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Old 01-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

My RV seems to puff a bit of oil when it's started from cold. It's an '02 Chevy 350 CID V8.
I'm sure it's probably normal, but has anyone with the same engine noticed similar issues
when cold starting? Or can anyone tell me the bad news now, before I spend the money
on the clean air test? I change the oil regularly but haven't done anything else - it's got
about 80,000 kms on the engine and I haven't noticed any performance issues or other
symptoms. It stops "spitting dirt" after it runs for a minute or so. I've only noticed it
since it's been sitting in the snow, and can see the dirty exhaust on the white background.
The SUV should pass, no problem.

Thanks,
Mike.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

The emissions test is more of a money grab by the government than actually testing you vehicle. My brother owned a pickup truck that went through a litre of oil every gas fill-up. He never did a thing to it and didn't do regular oil changes. He figured adding a litre every time he filled it with gas was enough. He took his truck in and it passed without any problems.

If an engine blows a bit of blue smoke at startup but clears up, that's usually valve seals. Not a big problem. You could try an oil additive that will help keep the seals oiled if the engine goes without running for a bit. If it blows black smoke, that's just a rich burn. (extra gas). That could be because of the colder weather. Engines will start rich when it's cold. Like running a choke on an old engine.

The usual thing I've heard is to get an oil change before you go. Use good oil like Valvoline or Quaker State. (I only use Quaker State) Change the air filter too. If the plugs are old, new ones wouldn't hurt. Just make sure they are gapped properly. Most garages just take the plugs out of the package and put them in the engine. Take the vehicle for a good drive down the highway before you take it in. It will help blow the gunk out of it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

I agree about the tax grab. It's absolute b.s. with the low emission technology that goes into modern engines.
The real hypocrisy is that trucks, mostly diesel, aren't held to anywhere near the same standards.
Nor are the public transit diesel buses that are supposed to be "the better way".
Ever drive behind one that's been stopped then started up? The "black out" should be illegal
along with the air pollution. I can't see through their exhaust sometimes, it's so thick.

I usually do get the oil changed before I go, or tell them to do it first. And I always try to get it out
on the highway for 10 minutes or so before I take it in, so that makes sense. I've only noticed it
recently (last month or so) when I start it in the driveway, so I'd like to think the "starting rich in
cold weather" theory is valid too. This will be the first "sniff" I've had to do on the RV, so fingers r crossed.
MY SUV has puffed a bit of blue in the really cold starting weather too, come to think of it.
I've never noticed it in the summer on either vehicle.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Good luck Mike. I'm lucky. My RV is a 1977 and is exempt from the emissions test because of its age.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Thanks for the comments. If either fails, I'll just deal with it like everything else, I guess.
What else can you do?
Much appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Mine is an '89 and the tester mechanic commented that although it passed OK last year and I did not drive many miles each year, it still may not pass the next time as they raise the 'passing' level every year as the object of the excise is to eventually 'fail' the vehicle so that the government can get it off the road.

I tend to stay away from the big testing operations and get my testing done where I get my maintenance done. Hoping for a little leeway, if required!

They told me to make sure that it is good and warm when I deliver it for testing and do not deliver it early and leave it!

Good luck!

Deryck
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

It's all a tax grab to me. Just like Bob Rae's "photo-radar". No points, 'cause we can't tell
who was driving your vehicle, but it was photographed speeding, so just send us a bill for the fine. Thanks.

One other thing I try, and don't know if it works or helps, is I try to fill it with premium for the month
before the test. I figure the gas stations say the premium is cleaner, or cleans as you drive,
so I figure I'll give the RV a pricey mouthwash before the checkup.
Don't know if I'm wasting my time. Thoughts?

Mike.
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RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
One other thing I try, and don't know if it works or helps, is I try to fill it with premium for the month
before the test. I figure the gas stations say the premium is cleaner, or cleans as you drive,
so I figure I'll give the RV a pricey mouthwash before the checkup.
Don't know if I'm wasting my time. Thoughts?

Mike.
That's not a bad idea but I would avoid the "cheap" gas stations. There was a gas station in my home town that had cheaper gas than the other gas stations. If I filled up there, my engine would knock, ping and run on. The gas was a very poor grade. (like the maritime's gas) Back in 85, I drove a motorcycle from Southern Ontario to Vancouver Island and back. Depending on what gas company I bought gas from had a lot to do how my bike drove. I just forget which was the best and which was the worst. The high performance engine was a lot more picky than a car engine. I would stick to reputable stations.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

I'm thinking Shell (I have Air Miles) and Sunoco (wish they still did CAA points) would be my first choices.
After that maybe Esso and Petrocan.
I hear you on the "discount gas stations" issue.
I've had some bad fillups myself.
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RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

I lived in the Nova Scotia for 10 years. In 1993, I had to come to Ontario to pick up my tractor and bring it back to Nova Scotia. My tractor weighs 3500lbs and the trailer is about another 1000lbs. Driving through Ontario and North Eastern States, I had no problems at all. Once I got to the Maritimes, my engine started pinging and knocking real bad. I was quite concerned a piston would shoot through the engine wall. Irving was found to be watering down their gasoline at their refineries. I also thought it was odd when I went to gas stations and no pump had the octane marked on them. By the time I moved, things were cleaned up and pumps actually had the octane marked on them.

It is quite amazing how gasoline has changed over the years. I use to store my tractor at my aunt's farm and it would sit for months before I could get up to take it out for a drive. On a few occasions, it sat for over a year. When I would get around to taking it out for a run, all I had to do was prime the engine and start it. The gas would still work and the tractor ran fine. I had to let it sit again for several months lately and not run it. When I went to take it out for a run, I couldn't start it at all. There is a glass jar on the fuel line to catch sediment. It was so badly varnished up, it was plugged solid. I had a fuel filter on the line too and it was plugged. I had to pull the entire fuel system apart and clean it all out. I had to soak the carburetor over night in a cleaning solution to get rid of the varnish in it.

You now have to make sure you empty any gas out of a carburetor if it is going to be stored for a while. I have 2 chain saw with plugged carburetors, my father had a snow blower that needed a new carburetor and I have yet to try to start the outboard on my boat. I'm hoping it will work in the summer. There are additives you can use and I've started using one that says you can store gas for extended periods of time without any problem. I just have to find more of it.
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