CALIFORNIA 2 SPEED IDLE TAILPIPE SMOG CHECK PROCEDURE EXPLAINED

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THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARTICLE ADAPTED FROM THE 2013 VERSION OF THE BUREAU OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR MANUAL

IT DESCRIBES THE 2 SPEED-IDLE TAILPIPE SMOG CHECK PROCEDURE WHICH HAS BEEN ASSIGNED THE ACRONYM “TSI” (TWO SPEED IDLE TEST)

  IT IS THE TYPE OF INSPECTION REQUIRED IN SO CALLED “BASIC” AND “CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP” SMOG CHECK PROGRAM AREAS 

IT IS ALSO PERFORMED IN ENHANCED SMOG CHECK” PROGRAM AREAS, FOR TESTING VEHICLES THAT ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE “ASM”  (ACCELERATION SIMULATION MODE TESTING PROCEDURES)

THE AREA OF CALIFORNIA WHERE THE VEHICLE IS REGISTERED DETERMINES WHICH TYPE OF TEST THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION VEHICLE RECEIVES. SEE THE CALIFORNIA SMOG CHECK PROGRAM AREA MAP HERE

  THE TSI TESTING PROCEDURE REQUIRES TWO DISTINCT TEST SEQUENCES FOLLOWING AN INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

  THE INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

  THE PURPOSE OF THE VISUAL INSPECTION IS TO CONFIRM THAT ALL EMISSION REDUCTION EQUIPMENT IS PRESENT AND THAT ALL EMISSIONS RELATED COMPONENTS ARE CONNECTED CORRECTLY.

  IT IS DURING THIS PORTION OF THE TESTING THAT ANY MISSING, DISCONNECTED OR TAMPERED EMISSION CONTROLS ARE NOTED BY THE TECHNICIAN.

   MISSING OR TAMPERED EMISSION SYSTEMS WILL CAUSE THE VEHICLE TO FAIL A SMOG CHECK BUT A DISCONNECTED VACUUM LINE TO ANY COMPONENT MAY BE RE-ATTACHED WITH THE VEHICLE OWNERS PERMISSION AS LONG AS THERE IS NO CHARGE INVOLVED.

  THE “ACCELERATION TO A STEADY SPEED OF 2500 RPM” PORTION OF THE INSPECTION

 THIS REQUIRES THE ENGINE TO BE ACCELERATED TO 2500 RPM AND HELD AT THAT SPEED FOR 30 SECONDS. THE “EIS” WHICH IS DEFINED IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH, PROMPTS THE TECHNICIAN TO COMPLETE THE 2500 STEADY SPEED RPM TEST. MORE DETAILS BELOW.

  FINALLY, AN IDLE TEST SEQUENCE IS COMPLETED

UPON COMPLETION OF THE 2500 RPM TEST, THE EIS WILL TRANSITION TO THE IDLE PORTION OF THE TEST. THE TECHNICIAN WILL BE PROMPTED TO RETURN THE THROTTLE TO IDLE SPEED, WHICH IS ROUGHLY 750 RPM. MORE DETAILS BELOW.

  BOTH PHASES OF TESTING GATHER EMISSION GAS READINGS FOR ANALYSIS IN THE GAS  BENCH PORTION OF THE  MACHINE

  INSPECTORS MUST ENSURE THAT THE APPLICABLE BEFORE-TEST-CONDITIONS  ARE MET BEFORE BEGINNING THE TSI INSPECTION

  ONCE THE APPLICABLE BEFORE-TEST-CONDITIONS ARE MET, FOLLOW THE EIS (EMISSION INSPECTION SYSTEM) (SEE BELOW) PROMPTS THE  TECHNICIAN TO CONDUCT THE TSI INSPECTION

 THE 2500 RPM TEST IS PERFORMED FIRST AND RUNS FOR 30 SECONDS. IT REQUIRES THE ENGINE TO BE ACCELERATED TO 2500 RPM AND HELD AT THAT SPEED

  THE EIS, DEFINED IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH, PROMPTS THE TECHNICIAN TO COMPLETE THE 2500 RPM TEST

  UPON COMPLETION OF THE 2500 RPM TEST, THE EIS WILL TRANSITION TO THE IDLE PORTION OF THE TEST

  THE TECHNICIAN WILL BE PROMPTED TO RETURN THE THROTTLE TO IDLE SPEED, WHICH IS ROUGHLY 750 RPM

THE FUNCTIONAL TESTS

  FOLLOWING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE EXHAUST EMISSION PORTION OF THE INSPECTION, THE TECHNICIAN IS PROMPTED TO PERFORM THE “FUNCTIONAL” PORTION OF THE INSPECTION WHICH MAY CONSIST OF AN IGNITION TIMING TEST WHICH TESTS THE OPTIMAL TIMING OF THE FIRING  THE SPARK PLUGS AT THE OPTIMUM MOMENT TO PRODUCE THE MOST POWER AND KEEP EMISSIONS IN CONTROL

  A LOW-PRESSURE TEST OF THE EVAPORATIVE EMISSION SYSTEM

“EVAP SYSTEM” WHICH CONTAINS THE FUEL VAPORS PRESENT IN THE FUEL TANK AND OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE FUEL SYSTEM IS ANOTHER POSSIBLE ELEMENT IN THE TESTING SEQUENCE. THESE VAPORS CONSIST OF “RAW” HYDROCARBONS, “RAW” MEANING THAT NO BURNING HAS YET TAKEN PLACE. OF COURSE, HYDROCARBONS CAN ALSO EXIST IN A  PARTIALLY BURNED STATE AS WELL

 IN EITHER FORM, HYDROCARBONS ARE DEADLY TOXINS TO ALL LIVING THINGS THEY ENCOUNTER

EXHAUST GAS RE-CIRCULATION VALVE FUNCTIONAL TESTING

  FINALLY, MANY VEHICLE EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEMS UTILIZE A DEVICE CALLED AN EGR VALVE

  THIS VALVE METERS EXHAUST GASSES INTO THE INTAKE MANIFOLD, MIXING THESE INERT GASSES WITH FRESH AIR AND THE ATOMIZED GASOLINE DROPLETS DELIVERED BY THE FUEL INJECTORS UNDER HIGH PRESSURE

  ONCE MIXED TOGETHER, THE TEMPERATURE OF THE MIXTURE IS REDUCED SUFFICIENTLY TO IMPEDE THE FORMATION OF OXIDES OF NITROGEN, ANOTHER TOXIC GAS

  IT IS A MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE BROWN HAZE EFFECT SEEN IN MANY SMOGGY AREAS

  IT USUALLY CONSISTS OF A PLUNGER THAT OPENS A PATHWAY PERMITTING PASSAGE OF THE EXHAUST GASSES INTO THE INTAKE AND IS OPERATED EITHER BY A VACUUM APPLIED TO IT’S DIAPHRAGM, OR ELECTRONICALLY CONTROLLED

 

  THE EMISSION INSPECTION SYSTEM OFTEN REFERRED TO AS “EIS” ALSO MAY PROMPT SPECIAL TEST SEQUENCES FOR VEHICLES WITH KNOWN TEST INCOMPATIBILITIES.

  SPECIAL TEST SEQUENCES ARE EXPECTED TO BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY

  NOT FOLLOWING THE SEQUENCE COULD RESULT IN CATASTROPHIC VEHICLE DAMAGE

 INSPECTORS SHOULD NOT ARTIFICIALLY LOAD THE ENGINE TO ACHIEVE A TESTABLE IDLE RPM. THIS INCLUDES PUTTING THE VEHICLE INTO GEAR OR TURNING ACCESSORIES ON

  TURNING ON ACCESSORIES LIKE AIR CONDITIONING IS A TECHNIQUE OFTEN USED TO LOWER THE IDLE SPEED OF AN ENGINE INTO “TESTABLE RANGE” AND IS PROHIBITED, IN PART BECAUSE THE VEHICLE’S COMPUTER MAY MAKE CHANGES IN THE OPERATIONAL STRATEGY BY CHANGING THE AIR FUEL MIXTURE, EFFECTING EMISSION READINGS)

  FOR FURTHER READING ABOUT THE 2 SPEED-IDLE TAILPIPE SMOG CHECK PROCEDURE, CONSIDER THE ARTICLE LOCATED HERE

  NOTE: IF THE VEHICLE FAILS THE 2 SPEED-IDLE TAILPIPE SMOG CHECK PROCEDURE, “TSI” EMISSIONS TEST, THE EIS WILL AUTOMATICALLY PROMPT FOR AN ADDITIONAL CONDITIONING PROCEDURE

  THE EIS SYSTEM WILL THEN PROMPT THE TECHNICIAN TO TRANSITION TO A “SECOND CHANCE” EMISSIONS TEST

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