No one will smog check my RX8 - RX8Club.com



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Old 08-30-2017, 05:32 PM   #1
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CA No one will smog check my RX8

I had my car smogged a few years ago and there was an issue with the smog guy, he would not do it because engine light goes on when they do the test. My ex handled the guy and the issue and finally got the smog check.

Now I'm on my own and need a smog check. The second place I went said he could not complete the check, did not charge me and told me not to come back to them but drive 100 miles before taking to another place. He did not want to deal with the flack from the state...or something....I don't know. But he did tell me not to bring it back to them.
I know there is some workaround, but I am not a car person so I'd appreciate something I can tell the smog place, how to work around the problem. Why do they not know how to deal with this car? Help.
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Old 08-30-2017, 05:59 PM   #2
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The suggestion to drive 100 miles points to the computer being in a state where it has finished learning how to control the engine, but there is no good reason that should be the case. But without being there and able to check the computer, it's impossible to help. Is the engine light on now? If so bring it to AutoZone or somewhere similar to have the code read and report back here. Please be precise in what codes are recorded.

Are you having any obvious problems with the car?
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:06 PM   #3
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1. which state are you in.

2. as Loki mentioned, they suggested you drive it 100 miles because it can take up to that amount of time to get certain systems into "ready" status.
This is done so people don't just disconnect the battery to clear a check engine light when there is in fact still an issue with the vehicle.
In CA, you cannot pass smog if the CEL is on.

do you know what was causing your CEL?
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #4
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Smog issue

They turned off the CEL for me. This occurred the last time a few years ago, it kicks on when they start the check. It's something that happens with this car. There is some way around this, but I don't know what to tell them. Like I said, this last place told me not to come back to them as they were concerned about repercussions from the state.
The light only comes one when they begin the process. I need to know what the workaround is and how to present this to them so they get it. They do not know how to deal with an RX8. If I knew the trick, I could ask them to do it. It seems this has had to have happened to other owners.

Recently I had the radiator replaced as the engine was running for long periods after shut off. Since then, all has been fine. I just had the fuel tank replaced on Monday for the recall. Since then, the engine has been running a bit again. I put in a call to my dealer but he's on vacation until next Tuesday. I'm hoping he will help when he hears my voicemail. But I thought I'd reach out here. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:22 PM   #5
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BTW, I'm in California.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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CA is very strict as far as smog goes. Before everything went computer based it was dependent on the tech doing the smog. Most of the time you could throw the owner/tech a tip or some beer and be on your way. My car passed with flying colors but failed a visual because the carb sticker on my intake was faded. I couldn't get anyone except for 1 shop (who wanted 600 for an illegal smog) to pass my car. Drive your car around and get the monitors ready. Do you have a CEL or any performance modifications that would turn you away immediately?

Edit: It doesn't usually take a 100 miles. It's just a reference number. It took me 13 miles for my monitors to become ready.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:51 PM   #7
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OP still hasn't told us if the CEL is still currently on and what the code was for.

We await your response roxy, until then there isn't much we can do for you.
oh, and what part of CA? We might be able to recommend a rotary shop if you need one.

**insert Jerry Maguire 'Help me help YOU' meme**
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:12 PM   #8
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I'm in Oceanside, CA, north SD county. I'm not sure what "Do you have a CEL or any performance modifications that would turn you away immediately?" means. I've been using this car since new in 2007 for regular to/from work use and some freeway driving. It's 10 years old and has less than 62k miles. I'm fairly lost. Nothing was done to the car except my ex put a curb alert on it. What would a rotary shop do in order for me to get the smog check to go through? I'm not sure why I'd have to pay for a "repair" or something when there is nothing wrong with the car. It's just the light is triggered when they hook up for the smog check.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:14 PM   #9
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The smog place turned the light off before I left.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:39 PM   #10
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I'm having some trouble figuring out how to use this forum. I thought I posted about my engine running after getting the fuel tank replaced Monday due to recall. I had an engine fan running problem until they replaced the radiator a month or so ago. Then, after the fuel tank replacement on Monday, the fan is running again, sometimes for 5-10 minutes. My dealer mechanic is on vacation until next Tuesday, but I left him a message about all of this.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxydever View Post
The smog place turned the light off before I left.
did they tell you the code # before they turned off the light?
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxydever View Post
I'm not sure what "Do you have a CEL or any performance modifications that would turn you away immediately?" means.
It means: are there any aftermarket parts / modifications that would disqualify you on the CA Smog Test. an example of that would be to remove the catalytic converter, an aftermarket intake system that isn't C.A.R.B. compliant, etc etc. Don't worry, this appears to be a moot point since you're stating your ex didn't change anything on the car. Good, that simplifies things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roxydever View Post
It's just the light is triggered when they hook up for the smog check.
Unfortunately that's doubtful. See next response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxydever View Post
What would a rotary shop do in order for me to get the smog check to go through? I'm not sure why I'd have to pay for a "repair" or something when there is nothing wrong with the car.
The Rotary shop could run a diagnostic to see what trouble codes your vehicle could have. Sometimes a car has what's called a "pending code" meaning it's detected some type of issue but it hasn't turned the light on because the problem hasn't been there long enough but if it isn't corrected, the light will eventually come on.
The "repair" would be to address whatever could be the issue. Could be something simple or not.

Unfortunately your check engine light cannot be "triggered" when they hook up the smog check. In CA, we now use a simple OBD II scanner for smog and the only thing that machine does is simply read information from your car, it can't generate or trigger a code.
I believe what happened was the machine either saw pending codes or it saw that your car wasn't in "ready" mode meaning some part of the emissions isn't ready to be tested either because the car hasn't been driven enough since codes were cleared or the battery reconnected OR because there is a part of the emission system that isn't working correctly despite the vehicle driving normally.
This could be something easy like the gas cap isn't screwed on correctly or it could be something like a bad sensor somewhere. Unfortunately smog shops aren't designed to fix these things or even diagnose them, that's what a mechanic could do.



long story short: drive your car this weekend and let us know if a light comes back on.
if not, please drive to an Auto Zone and ask the person behind the counter to check your car for codes and to tell you if the car is ready to be smogged. Their machine can do it in minutes and it's free.
If there's no codes and they say it's ready, drive STRAIGHT to a different smog shop (any smog shop) and have them run the test.

IF Auto Zone tells you there's a code or it's not ready, they can usually print out something that has the code #'s. Heck, have them write it down on a scratch piece of paper if needed but Please report back those numbers and maybe we can help point you in the right direction as to what might be the issue.


sorry for the long response but trying to be as thorough as possible without over complicating this issue.

Last edited by Jedi54; 08-30-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxydever View Post
I'm having some trouble figuring out how to use this forum. I thought I posted about my engine running after getting the fuel tank replaced Monday due to recall. I had an engine fan running problem until they replaced the radiator a month or so ago. Then, after the fuel tank replacement on Monday, the fan is running again, sometimes for 5-10 minutes. My dealer mechanic is on vacation until next Tuesday, but I left him a message about all of this.
the forum requires you to have a certain number of posts before you can make threads / post in general sections of the website. It's done to prevent spammers.

it's absolutely normal for the fans to run after your car is turned off, it's your cars way of cooling off after being driven in hot climates.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:03 PM   #13
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Whew

Wow, that's a lot to take in. The engine light was not on when I went to the shop nor has it been on lately. The last couple of times it went on was because of the gas cap.
But it has not been on and I just had the car in on Monday (two days ago) for the fuel tank replacement/recall. So all was good. I had the fan running for very long periods for months until I had the radiator replaced. Then it stopped doing that, even when it was warm weather or driven. It only re started fan running since I picked it up on Tuesday after fuel tank replacement. So it just worries me since it was a big problem and the dealer told me it was not normal for it to run every time I drove it and for 5-15 minutes after turning off the car. Is there a reason the dealer cannot do the diagnostic? I've been taking it there for 10 years and I trust them. They are the only ones who have ever worked on this car except for when I had a smog check a few years back.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:32 PM   #14
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Your dealer will charge you for the scan, parts stores do it for free.
If you were rejected after you had the work done at the dealer, they likely disconnected your battery, and it will take a few drive cycles to be in a 'ready' state.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:48 PM   #15
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My last smog check...

Thanks BigCajun.

I pulled the paperwork from 2015 and the fail codes are the same as today.

Service Fault Codes: U0100 - Lost Communication with ECM/PCM "A"

Emisson Control Systems Functional Check Results
Fail: OBDII Fail: OBD Bulb Check

I don't know what any of that means.

It all passed fine once the workaround was done. I just need to find out what that was.
I wonder if I took it back to the same guy, he may have a recollection.

I want to reiterate, there was no engine light on when the car went in to the smog shop, either time. The light came on once the guy started the procedure. There is some workaround he did, and then it worked fine, ran through the test and passed.

Thank you for continuing to help me figure this out. I am appreciative of your knowledge.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:02 PM   #16
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I did a quick search and the U0100 is common, to paraphrase, it means the 'computer' lost it's memory, the battery being disconnected would cause this.
I don't know for sure how a tech could 'clear' it, but there are devices that can 'mask' it.
It's also possible a few drive cycles will clear it.
(Driving it normally for a few days)

https://www.rx8club.com/series-i-tro.../u0100-248424/
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:17 PM   #17
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I'll drive it for a week or so....

....then I'll try another smog place. Thank you.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:19 PM   #18
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....then I'll try another smog place. Thank you.
You're welcome.
Please be sure to update us, your experience may help someone else.
Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:35 PM   #19
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If I were you I would drive the car around for 50 or so miles and make a stop at autozone on the way home. See if your monitors are set. If they are I would contact your dealer for a smog since you seem to prefer them. If you can't get in or they refuse you for whatever reason I would pursue lucky 7 racing. Good luck
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:12 PM   #20
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From my experience, EVAP system takes a long time to reach the "ready" state. The other monitors get ready very quickly after a battery disconnection. EVAP takes a very specific drive cycle to get ready, so yes, you may have to drive ~50 miles to get the EVAP system ready.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:05 AM   #21
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As an FYI, it took my car about 180 miles to clear all the codes when I reset it in June.
50 miles might not be enough. All cars are different, and Mazda does not have a specific set/time for the codes to clear on the 8.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:37 PM   #22
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WOO HOO, it worked! I took the advice here and it all worked out. I drove it around a couple hundred miles, took it to Auto Zone to check monitors, then went to smog place and it passed. Thank you all for the advice, I may see you around here again some time. Glad guys like to talk about cars, at least I learned one thing from my ex....FORUMS!!!
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:41 PM   #23
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WOO HOO, it worked! I took the advice here and it all worked out. I drove it around a couple hundred miles, took it to Auto Zone to check monitors, then went to smog place and it passed. Thank you all for the advice, I may see you around here again some time. Glad guys like to talk about cars, at least I learned one thing from my ex....FORUMS!!!
Good news.
Thanks for the update.
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