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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellers,

Many may remember my recent posting (Bushing Woes) regarding current PA state inspection... Long story short my mechanics and I decided to make a bushing for the steering rack which actually does the job quite nicely and holds the entire assembly snugly in position.

So after that drama, I expected to have the remainder of the inspection finished with little incident followed by the phone call saying "come get your car and pay us"... Instead however I got the call... " Ummm... it wont pass emissions..

Now keep in mind that I have owned this car for only a mere three years and have never ever had this problem.... It always ALWAYS passed with ease...

The car runs fine, no check engine warning lights (and I know they work because I did trip it once playing with the AFM) ...

So at this point I am unsure of how to proceed. This isnt an alfa specific shop and the only alfas these folks see are my small four member fleet. My mind thinks perhaps the O2 sensor is bad... or wasnt allowed to heat up properly before the emissions were tested...

What sort of tricks or tweaks can I make... because its really really hot up here in the north east with 95+ heat and 100% humidity... my spiders arent exactly making for comfortable driving... and I am becoming a little tired of my coworkers joking at the "sweat sash" that I wear daily across my shirt from the seat belt.

Thanks guys for the suggestions and letting me rant.

Cheers
Martin.
 

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Now keep in mind that I have owned this car for only a mere three years and have never ever had this problem.... It always ALWAYS passed with ease...

The car runs fine, no check engine warning lights (and I know they work because I did trip it once playing with the AFM) ...
Just as an outside observation, could the fail be something to do with the 'playing with the AFM'? :) Perhaps you could exchange it for a spare? Or give it a 'quick tweak' in the lean direction?

What colour are the spark plugs? Have there been any strange rattles from the catalytic converter? Do you think it has been burning an excessive amount of oil lately (oil level dropped?) What order of magnitude is the 'fail'?

Just a few thoughts. Then again, I may not know what I'm talking about, because our six-monthly Warrant of Fitness emissions test consists of a "visible smoke test", and if there is visible smoke, the engine is revved for seven seconds. If the smoke clears, the vehicle passes. I'm not joking... my 164 would have to be pretty bad to fail that...

Cheers,
-Alex
 

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The results and standards are needed to determine what may be the cause. Check the O2 sensor, check the engine coolant temp sensor, and make sure there are not any vacuum leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies... To answer the questions:

1) Regarding the AFM: A few months back, I decided to tune the unit per Greg Gordon's instruction manual which discussed bosch injection systems. MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE... however I did return the car to factory settings before taking it in for inspection.

2) The car does run a little rich with the AFM tuned, so the plugs did have a black cast to them.. which I did take time to clean off before sending it in.

3) As for the cat, I had the whole exhaust system overhauled 3 months ago in prep for inspection as I found a leak forming... The cat was checked at that time and was deemed to be the only part of the exhaust that DIDNT need to be replaced.

4) Regarding Oil consumption... My car will leak oil... (no surprise its an alfa) but strangely enough It doesnt burn any (YET)... I maybe have to top it off once ever month and a half... and this car is my daily driver with at least 300 miles going on her every 7 days.

5) The Fail comes from the hydrocarbon emissions out the tail pipe... so if there is more Carbon monoxide for instance than there should be .. it will fail.

6) Concerning vacuum leaks.. In prep for state inspection I replaced all the intake lines... including the hard to find plenum... which was supplied by a VERY good friend of mine.

7) Coolant temp sensor is within range. I had a posting a while back regarding an engine "bucking" which Alfistosteve was instrumental in helping me solve... included in the diagnosis was testing of the CTS.

So I am stumped... I need the car back, as my only mode of transportation are my Alfas... (scary huh).. Silly me (earlier this summer) decided to be a good brother and give my Truck/SUV to my sister for unlimited use when her car died.... Now I am sweating it out in the humidity which a few years back I wouldnt have cared... but I dont like walking into work looking like I just ran a 10K race :)

Thanks again guys for the ideas.. its greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Martin.
 

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Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies... To answer the questions:

1) Regarding the AFM: A few months back, I decided to tune the unit per Greg Gordon's instruction manual which discussed bosch injection systems. MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE... however I did return the car to factory settings before taking it in for inspection.

2) The car does run a little rich with the AFM tuned, so the plugs did have a black cast to them.. which I did take time to clean off before sending it in.

3) As for the cat, I had the whole exhaust system overhauled 3 months ago in prep for inspection as I found a leak forming... The cat was checked at that time and was deemed to be the only part of the exhaust that DIDNT need to be replaced.

4) Regarding Oil consumption... My car will leak oil... (no surprise its an alfa) but strangely enough It doesnt burn any (YET)... I maybe have to top it off once ever month and a half... and this car is my daily driver with at least 300 miles going on her every 7 days.

5) The Fail comes from the hydrocarbon emissions out the tail pipe... so if there is more Carbon monoxide for instance than there should be .. it will fail.

6) Concerning vacuum leaks.. In prep for state inspection I replaced all the intake lines... including the hard to find plenum... which was supplied by a VERY good friend of mine.

7) Coolant temp sensor is within range. I had a posting a while back regarding an engine "bucking" which Alfistosteve was instrumental in helping me solve... included in the diagnosis was testing of the CTS.

So I am stumped... I need the car back, as my only mode of transportation are my Alfas... (scary huh).. Silly me (earlier this summer) decided to be a good brother and give my Truck/SUV to my sister for unlimited use when her car died.... Now I am sweating it out in the humidity which a few years back I wouldnt have cared... but I dont like walking into work looking like I just ran a 10K race :)

Thanks again guys for the ideas.. its greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Martin.
I would say O2 Sensor.
But Check timing as well, go over vacuum lines again. Check the exhaust system for any possible leaks.
If you know AMF's they are touchy little things. You need to make sure it is dead on OEM spec. If not just a hair will make a big difference. That may be the big problem. When you had it smogged the last time did you adjust the AFM before or is this recent?

Borrow a AFM if you have to!

Could be a number of things.

I would say AFM or O2 Sensor, possibly some ignition component as well.

Jason
 

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I noticed one thing after the past two of my emissions tests. The time before last it almost failed on HC, only about 2ppm lower then a fail. The next smog test I feared the worst, so I took it for a good old italian tune-up on the freeway. Did two high speed passed between exits, took her to 120 in 4th after running it to 6K in every gear, except fourth. Did this after a nice around town warm up so I know the oil was warm. Took it in, passed easily. Sometimes it helps to let these great cars stretch their legs a bit. Hope that helps you out,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys,

Thanks 1000x over for all your help. I got the call from the mechanic today that its all aces, and the car finally PASSED emissions inspection. So I will be out picking up the car tomorrow.

Thanks again
Cheers
Martin.
 
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