P0430 state inspection code failure
New to this forum and thought i would share the experience i had getting my 07 wrangler unlimited inspected. I'm sorry that this is a long post, but i felt i had to let people know about this.
Took my jeep to get inspected 7/30; sticker expires at the end of the month. i wont say where i took it but its one of the nationally known service centers. The check engine light had been on for a week at this point so, as expected it failed the inspection. The reason for the failure, "P0430: catalyst system efficiency below threshold (bank 2)." When your vehicle fails the emissions portion you have 15 days generally to correct the problem and bring it back for a free inspection. The technician referred me to a specialty mechanic close by. I had about 1.5 hours to kill so i thought i would at least get an estimate on what it would cost if it wasn't something insurance could take care of.
The mechanic there performed a computer diagnostic and even showed me exactly which sensors in bank 2 were giving abnormal readings compared to others that looked normal. He also informed me that he RESET my jeeps computer system so that the check engine light was no longer on. Total cost for this diagnostic test with complimentary reset - $57. The cost to make the necessary repairs, which i elected to not have do, ~$700.
The mechanic told me take it home and if the check engine light is still off in two days bring it back in and he will have one of his guys take it to get inspected at the same place it failed; for a small courtesy fee. I thought that sounded a little shady. Especially because in order to get the free re-inspection you must fill out and turn in a form specifying what repairs were done to the vehicle in order to get it to pass inspection. I thought, how could simply resetting the computer make a vehicle pass inspection if the catalyst components or oxygen sensors are not working? Nothing has really been fixed has it?
The next day (7/31) I took it to the dealership because I have a Chrysler Extended Lifetime warranty. The good news is the repairs are under warranty. the bad news, the dealership can't touch the jeep to fix it. Turns out they need the check engine light on in order to begin searching for the problem. the people at the dealership told me i did nothing wrong, but implied that the mechanic i took it to should not have RESET the computer. By resetting the computer you make it so that the car CANNOT be repaired by anyone unless they just so happen to be the one that rest it in the first place and got a chance to see what exactly was wrong. Furthermore the fact that the light is now off means that the jeep will PASS inspection. Pretty much the only way you will fail the emissions portion of the inspection is if the vehicles computer displays there is a problem via the check engine light.
The technicians advice at the dealership, wait a couple days then take it to get inspected. If the light ever comes on again, then bring it back and let my warranty handle the repairs.
Not wanting to be apart of any scheme i may have encountered, i decided to cut my loses and went to a new state inspection location that same day (7/31). the check engine light still off, the jeep PASSED!
I'm not posting this as a way for people to skirt around a failed emissions inspection; or to prevent themselves for getting a failure in the first place. I don't know how to do it, but i'm sure many people on this forum can reset their vehicles' computer. All i'm saying is be wary of situations like this. i got lucky because my check engine light did not come back on after it was reset. Perhaps that is common for this type of failure code. with nothing to lose thanks to the warranty i fully intend to make the necessary repairs when the check engine light comes back on.
All of this said, i am still in shock over how easy it was to basically beat a failed inspection. yes i paid for an extra inspection, but an extra $40 is worth the peace of mind of valid stickers and to not be apart of any illicit activities.