EPA caught VW cheating - how does the car know it's being tested?

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I imagined you visited some dirty smelting town where everybody was a mouth breather caked in filth. The battery plant must have been a pleasant place too.
Gary, IN had the permanent pollution cloud over it from heavy until maybe the early 2000s. The smell was awful.
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The battery plant was in a town called Leeds, Alabama, and I have no idea what happened to it. I was born in Pittsburgh so I have a pretty high tolerance for industrial waste in the air, but lead is scary. The company there had sent recruiters to gatech and as a new grad I was trying to get as many plant tours as possible just to see what the industry was like.
I still do try to get plant tours whenever I can.
Here is some recent but pretty complete data on lead levels in children: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/data/national.htm
And here is a good overview on why any lead is bad: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533151/
I don't have a good online citation on how blood lead levels dropped when leaded gasoline was banned, but "Cities: An Environmental History" has an overview.

But if it was anything like Pittsburgh, the sunsets were beautiful. My aunt is still upset that they closed the mills down and now with no sulfur in the air she keeps getting mildew on her roses. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 9/19/2015 1:35 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

As is and would continue to be done innumerable times everyday by mechanics despite any lack of vehicle safety testing as has historically been required by the states. Personally, I cut back turning wrenches considerably in '76 and by '80 had discontinued the practice entirely (I still tinker) having landed an engineering position with a distributor of major heavy equipment and industrial engines.

Fuel additives and larger injectors can defeat the effectiveness of emission controls, not that they'll necessarily increase power.
Pull off any number (EGR, PCV, Sensor ...) of wires, hoses, or lines; one could also easily have multiple devices either fail or disabled (that don't prevent the engines from running) and significantly decrease the efficiency, and increase the pollution output, of the engine.

I'm only surprised at the length of your run-on sentence.
I worked tune-up and electrical in '74-'76 at a Mopar dealer. Remember the red, sometimes off white, idle mixture limiting, plastic stops that covered the screw heads on Carter's (which also had an issue with warping, requiring a retro-fit brace)? Periodic rough idle complaints on new cars were sometimes addressed by first subjecting such engines to a full Sun Scope (on a rail) diagnostic. Were no issues found, I would remove them, as emissions testing was neither available nor required. Never once had a comeback or complaint.

No they were not. "Cleaner air" evolved from unleaded fuel, catalytic converters, fuel injection, and overall drive train computer management of hundreds of millions, not the hobbyists' thousands, of vehicles on US roads.
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Bigger injectors will just be dialed back by the computer as the O2 sensors report a richer than optimum mixture. Too big and the engine will go into "limp mode" because the engine remains too rich even with the calibration at lean limit. Power will suffer.

from starting, even if it will run after starting. ANd it will run like crap when it runs. NO incentive to do it.

Used to remove the limit caps, adjust to spec (or modified spec) and then replace the caps, as required by law. We did the adjustment using the exhaust gas analyzer that was part of the Sun, Allen, Marquette, or Rotunda diagnostic scope I was using at the time. Quite a few were off spec from the factory. AMC,Chrysler, Mazda and Toyota dealershipsduring that time period, as well as independent repair shops

anything about emmission controls and defeated them in an attempt to "solve" problems. - some real and some immagined.
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On 9/19/2015 7:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You questioned how one could simply defeat emission controls. You were provided with effective examples.

Again, you questioned how one could simply defeat emission controls. You were provided with effective examples.

"Periodic rough idle complaints on new cars ..." I knew I heard that somewhere. After verifying everything else was within spec, and given that emission testing was not mandatory, the scope, a vacuum gauge, and a tach was all that was really necessary for an experienced mechanic to adjust the idle mixture.
AMC,Chrysler, Mazda and Toyota

Laughable ignorance. No, what led to cleaner air was unleaded fuel, catalytic converters, multiport fuel injection and overall drive train computer management (MAF, MAP, IAT ... sensors, among others) of HUNDREDS of millions of cars replacing the archaic Kettering ignition, centrifugal spark advance, coil choke-manifold vacuum-non linear venturi based carbureted engines. Sad that you don't seem to know and understand something that fundamental.
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many instances of people - hobbyists and mechanics alike, screwing with emmission controls in an attempt to defeat them and get better mileage and power, and getting (usually) neither.
Nowhere did I even suggest any of that had any positive effect on emmission reductions. What "laighable ignorance" are you talking about??? Of course it was " unleaded fuel, catalytic converters, multiport fuel injection and overall drive train computer management (MAF, MAP, IAT ... sensors, among others) of HUNDREDS of millions of cars replacing the archaic Kettering ignition, centrifugal spark advance, coil choke-manifold vacuum-non linear venturi based carbureted engines" that made the difference. Where did I ever suggest otherwize??
Or are you saying the emission control inspections were not instrumental in reducing emmissions? They WERE for a short period of time, partly by catching the vehicles that were "screwed with" by hobbyists and "hack mechanics" - but they have become virtually redundant today because the sophisticated engine management systems can pretty well tell you if the vehicle is running within design specs with a cheap OBD2 code reader - or even your cell phone with the proper software and OBD2 code reader adapter.
No idea who or what you are since you hide your identity. I was a carreer proffessional mechanic for years, as well as an automotive technology instructor at both secondary and post-secondary (trade) level.
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On 9/19/2015 10:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

And as I've stated multiple times now, they comprised an insignificant component of the problem.

Any claim that hobbyists, racers, lack of or incompetent maintenance or what have you, constituted a noticeable effect on air quality in general suggests a misreading of the problem.

Evolved and more effective emission controls resulting in lower emissions? Yes. Less emissions due to inspections? Of course not in any significant measure.
They WERE for a short period of

Sad.
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On Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 11:46:21 PM UTC-4, . wrote:

It's especially silly given that people in those groups, that are that determined, can surely undo what they did to get the car through a test every two years. And like you say, they are such a tiny fraction of the cars out there, it's like worrying about a fart in a hurricane.
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On 9/19/2015 8:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That was the big problem in California. A significant number of out-of-compliance vehicles were causing most of the pollution. Even though percentage-wise the number of such vehicles was small, in absolute numbers it was large enough to cause a problem.
The "catalytic converter test pipe" was popular for a while. But as you said, in most cases, all the tampering with emissions controls did not have any effect on mileage and/or power.
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wrote:

And the "test pipe" stopped being an option in 1996 with OBD2 testing pre and post cat O2 - unless you bought an O2 fake-out device that generated a fake O2 signal (actually, 2 signals ----)- which caused other problems (genrally a lot poorer fuel mileage and not much power improvement, if any)
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On Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 11:15:55 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

"Many instances" in a country of 320 mil people and God knows how many cars doesn't impress me. I say it's still an insignificant percentage of the cars out there. All the people I know, not a single one has done it. And if they can do it and are that determined, they can surely undo it once every two years to get the car through the inspection that is being advocated to prevent it.

I'd like to see the proof for that. Changes in car/engine design over decades has greatly reduced emissions. I've never seen anything that shows that inspections made any significant or more importantly, cost effective reduction.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I still fail cars for being rolling junk.

Power tuners and pass through devices that alter the signals from sensors. See them all the time, and frequently fail the vehicle they are on.

Yep, Still happens today. EGR bypass kits, tuner bricks, fake O2 sensor signal generators, and more.

It is in NY as well.
--
Steve W.

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wrote:

to stock before submitting for E-Test is beyond me - - - . Same with "power tuners". They have the capability of storing more than one tune -
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2015 13:46:02 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Safety checks on light cars and trucks are nothing but revenue generators for the state and repair shops. The number of accidents prevented by them is essentially zero. Emissions testing of relatively new cars is also almost pointless but as cars age there are undoubtedly many people who would just let the CEL blink and the car pollute forever as long as it kept running. AZ has allowed cars to skip the test for the first 5 or so years and then tests every other year. Seems like a reasonable approach. Thank god we don't have those stupid safety inspections so beloved of the anal retentive nanny states back east.
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On Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 9:36:38 PM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:

NJ has exactly the same plan. Five years for new cars, two years after that.
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On 9/19/2015 9:36 AM, . wrote:

The VW case is a conspicuous textbook example of how and why emissions testing is a doomed to failure approach similar to solving drug abuse by arresting individual users. As even the admitted guilty party have undeniably exposed, emissions control MUST be properly addressed at the point of manufacture.
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On 9/19/2015 9:40 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

They test here in DE but plug into the computer to do it, not just sniff the tail pipe. Would guess our computer would be fooled too. Testing is also static without running load which I would assume EPA did.
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On 9/19/2015 9:36 AM, . wrote:

The VW case is a conspicuous textbook example of how and why emissions testing is a doomed to failure approach similar to solving drug abuse by arresting individual users. As even the admitted guilty party have undeniably exposed, emissions control MUST be properly addressed at the point of manufacture.
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mike posted for all of us...

Just like all the fines imposed on Co's and people. Found money for the gov't. Like the tobacco Co's the states get all this money and what exactly do they do with it. If education is it having an impact? Should be for the medical costs. Instead that is spread amongst the ratepayers or taxpayers through third party payers. How to fix IDK...
--
Tekkie

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On 9/19/15 08:12, mike wrote:

3rd world countries in africa and asia would rejoice (australians would too I'm sure)
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