Originally Posted by Temerarius
I'd say it has more to do with the fact that the Germans have had diesel engines on this side of the pond now for 10+ years and know WTF they are doing.
Well, to be fair - as stated in several earlier posts - if you look at the CARB EOs of other diesels, you'll see that the fines seem to be somewhat common, and even the Mercedes has 6 deficiencies and is paying fines on the latest diesel GLK. So it seems it may not be as straightforward as you might think. I'll also say that, having dealt with CARB myself, nothing
is as straightforward as it ought to be.
Originally Posted by Blinker Fluid
Certification is a game of rules and who interprets the rules. It should be simple but depending on who's in charge the game can change while your playing it.
^^^This. I'll expound upon that shortly.
Originally Posted by Willx
I find it ironic actually considering that the new diesels are less harmful than the average gas engine produced today when you compare cancer causing agents etc. from emissions.
Originally Posted by ExcursionDiesel
Notice that the fines are for ODB2 compliance. This translates to "Your vehicles emissions are acceptable, but your electronic diagnostics don't fully support our emissions testing equipment, so pay up."
Its probably a ODB2 feature set only needed in gassers and all diesels have to "pay to play". Pure extortion.
So, I'll argue both sides of this somewhat, though after my personal experiences with CARB it's remarkable I could ever even consider siding with them ....
It's hard to say, without knowing what the deficiencies are, but it's possible that the OBD2 failures aren't as ridiculous/extortionist-based as one might think. They're actually trying to move OBD2 to the point where the vehicle monitors and records enough info that they no longer have to do dyno tests for smog compliance. Personally, I'm in favor of that, so if the strictness on the OBD2 is to get manufacturers to the point where the dyno can be eliminated, then I would say it's less of an extortion.
Now that being said, there's is an extreme amount of ridiculousness in CARB, and is very political and depends far too much on who you ask and when you ask them.
A number of years ago I decided to replace the engine in my 78 TransAm with a modern (LS1) engine. I made this decision for a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that the LS1 is drastically
more smog efficient and significantly more fuel efficient. Seemed like a Good Thing To Do.
"Not so", says CARB and in fact they seem to actively dissuade people from doing this. Even though my gross-polluting 400 big block would easily pass smog, the far more efficient and low-polluting LS1 would not. When you do an engine conversion, you have to pass smog for the year of the engine, not the year of the body. When I first started the project, I didn't care about passing smog because there was a 30 year "rolling exemption" (vehicles over 30 years didn't have to pass smog and I figured by the time my project was done, I'd be past that point. But after starting the project, the Guvernator repealed the exemption and mandated that everything post-1975 had to pass smog.
I thought to myself "that's OK, I should still be able to get this to pass 2002 smog". I looked up all of the CARB requirements for engine swaps and felt that I could do what they required.
I did the conversion, kept all of the 2002 smog equipment, and everything seemed great. The one exception was the EVAP, which was a little problematic because some of the required equipment for modern EVAP would be difficult to retrofit.
But I found a shop that could do the work - take all of the 2002 EVAP equipment and build it into my setup. He was about to start the work and then he called me to tell me that a similar project he just sent to the smog ref failed. The ref said that he considered the fuel tank to be part of the emissions and so required the stock fuel tank from the engine-donor vehicle to be installed. Nevermind that it's physically impossible (short of strapping to the roof) to fit a 2002 TransAm fuel tank in a 78 body. The ref's answer: "if it doesn't fit, you shouldn't do it".
I called all sorts of people at CARB and I got a different answer from each person I talked to. Most said they had never heard of a ref interpreting the rules that way, but they all said, "The ref is judge, jury and executioner" - whatever he says is what goes and you have no recourse/appeal.
I had no idea what to do at this point - but then I found out about the new "erod" package from GM. They got a CARB executive order for an LS3 engine and associated smog equipment, for installation into pre-1995 vehicles. So as expensive, and painful as it was, I chose to pull the LS1 and put the new LS3/erod in.
The sad/frustrating thing is that the new LS3 setup had all the same smog equipment that my LS1 setup had, but the LS3 had the official stamp of approval, whereas the LS1 did not.
The even more sad/frustrating thing is that CA really ought to be encouraging
swaps like this not discouraging them! They go out of their way to encourage people to get hybrids, yet I bet that swapping a single 78 big block with a modern engine would be equivalent to at least a dozen people swapping modern cars for hybrids.
While I'm happy that the air is nowhere near what it was back in the 70s, due in large part to CARB's efforts, it continually frustrates me how little common sense there is in the system.
Phew! Sorry for the long rant, and thanks to those (very few) who read to the end!