maintenance I had just done and figures it then failed smog test.
My case, the book I had, had a typo on setting the timing. Sure took me a few evenings under the hood, was giving up, then don't know why I checked in another book and found the two books didn't agree. Made a couple phone calls, got one back to confirm the one I used was wrong. Ran better when I did it by the other book. Had something to do with the dist. vac, advance - can't remember if it was to plug the hose on setting or what, and the actual timing spec.
Anyway it ran like it should - but then it still failed the sniffer - grrrr
Later I found a connector got knocked off (disconnected) from under a box that had electrical and vacumm stuff in it.
Passed sniff test after that - dunno what difference the connector made (couldn't tell driving it)but it pass after it was re-connected.

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#2642593 - 06/01/12 08:42 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33204
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
Update:

Per the advice of a smog tech, I replaced the coolant temp sensor and patched a tiny vacuum leak @ the throttle body. Got the cat really really hot and had it tested again. Passes no problem @ 15mph. At 25mph NOX is below average, CO is below average, but HC barely goes over MAX (MAX is 74 and I got a 79). With an almost empty tank of gas, I dumped in two quarts of denatured alcohol and had it tested again. Results were AWFUL!!! The HCs jumped up to 250, NOX to 600 (from 150), and CO went up to .70 (from .10). The smog guy called me stupid for even trying the denatured alcohol trick. He advised me filling up with 87, dumping in a bottle of Amsoil Fuel Performance Improver, driving it to empty, then filling it back up with 87 and getting it tested again.

This is driving me bonkers...



Wish I had replied before you put the isopropyl in. Alcohol reduces the combustion temperature. This is good for NOx, which forms at high temperatures, but bad for complete combustion of hydrocarbons. You want the heat in there to deal with that. The Rh reduction catalyst in the converter should take care of the NOx. Now you need to just lean out (not too lean, else youll raise NOx again) and try again.

A $180 cat is also likely not doing you favors (is it CARB approved)? My 91 BMW was failing NOx only, determined it to be a bad converter. Put in a generic and learned my lesson real quick - the numbers with the new generic were within a few ppm of the failed one on the NOx. It is really just a band-aid to pass, not the correct fix.

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#2642608 - 06/01/12 09:05 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Errtt]
Scott_Tucker Offline


Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 839
Loc: Santa Cruz, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Errtt
I failed the sniff test on a Honda (CRX) I had a couple vehicles ago - after I changed oil, new filters, plugs, wires, cap & rotor etc. It didn't seem to run right after the maintenance I had just done and figures it then failed smog test.
My case, the book I had, had a typo on setting the timing. Sure took me a few evenings under the hood, was giving up, then don't know why I checked in another book and found the two books didn't agree. Made a couple phone calls, got one back to confirm the one I used was wrong. Ran better when I did it by the other book. Had something to do with the dist. vac, advance - can't remember if it was to plug the hose on setting or what, and the actual timing spec.
Anyway it ran like it should - but then it still failed the sniffer - grrrr
Later I found a connector got knocked off (disconnected) from under a box that had electrical and vacumm stuff in it.
Passed sniff test after that - dunno what difference the connector made (couldn't tell driving it)but it pass after it was re-connected.


That's a good point, make sure you are doing the timing procedure correctly.
_________________________
2012 Honda Civic Si, Dyno Blue Pearl

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#2642631 - 06/01/12 09:34 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Vikas]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
I appreciate all of the replies, everyone! Thank you! Please keep them coming! Any help is great!

Originally Posted By: Vikas
OP needs to summarize what has been done so far to the vehicle. I vaguely recall him mentioning burning substantial amount of oil. If that recollection is true, it is going to be tough to pass the stricter CA emission test.


The car does lose some oil. It has a pretty bad leak from the oil pan and does burn some oil, but never blows blue or black smoke. I got this car from a buddy back in January of 2011 and smogged it without even changing the oil. It passed easily on HCs & CO, but was near the max limit on NOX. I drove it around for a thousand miles or so like that.

About 5000 miles ago (8-9 months ago) I replaced the fuel filter, NGK spark plugs, PCV valve, and oxygen sensor.

About 2000 miles ago the ignition distributor kicked the bucket and I replaced it with a new distributor that included cap & rotor. While I had the distributor replaced, I also replaced the ignition wires with brand new OEM NGK wires. The timing was set to 18 degrees (as suggested by alldatapro.com). I also replaced the engine air filter at the same time. I took this opportunity to also check for vacuum leaks by using a smoke machine tool designed for finding leaks... no leaks were found!

I took it in for smog this May and it failed horribly, which is when I posted up this thread. The smog tech suggested a new cat. I drained out the engine oil (which had Kreen in it) and refilled with MaxLife 10w-30. I also dumped in a bottle of Chevron Techron Fuel Injector cleaner. I then ran some Seafoam through a vacuum line. I did about 500 miles worth of driving over a weekend and then had the catalytic converter replaced. That same day I replaced the spark plugs again with the OEM NGKs and replaced the oxygen sensor again with the OEM NTK sensor (just in case it was damaged by the Seafoam treatment).

I took it back in for a pre-smog. Nox was now within spec for the 15mph & 25mph tests, but HCs got worse and CO stayed the same.

I talked to another smog tech and he suggested replacing almost everything that had to do with the cooling system. The radiator was replaced just before I bought the car, so I replaced the thermostat & thermostat gasket, radiator cap (it failed a pressure test), coolant temp sensor (from engine to ECU), and the coolant (with Honda brand coolant).

I also had a vacuum leak test performed again. A small leak was found at the throttle body. Two gaskets were replaced and also used some exhaust sealant to patch it up real nice. Tested for vacuum leaks after and nothing was detected. I pulled the spark plugs again and found two of them were slightly white while the other two were normal looking. Since I had an extra set of plugs sitting around (shoot they are only $1.49/plug) I swapped in ANOTHER set of new plugs all gapped to OEM specs. I also had a mechanic check the timing again (18 degrees) and it was perfect.

Stopped by for another pre-test after driving the car really hard for an hour. Everything easily passed at 15mph. NOX and CO also did well on the 25mph test, but HCs barely failed! I retarded the timing to 16 degrees per the suggestion of the smog tech. HCs actually went up a couple points. I tried the denatured alcohol trick which only made things worse.

Today I dumped in half a bottle of the Amsoil Fuel PI and filled the tank with 87. I am now going to check compression on all the cylinders and have a valve adjustment done.

I have thought about retiring the car for cash, but I recently put a lot of money into this car via a new clutch, new trailing arm bushings, new shocks, new rear lower control arms + bushings, a new brake master cylinder, new rear brakes, and new tires. The car gets 32-33mpg and drives amazingly well. I refuse to give up on this thing an will replace the engine if it comes down to it.

I again thank everyone for their time and help. The BITOG forums have helped me save another car from the crusher a couple years back and I have a feeling I can save this one as well.

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#2642769 - 06/02/12 12:33 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: JHZR2]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: JHZR2


A $180 cat is also likely not doing you favors (is it CARB approved)? My 91 BMW was failing NOx only, determined it to be a bad converter. Put in a generic and learned my lesson real quick - the numbers with the new generic were within a few ppm of the failed one on the NOx. It is really just a band-aid to pass, not the correct fix.

The shop I took it to for the cat replacement has nothing but excellent online reviews. I did ask the tech if the cat was CARB approved and he said "of course" but I honestly have no idea how to prove if it is or not. I got under the car to look at it and it looks brand spanking new on the outside.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2642803 - 06/02/12 02:13 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 8805
Loc: Clovis, CA
Maybe it's time for thicker oil if the oil consumption is 1qt. every 500 miles...

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#2643112 - 06/02/12 01:06 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Merkava_4]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Maybe it's time for thicker oil if the oil consumption is 1qt. every 500 miles...

I do have a jug of Maxlife 10w40 sitting around. Perhaps some 20w50?

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#2643179 - 06/02/12 02:30 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
paulo57509 Online   content


Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 1770
Loc: Tracy, CA
Originally Posted By: teambeechstreet
Originally Posted By: JHZR2


A $180 cat is also likely not doing you favors (is it CARB approved)? My 91 BMW was failing NOx only, determined it to be a bad converter. Put in a generic and learned my lesson real quick - the numbers with the new generic were within a few ppm of the failed one on the NOx. It is really just a band-aid to pass, not the correct fix.

The shop I took it to for the cat replacement has nothing but excellent online reviews. I did ask the tech if the cat was CARB approved and he said "of course" but I honestly have no idea how to prove if it is or not. I got under the car to look at it and it looks brand spanking new on the outside.



CARB certified converters should be stamped/etched with a CARB number (D-xxx-xx). Here's the Magnaflow converter I installed in my Legend back in 2010.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2095575

It's illegal in CA to sell or install uncertified converters. I have heard and have experienced some inspection shops confirming that a new converter has the required ID numbers: I replaced a converter in my old Lumina last year. While in the waiting area, I heard the tech jacking up the car and shortly thereafter, overheard him reciting the exemption number to someone on the phone. I'm assuming he was confirming the converter and CARB numbers were listed with the State air Nazis.

A $180 converter may not do the trick, but a $214 one worked for me. We'll see how well it does come this November when it's due for a re-test.

BTW, the converter was known to be bad. I was driving with an intermittent ignition miss for quite a while. Unburned fuel eventually killed it.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2021089&page=1
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1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z 5.0L
1987 Acura Legend L Coupe 2.7L (5-Speed)
1992 Lumina Euro Coupe 3.1L
1998 Lexus LS400
2003 GMC Safari

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#2649461 - 06/09/12 01:40 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: paulo57509]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
So I checked the CARB number on the cat and it checked out fine with the state number.

I replaced the PCV "flametrap/oil catch can" black box thing along with the hose running to the actual PCV valve.

I did a compression test and the numbers were 160 across the board. Nominal is 180 and minimum is 135, so compression seems OK for a 250K motor.

I noticed an intermittent misfire when in neutral and keeping the revs under 2500 RPMs. If I hold the RPMs @ 2500 for about 15 seconds, a bit of white smoke will begin spitting out of the exhaust. The smoke then comes outs in pulses when at idle, then at the other times no smoke will come out at all. The exhaust smells really, really strong. Not like rotten eggs or coolant, but just really strong exhaust fumes.

I replaced the fuel injectors and injector gaskets. Also replaced the fuel pressure regulator. No difference.

I've also gone through two tanks of gas with Amsoil Fuel Performance Improver.

Gas mileage is still the same at 32-33 mpg. I'm going sorta nuts trying to figure this out...
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2649972 - 06/10/12 04:25 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
paulo57509 Online   content


Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 1770
Loc: Tracy, CA
If you haven't already, you might want to read here to see what options you have.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/smog.htm
_________________________
1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z 5.0L
1987 Acura Legend L Coupe 2.7L (5-Speed)
1992 Lumina Euro Coupe 3.1L
1998 Lexus LS400
2003 GMC Safari

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#2650090 - 06/10/12 09:04 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 7832
Loc: NorthEast
The misfire needs to be diagnosed and fixed. Otherwise, your numbers are never going to be improved. You will need to find an equivalent ScannerDanner type of person in your area! (ref: youtube)

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#2651605 - 06/11/12 08:50 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
ltslimjim Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 5143
Loc: PL&F
Seems like a mental check back over on the basics needs to be in order: Ignition/spark delivery, fuel, air...and of course mechanical however it is running.

A recent oil change? Fuel pressure test? Sounds ignition or electrical related, possibly. You have the OE plugs in, etc, no CEL codes?
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1992 Civic VX 275k+
HG replaced, waiting to sample

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#2652263 - 06/12/12 04:55 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: ltslimjim]
Bladecutter Offline


Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 814
Loc: Arvada, CO
teambeechstreet,

Have you ever replaced the ignition coil?
I read that you replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor, and even the distributor, but I don't think I saw you mention that you replaced the ignition coils.

BC.
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring (Soul Red)
2007 Ducati 848
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#2652448 - 06/12/12 07:11 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: Bladecutter]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
Seems like a mental check back over on the basics needs to be in order: Ignition/spark delivery, fuel, air...and of course mechanical however it is running.

A recent oil change? Fuel pressure test? Sounds ignition or electrical related, possibly. You have the OE plugs in, etc, no CEL codes?


I have not done a fuel pressure test, which is on my to-do list at the moment. All sensors, plugs, etc are OEM. No CEL codes at all.

Originally Posted By: Bladecutter
teambeechstreet,

Have you ever replaced the ignition coil?
I read that you replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor, and even the distributor, but I don't think I saw you mention that you replaced the ignition coils.

BC.


The ignition coil is inside the distributor and was replaced when I installed the new distributor. Thanks though.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2652493 - 06/12/12 07:57 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12266
Loc: Silicon Valley
Go rent a compression test tool and see how's your compression number and compare against the spec of the engine, and the difference between the cylinder. You may have head gasket problem or stuck ring if your numbers are off.

When you replace the plugs, did your old plugs have a green (or whatever the coolant color looks like) tint on it?

You might also want to borrow a tool (not sure what kind) that can read the misfire number on each cylinder and pinpoint where is the misfire from.


Edited by PandaBear (06/12/12 07:58 PM)
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"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#2655000 - 06/15/12 11:06 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: PandaBear]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
Go rent a compression test tool and see how's your compression number and compare against the spec of the engine, and the difference between the cylinder. You may have head gasket problem or stuck ring if your numbers are off.

When you replace the plugs, did your old plugs have a green (or whatever the coolant color looks like) tint on it?

You might also want to borrow a tool (not sure what kind) that can read the misfire number on each cylinder and pinpoint where is the misfire from.


Hi, thanks for the suggestions. I did a compression test several days ago and the numbers were 160 across the board. Nominal is 180 and minimum is 135, so compression seems OK for a 250K motor. There are no signs of coolant loss and I have never seen coolant inside the cylinders or on the spark plugs. I haven't heard of a tool that pinpoints which cylinder the misfire is coming from. I may have to look into this.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2689416 - 07/20/12 01:14 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Finally got it to pass smog and figured out why HCs were through the roof.

The OEM exhaust manifold on this car was cracked when I bought it, so I thought I'd replace it with a cheap aftermarket piece. Something I never noticed was the aftermarket unit had the oxygen sensor bung in only one runner. So the oxygen sensor was only reading exhaust gases from one cylinder instead of all four like the OEM unit. Ghetto fixed the crack on the OEM piece and slapped it back on. Presto! HCs were back to normal! Car passed smog no problem!!! Weird thing is the gas mileage has decreased considerably. I was averaging 32-33 mpg regularly and now it is getting 27-28 mpg. Oh well, no more smog headaches. Just my luck though, the radio and A/C decided to take a dive a couple days later. If it's not one thing, it's another. Thanks for everyone's help!
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2689476 - 07/20/12 07:00 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 3142
Loc: Iowa
I'm curious as to how you arrived at this conclusion? While obviously it was the cause of your trouble, it seems pretty unlikely.
_________________________
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1998 Chevy Malibu 2.4
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 3.1
1979 Ford F-150 351M

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#2689552 - 07/20/12 09:05 AM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: The_Eric]
teambeechstreet Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 322
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
I'm curious as to how you arrived at this conclusion? While obviously it was the cause of your trouble, it seems pretty unlikely.

I stumbled upon a thread on a Honda-specific forum where a guy with the same car/engine swapped the exhaust manifold to the same aftermarket one I was using. He also failed smog for really high HC and someone else told him that it was because of the placement of oxygen sensor on only one runner. The sensor was reading lean and telling the ECU to dump more fuel. The thread starter posted up that he switched back to his OEM manifold and passed smog.
_________________________
04 Civic Si JRSC 2.0 - Valv MaxLife Syn 5w-30 w/Napa Plat
90 Civic DOHC 1.6 - Napa Syn 5w-30 w/Fram Ultra
00 Tundra 4.7 V8 - Chevron 10w-40 w/Fram Ultra

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#2690149 - 07/20/12 07:34 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12266
Loc: Silicon Valley
Is it because this aftermarket header is leaking? or is it because having the O2 on 1 runner makes it response slower and fluctuate more than having it read the exhaust on all 4? One thing for sure is this placement will make the O2 heat up more slowly.

Can you ask for a refund from the manufacturer or retailer?
_________________________
"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#2690176 - 07/20/12 08:02 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
You may have a fuel distribution problem where the individual cylinders are not seeing the same air fuel ratio. An extremely filthy intake, or more likely a leaky intake gasket could cause this as could an excessively worn cam. With the OE exhaust manifold the O2S is getting a better representation of average mix. If this is so you have one or more cylinders running rich and one or more running lean. This should give you poorer fuel efficiency and power, but thanks to the catalytic converter, emissions are good enough to pass the test.

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#2690290 - 07/20/12 10:05 PM Re: Honda failed CA emissions... any advice? [Re: teambeechstreet]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3633
Loc: ks, wichita
spike the fuel with lots of methanol. it will run bad but might pass. i have not done it just heard about it.

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