How do you know when your brakes are going out ?

Winter weather is right around the corner. With proper working brakes, you’ll be safer and avoid costly damage. Here is a list of common symptoms that should should be addressed by a professional:

  • Squeaking, Squealing or Grinding Noises
  • Soft or Spongy Pedal
  • Vibration When Braking
  • Brake Light Is Illuminated
  • While Braking, Car Pulls to One Side
  • Burning Smell
  • Brake Fluid Leaks

At JUST SMOGS®, our team of technicians can diagnose and repair your brakes at a competitive price. To avoid squeaking and insure repair longevity, we only install the highest quality parts.

Right now we’re offering a 15% Off Brake Special! (Through Dec 31, 2017). Please remind us of the discount at the time of write up.

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  • © 2017 Just Smogs Inc, used with permission. Just Smogs and the Just Smogs logo are registered trademarks of Just Smogs, Inc.

Trademark List

  • JUST SMOGS®
  • Smog Checks, Fast.™
  • Smog Stars™
  • Smog Made Easy™
  • HB’s Favorite Smog Shop™
  • Huntington’s Favorite Smog Shop™
  • HB’s Smog Stars™

 

Toyota Camry Failed Smog : Not Ready : No Check Engine Light

Our customer’s 1999 Toyota Camry CE 2.2L failed the biennial smog check inspection (category: OBD System Checks for being “Not Ready“). In most situations driving the vehicle for a week or two (streets & highway) will allow the vehicle to complete it’s self tests (readiness monitors) and become “Ready” so that it will pass the emission inspection.

Unfortunately, our customer drove almost 500 miles and still his Toyota was Not Ready for the following three monitors: Catalyst, Oxygen Sensor & Oxygen Sensor Heater.

He asked us to diagnose the problem. Although there was no check engine light illuminated, there as a pending diagnostic trouble code (DTC) stored in the vehicles computer: DTC P1155. P1155 is a manufacturer specific code relating to the Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor Heater Circuit.

Our technician diagnosed the air/fuel sensor and confirmed an open heater circuit. We replaced the a new Denso air/fuel sensor, cleared the fault code, and drove the vehicle.

In less than 20 miles of our drive cycle all three incomplete monitors (Catalyst, Oxygen Sensor & Oxygen Sensor Heater) became “Ready”. We re-tested the Camry and it passed.

Although in most “Not Ready” failed smog check situations, a vehicle can be driven to become “Ready” and pass a California smog inspection, repairs are sometimes necessary.

 

Shop Small Saturday – November 26

Launchesmog-huntington-beach-small-business-saturdayd by American Express, the first-ever Small Business Saturday took place on Nov 27, 2010. The promotion encouraged holiday shoppers to support small, local businesses. The event grew as local mayors, governors, the U.S. Senate and President Obama voiced their support of Small Business Saturday. By 2015, 95 million shoppers generated an estimated $16 billion in sales on the day nationwide. – Forbes

Check Engine Light: P0420 – Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1

HELP, my check engine light is on because of a P0420 fault code.

Catalytic-Converter-Filtration-ProcessThe P0420 code means that the vehicle’s computer has detected that the three-way catalytic converter is not working properly (is not as efficient as the factory is expecting). This does not necessarily mean that you have to replace the catalytic converter to fix the problem. Replacing the oxygen (O2) sensors may sometimes fix the code because the vehicle’s computer interprets data from the oxygen sensors to determine if the catalytic converter is working properly.

If the catalytic converter is in fact defective, you must replace it with either a factory (OEM) converter or a California Air Resource Board (CARB) approved aftermarket converter. Be sure that the aftermarket converter is the correct part by confirming:

  • Year/Make/Model/Engine Size
  • Test Group Name or Engine Family Number *
  • Manufacturer Part Number
  • Executive Order Number
  • Converter Location

* Exception: Federally certified vehicles (Non-California) may not have a matching Test Group/Engine Family number listed on the Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Database. So as long as all other criteria matches, the converter should be approved for the application.

If there are no options listed for your vehicle application on the Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Database, an OEM converter is required.

Many mechanic & muffler shops mistakenly install incorrect converters. If you are unsure, feel free to contact us with any questions.

** This information is accurate as of July 2016. For the most up-to-date rules and regulations, please contact the California Air Resource Board.

Mercedes Drive Cycle for Incomplete Readiness (Failed Smog Check)

mercedes-benz-smog-check-huntington-beachMany drivers have had difficulty completing readiness monitors for their Mercedes Benz. The two readiness monitors that seem to be the most stubborn to complete are: Secondary Air Injection and Catalyst (Catalytic Converter). We located a Mercedes Benz Service Bulletin (S-B-14.00/17) that may be helpful.

Also, one customer with a 2002 Mercedes was unable to complete the secondary air injection monitor until one evening he allowed his vehicle to idle for 5-20 minutes in his driveway. He then turned off his vehicle and restarted the vehicle the next morning and allowed it to idle for another 5-10 minutes. He stated that this procedure completed the AIR readiness monitor.

UPDATE:
Our customer had a stubborn CATALYST MONITOR on his 2002 Benz. He had already driven hundreds of miles and still the catalyst monitor was incomplete. The following drive cycle did the trick:

 

CATALYST MONITOR DRIVE CYCLE

  • Vehicle warm up
  • A/C Off
  • Drive 3 minutes at 43 mph in D
  • Drive 3 minutes at 51 mph in D
  • Stop and let idle for 3 minutes in P

 

Mercedes Benz Service Bulletin (S-B-14.00/17)

SUBJECT: State I/M (emission inspection and maintenance) Facilities Incorporating an OBDII Check
A. Description of State I/M OBDII Checks & Drive Cycle
B. Models, Model Years & OBDII Systems Included
C. Drive Cycle Test Procedure
Note:
Refer to Service Information: P-SI-14.00/14 for historical information.
A. Description of State I/M OBDII Checks & Drive Cycle
Certain States around the country have or will begin to roll-out in the coming months, OBDII (On-Board
Diagnostic II) quick checks for emission inspection and maintenance (I/M) testing. The emission I/M testing
is required for customers to register their vehicles. These State I/M facilities will specifically look for whether
or not the vehicle’s OBDII system is “ready” to be tested. The OBDII system uses readiness codes built into
the vehicles computer to indicate if the system is “ready” to be emission tested. These State I/M Facilities
use hand held scan tools capable of reading OBDII codes and will indicate if these readiness codes are set
or not.
These readiness codes are needed to be set (complete) within the OBDII computer system. Without these
codes set, the vehicle will most likely fail the emissions portion of this inspection and the customer will not
be able to register or re-register their vehicle. In an effort to prevent this situation from happening, a specific
drive cycle must be performed prior to the vehicle being tested at any I/M facility checking the OBDII
system.
2 S-B-14.00/17 February 2004
If a model year 1996 through 1999 vehicle has “failed” a State I/M emission test and no faults have been
found in the system (i.e. check engine light NOT on) then a drive cycle test must be performed on the
vehicle.
Note:
A battery disconnect to service the vehicle can impact whether the readiness codes will be set, if the
vehicle is immediately taken from the service facility to an I/M testing facility for vehicle registration
purposes. In such a case, the customer should be notified and instructed not to take the vehicle
immediately to an I/M station for emission testing.
Note:
Cycling the ignition key from on – to – off prior to performing the I/M test is not recommended.
B. Models, Model Years & OBDII Systems Included
1. A drive cycle has been developed for the following model years and models:
MY1996
S420 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
S500, S500C & SL500 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1997
C230 & E320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
C280 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320, SL320 & C36 AMG (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
E420, S420, S500, SL500, S600, SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1998
C230 & SLK230 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S420, S500, CL500, SL500, S600, CL600 & SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1999
C230 & SLK230 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S420, S500, CL500, S600, CL600 & SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
2. On-Board Diagnostic System (OBDII) used on the vehicle, are ME1.0, ME2.0 or ME2.1 systems.
3. Performing the drive cycle on the vehicle will take up to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Required tools are: SDS equipment and all required cables.
C. Drive Cycle Test Procedure

S-B-14.00/17 February 2004 3
Note:
Readiness/function codes cannot be displayed for tests performed on vehicles at altitudes above 8200 feet.
Note:
Depending on engine temperature you may perform the testing starting with EVAP system (see step 7)
or start with steps 1 through 4 or continue to step 6 (Air injection Diagnostics). Remember, these tests
are all based on engine temperature.
Note:
When using an SDS to check vehicle readiness codes, note the following:
1. Open vehicle hood.
2. Either remove the SDS connector cover or the engine fuse box cover depending on the model.
3. Attach/connect SDS connector.
4. Enter into the CARS function.
5. Select correct Chassis line
6. Select the gasoline engine for engine type.
7. On the screen labeled Main Function Groups, select Option 1 Gasoline Engine.
8. Select the ME system and press enter.
9. Start the vehicle to enable communication between the module and SDS system.
10. In the Functions screen, go to option 3: Actual Values and press enter, you are now ready to begin
the testing.
11. For steps 1 through 7: For ME2 under Actual Values select option 12 Completed Test and press
enter, for ME1 under Actual Values Option 9 Performed Tests.
12. Scroll through the screens to find the applicable step information and identify whether a check mark
or F has been highlighted
Drive Cycle Test Procedure Explained
1. 02 Sensor Heater Diagnostics (do not interrupt this portion of the test):
With the engine warm (greater than 80 degrees C), and the transmission gearshift lever in Park
position, proceed as follows:
• Start engine and increase engine speed to between 2,000 to 2,500 RPM for 2 minutes.
• After the 2 minutes, run engine at idle speed, with no applied load for 6 minutes (Air
conditioning OFF, no throttle movements etc).
• After this time period has been obtained proceed to step 2 below.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 1 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS.
2. Lambda (02) Sensor Signal (do not interrupt this portion of the test, to be conducted directly after
step 1 above has been performed):
With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C, and with transmission gearshift lever in position D,
• Drive vehicle for 3 minutes at 70km/h (43 mph).
• After the 3 minutes has been reached proceed to step 3 below.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 2 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS.
3. Catalytic Converter Efficiency Diagnostics (do not interrupt this portion of the test and must be
conducted directly after step 2 above has been performed):

With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C:
4 S-B-14.00/17 February 2004
• Drive vehicle with transmission still in position D for 3 minutes at 80-90 km/h (48-54 mph).
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 3 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
4. Self-adjustment of the air/fuel mixture (idle speed & self adaptation) (do not interrupt this
portion of the test and must be conducted directly after step 3 has been performed):
With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C, proceed as follows:
• Place transmission gearshift lever into Park position and allow engine to idle (with no load
applied to the vehicle, i.e. Air conditioning OFF) for 3 minutes.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 4 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
5. EGR System (Emission Vacuum Diagnostics): No DTC codes should stored for the intake
manifold pressure sensor and EGR pressure transducer during this portion of the test. With the
engine temperature at 80 degrees C:

• Start and Drive vehicle (in D position) and then accelerate smoothly up to 2000 rpm, and
then decelerate smoothly back down to 1100 rpm.
Note:
If using a Hand Held Scan Tool to verify test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
• After this test step has been completed, turn ignition OFF, wait 10 seconds and repeat this
test step (5.) again.
6. Air Injection Diagnostics: (do not interrupt this test when performing this test step 6).
Note:
First: Place a suitable auxiliary fan in front of the vehicle to force engine cool down. (Engine cool down can
also be simulated by using a decade box to simulate engine cool down).
Continue test step: With engine temperature less than 40 degrees C, the air conditioning OFF and the
transmission gearshift lever in Park position; and auxiliary fan removed from front of vehicle,

• Start engine and accelerate engine speed to 1400 rpm.
• Allow engine to run at this increased rpm until coolant temperature reaches between 70 to
106 degrees C.
• Allow engine to run with increased rpms for 7 minutes (or drive the vehicle for 7 minutes).
• After the 7 minute time period has been reached, stop the vehicle, place gearshift lever into
Park position and allow engine to idle (with no load) for 6 seconds. Do not use A/C.
• After this step turn the ignition OFF, wait ten seconds and repeat this test step.
• Note that when testing the air injection system, the engine coolant temperature must be at
the same temperature (degrees) as when before the ignition key was switched off in the
prior test step.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool to verify Step 6 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in
the display field or the word PASS
S-B-14.00/17 February 2004 5
7. Fuel System Leak test (EVAP): No DTC codes should be present in memory for the EVAP
canister purge valve, fuel tank pressure sensor, or the shut-off valve.
Note:
Prior to performing this test (7) step:
• Ensure the fuel tank fuel level is between ¼ and ¾ full and
• The engine temperature less than 100 degrees C with air intake temperature less than 45
degrees C.
• With gearshift lever in Park position, start and idle engine for 20 minutes (with no load).
Note that if after the 20 minutes of idling time has elapsed and no readiness codes were
set, consider driving the vehicle for an additional 20 minutes.
• After these 20 minutes has elapsed, turn ignition OFF, wait 10 seconds and repeat this test
step again.
Note:
If using a Hand Held Scan Tool to verify Step 7 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in
the display field or the word PASS
ir.

California Vehicle and Engine Emission Warranty 15 Year/150,000 Miles

Emission Warranty

Most Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) have a 15 year/150,000 mile warranty for emission-related components. Contact your dealer and/or Owner’s Manual to determine if your vehicle’s emission failure is repairable under the manufacturer’s warranty. General warranty information may also be found on ARB’s Website.

PDF: california-smog-emission-warranty