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   >> Horn Depot

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loveboat247
< 25 posts
07/21/06 07:14 PM
resetting car computer to pass emissions

OK so the old trick is to take off the negative cable from the battery for 30 secs and it will reset any error codes your car's computer has stored.

So I tried this trick. My "check engine" light has been on for awhile and I'm sure its because of the EGR exhaust valve is clogged or somewthing, which affects your nitrogen emissions.

Anyways, I unplug the battery, and sure enough the "check engine" light goes away. So I drive to the emissions place, they attach their cable to my computer.

Here's the bad part. They said that my computer is putting out too many codes to test. Basically I guess when you resent the computer, it starts flashing all the codes simultaneously. They said I have to drive hte car for 2 weeks and then come back when the codes have reset.

Is there any other way to reset the computer and clear all the codes without running into this problem?

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UTinBigD
1000+ posts
07/22/06 02:24 AM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

I have personally never ran into this problem and am not trying to save the trees, but how much trouble (or money) is it to get the actual problem fixed?





you don't win friends with salad

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suttree
5000+ posts
07/22/06 11:35 AM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

We have emission testing for a good reason, and the reason isn't to try and fraudulently defeat it. Fix it.

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Sangre NaranjadaSponsor
5000+ posts
07/22/06 04:37 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

It's probably a couple hundred dollars to fix. So do it. You decided to buy the friggin machine, so it is your responsibility and even your obligation to keep it in good running order.

I hate driving behind people whose cars might as well be mosquito fogging trucks.

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John Galt
100+ posts
07/23/06 02:14 AM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

But it is stupid that cars registered in only certain counties have to pass an emission test. Cars in the majority of counties in the state and cars older than 25 years don't have to either. How much sense does that make??

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Longhorn AlSponsor
2005 Omaha Sweepstakes Champion
07/23/06 06:35 AM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

Have a friend/family member working there.




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score4OU
500+ posts
07/23/06 02:28 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

If they have an Auto Zone store where you live, they will hook up to your computer and tell you why the check engine light is coming on for free. My check engine light came on and I just needed a new feul cap.

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accuratehorn
1000+ posts
07/24/06 10:48 AM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

I'll read the code for free, but that doesn't always give the complete answer as to what needs to be repaired.
The reason you did not pass after attempting to cheat on the emissions test was that the test doesn't just check to see if you have codes stored in the computer, it also checks to see if your "readiness monitors" are set. There are a number of systems the computer monitors, and some of them take a few "driving cycles" to register in the computer whether there is a problem or not. So if you disconnect the memory of the computer around the corner from the emissions testing station, your computer will have several readiness monitors showing an error when they hook up the machine.
At the emissions testing station, they read the bar code on your car, and that stores you in a central computer. You can't go to Lockhart and get your car inspected if it is registered in Travis County, or Harris County, not legally, anyways.
And while there may be some dishonest testers, since the machine is hooked up to a statewide central computer, there are people looking for cheaters who will fine or put places out of the emissions testing business for this, so it should be difficult to find someone willing to fraudulently pass cars.
The reason only certain counties test, is they are either "non-attainment areas," which include Houston-Galveston, Dallas, El Paso, Longview, and a couple of others, or counties about to become non-attainment. This is a federal EPA designation, achieved after a certain number of days per year of failing air quality. If your county reaches this poor standard, federal regulations kick in about vapor recovery at gas stations, the need for vehicle emissions testing, and the requirement for a mandatory plan to reduce the emissions to an acceptable level by certain years in the future.
Austin is right on the verge of non-attainment, so they voluntarily enacted the current plan, which staves off federal intervention for a few years.
When your car's check engine light is on, the computer is not monitoring all the sensors and adjusting the fuel precisely, like it is capable of. It goes into a backup mode, giving the average amount of fuel the car requires. This wastes gas, and tends to crud up the oxygen sensors and can eventually ruin the catylitic convertor(s), which are very expensive.
You should not drive around very long with the check engine light on, although the car usually will run well like that. You should get it fixed. Some things are pretty minor in expense, but others may not be.
Sometimes the code tells you almost exactly what the problem is, but other times it may be more generic. The code for primary oxygen sensor, left bank, heater circuit, will almost always mean you need that oxygen sensor replaced.
The code for EGR valve may be the valve, the passages in the head clogged with carbon, the switching valves that send electricity to the valve or the vacuum valves that send it vacuum may be bad. So there is more testing needed on that code. There can be a code for "engine miss, random." That can be practically anything-tune-up, fuel injectors, bad gas, carboned up engine, valves out of adjustment-difficult to find the problem.
Any code can also mean the wiring could be faulty, or the computer itself could have a problem.

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BA93
5000+ posts
07/24/06 12:37 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: accuratehorn]

I used to work with this guy who drove a beat-up POS that belched out tons of smoke. He would always complain about the liberals that force the emission tests, but he knew a mechanic that would pass his car for an extra $20.

I had finally had to tell him that one of the reasons for those tests are because of people like him that refuse to drive a car that is at least in normal working condition. I think I became a pinko liberal in his eyes after that conversation.

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ryskey
2500+ posts
07/24/06 01:03 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

In reply to:

At the emissions testing station, they read the bar code on your car, and that stores you in a central computer. You can't go to Lockhart and get your car inspected if it is registered in Travis County, or Harris County, not legally, anyways.




Not sure if it's changed since I was an inspector, but we made people from emissions testing counties (when Travis was not) sign an affidavit. That way, all the liability is on them. I think the terms of the affidavit state that you can't drive more than 30 (or 60?) days per year in an emissions county without an emissions county inspection.

Definitely get it fixed, but if you want to "buy" yourself 30 days, you can go to a non-emissions county and get a sticker. That is if the terms of the affidavit are still the same.

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MilkmanDanSponsor
5000+ posts
07/24/06 02:09 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

accurate, thanks for the post. I didn't know the bit about the risk to the catalytic converters; my car has been running fine despite needing an EGR port cleaning but I guess I'll quit putting it off.

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iiiisofTX
500+ posts
07/24/06 02:12 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

I live in Beaumont but was in Dallas (Lewisville actually) with in-laws and I noticed the inspection sticker had expired about 2 weeks before. We were in the wife's car so I didn't notice it until that weekend. Went down to the corner shop and asked for an inspection, thinking nothing of it and I would be done in a few minutes. After about 45 minutes the guy comes in and said everything was ok with my car. Of course I'm expecting the $12.50 but this guy says something like $60 or $70!! I was stunned and asked what the heck for, my car was fine. He told me about the emissions test and I told him I didn't ask for that. He then proceeds to tell me that it was mandatory for that area and that our area wasn't. I fought it as long as I could but finally paid the full amount. When I was signing the credit card slip I said "It would have probably been cheaper to get a ticket for it." The guy laughed and said it probably would.




Vince Young can't pass.....Mack Brown can't win the big game...and you don't win at the Shoe at night.....No. 2 Texas 25, No. 4 Ohio State 22

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PipFunatUT
500+ posts
07/24/06 02:13 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

Wait wait wait... my car is registered in Harris County, but since im in Austin for school I had it inspected up here.... this is illegal??

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ryskey
2500+ posts
07/24/06 05:40 PM
Re: resetting car computer to pass emissions [re: loveboat247]

No. Harris=emissions county
Travis=emissions county

Unless those counties have different standards (I can't see why that would be the case), you're fine.

The problem arises when you get your car inspected in a smaller community but live and/or work in an emissions county.

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