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      04-14-2021, 09:04 PM   #1
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Need help passing CA smog. Cat-less with BM3.

Hey all,

I've got myself in a bit of a rough situation. I misunderstood the by-annual smog rules on the CA DMV website and didn't realize I had to pass emissions this year.

I've paid the registration, all I need to do is take the car to a "STAR certified SMOG station".

However, earlier this year (like an idiot) I had a FBO kit (all VRSF) installed on my 2013 335i PWG N55. I'm running bootmod3 stage 2 E30 fuel with a cat-less downpipe. So although I have no check engine (Cell light), my o2 sensor reads "not ready" for obvious reasons. As far as I know, this is the one sensor I need to show "ready" to pass.

My question is, do I really not have any other options than taking my car back to the shop and spend $$$ to make it stock in order to pass?

I've reached out to some guys who claim they can "pass me" under the table, but they either say they can't help me or they quote me so high I might as well pay to put the OEM downpipe back on...

I've read about a VRSF o2 simulator, but sounds like these are no longer around?

I've read about using an o2 spacer, but I've heard mixed results, and like the sim, it wouldn't pass a visual test (unless I get lucky and they only test ODB). Oh and my car would still REEK of fuel LOL

I've also read about doing a drive cycle with a higher E85 mix to somehow trigger readiness, (is this safe?) but again, I'm assuming even if this was true I'd still fail the visual (and common sense smell test)

Really wishing I had a lift and tools of my own...

If anyone has any local suggestions or services, I'm located in San Diego, CA 92122.

ANY info is helpful info to me!

Thanks
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      04-15-2021, 03:22 AM   #2
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Path of least resistance is probably just swap your OEM DP back on and flash back to stock and relock to DME. CA now checks for tunes with the smog check, so your car MUST be on 100% OEM DME software or you will immediately fail and get state ref, regardless of emission monitors. The other mods shouldnt be a problem unless the place doing the smog is really strict. So you don't need to go back to stock... just OEM DP and stock tune. Minor labor for the DP really.

Ive been doing "under the table" sniffer tests on my other cars for 10+ years, but AFAIK you can't do that with the OB2, since it must be connected to the vehicle, so they cant "trick it" like a sniffer where they just put it in a different car's exhaust.

The O2 simulators and spacers have mixed results. A spacer with a mini cat MAY get you emissions ready if you go back to stock tune and drive gently through the drive cycle, but as you said, the smell and visual would be an obvious fail. Some shops may overlook that as long as you pass the OBD2, potentially for a "extra fee".
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      04-15-2021, 07:35 AM   #3
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swap the pipe back.
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      04-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #4
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This is the downside of having a tuner shop do your installs. When it's time to pass smog, you'll need to pay up again. Last week, my car was due in CA. I had to put back the stock intake, stock CAT, and revert to stock software. Took about 2 hours, but fun to work on the car anyway.
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      04-20-2021, 10:23 AM   #5
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So, do you all want to say that those hundreds if not thousands tuned BMWs with hatless dp are not passing emission test in CA? oO
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      04-20-2021, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolianovskyi View Post
So, do you all want to say that those hundreds if not thousands tuned BMWs with hatless dp are not passing emission test in CA? oO
lol

you either pay to get someone to pass you or you put it back to stock. it's standard California practice.
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      04-20-2021, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolianovskyi View Post
So, do you all want to say that those hundreds if not thousands tuned BMWs with hatless dp are not passing emission test in CA? oO
Not without some kind of workaround. As I said, "DP fix" methods, o2 spacers/mini cats, etc, may work with varying success to get emission monitors ready. But aside from that, the CVN check is new from around 2020, and cars across all platforms are having to deal with it. You simply cannot pass with a tune, you must have OEM software on the DME. There's no way around it. You can't pay someone to pass you in this case.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/ARSC/Newslett..._Modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom10R View Post
lol

you either pay to get someone to pass you or you put it back to stock. it's standard California practice.
Yeah like i said, that's fine for the sniffer test (pre-OBD2), but doesn't work for these cars.
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      04-20-2021, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejeremyman9 View Post
But aside from that, the CVN check is new from around 2020, and cars across all platforms are having to deal with it. You simply cannot pass with a tune, you must have OEM software on the DME. There's no way around it. You can't pay someone to pass you in this case.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/ARSC/Newslett..._Modifications
Smog stations little by little are getting upgraded computers that not only check the CVN but can also cross check the VIN number entered by the technician vs the one registered electronically in the car. Multiple fail safes have been put in place to mitigate fraud. For those of us in CA, unless it has a CARB number or can run on OEM mapping or CARB approved mapping we are forced to stay stock.
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      04-21-2021, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolianovskyi View Post
So, do you all want to say that those hundreds if not thousands tuned BMWs with hatless dp are not passing emission test in CA? oO
Well, as you might have seen in the other recent emissions thread above, I put my stock DP back on in preparation for a test....and when it is done I will put the catless back on. Once ypu have done this job a couple times it's really not that hard--a little laborious with the position under the car, but doing it 2 times every 2 years..no big deal.
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      04-21-2021, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgoens View Post
Well, as you might have seen in the other recent emissions thread above, I put my stock DP back on in preparation for a test....and when it is done I will put the catless back on. Once ypu have done this job a couple times it's really not that hard--a little laborious with the position under the car, but doing it 2 times every 2 years..no big deal.
Or just buy AA, fabspeed, or CG-1
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