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My recent California Smog Test Experience. 7-3-2017

When I purchased my 2002 F250SD 7.3 fuel was cheaper for diesels and there were no smog standards.
I had Banks install a "Economind" system on my truck in 2004.
Thankfully Banks had EO numbers and installed stickers.
I've never had an issue getting my truck to pass SMOG until this year.

A weeks ago I took my truck to the same place I always have taken it and to my surprise the same technician that has always worked on my truck said that he couldn't do it.
I was puzzled and asked him why.
He said that it just looked like it was smoking more than normal and he told me to try somewhere else.
I was dumb-founded and couldn't figure out what his problem was, so I headed to the next SMOG shop down the street.

I parked and went inside to find a friendly technician at the counter.
I asked him if they could squeeze me in for SMOG.
I was delighted when her replied "sure, no problem, fill this paperwork out".
So I filled out the paperwork and that's when he asked where my vehicle was.
When I showed him my F250SD he said, "Oh!, we really aren't supposed to do those, and he continued to ask me if I had tried other places?
I told him about the place up the street and how my "go-to place" refused me.
He admitted to me that everyone is in fear of getting shut down if they pass my vehicle.
He just said "It's too risky to test them diesels".

I could not believe it!
I've spent over $50,000 on my truck, planned on keeping it my whole life, always maintained it and followed the law and now it was becoming a problem to get it registered?

Feeling defeated, I went home and the next day I called Banks and asked them what I should do.
Banks said that my truck is legal and all they could do is give me the Executive Order Numbers for my truck.

The following day I tried going to another SMOG place outside of my 10 mile circle and a similar thing happened...
The technician said "Look man, I have a wife and kids..."
I insisted he test it.
He said okay he will try.
He put it in the garage and ran it for about 10-15 minutes and then about another 10 minutes later he came in and said that it passed visual inspection but he could not test it because the OBD2 port was not ready.

He told me to drive it around for about 150 miles, explaining that that would reset the system or something like that!
He charged me $59.00 and I left.

The following day, I decided I would try another place.
I went to the gas station after driving about 100 miles up and down the freeway and paid for a YELP online coupon deal which meant I would get $20.00 off of the $80.00 SMOG test at the Shell gas station.
After I paid online and showed him the paid coupon, he took my truck and hooked up to the computer.
About 10 minutes later he asked me why did I just come from another SMOG place as shown in the computer and that he can't do the test because the OBD2 test port is still not ready.
I told him that I drove the truck about 100 miles and I can't understand what I needed to do.
He said to drive it another 100 miles and there's still no guarantee it will clear.
He only charged me $29.00 for this information.

So here I am writing in to the forum for advice on what to do?
I don't feel that getting my truck registered should require such a large amount of my valuable time and energy when there is clearly nothing wrong with my truck and never has been.
I intend on keeping my truck for life and don't want to have to spend a whole day going to a "referee" located an hour away.

What can I do?

5,319 Posts
Have you had the batteries disconnected recently?
Are the batteries good?
Does it crank easily and with very few engine revolutions before it runs?

Often the PCM will go low voltage if batteries are a little weak as the glow plug warming and then the high battery draw of cranking engine can make the voltage at PCM go below 10.5 and the keep alive memory will blank out. If this happens then the OBD-II readiness will have to see two warn up cycles with two drive cycles at varying loads and some idle time.

If the Banks programming is taking away the OBD-II counters then it may never show readiness indicators. I don't think the EO certificates are for no readiness, I think they are just statements that non-OE stuff meets CARB requirements and the vehicle shouldn't fail a visual for having aftermarket pieces that could be thought to be emissions impacting.

You may be wise to buy a Harbor Freight code reader that has OBD-II readiness indicator capability and then you can tell when it is ready.
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