Here’s how California Smog Check Simpletons totaled my car and left me stranded! Read below to find out the following:
Š Why 99% of smog test stations fail to satisfy minimum requirements.
Š How smog test machines (“dynamometers”) damage or destroy your engine and drive train.
Š How smog test machines create invisible damage to your tires -- and why tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires after a smog test.
Š How dyno manufacturers blame the car or the owner when damage occurs.
Š Why the fan shown below is the bare minimum required for safe smog checks.
Figure 1. Bare Minimum Fan
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The registration for my Honda Accord is due December 14th. This year the registration fee is just $49. So, I take my car to my regular mechanic who has been servicing this car for 20 years. I tell him I want a tune up, oil change, and smog check. That’s how we always do it. My car has never failed a smog check and after about 350,000 hassle-free miles, my car still gets 35-40 miles per gallon as when the car was new.
My mechanic tells me he cannot perform the usual smog check. Why? Because the government says I must take it to a “Smog Test Only” station. He tells me if the car doesn’t pass, I can bring the car back so he can make the necessary adjustments and THEN HE can do the smog test.
I then take my car to a “Smog Test Only” station.
These government-mandated stations can only CHECK -- they CANNOT make ADJUSTMENTS or even recommend mechanics for repairs.
When I get there, a knuckle-dragging moron with a DMV attitude fills out a worksheet and tells me I must wait for 15 minutes while he does the check. For this, “service” I get to pay $89.
Soon, he pulls my car up on the smog test machine (the “rack”) and starts the test.
Meanwhile, other “customers” arrive. So, he leaves my car running on the rack while he explains the “program” and fills out government paperwork. People ask questions and complain about the need for this expensive government intrusion. He then has to explain how the government has some program to assist with financing.
(BTW: I declined the government assistance, explaining that I NEVER request or accept money or favors from the government - or any other crime syndicate.)
In all, he leaves my car running on the rack for about 45 minutes.
For those unfamiliar… “the rack” is officially called a dynamometer. In the “old days,” a smog checker would simply monitor exhaust from the tail pipe at various engine speeds as the car sat still.
But that wasn’t good enough for the Enviro-Nazis. They wanted a “dynamic” dynamometer to test for smog under simulated driving conditions. So the great genius politicians wrote laws to force garage shops to buy expensive dynamometers in order to do “government approved” smog checks at great expense to business owners AND car owners. Under these government mandates, do you think the tune up shops buy the best equipment? No!
In any case, the dynamometer forces the car’s engine to work HARD by forcing the car’s drive wheels to spin rollers -- all under control of government-trained stooges and government computers.
Anyway, after this 45-minute atrocity, the knuckle-dragging moron with a DMV attitude says my car didn’t pass the test. Why? The timing’s off. My regular mechanic would have discovered this within minutes of a regular tune-up! I must now take my car back to my own mechanic for the tune up and oil change as I had originally planned.
By now, my regular tune-up guy has other work to do and my previous 10 AM appointment is null and void. I can’t blame him, after all, he work hard to pay for his government-mandated smog test equipment. In spite of government intrusion, he has managed to add a couple of employees. So, he turns my car over to a 20-something kid.
Since I am 30 miles from my hotel, I must now spend the day hanging out in coffee shops and restaurants waiting for the tune up, oil change -- and another smog test (another $89).
During the day, I return to the tune-up shop to see if they’re done. I was appalled to see and hear some guy with a sloping forehead and lead foot racing my engine at or near redline!
In all the years I’ve been driving that car, I keep the engine at about 2500 RPM. That gets me the best mileage and doesn’t strain the engine. And that’s probably why I’ve gotten almost 350,000 miles of hassle-free driving at 35-40 miles per gallon. I would NEVER race an engine like that!
Anyway, all this “service” cost me a total of $493 to get a “smog certificate” for a perfectly good car.
But wait! That’s just the beginning!
As I drive away after getting fleeced, I hear a new sort-of roar coming from the engine. I drive back to the hotel. During the next few days, I drive a few miles in the neighborhood running errands.
Less than 50 miles after the smog check, my clutch and transmission fly apart (I didn’t know that at the time) – all I heard was a lot of loud banging and crunching – but I could no longer get the car in gear.
I had to get the car towed to Aamco Transmission. John at Aamco told me within 2 minutes of my call to Aamco, “We get calls every day about damage to drive-trains caused by smog test equipment.” Aamco’s current estimate to REPLACE the entire clutch and transmission is currently $1800. [UPDATE - total cost was over $2500!]
I have been driving for over 40 years and millions of miles, and I have NEVER DAMAGED an engine, clutch, or transmission.
“But, Mike that’s a high mileage car…”
Save your breath. That clutch was replaced just 28,000 miles ago by a professional transmission shop. 28,000 miles on a brand new clutch is nothing. And, Aamco’s estimate does NOT include PROBABLE DAMAGE TO THE ENGINE AND TIRES!
I’ll tell you more about this in a minute.
Here’s what I discovered while researching dynamometers.
From a Manufacturer: Unlike independent roller sets with inertial or electronic load synchronization, [our] mechanical synchronization ... does not apply unnatural load splits to the front and rear axle assemblies – which can damage or destroy expensive drive train components.
Here’s a question from an article called, “The Straight Scoop on Dynamometers:”
Does this mean that vehicles will never break while being driven on a dyno? Unfortunately, no. The vehicles presented for testing are the biggest uncontrolled variable in the test process. They can (and will) break, but the damage is usually related to a pre-existing condition or to the past usage history of the vehicle, and not because it was being driven on a dynamometer.
Then, they explain that equipment must be USED PROPERLY and that any damage is the car’s fault.
The test equipment and procedures do not damage vehicles WHEN USED PROPERLY.
(Do YOU trust young incompetent mechanics to know what they’re doing?)
From an article called, “Does Dynamometer testing damage engines?”
The things that DAMAGE ENGINES are:
Š Over - revving
Š Too much heat
Š Shock loading
Š Incorrect fuel or ignition settings
So if the dyno DOES cause any damage, it would have happened at the same RPM on the road! Provided that the OPERATOR KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, and that dyno COOLING FANS are large enough. [Again, if something breaks, it’s the car’s fault.] I will address cooling fans in a moment.
From an article “Does Dynamometer test damage tires?”
Tire [Manufacturers] “official” answer is that this was not the tires design purpose and that heat or tire deformation could damage the structure internally and this damage would be invisible. SO THEY RECOMMENDED REPLACING TIRES AFTER TESTING!
What are the WORST conditions for tires on the dynamometer?
Š A “twin roller” style dynamometer where the tire sits between a pair of small diameter rollers that deform tires and causes heat build up. (Both shops used a twin roller.)
Š High speed running
Š Low tire pressures. A few extra pounds are better! (Did they check my tire pressure? Of course not!)
Š A greasy or polished smooth running surface causes slippage and heat build up. (Both “mechanics” drove on a greasy driveway to the “dyno”)
Any of the above or a combination of the above are most likely to damage tires.
What are the BEST conditions for tires on a dynamometer?
1. New condition high speed rated tires
2. Tires with a few pounds greater pressure than “NORMAL” running pressures
3. No sustained high speed running
4. Grease free drums and clean tires!
5. A modern dynamometer with knurled large diameter (16 inches or more) single roller or drum (UNLIKE the racks these people used)
OK, listen to this about the importance of proper airflow and cooling during Testing
Figure 2. Bare Minimum Fan
A fan like the one in the picture is the bare minimum. Bigger is much better. If you can stand in front of it, and you don’t need earplugs, then it’s absolutely not enough.
About 99 percent of dynamometers do NOT have enough airflow ... They mostly use a pathetic little fan two-feet in diameter! ...
Dyno testing requires controlled conditions.
A car that gets “warmer” during testing suffers heat soak to the transmission, bodywork, engine block, oil, etc.
To keep this in check, you really NEED a wind tunnel with a dynamometer in it. When you are driving ... normal airflow cools ALL of the vehicle. Obviously this is impractical, but a fan like the one in the photo, or preferably two will give the best results.
If your smog station’s dyno does not have a fan at least as good as that photo then go somewhere else!
[OK -- end of article quotes]
In my case, neither facility had adequate fans. One had no fan at all!
In summary, INSTEAD of paying for a simple tune-up plus $49 for the registration, under color of law I WAS FORCED UNDER THREAT, DURESS, AND COERCION to allow government-trained simpletons do thousands of dollars damage to my perfectly good car, leaving me stranded without transportation for weeks now.
The probable damage to my engine and tires would likely cost another $2500 to repair!
In other words, these incompetent bastards TOTALED my car.
But Mike, isn’t “Fascism” a little strong?
Absolutely not! Fascism, socialism, and communism (all about the same) demand GOVERNMENT CONTROL of production and distribution.
Fascists know that government doesn’t need to OWN industry to control it. They CONTROL industry through regulation and taxation. Fascists achieve CONTROL while avoiding work and responsibility.
Fascism, an ugly blend of state and private partnership, is on the rise today because no one recognizes it. Can you say “public-private partnerships?” That’s fascism.
Look how we surrender our unalienable rights for “group rights.” That’s a fascist concept.
Legal ownership is secondary.
Your “pink slip” is NOT the title. Your pink slip is only evidence that the title exists. Guess who owns the title? You guessed it -- the State.
Private citizens may continue to hold “titles” to property -- as long as the Almighty State reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of “their” property. CONTROL is the name of the game.
Think you own your house? Then show me your allodial title!
Gradually, the American fascist movement is destroying entire industries -- along with the lives of American families they claim to love. Every time the courts grant the fascist left a victory, a piece of America’s economic pie is sacrificed.
It is time for We-the-People, including lawmakers, judges, and juries to WAKE UP!
 allodial: Free; not holden of any lord or superior; owned without obligation of vassalage or fealty; the opposite of feudal. (Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition.)