November 15, 2000
by indavis <email@example.com>
This one is a !Pfft and a Pfft! combined. Bittersweet victory is mine! As I hinted last week, it was time to get our car smogged, and I knew that it was going to be a problem. I was noticing a little smoke out of the tailpipe. Since it is a DOHC (dual overhead cam) engine, it wouldn't be simple or cheap to have the engine opened up. Being newcomers to California, we really didn't know any mechanics, much less one that we could trust. After making a few friends, we managed to find a mechanic that would treat us right and not try and stick it to us. After sweating the last 24 hours we got our car back, smogged and ready to go. I was shocked. Now that doesn't sound too amazing in itself, so here's the reason I am so pleased. A week ago, since the smog and registration was due, we pulled into a shop and asked for a test. We wanted them to perform the test first so we could see what we were in for. They obviously didn't listen to us, proclaiming "it's a 91, it will pass." Boy were they wrong. Not only did it fail, it was labelled as a gross polluter. Panic about the cost set in, not to mention the fact that since they didn't run the smog test in test mode, the car was now branded. It now required special steps to get it smogged. What a major pain. I knew it was going to be a problem and wanted to do what I could to get it ready, but now that was not possible. They had run the test live and the results were sent to Sacramento. After fretting for a couple of days and looking for a place to get it fixed, we found our new mechanic. He took the car and told us not to worry about it. Right! We are fixing to take it in the pocketbook and were not supposed to worry. To cut this already long story short, a couple of times on the smog machine later, and some parts, and she's good to go. They had to put it on the machine to get the codes to find out what was wrong. It turned out to be the oxygen sensor. It was causing the computer to incorrectly adjust the mixture causing the smoke out of the exhaust (flooding out). After that, another time on the machine to perform the final smog test, and it's done. The bill was about 1/5th of what I was expecting so that gets the !Pfft. Having to worry and being labelled as a gross polluter gets the Pfft! I am really at a lack for something witty to say, I am just relieved to have this over and done with. It was a hassle, I was nervous and expecting to end up with someone telling me "how much you got!?" (vague reference to Vacation) but now it's fixed. I can sleep easy.
Published: November 15, 2000