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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:40 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

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Car still failed MOT on emissions.

The problem is emissions on "fast idle".

I had a new CAT & O2 sensor two years ago.

Any ideas? :?

S

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pitrack_1
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:30 pm 
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If fast idle, I assume that's when cold?

The cat won't be effective then, and the mixture rich due to 'choke' enrichment by ECU. So it may be 'overcarburetting' leading to high hydrocarbons, CO, perhaps soot. Certainly my older cars (incl a 2004 Mazda3) do that- Mazda 3 almost gases us with hydrocarbons when I reverse out of the driveway when cold.

They need to give you more details as to what the issue (failure) actually is: NOx, O2, CO, CO2, hydrocarbons, particulates, not holding fast idle, wrong fast idle speed, etc. 'Emissions' isn't actual measurement or actual item that can be measured! If they can't tell you, find a mechanic who can or ask the AA/RAC technical assistance (exists?).

Also just check that the 'fast idle' test applies to your vehicle- maybe it doesn't if it's old enough.

How do they do the fast idle? Start it cold, or gently open the throttle?

To go with the cat, maybe other sensors need a check or clean too- MAF/IAT (does it have one), MAP (does it have one) etc.

Quick check for vacuum won't hurt either (but I think it's unlikely).

Hmmm, just found this site UKMOT which says:
Quote:
The first test consists of checking the emissions at .fast-idle speed. which involves running the engine at a speed of 2500 - 3000 rpm. During this test the emissions of CO and HC will be checked and a further check will be made on the lambda (1) value. The second test consists of a check of emissions at .normal idle speed. in which the engine will idle between 450 and 1500rpm, but in this case only the CO emissions are assessed.

The emissions limits to be met are specified for both the fast and normal idle tests. At fast idle, CO must be at or less than 0.2%, HC at or less than 200 parts per million (ppm), and the lambda value(1) must be between 0.97 and 1.03. At normal idle, CO must be at or less than 0.3%.

Where these limits are not met, a check will be made to identify vehicles (e.g. those without a catalyst) which should only be required to meet the non-catalyst emissions check requirements.

It then goes on to talk about an extended test in case of fast idle failure. There is an annex to this with specified values for your car. If your car isn't in the annex and pre Aug 1 1995, it only has to meet non-catalyst standards.

So assuming failure on the Basic test run, it will be failure on fast idle CO or HC. Assuming it passed the normal idle speed test (CO only)- if it got that far- we could guesstimate and say it was HC (HydroCarbons) it failed on at the specs quoted above. This indicates mixture enrichment for some reason, or a possible problem with the ignition system, or maybe the cat isn't at operating temp (was the car warmed up for 10-20 mins). Note the extended test requires a measurement of oil temp to ensure the engine is at correct operating temp- your water temp gauge can be misleading as cars are designed to warm the block and surrounding water jacket quickly- to help get combustion and emissions under control- the rest of the engine takes time to get to real operating temp, this is worse on newer cars than older ones.

Another page UKMOT has- Avoiding MOT failure Emissions - Petrol Engines

Patrick


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pitrack_1
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:00 pm 
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SerenaJ wrote:
Great stuff, thanks Patrick!
No worries! :D

(Glass crack/chip fix)
SerenaJ wrote:
I'll have a go, if just for the experience/practice. It doesn't matter if I mess it up...
Believe me, you'll find this one of the easiest jobs compared to crawling under the car, derusting and resealing it in the dead of winter! (Brrr, those icicles are still giving me the chills... sorry!)

SerenaJ wrote:
Nothing about it on MOT, though ... I would have thought that might be seen as a potential danger, threatening the integrity of the screen.
Yes it does compromise the screen integrity and possibly the car integrity as laminated windscreens are usually bonded to the frame, forming part of the structure of the car.

Patrick


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:09 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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Brilliant stuff, cheers! :thumbleft:

It failed on CO (0.60 rather than max 0.30)

On the original test it also failed on the natural idle (2270 rpm, should be 600-800); but oddly, it passed this on retest. I was aware of a high idling problem, as in the last couple of weeks it had developed an issue where the revs were intermittently remaining high even when the car was idling in neutral.

This afternoon I did a test for vacuum leaks: I didn't find anything, although I may have been too cautious with the carb cleaner, as I was somewhat worried about blowing myself sky high! Then I replaced the air intake pipe and MAF sensor, and did a GRND-10 reset to get the resting idle down to 750. The car drove much smoother during a road test. As the old pipe was in pretty good nick with only very slight cracking - not enough to cause a leak - I'm thinking maybe the old MAF was frazzled. I'm doing a long trip tonight, so we'll see how it behaves.

It's really frustrating that I can't check for myself if the CO emissions are now OK, without submitting it for another full MOT test :roll:

I must credit Hughie & AndyM for phone calls & Whatsapp advice this afternoon. And Andy for having recently given me Meanie's original air pipe & MAF as spares (and thank you, Meanie!) :D

Gotta love this club :thumbleft:

S

EDIT: Just discovered the oil leak mentioned on the advisory: it's just the rocker cover gasket seeping again :roll: That IS very recent, I happened to check that last week and it was fine. Last year Sundance blew a bulb on the morning of the MOT test, although they were all OK the night before. I'm sure cars blowing bulbs & gaskets just before MOT time is the motoring equivalent of the car s*g itself...!

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"Never tell me the odds!"

"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

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'Sundance' maintenance thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maintenance thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with power steering. Oooooh.


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maZZda
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Pour in Sundance the best quality petrol you can find and drove it maybe 30-40 miles on highway before going to MOT.This is the best you can do for the cat to be in good work temp and to lower emissions, not only because the cat is warmed up but the fuel itself, it burns one idea cleaner. ;)


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smurf182
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:13 am 
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My Car: BA 1.5 Intrigue 'Womble'

Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:47 pm
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I usually tend to go with an oil change, filters, sparks and every other year a new set of HT leads a day or do before MOT. Could also try pulling the lambda sensor out and blasting it till cherry red with a blow torch, as its cooling hit with a wire brush to get any scale and carbon deposits off(not sure if this is mech correct or not but I've not failed an emissions test four years in a row now)


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:14 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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smurf182 wrote:
I usually tend to go with an oil change, filters, sparks and every other year a new set of HT leads a day or do before MOT. Could also try pulling the lambda sensor out and blasting it till cherry red with a blow torch, as its cooling hit with a wire brush to get any scale and carbon deposits off(not sure if this is mech correct or not but I've not failed an emissions test four years in a row now)


Cheers Paul! It had new plugs and leads last summer, but I'll check the plugs again tomorrow in case anything's amiss. It does need oil change ... I might try that if I have time. And I'll clean the filter (K&N).

You and Hughie have both suggested the blowtorch thing - I'lm planning to get one tomorrow and give it a go. Is the sensor easy to disconnect? I can see where it plugs in electrically, but does the other end simply pull out?

S

_________________
"Never tell me the odds!"

"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maintenance thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maintenance thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with power steering. Oooooh.


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smurf182
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:32 pm 
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To be honest it can be a pain in the backside to get out....it screws directly into the exhaust downpipe just above the flexi pipe.
Anything you can do to ensure a better burn will help with emissions.
Fingers crossed and good luck.
Oh, and glad light casing turned up, its not the best, but will do till a better one turns up.


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jinglebells
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:11 pm 
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SerenaJ wrote:
You and Hughie have both suggested the blowtorch thing - I'lm planning to get one tomorrow and give it a go. Is the sensor easy to disconnect? I can see where it plugs in electrically, but does the other end simply pull out?

S


Hi Serena, Two answers to this: ! :-
(1) If it had a new O2 sensor two years ago then I'd be surprised of it's dirty now, unless some other fault is causing it.
(2) To get it out properly you need a slotted socket, because the wire is integral with the sensor. Unplug the other end (trace the wire along its length to the plug).
Given all your posts above, once you've done basic checks (i.e. spark plugs, air filter) I'd be inclined to wait for the second MoT, especially if the garaged admitted there was a fault with the machine.
Provided all sensors are working, and the cat is working, then there shouldn't be any poor burning of fuel (CO problem), or too much fuel (HC problem), or poor conversion of CO to CO2 (cat problem).
.


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:27 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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Thanks for all this advice, guys! Well noted, as I need to thoroughly investigate what's happening with Sundance killing CATS.

HOWEVER, for the moment:

MOT PASS :occasion7: ...... after fitting the 4th CAT in 5 years ..... !! :shock:

The car went straight through the emissions test after the new one was fitted. I now have a whopping bill to pay, but I was pretty much expecting something to need replacing/welding, and it turned out to be the CAT, so hey-ho.

The previous CAT, a £170 one fitted 2yrs ago, only had a 1yr warranty :roll: (fitted by MOTEST, so beware of them fitting expensive parts for you with barely any warranty, chaps) whereas this one (KwikFit, of all places!) has a 3yr warranty, so - as the garage techie pointed out - I now have 3 years of guaranteed cost-free CAT use, because if it fails in th next 3yrs they'll replace it automatically.

MOTEST also refused to give me any help, diagnosis or investigation as to why a good quality CAT might have failed after only 2yrs. Which I pushed for because regardless of warranty, under the Sale of Goods Act if an item has a clear manufacturer's fault, then the vendor is still liable. I could pick up the old CAT when I collect the car later today, and take it to MOTEST and demand they investigate whether the CAT itself was faulty. But even if it was, they're only obliged to replace the old one, and of course that would mean losing the new one put on by Kwik Fit. So, unless I'd then be willing to fight a long battle with MOTEST to get a contribution towards having to buy a new CAT after only 2yrs, I'm screwed. Frankly it's not worth it for me, as I'm self-employed and just don't have the hours available to fight with these monkeys. If it was £500+ or whatever, then yes; but for some proportion of £170, it's just not worth the hours I'd have to spend on it. The only satisfaction I can get is to never use MOTEST again.

(Incidentally, it was also MOTEST who rammed screwdrivers through Sundance's sills last year when - in my opinion - the problem with the jacking points wasn't yet a critical one)

SO! The lesson is, when you're about to get parts fitted, check what warranty is included, and maybe ask what the garage's policy is, if a part is found to be faulty after warranty ends.

And in nicer news, Sundance is 21 years old today (13-3-97)! :occasion1:

S

_________________
"Never tell me the odds!"

"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maintenance thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maintenance thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with power steering. Oooooh.


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Lerch
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Congratz on the MOT pass and the birthday SJ and Sundance!

Hope you're going to celebrate is true fashion #burnoutvideoplease :D :lol:

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Vulcan 2.5 KLDE Track car thread here
Maddy KFDE ZXI daily thread here


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:24 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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Lerch wrote:
#burnoutvideoplease :D :lol:

If I had room in the tiny car park here, I'd be doing donuts in delight, believe me! :lol:

S

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"Never tell me the odds!"

"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maintenance thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maintenance thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with power steering. Oooooh.


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jinglebells
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Well done Serena.

As it's eating cats so often then I think you may need to dig deeper than normal items like plugs and filters. Other causes are (for example) oil leaks past the valve seals or piston rings, oil will contaminate the cats. Google for more info. 8)


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pitrack_1
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Well done Serena!

Yes the cat should have lasted many, many years.

Yes do pick up the cat and have a look at why it's failed. Maybe even the people at KwikFit will help you cut it open. For example, if it's contaminated, you need to find out why. If the core has disintegrated to a pile of powder... well you have your evidence to go back to MOTTEST (or your Fair Trading Department) and claim what is known in Oz as "not fit for the purpose for which it is sold". If you can make them give you a new cat in exchange for the busted one then at least you could sell it and retrieve some of your money.

Patrick

P.S. Happy 21st birthday Sundance... where's the party? ;-)


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Sundance's last-minute appearance at Japfest Silverstone 2018, after #V6Fail!

Image

S

_________________
"Never tell me the odds!"

"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maintenance thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maintenance thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with power steering. Oooooh.


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