Today was spent driving a 1994 Mercedes 350 miles to nowhere burning up $50 of gasoline.
It is a couple of ppm shy of the required number of ppm of unburned hydrocarbons to get a PASS on the smog test. My Mechanic tossed a can of Magic Goo into the fuel tank and told me to consume the whole tank, then refill, and then do the test again. We’ll find out tomorrow if that succeeds or not. It is supposed to clean the fuel injectors or some such.
Now the real pisser is that I’ve got in hand a 2012 test for the same 3 L inline 6 engine showing a PASS for the same 59 ppm of HC. Somewhere between 2012 and now the State decided to change the numbers to fail more cars. My Mechanic assures me that these numbers are lower than the values “when new”. Go Figure.
As of now, I’ve got about $1000 of “fixes” on the car. Tune up. New cat converter. Ignition parts. Filters and more. The car has 166,000 miles on it. Low for a Mercedes. I’ve got one with 270,000 that just passed smog easily. Both, BTW, are inline 6 engines… But the wagon is an ’89 and not a ’94 so likely has a different hurdle. Or The State has just not got around to screwing over wagon owners via changing the numbers yet.
All this so that I can then drive the car to Florida and register it there as my Florida Car.
The very good news is that I only paid $400 for the car. (The neighbor had a sister who hadn’t the money to keep it up… and it ended up in his driveway for 2 years…)
I know there is (or maybe now it’s a “was”…) a process to just show how much money you have spent and if it goes over some magic value you get a registration for a year. I’ll go with that one if the “fix” doesn’t fix…
I do think it’s a bit daft to have folks driving hundreds of miles to burn up tons of gasoline to ‘stop smog’, but that’s the process. I’ve talked to a lot of folks who have done it. To reset some computer counters on some cars. To heat up and make more functional cat converters on others. To clean out the fuel injectors in my case. It seems to be one of the standard “Go To” behaviours in making cars just a bit more clean running by running them flat out for a while.
In the mean time, I’m burning up gasoline, money, and time to “save the planet”… ’cause the Government Said I Must.