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Old 01-30-2009, 06:54 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, 08:33 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 01-30-2009, 11:44 PM   #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, 02:21 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, 01:44 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, 06:00 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, 07:48 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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Old 02-01-2009, 12:22 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, 01:32 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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Old 02-01-2009, 01:58 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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Old 02-01-2009, 02:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

If you mean fuel stabilizer, you can get it at Canadian Tire. Many folks on here who store their RVs over the winter
suggest adding it to a full tank before you bed down for the winter. It's supposed to stop the varnish problem.
I got some and tried adding it, then I found that I wanted to take the rig out for a drive every couple of weeks
to exercise the drive train. I assume the stuff helps anyway, and doesn't seem to affect the performance when I do
drive the RV.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

I'll agree it is probably valve seals and after it runs it should check out OK. I heard that if you put synthetic oil in it that it can improve results because it is not a hydrocarbon. I cannot say for sure though
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

I hope so. Thanks for the opinion. It seems to be the most likely reason.
I'm not worried any longer, as it does seem to clean up after a minute or so.

Appreciate the input.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Yeah like someone said earlier best to avoid cheaper gas especially running up to your emissions test, you should be fine though!
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Both vehicles passed their tests. Plates are now fully restickered!!!

However, something interesting was brought up at the GM dealer where I had the Roadtrek done.
There was some concern by the "service advisor" about the RGVW of the vehicle, before the test.
She said the door label plate was installed at the GM factory where the van was built, and didn't necessarily reflect the
true weight of the rig after the conversion. I told her I'd weighed it myself a an MTO Inspection Station,
and the weight was around 4000 KG, but she went running off to ask the "technicians" if they could do the
emissions test. Apparently, they could only do vehicles up to 4500KG/10000LB, as directed by the MTO.
I should add that I've had the RT there before for oil changes. They have a hoist that can lift it, no problem,
and I told her that as well.


Anyone know what that's about? Vehicle is too heavy, we're not allowed to test it?
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Mike.
OK, now that everything is legal and it all works, get out of town before it snows again!

It's 83F here today!
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Didn't I see you at the Town Hall meeting yesterday? Did you get to talk to the President?
I guess he doesn't RV?

Quit rubbing it in. It's going to set another record up here for Feb warmth at +10C.
So I don't need to leave (yet)!
Actually, I was talking to Julievojo last night and she mentioned the Daytona 500.
I actually considered jumping in the van and driving down for the weekend, but it's
a long drive, and we're targeting the end of the month for departure, unless the shuttle launch gets
pushed to the last weekend of Feb, then we might try to make it down for that.
How far/difficult is it for you to get to Dunedin from the Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda area?
We'll probably end up there as our starting point. Hope to catch a couple of Jays games.

ttyl.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

RGVW is the maximum weight the vehicle can be in total. That includes fuel, luggage, water, people etc. Once your vehicle is over 10000lbs, a whole new set of rules com into play. A couple are: you must have a set of triangle reflectors withing the vehicle and a fire extinguisher over a certain rating. I was looking at a converted bus many years ago. I got it safetied and there was a bit more too it because of the weight. It would not pass without the triangle reflector kit and a fire extinguisher installed.

I have a class "C" and it weighed about 7500lbs when I drove over a weigh scale. The plate on the door still says max gross weight of 9500lbs. I think the person at the dealership didn't know what she was talking about. It's scarry to think she's working in an auto shop and doesn't know what the gross vehicle weight plate means.
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Mike,

I did not go to the Obama love-in.

We are about 100 miles South of Tampa so it is quite a drag from Dunedin. Actually we can see the shuttle launches if it is a fairly clear day. No sound effects though. We only get them when the shuttle returns.

Surely it is hardly worth leaving at the end of February, we are beginning to think about returning, if the snow has melted!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Both my RV and car are due for emissions tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by renrut
RGVW is the maximum weight the vehicle can be in total. That includes fuel, luggage, water, people etc. Once your vehicle is over 10000lbs, a whole new set of rules com into play. A couple are: you must have a set of triangle reflectors withing the vehicle and a fire extinguisher over a certain rating. I was looking at a converted bus many years ago. I got it safetied and there was a bit more too it because of the weight. It would not pass without the triangle reflector kit and a fire extinguisher installed.

I have a class "C" and it weighed about 7500lbs when I drove over a weigh scale. The plate on the door still says max gross weight of 9500lbs. I think the person at the dealership didn't know what she was talking about. It's scarry to think she's working in an auto shop and doesn't know what the gross vehicle weight plate means.
Maybe I didn't explain clearly. She knew what it was for, but assumed GM put it there not knowing how much the
van would weigh after Roadtrek converted it. She thought it must be over 10,000 lbs, I guess. I told her I'd run it
across the scales in Oakville one night and it was somewhere around 3900-4000 KGS, tanks empty, or almost, and
just us 2 inside. I told her they'd lifted it before, so it must have been under 10,000 lbs. as they said that was the
max their big lift would do. I have to admit, I was annoyed because they waited until I got there before raising the
red flags, and almost telling me they couldn't do it, knowing how big it was in advance. I made the appointment with
the service manager, and he didn't question it, but he wasn't around when I got there.
Thanks for the info on the heavier stuff. Interesting.
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