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Old 07-27-2021, 01:15 PM   #1
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Smog Checks in California.

I'm getting ready to have my 1990 MH with a carbed 454 Chevy run through a CA smog check. The engine has 26,000 mi on it and runs really sweet. How often do the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor need to be replaced when doing a tune-up? Any other ideas that'll help me pass the emmisions checking?
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:58 PM   #2
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Get it HOT with some freeway driving. They do better with a well warmed up engine.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RVforTwo View Post
I'm getting ready to have my 1990 MH with a carbed 454 Chevy run through a CA smog check. The engine has 26,000 mi on it and runs really sweet. How often do the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor need to be replaced when doing a tune-up? Any other ideas that'll help me pass the emmisions checking?
When in doubt, change it out. Cost of new plugs, wires, cap and rotor is minimal.


x2 on heating it up with freeway driving. However, be sure the testing station will check your vehicle within a reasonable time when you arrive. Leaving it at a station/dealer usually means it will sit, maybe of hours, until they test, wasting the heat up procedure.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:22 PM   #4
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Make sure it is good and warmed up. The only issue we ever had was with the Gas Cap Seal being warn out.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:42 PM   #5
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I'm getting ready to have my 1990 MH with a carbed 454 Chevy run through a CA smog check. The engine has 26,000 mi on it and runs really sweet. How often do the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor need to be replaced when doing a tune-up? Any other ideas that'll help me pass the emmisions checking?
Get it good and middle-of-the-temp-gauge hot. I have an oversize radiator and had to block off part of the radiator with a piece of corrugated cardboard to force it to get into the center of the temp gauge. Make an appointment with the smog station and don't let it be shut off... I had my wife go in and check in, and stayed with the beast until I pulled it into the actual testing stall. I then pulled the cardboard off.

I failed by small percentage the first time. The tech told me to go over to the auto parts store (O'Reillys or Autozone) and buy a jug of a product called "Guaranteed To Pass" made by CRC corporation. You add it based on how much gas is in the tank... fortunately I only had a partial tank and dumping the entire jug in was just right. Over the next week I ran it down to almost empty and the following saturday I passed by a similar small percentage.

I'm NOT saying that you should use that product.
I AM suggesting to use a place that does a free retest.

https: // www.amazon.com/CRC-05063-Guaranteed-Emissions-Formula/dp/B000CIPUR8

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Old 07-27-2021, 03:09 PM   #6
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You can run down to any good repair shop.. ask them to put a sniffer in exhaust and check.. then you will know.. but really the only reason we have emmision checks and all that junk on rv is because people just don't take care of vehicles.. it's your duty to keep vehicles in top tune. It will last and pollute less.. my opinion change anything you don't have records for.. plug and wires burn out often.. so something that should be checked yearly.. and make sure you have a clean, new air filter on it.. I like to run some premium gas through to help clean carb and I found premium will help you pass.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me.. let us know what all they check.. I would like to know.. do they look under hatch ? How do they look for cats? Mirrors ? Do the techs.. look well paid..? ie.. newer CARS in employees parking area? In ohio they were paid min. Wage.. and they knew very little about vehicles.. they just follow a computer program.. they were not even employees of state.. the state out sourced whole program to other private firm.. that firm out sourced employees again.. so no one really cared..just get people in and out.. Ohio found that 98% of all vehicles tested pass.. if they bring back.. I hope they make test free if you pass.. and only charge if you don't pass.. California voters need to pass a law.. that emission test is free if you pass and only charge those who don't pass.. period.. all my vehicles had cats removed , no egr, and well tuned.. heavy duty cooling.. they all passed.. well with in limits..
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Old 07-27-2021, 04:56 PM   #7
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You can run down to any good repair shop.. ask them to put a sniffer in exhaust and check.. then you will know.. but really the only reason we have emmision checks and all that junk on rv is because people just don't take care of vehicles.. it's your duty to keep vehicles in top tune. It will last and pollute less.. my opinion change anything you don't have records for.. plug and wires burn out often.. so something that should be checked yearly.. and make sure you have a clean, new air filter on it.. I like to run some premium gas through to help clean carb and I found premium will help you pass.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me.. let us know what all they check.. I would like to know.. do they look under hatch ? How do they look for cats? Mirrors ? Do the techs.. look well paid..? ie.. newer CARS in employees parking area? In ohio they were paid min. Wage.. and they knew very little about vehicles.. they just follow a computer program.. they were not even employees of state.. the state out sourced whole program to other private firm.. that firm out sourced employees again.. so no one really cared..just get people in and out.. Ohio found that 98% of all vehicles tested pass.. if they bring back.. I hope they make test free if you pass.. and only charge if you don't pass.. California voters need to pass a law.. that emission test is free if you pass and only charge those who don't pass.. period.. all my vehicles had cats removed , no egr, and well tuned.. heavy duty cooling.. they all passed.. well with in limits..

Testing prices go up by about 40% every year and Ca. requires testing of rv's every 2 years. Ripoff. In addition, places are are to find. Some do not do rv's of any kind. They're not the same places that do cars. Over the years I've probably spent $900.00 on smog checks...ordinarily if you spend that much you'd like to see something out of it. I don't mind paying for gas...at least it gets me somewhere nice to stay.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:15 PM   #8
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I will be happy to pay... if i fail test.. yes i want my stuff to be running right.. I cannot stand to have an oil burner... if I see smoke coming out exhaust.. I fix.. even if I have to pull eng.. I hate rough running eng... and all oil gets recycled.. so just charge me if it does not pass.. and for retest... ohio .. at first start of testing emission... found out 33% vehicles was less than 1 yrs old and 66% less than 5yrs all still in emission warranty.. Ohio finally wised up and started not testing or every 3yrs testing on new vehicles.. but funny thing is.. I see vehicles smoking so bad.. there was no way it could have past.. I mean you can see it.. gas vehicles not diesel.. gas school busses.. smoking so bad you can see and taste it... they say that 1 bad car can smoke bad enough that the clean air monitor can pick it up... so make them pay.. cars so old and smashed in every where you wonder did they miss hitting every thing.. and blue smoke looks like 2 stroke .. and ohio does not do motorcycle.. i am not for it.. but some smoke so bad.. 4 strokes.. you would think 2 stroke but no..
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:51 PM   #9
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Change your MH addess to a random one in a change of ownership county. Then no smog check. Or put it in another state. Or pay $200 for an illegal smog. This is all if it wont pass..
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:54 AM   #10
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Register the vehicle in Florida. There are no inspections there. Also there is no smog.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
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Someone on another page mentioned adding alcohol to the gas as a means to help lower emissions like they do at the pump. Will adding alcohol by 10% of my gas screw up my carb/fuel pump/fuel lines in a 1989 engine?
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:37 AM   #12
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Do you have a specific problem/issue you are trying to overcome...??

FWIW... it's not usually the fastest, cheapest, or most convenient solution... but most vehicles, if the engine and its systems are in good repair and have had proper maintenance, will pass a smog test..

If you plan to keep the RV, it is usually cheaper in the long run to have it brought up to spec if it's lacking. Then you will pass future smog tests as long as you keep up on maintenance.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:12 AM   #13
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Change your MH addess to a random one in a change of ownership county. Then no smog check. Or put it in another state. Or pay $200 for an illegal smog. This is all if it won’t pass..



I hesitate to do the change of address- I think it might have other consequences. Cheating smog in the old days was common but you can't now. The smog check reports back to Sacramento instantly and the testing parameters can't be changed. Thanks for the thoughts though...and ours always passes- in fact well inside the limits.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:50 PM   #14
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Someone on another page mentioned adding alcohol to the gas as a means to help lower emissions like they do at the pump. Will adding alcohol by 10% of my gas screw up my carb/fuel pump/fuel lines in a 1989 engine?
You are already running 10% ethanol (E10). I wouldn't add anymore.
Maybe buy a new gas cap at Autozone but don't put it on. If your old one passes, you can return the new one.
That CRC stuff can help.
Getting it hot is a good idea. New air filter, etc.
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