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starbersts99 09-27-2012 03:06 PM

SMOG help
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I drive 1994 318is that will not pass smog at 15 mph. It does pass at 25 mph. I have already changed the spark plugs (the wires looked fine as did the air filter) and it barely changed the numbers on my NOx and HC. I am not driving it daily because it is not registered because of not being able to pass SMOG. Any suggestions on what I can do to pass? Here are my numbers:

drivinfaster 09-27-2012 07:24 PM

nox is caused by high combustion temps, so i'd suggest a can of seafoam through the intake. clean out the carbon.

also, i'd replace the o2 if you do not kow how old it is. it costs less to replace it than to have it scoped at a shop.

check your fan clutch as well, and in the end, if nox does not change, you may need to replace the cat.


bmw-mania 10-04-2012 10:53 AM

try search first..


Originally Posted by bmw-mania (Post 6904456)

This post is for informational purposes ONLY.

OG post by Stealth

a very interesting collection of ideas gathered from various sources and from
people that had emissions challenged vehicles but found ways to pass the test ...


emissions components which may be inspected by officials for proper operation:

EGR Valve, Air Pump, Charcoal Canister, EVAP System, Smog Pump, Oxygen Sensor, Intake Manifold, Exhaust Manifold, Fuel Pump, Turbo, Supercharger, Header, Camshaft, Fuel Filter, Air Filer, Oil Filter, Carburetor, Fuel Injector, Preheat Tube, Air Injection, Check Valve, Muffler, Solenoid, Fuel Mixture Solenoid, Catalytic Converter, CAT, Heat Riser, OBD II System, On Board Diagnostics Computer and Vacuum Lines.


GUMOUT, Emissions Reducer, 12 oz bottle

"at the pump pour the bottle then fill tank .. in this initila tank, emissions may increase as Gumout works to remove deposits and expel via the exhaust .. ran until tank is near empty .. refill tank .. do not perform emissions test until 2nd or third tank where the emissions benefits will show ....."


make sure your gas tank is only 1/4 to 1/2 full and put 1/2 the bottle of methyl hydrate (fondue fuel) in the tank


Pour pure (90%+) isopropyl alcohol into your fuel tank, it will help to clean up your exhaust emmissions and get your car through the smog tests that most states currently use. Use two 16oz bottles for ten gallons of premium fuel.


pour two litres of methyl hydrate into 1/2 tank of fuel


pour two quarts of pure denatured alcohol into 1/4 tank of fuel


disconnect the harness from one injector. The engine will only run on 7 cylinders, but it will pump one cylinder worth of air into the exhaust on every cycle, which serves to dilute the mixture from the other cylinders.


Change oil and leave it a quart low. New oil seals better and low level minimizes the chance of splash onto the cylinder walls. Burnt oil is another source of HC.


clean the engine. Burnt oil is another source of HC.


Change the engine oil just before you go to test. Fresh 20/50 seals better than any oil with 50 or more miles on it. The idea is to reduce hydrocarbons (HC),


leave the tank half full or less. The evap system can be overloaded with a full tank, increasing HC.


Bring it in real hot from a highway run. The O2 and cat work best when hot and the throttle body is heated by engine coolant, pre-heating intake air.


Drive it on the freeway for about 10 miles before you go to the test in order to be sure that the engine is at full operating temperature


put in the highest octane gas you can find, change the oil, and retard the timing slightly (3 deg).


Just before the smog test fill up with good winter "Arizona" gas. i.e. unoxgenated gas with enough volatility to easily ignite. ("Winter Gas" is more volatile then "Summer Gas".)


Retard the ignition timing about 3 degrees to help reduce the NOX emissions.


take out air filter


Use a low-restriction air cleaner set. Hellings has one about 1/2" thick with metal wire for a filtering medium. It will only filter out large rocks, but it flows very freely.


Run the fuel tank down as far as possible and refill it just before the test. Fuel has a ***732;half-life' and it does not burn as well if it has been in the tank for 90 days or more


Put in a new set of spark plugs, gapped.
Convert from carbon core ignition wires to the solid core (metal) type.


Capped off PCV connection to manifold


make sure the tires are inflated to MAX for the dyno test.


fuel cap sealing correctly


blowby/crankcase fumes being re-ingested through the air cleaner and throwing the tailpipe readings way off. reroute the crankcase fumes out of the compartment via a "road draft tube"


California now requires all vehicles 1996 and up, to communicate directly with the smog machine during the smog test. This is achieved via your vehicle's OBDII Data Link Connecter. As part of the smog inspection process, the smog technician will connect a Data Cable from the smog machine to your vehicle's OBDII Data Link Plug. This cable will deliver important "Check Engine" codes and "Readiness Flags" from the engine's computer system to the state's smog machine. Emissions related failure codes will cause your vehicle to fail the smog inspection. The failure codes will be printed on the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) which will be given to you by the smog station.


IF your CA car is required to go to a TEST-ONLY Station, and it fails, and your car qualifies, you must pay for the 1st $100 of diag and repairs with the State paying the next $500. To qualify, the car has to be yours, not in the process of being sold, a CA car, and it should be unmodified.

If you are low income, then you only have to pay the 1st $20.



Emissions SMOG test coming up?

precautions i used to help a pass on my car ...

1. wrapped the cats with alum shields to keep them insulated and HOT ..
2. retarded ignition from spec by 3 degrees more...
3. ran a can of Prestone "Emissions reducer" per directions ...
3a. Cleaned the Throttle intake
4. inspected plugs, gapped to spec ...
5. inspected exh headers, gaskets, vac lines for proper conditions ...
6. ran the gas tank to near empty, added 4 gall of highest octane fuel (about 1/4 tank) AND
added 1or 2 qal of PURE choosen "Alternative Fuel additive" .. WOOOOOO .. THAT is a kick ...
7. drained and filled crankcase with FRESH heavy 40W oil & STP, BUT kept it one quart low to avoid "splashing" ...
8. drive wheel tire pressure set at rated tire max psi ...
9. "pulled" connector from A/C compressor ...
10. removed air filter
11. ran 10 miles on the FWY and kept engine running while waiting its turn for the test .. 20 min ...

she passed, well under the limits in every measured item including the high speed dyno test ..
she rans so clean you can sit behind the dual pipes and not smell anything ..

"Alternative Fuel - Methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols; mixtures containing 85% or more by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols with gasoline or other fuels; natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas; hydrogen; coal-derived liquid fuels; non-alcohol fuels (such as biodiesel) derived from biological material; and electricity. 'P-Series' fuels were added to this list since the original definition in EPAct. "

hardware stores like home depot sell "denatured alcohol" by the gallon can.. that is what i used.

none of this is a recomendation and it is only provided as a "report" of how my car passed.

jitsjaf2009 10-06-2012 06:51 PM

Last time I had the fail at 15, pass at 25 (my Saab), I tried everything else first and ended up haing to replace the cat. I found a "generic' muffler/exhaust shop that provided and replaced it for $190. I just called out of curiosity and found same price for my BMW.
Not only did my Saab then pass at 15, it improved readings at 25...and my gas mileage.

bmw-mania 09-26-2013 12:33 AM

I hope im not bringing this thread back from the dead.

Im due in CA for SMOG once again..

Pretty tired of jumping through hoops for the C.A.R.B.
(That's the California Air Resources Board for you E36'ers back east..)
What a F@#!% joke..

There is even a group who is trying their damnedest to expose the facade.

I have a rather heavily modified E36, and I live in a area where it is MANDATORY every 2 YEARS to "smog" my car.
I find it a little annoying that I have to PAY some joker to stick a wand in my cars tailpipe.
Its as if the Smog Shops are now being turned into revenue agents for the state under the color of "emissions regulation".
The fairweather enforcement of the "polluters" is a joke.. just 20 minutes from me.. NO SMOG.
It damn near has me ready to move.

If anyone is around the Rocklin / Sacramento Area.. I gotta E36 that needs to be smogged.
If you can turn me onto a good shop..Shoot me a PM

bmw-mania 09-26-2013 10:51 AM

Is there anyone out there who can suggest a good smog shop?

Id rather spend my money where there be E36's about.. :dunno:

jitsjaf2009 09-26-2013 11:40 AM


Originally Posted by bmw-mania (Post 7859921)
Is there anyone out there who can suggest a good smog shop?

Id rather spend my money where there be E36's about.. :dunno:

Isn't that a classic oxymoron (good smog shop)? I have a shop I use in Riverside on anything I decide not to do (or can't do) myself. They are a Gold Start Smog as well...recently when my 1995 325i vert would quite pass smog, he replaced the catalytic for $218.00 materials and labor, and it passed hands down. The difficulty is finding someone like Mike at M&N Automotive who is honest and good at what he does.
In this day a Honest Mechanic is as hard to find as a honest politician.

bmw-mania 09-26-2013 12:40 PM

Agreed! :rofl:

bmw-mania 09-29-2013 02:16 PM

Okay kids..
Im having a real pain smogging my E36 this year..
Last time it passed fine. :mad:

Running super clean at 25..
Running like a gross polluter at 15.. :confused:

Installed stock exhaust, intake, & MAF.. to "un-modify" before smog test.

Would a Turner euro HFM chip throw it off that badly..?
I called Turner for some technical information and that failed..
I asked for their DME specialist and all he could tell me is "it dumps more fuel in there at idle".
Apparently "it dumps more fuel in there at idle" is as technical as the monkey at Turner could get.
I didnt know "dumps" was a standard unit for measurement. :rolleyes:

Anyone have a STOCK chip for a Silver Label 413 ewsII DME?

Is it really time for a new CAT? :eeps:

Im going to blow a can of sleaze-foam through the intake..
Im stumped fellas.. :bawling:

cj.surr 09-29-2013 06:16 PM

Well the Turner guy is correct. If your tune is for a 3.5" MAF, and you put a 3" MAF on there, it's gonna run rich. Put the proper intake setup for the tune. That will yield the best results for emissions.

bmw-mania 09-29-2013 06:57 PM


Originally Posted by cj.surr (Post 7866312)
Well the Turner guy is correct.
If your tune is for a 3.5" MAF, and you put a 3" MAF on there, it's gonna run rich.
Put the proper intake setup for the tune.
That will yield the best results for emissions.

Im aware of that buddy.. thats why Im lookin for a stock chip-chip-chiparoo. :thumbup:
I did run it previously with the 3.5 maf and chip, and there was a decrease.. but my ppm is still sky-high. (ran it with the custom & stock exhaust too)
no dice.

I did all the normal jaw flapping items.. good fuel, spark plugs, oil change, fresh filter,
B!tch of it is.. the closest smog guy makes me wait with my car at idle before he tests me.
So I know Im losing heat outta the cats.
I wish I could take a hotlap and then try to smog it.. :eeps:

im sleazefoaming it as soon as i have a minute to myself.. I hope it helps.:angel:

ANY input is appreciated..


bmw-mania 10-10-2013 05:10 PM

I went to check my car again at the smog shop.. :angry:
my hc(ppm) is 675 at idle... max is 85 which would make my baby a gross polluter. :wailing:
my hc(ppm) is 140 at rpm .. max is 50 " " "

C02% is 13.5% .. should be above 14.5%
C0% is .69

I seafoamed the intake this morning..
I did all the normal jaw flapping items.. good fuel, fuel filter, spark plugs, oil change (oil has 300mi now), fresh filter..
I even used a ahem.. Alternative Fuel additive..

smog guy says "buy a new cat".. :rolleyes: :dunno:
I guess its time... Is it time?

Any smog guys out there?

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