Emissions failure

You know as well as I that was a typo.

What you show when you do this type of thing is your immaturity.


You know as well as I that was a typo.

Why would I think that’s a typo?:

Because only 12 states have E15.

In my statement where I made the typo, I stated most states mandate E15.


Gosh, @Tester, your compliment regarding my ability to read minds is making me blush.

When you’re immature, you don’t realize you’re immature. Ergo, you’ll always remain immature.


I had this exact same problem on an early 90’s Corolla, 4AFE engine. Last year. A little too high Calif HC emissions at 15 mph.

You are so close to passing I expect just replacing the spark plugs w/new will get you over the top. If they haven’t already been changed within the last 10,000 miles I mean. To improve the odds, replace the engine air filter, and change the oil and oil filter too. I can’t advise whether you should do this yourself b/c it depends on your skill level. Plus I don’t have experience with that particular engine. If you 've never done anything like that, at the very least have someone who has done it before help out and show you how to do it.

The experienced mechanics here provided a lot of help to get my poor Corolla over the top. You can follow the whole experience, might get some ideas that could help you, by reviewing this link. Best of luck.


@Tester, are you feeling Ok? If the E15 reference was a typo, can’t you just own up to it? I originally didn’t see it that way, since E15 has been a controversial subject for the last few years.

It’s on!


I agree with George. Start with new plugs and you may find that’ll put you in good shape.
Check the plugs after you remove them. At this age you might have a worn injector as well. If one of the spark plugs doesn’t look like the others, post a photo.

A worn injector won’t create the fine spray necessary for the fuel to fully combust in the short time that is the power stroke. Injectors can be tested, but a 18 years old you probably have one or two worn out. Or three.

A compression check is a really good idea at this age too. If the compression is low or uneven, the engine might just be worn beyond passing the test. But to be honest, I’m hoping you’ll find the cause in the sparkplugs or injectors. Both are easily replaceable and affordable, both normally wear with use, and either could easily cause difficulty passing emissions.

In my statement where I made the typo, I stated most states mandate E15.
Really? You were responding to a post in which *I* suggested OP up her gas to E15 with use of some E85. You then counter with, "well, most states already use it." So, you couldn't have just mis-typed; you also had to mis-read what I wrote.

No way did I construe what you wrote to be a typo; I construed it to mean that E15 was a done deal, and up and running (which it ain't).

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to thank you all for the help. A little update on the situation. I ended up going to autozone, buying fresh spark plugs, oil, oil filter, and air filter supplies and taking them to an auto shop to get them put in. When I went back to the smog check place, I got a 51 for HC at 15 mph, (if you don’t remember, I was at 54 and 55 for the first two tries).

So that’s that, and my journey with smog emissions is over… for now.

Thanks again!

Sincere congratulations.
But remember that the next year will pass quickly. I’d still check the compression. If it’s good, and it isn’t using excess oil, that means that the engine can affordably be put back in shape for future emissions tests. If not, that means the engine is in the twilight of its life and you’ll need to consider your options.

Sincere best,



It was almost certainly the new plugs, which got your hydrocarbons down to a passing level

If it’s any consolation, many/most Toyotas of your car’s vintage have relatively high HC numbers, as yours does. And MANY of them barely pass smog, from day one. Even well maintained vehicles. This seems to be the norm. Part of the reason is typical Toyota oil consumption from cars of that vintage