Colorado Guts Emissions Test Law


#1

The Colorado DMV has announced that starting in 2015 cars newer than 7 years will be completely exempt from emissions testing…Cars 8 to 11 years old will only need a quick check to see if their OBD system is functioning properly…No tailpipe test…Even older cars still required to be tested (IM-240) can avoid that by seeking out one of the roadside drive-by emissions monitoring trucks and turning off the key as they glide by, producing a zero emissions vehicle !! Ya gotta love it…By exempting new cars for 7 years, they have eliminated virtually all free warranty repairs! A big kiss to the car companies…

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-emission-testing-rules-new-vehicle-exemption-to-change-from-4-years-to-7-years-in-2015


#2

I’m not quite sure how to read your post, positive or negative.

Eliminating tailpipe testing from the emissions program makes sense for 1996 and newer vehicles. It’s almost unheard of to fail a tailpipe test if the OBD2 system is functional and has passed the test. On the other hand, a tailpipe test will not detect EVAP system failures and other faulty emissions components. OBD2 does away with the people who “precondition” their car just to pass a test. Between the 2 tests, the OBD2 will be more reliable than the tailpipe test, if you had to choose only one.

We no longer test cars more than 25 years old. There just aren’t very many of them. And very few of them were getting fixed anyway. Our state has a waiver program the caps the amount a driver has to spend on passing emissions. Most people are just paying a bill that comes to $1 over the waiver amount and licensing them anyway.

Cars fewer than 5 years old rarely fail emissions tests, that’s one reason we eliminated testing on those cars here in WA. The cost and inconvenience to test those cars was at the point of diminshing returns.

I don’t see how that will eliminate warranty repairs. If the light is on, your car is broken. Take it in and have it fixed. If it’s a warranty item, great. If not, pay the bill.

I don’t have any direct experience with roadside testing so I can’t speak to that.


#3

IMO, plain common sense.

Think about it: how often does a car <7 y.o. really fail an emissions test? Yet the costs of running the tests continues to grow with inflation, even as “busts” dwindle, upping the “cost per pound of pollution prevented” ratio.

There is a finite amount of time, money and effort that we, as a society, have to devote to environmental issues. That leads to what economists call scarcity: we can’t have everything we could possibly imagine, so we have to prioritize what we want most. That, in turn, implies opportunity cost: the cost of (say) spending $10,000,000 in sniffer testing is $10,000,000 that isn’t available for (as an example) mitigating storm runoff.

So, if the “bang for the buck” falls too low it is ABSOLUTELY appropriate to curtail emissions testing, particularly expensive sniffer tests. I don’t have access to the numbers in question, but I DO know that cars continue to get cleaner, making it very plausible that this decision is indeed prudent. (Note that the more you care about environmental issues, the more a “rational environmentalist” should want scarce resources prioritized correctly: if you do it wrong, you get less overall benefit, for the same cost.)

Put the money to work where it does the most good!


#4

None of these testing programs ever failed enough cars to make any difference in air quality…It was a big cash cow…Instead of just abandoning it all together, (the EPA won’t let them do that) they pretend they have an effective testing program when it’s really just a jobs program for the people who run it…


#5

Emission tests and safety inspections are for the most part money makers for the state and do little to keep bad cars off the road.


#6

A friend of mine bought a used car in maryland. Their safety inspections are brutal. I think the guy failed him for tie rod bushings and a leaky valve cover gasket. They wanted like $700 to repair that. Apparently thats how it goes there. Luckily we fixed it ourselves, in an ice cold garage I might add, but we fixed it and returned and passed. Bastards!


#7

Emissions requirements for manufacturers is a definite must, and has definitely been a key component in reducing air pollution.

IMHO emissions testing by states is a farce. Countless people spend huge amounts that they can’t afford to try to clear EVAP codes that are almost impossible to clear so that their 1/2 hour of use every day to & from work doesn’t accidentally allow two hydrocarbon molecules free into the environment, while others such as local diesel trucks (dump trucks, box trucks, etc.) pour limitless amounts of every harmful emission imaginable for 16 hours straight 5 or 6 days a week.

There are currently 19 states with no emissions testing, and 19 others that have testing limited to specified counties/areas only.

INHO emissions testing is about politics and revenues. Nothing more, nothing less. IMHO all states should either eliminate of gut their emissions laws.


#8

I’m going the other way

I believe all states, all counties, etc. should have the same emissions standards as California

Everybody should be held to the same high standard

We have to live on this planet

And even if you don’t care, consider that your kids, grandkids, etc. also have to live on this planet


#9

Db, I would have been naïve not to expect that response. Since we’ve already had numerous endless threads on the subject, and everything that could possibly be said on the subject has already been said, Allow me to suggest that we simply agree that we disagree. I’d hate to see yet another endless thread on an already thoroughly debated subject.

With respect,
TSM


#10

I agree that we disagree

But I’d still like to hear what the other guys have to say

I’m sure there’s good points to be made on both sides . . . no emissions testing versus stringent emissions testing


#11

I understand, but there must be 100 previous threads on the subject, all of them with countless posts. I doubt if there’s anything new left to say.

I vote that we let it go.


#12

This thread is only a day old, and it’s not even gotten off topic yet


#13

Point made.


#14

I’m in California, same as DB, and have had some grief due to my Corolla’s emissions testing, some of which has appeared on these pages. Still, I’m fully in favor of emissions testing not just for California but for every state that has measured air quality problems; but I think some common sense needs to be injected, as appears to be happening in Colorado. Here’s modifications I’d like to see for California:

  1. Newer cars probably don’t need any testing at all. Cars w/OBD II don’t need tailpipe testing. As long as the OBD II computer has no stored emissions codes, and no tests are pending, and all the original emissions components are installed, they pass.

  2. Cars older than 25 years get an emissions waiver. There’s not enough of them still on the road and driven enough miles to worry about. Plus it gives an incentive to the hobbyist to restore “classic” cars and keep some of them around for others to see who otherwise would never see one.

  3. For the cars in between, younger than 25 years, and pre-OBD II, they should all get exactly the same treatment, so first off, end the treadmill testing for “targeted” vehicles.

  4. For the cars in number 3, the agency’s goal should be to help the motorist pass the emissions test. The emissions testing agency should post a database of tested cars (by make/model/year/engine) for the car owners to view, to help car owners having failed emissions tests showing the average and range of the emissions test numbers for all engines/cars of that same type, and a list of the most common repairs that were done to correct specific emissions problems on that car.

  5. The emissions agency should not conspire w/the DMV to put up roadblocks to getting the emissions problem repaired. Currently they make it much more difficult for the owner by refusing to re-register the car if it fails emissions. To me, that is nonsensical. How are you going to fix it if you aren’t allowed to drive it? As long as the registration fee is paid, the DMV should serve up temporary registration decals as long as the owner is returning for post repair re-tests within two months of the prior test which failed.


#15

I just started this thread to point out the entire emissions testing industry is slowly fading away…If it was ever needed at all, it’s certainly not needed now…


#16

Here where I am the vehicle emissions testing program was slated to be discontinued in 2012. There had been a gradual but consistent reduction in vehicle-borne emissions for 15 years and the resultant improvement in air quality led the powers that be to end the program. But then in the several years prior to 2012 air quality stopped improving, and in some cases worsened. Population growth and increased traffic is I think a major cause, but at any rate the emissions program is staying for another 10 years.

I don’t think you can say that smog testing was never needed. Just a picture of the Los Angeles Basin in 1970 compared to 1990 will tell a story. True, technological advances alone would have made a big difference, but I think it was “helped along” by mandatory testing.

I’ll go off topic here…you really want to eliminate unneeded driver expense and inconvenience? Get rid of all the “safety” inspections. There is an unneeded program that fleeces the consumer, pads the pockets of some shops and governments, and provides no benefit. All in the guise of “safety.”


#17

Yeah, back when CO was getting so bad people were dying from it, something had to be done…In 1975, catalytic converters and unleaded fuel were not accepted without resistance…Inspections were needed to curb tampering if for no other reason…With the advent of electronically controlled fuel injection and leaded fuel being removed from the market, along with built-in OBD, the need for emissions inspections has simply faded away…Not enough cars fail to be worth the trouble of doing the tests…

Now Ace, you mentioned safety inspections…I think only about half the states do them. The eastern states seem to cling to them… But the proof is in the pudding…The accident rates in the states with no “safety inspection”, including California are the same or better than in states with safety inspections. Also, if safety inspections worked, insurance companies would lobby HARD for them as they would make their business more profitable. But insurance companies know the inspections make no difference in highway safety so they don’t push for them.

The people who benefit from safety inspections are the people who perform the inspections and they don’t want to give it up…

As a kid growing up in Connecticut, I drove some some pretty marginal vehicles…I always managed to “get a sticker” somehow…Everybody did…I think they still play the game there…


#18

Nice. What, with “God-given right to roll coal” on one side, and “<3 every environmental regulation I’ve ever seen” on the other…we actually have an instance of public policy being set as a result of diminishing returns and rational evaluation of cost:benefit ratios.


I’d about given up on American politicians ever acting rationally, vs. ideologically…TY for posting this, @Caddyman. You’ve restored a very small amount of my lost faith in humanity here.

'll go off topic here...you really want to eliminate unneeded driver expense and inconvenience? Get rid of all the "safety" inspections. There is an unneeded program that fleeces the consumer, pads the pockets of some shops and governments, and provides no benefit. All in the guise of "safety."

Actually, as a car owner, and shadetree, I like safety inspections. They are a great "loss-leader" way to find out the health of my car; also, I can always buy a car with an expired inspection and sell it for considerably more with a fresh one. (I guess you could say I'm jobbing the system by taking it in for a cheap inspection, then fixing it all myself...but I've gone to the same shop for 5 years, and they always seem happy to see me, so...)


#19

Thankfully OK did away with their “safety inspection” program some years ago. The entire program was a 100% certifiable joke and the only reason it even existed was to add money to the state troopers pension fund.


#20

That was Minnesota’s experience and eliminated the testing saying the only ones it helped were the private testing operations. Dealers are still on the hook for repairs during the federal emissions period and has nothing to do with state testing.