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Failed Inspection? - Low Mileage Waiver - Texas 2014

This is a discussion on Failed Inspection? - Low Mileage Waiver - Texas 2014 within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I'll start this story in the middle, so those of you that are looking for information can skip over the ...

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    1 of 188 1stbird's Avatar
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    Failed Inspection? - Low Mileage Waiver - Texas 2014

    I'll start this story in the middle, so those of you that are looking for information can skip over the drama...

    In certain counties in Texas, we have emissions testing which is done through the OBD II port. I have a 2001 Formula, 5.7 LS1 that I tried to get inspected this year and it came up 2 "Not Readies". O2 Heater and EVAP. According to the E.P.A. standards, a 2000 or older car can have 2 "Not Readies" and pass, but 2001 and newer can only have 1, so I failed. The "Quick Lube" inspector and even a dealership told me the "best" way to fix the problem was, "Drive it." I bought a hand held scanner (no need to pay $40 for an inspection, just to have it fail) and 800 miles later, it still showed the same two "Not Readies"!

    In Texas, there are four separate waiver and time extension categories. TxDPS - VI Waivers and Time Extensions I'll just address the Low Mile Waiver.

    If a motorist's vehicle has failed an emissions test, the motorist may petition the Director of the DPS for an Individual Vehicle Waiver. The motorist must demonstrate that:

    the motorist has taken every reasonable measure to comply with the requirements of the vehicle emissions I/M program contained in the Revised Texas I/M SIP; and
    a waiver shall have minimal impact on air quality.

    Reasonable measures are considered to be:

    Vehicles diagnosed and repaired at any Recognized Repair Facility, qualify to claim the cost of diagnosis, parts and labor.
    Vehicles not diagnosed and repaired at Recognized Repair Facility, qualify to claim the cost of parts only.
    Vehicles will be visually inspected by a Texas Department of Public Safety representative to insure that emission repairs being claimed have been performed.
    For more information contact your local Texas Department of Public Safety Vehicle Inspection office.

    There is a low mileage exemption for motorists who drive less than 5,000 miles/year. To qualify for this exemption you must:

    Fail both the initial test and free retest
    Incur $100 of emissions related repairs
    Drive less than 5,000 miles/year

    If you meet these qualifications then you would qualify for the low mileage waiver. Contact the DPS challenge station in your area for more information on the forms to complete.


    I have the Inspection Records from 2005 when I bought this car and since last year, I had only put 553 miles on the car, so I "knew" I could qualify for the Low Mileage Waiver. My only question was, "What is $100 of emissions related repairs?" I drove my other car to the Referee Station, explained my situation and the guy said I qualified. He said I just needed to have the repairs done, bring back the receipts, my two failed inspection paperwork, insurance card, driver license and a money order for $14.25. I asked what kind of repairs I needed to do, since nobody could tell me what to "fix" and he said spend $100 on a gas cap, plugs, wires, filters, whatever, as long as it was $100.

    I stopped by a Recognized Repair Facility to see how much a tune-up would be. I explained to the tech what the Referee Station had said and he seemed to want to "sell" me the Individual Vehicle Waiver, which has no mileage limit, but you have to spend at least $600 in my county. When I got home, I called the DPS in Austin and they told me the same thing as my local Referee Station, even that an oil change would qualify!

    The next day, I took it to the dealership (also a Recognized Repair Facility), told him what I need to do and he suggested an oil and air filter change. I told him I had a K&N reusable air filter and had recently changed the oil, so he suggested a PVC Valve and gas filter change, since that would be around $120. I told him "OK". After I got home, I called the Referee Station and made an appointment for the next day, since they didn't do them that day of the week.

    The next day, I drove to the Referee Station with paperwork in hand and long story short, in 30 to 45 minutes, I had an Inspection Sticker and was on my way!

    So for those of you that find yourselves in this situation, check with your local DPS to see what programs are available. Hopefully, this information will get out and help someone else. At least now, I can legally drive my car for another year and fix a problem I wasn't even aware I had!

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    As I stated in the previous post, I have the Inspection Records from 2005 when I bought this car. The EVAP has ALWAYS showed "Not Ready". From what I've read, some cars never set this monitor! Can anybody else that has a Forth Gen LS1 with OBDII inspection tell me if their EVAP has ever shown "Ready"?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I wonder if the canister in the back is clogged?


    Sometimes dirt dobblers build nests in the most damn inconvenience spots.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    1.buy set of injectors
    2. show receipt to get sticker
    3.return injectors
    4.??????
    5. profit

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    What are the actual codes? Seems like it would have been far less hassle to simply fix one or both of the issues.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    In that part of the state it can be a PITA to get inspections. Some places have been known for doing "shake downs" for a pass. I wonder if it's still requirement to go back to the same inspector for retest. Of' course you had to pay "full price" per inspection so you can see how easy it was to get abuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I wonder if the canister in the back is clogged?


    Sometimes dirt dobblers build nests in the most damn inconvenience spots.
    Sounds like something to check. I'll have to do some research to see where the canister is located.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    1.buy set of injectors
    2. show receipt to get sticker
    3.return injectors
    4.??????
    5. profit
    No matter what parts you spend the money on, they do check at the Referee Station to see if they were installed. So for this to work, you would have to buy, install, uninstall and hope it was parts the auto store would take back. Kind of tough to take back an oil change for a refund! LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    What are the actual codes? Seems like it would have been far less hassle to simply fix one or both of the issues.
    Good question, but part of the problem is there are no codes. All I have to go by is the EVAP and o2 Heater Monitors showing "Not Ready". The guy at the first Repair Facility suggested doing an Emissions Diagnostic Test on it for $80, so if the monitors don't set "Ready" some time soon, that might be my next step.

    At least now, I can legally drive it some place to get it looked at. (I did get pulled over on the way to the Referee Station, but the cop let me off with a "Warning". I do know from past experience with a Saturn that I couldn't get the SES light to turn off, that after 90 days it's an automatic, I have no choice but to give you a $150 ticket!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I wonder if it's still requirement to go back to the same inspector for retest.
    If you take it back to the same inspector within 15 days, the retest is free. If you don't make it back within 15 days or take it somewhere else, you have to pay again. I thought it was kind of a joke that I had to pay the Referee Station $14.25 to do the Safety part of the inspection again (since technically I had already paid for it once!) but I guess that was a small price to pay!

    BTW, if your county doesn't have the emissions testing but you take it to a county that does, they do the emissions test anyway and charge the $39.95 instead of the $14.25!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stbird View Post
    No matter what parts you spend the money on, they do check at the Referee Station to see if they were installed. So for this to work, you would have to buy, install, uninstall and hope it was parts the auto store would take back. Kind of tough to take back an oil change for a refund! LOL!
    so are they going to pull the injectors? Be pretty hard to tell if they were new or not without pulling them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Green Z28 View Post
    Don't worry about understanding women. Women understand women, and they hate each other

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    Good info regarding the low mileage thing. I've never heard of that

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    so are they going to pull the injectors? Be pretty hard to tell if they were new or not without pulling them.
    I kind of, sort of see what I think you are asking, so I will answer it this way... I don't know if you are asking about "cheating", but they only do a visual inspection to see if you actually replaced the parts that you have receipts for. I don't know what injectors cost but I would imagine they would be over the $100 minimum. So yes, you could buy something like that, return them for the cash and "claimed" you had replaced them. The same way I could pay for a charcoal canister, get a refund and "claimed" I replaced that. They're not going to drop my gas tank to see if I really did!

    I though I had a bookmark of the Texas Vehicle Code that said the repairs has to be for the specific problem, but right now I can't find it. But I guess it doesn't matter if the Referee Station's definition of "emissions related repairs" are so vague that they will count an oil change towards "fixing" the problem. If I'm going to spend $100, I would rather spend it "honestly" on something that will benefit my car, rather than try to "cheat"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckie669 View Post
    Good info regarding the low mileage thing. I've never heard of that
    Thanks for the "thumbs up", as it were, chuckie669! I see you are in Texas, too. I hope this info gets out so people can see what the options are if they can't pass this emissions cr@p!

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    so buying and returning injectors is cheating but sinking $100 into the car for things that aren't even close to being related to the problem isn't? If you want to do it honest then find out what O2 is setting the heater code and fix that O2....that's one of your codes right there and an O2 is only about $50 on ebay. The evap will just need to be smoked most likely to find the leak which is probably just a pinhole in a line or the purge valve or something simple like that. That evap canister is inside the drivers rear quarter panel between the filler neck and tail light.

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    Yeah, I am kind of confused a little myself, Orion. I mean, you posted some good information, but for you to take your vehicle to all these different "qualified" places and for them to just tell you "let's replace this, this, and oh this to get the $100 you need to spend" without knowing what the hell is wrong?

    Sounds like a bunch of crooks....and incompetent people who shouldn't be in the automotive repair business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    so buying and returning injectors is cheating but sinking $100 into the car for things that aren't even close to being related to the problem isn't?
    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    but for you to take your vehicle to all these different "qualified" places and for them to just tell you "let's replace this, this, and oh this to get the $100 you need to spend" without knowing what the hell is wrong?
    0rion and 35th-ANV-SS, I think you are missing the point of my post. On Sept. 1st, my inspection would have been expired by 90 days. I don't know if every city is the same, but in the town next to mine, after 90 days it's an "automatic, I have no choice but to give you a $150 ticket"! So my goal was to get an inspection sticker on this car the quickest and easiest way I could. At least then, it would give me another year to drive my car legally to find out what the real problem was.

    To qualify for the Low Mileage Waiver, "you must have failed the emissions test twice, have driven less that 5000 miles the previous year and spend $100 on emissions related repairs".

    Orion - Maybe "cheating" wasn't the term I should have used. If the Referee Station doesn't care what I spend the $100 on, as long as I can get an inspection sticker, I would rather spend it on something that would benefit my car in the long run such as plugs, wires, filters or even an oil change (how stupid is that to fix an emissions problem) rather than spend it on something just to take it back off. Even if it didn't fix the problem of why you car didn't pass emissions, why would you spend the money for plugs (let's say), install them just to pass the visual inspection and to prove that you spent the money, just to take them back off and get a refund? That's the only point I was trying to make towards you original question.

    35th-ANV-SS - They (the "qualified" places) weren't telling me what to spend my money on, I was telling them. The reason I chose a "Qualified Repair Facility" was because I could claim diagnostics, parts and labor as part of the $100, rather than if I did it myself or took it to someone else, all I could claim towards repairs was parts. They weren't trying to fix the problem, that's not what I was asking them to do. Just get me to $100, so I can get an inspection sticker.

    I appreciate your comments and opinions. As far as what Orion said and I know this should be a separate post...

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    find out what O2 is setting the heater code and fix that O2....that's one of your codes right there and an O2 is only about $50 on ebay. The evap will just need to be smoked most likely to find the leak which is probably just a pinhole in a line or the purge valve or something simple like that. That evap canister is inside the drivers rear quarter panel between the filler neck and tail light.
    Let's start with the "most PITA problem to solve" first... In the nine years I have owned this car, the EVAP monitor has never been set to ready. I have the inspection paperwork to back that claim up. As far as my research shows, in 2001 they relocated the evap canister to the top of the gas tank. I really don't want to drop the gas tank to replace a part that may or may not fix a problem.

    As far as the o2 heater, there are no codes showing! I bought an actron CP9125 Pocketscan and it shows no codes and no codes pending, just the two "Not Readies". If the o2's were bad, wouldn't at least be throwing a code? (I've seen "yes, no, maybe, sometimes, don't know.....) I don't mind replacing parts if that will fix the problem, I just don't want to throw parts at this car and see what "sticks".

    At least for now, I have found a way to "fly under the radar", "taken advantage of the loophole" or what ever you want to call it to give me the time to figure out what the problem is. That was the point of this post. Hopefully someone else can use this information to help them.

    I'm getting too old to climb under my car since I don't have a garage and too smart to risk a ticket for something as stupid as passing an emissions test.
    Last edited by 1stbird; 09-05-2014 at 06:56 AM.

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    I'm at an airport right now, but I will come back to this thread once I get grounded and can read/research the issues.

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