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Inspection problem

Thanks caddyman. I always thought the engine was the same for 1998-2002 Continentals. Tom418 suggested the waiver route. I looked it up and it is only for emissions control tests. Question is, is the check engine light and/or the IMRC part of an emissions test? Even so,the check engine light being stuck on could mask other problems and on that point a waiver may not be given. I will check with the dealer this week and also try to get a look at the repair manual.

On another point, it would help the medicine go down if I could get a new car to replace the old one. I tried a 2017 Continental and had a problem squeezing through the doorway. I am 6’5" and have a problem with headroom in the modern sedans. Besides, it costs $60,000 with sales tax and all.So I would have to go to a SUV. But I have 2 months left before inspection so will keep looking for a solution that lets me keep the car.

$81 dollars here runner control valve

$33.95 here control unit

Are you sure these are right for my 1998 Continental? The dealer gave me these part numbers: F86Z 9L496 AE for the runner control valve and F86Z 90531 BA for the control. These would be the OEM numbers.

Im sure they are correct they are not OEM parts they are after market so they are far less expensive but for an older car with high miles you will probably never have to replace them again. Most part sites have a fit guide for you car. Verify the car info and search to be positive. OEM’s might be difficult to find for that age car. Or send me the year, make, model and engine size and I will verify

In Maryland you would have a good chance “passing” the inspection if the dealer or repair shop is willing to complete a certificate stating they are unable to obtain the parts for a proper repair. Not sure if there is something similar in your State

What state do you live in?

Does the inspector merely observe the check engine light for proper function?

Or does he plug his tool into your car’s 16pin diagnostic connector?

If the latter, your current fault code will be detected, and all that tampering with the instrument cluster, and how the check engine light gets its power, would be a waste of time.

In that case, your best solution is to actually fix the problem, assuming you can locate the parts.

To be clear, I recommend AGAINST tampering with the check engine light, anyways, regardless of where you live. It is deception, and it meets the definition of tampering

Donald, what the heck . . . ?!

That first part is for a 3.8 and 4.2 liter V6 . . . OP’s continental doesn’t have that engine. They have a 4.6DOHC. Completely different beast

And the second part is an iac valve. OP never complained about that, in the first place

I know you’re trying to be helpful, but those parts don’t really solve the problem

Yeah that Dorman part pops up all the time but looks like its for an Econoline not a Continental. I don’t think the idle air control is what was meant by the control unit.

I’ve had some more information from the Lincoln dealer. The IMRC in my car is unique to the 1998 Continental. No other cars use it. Hence the unavailability of parts. And its more than a simple butterfly valve. It has a valve that is vacuum operated and slides in a bore in the casting. Over time carbon builds up and they will not move freely. So the valves AND the castings need to be replaced. They have tried in the past to clean the carbon from the IMRC valves with no success.

So it looks like my only hope is to get the inspection waiver. The NYS inspection rules say that if you spend more than $558 or more trying to fix the problem, and the retest fails, you can get the waiver. My interpretation is that if you make a reasonable effort to fix it and it still fails, you get the waiver, and unavailability to get the parts constitutes a reasonable effort. I have written the NYSDMV to see if they agree with my interpretation.

So I will take it in for inspection and if the check engine light is the only problem I will ask for the waiver.

Hopefully after spending the minimum required amount to be eligible for a waiver the problem will be solved, you don’t want to have to spend $600 each year and still have a failing vehicle.

New parts being unavailable should not be a reason to allow a person to operate a failing vehicle indefinitely, one of the goals of the emissions testing program is to remove older vehicles from the road.

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hmmm … interesting, so it is configured like a piston which slides in a cylinder, sort of like a caulking tube. The idea being that when the piston is at one end the cylinder is long, and when the piston is at the other end, the cylinder is short. I can see how that would work, but I don’t understand why that would be something you’d want in a car’s intake air path. For example, if I re-plumbed the water pipe going to my kitchen faucet so the water path was longer, it wouldn’t have any effect. When I turned the faucet on, the water would still come out immediately , same as before. So what’s the benefit of that function for gasoline engines?

@GeorgeSanJose, Every time the valves open and close, they send a pulse down the intake runners. At certain RPM’s, the pulses form a harmonic that can disrupt the smooth flow of air and make the engine a lot noisier. A variable cylinder attached to the runners can absorb the harmonics and the sound.

The only way I can see this being emissions related is if the pulses cause issues with the gas vapor, maybe causing it to condense. This would be primarily a full throttle issue as the primary ports are multi port fuel injected, the secondary ports are fed by a single large throttle body fuel injector.

Thanks, George

The NYS inspection will allow a waiver if the OBD2 code shows a failure and attempts at a fix are unsuccessful. My question is are there other safety problems associated with the check engine light not caught by the OBD2 code? Is the stuck check engine light masking other safety functions other than what is shown by the OBD2 check.

OBDII is for emissions, not safety.

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As posted by Keith above, OBD codes are generally not concerned w/safety issues. Some of the things they flag could be potentially unsafe I guess, but that’s not their purpose. That function is to alert the driver (and whoever else wants to know) to a problem with the car’s emissions control systems. The engine computer stores codes for each thing it believes is wrong with the emissions system. It might for example store three codes: one for the engine coolant temp sensor, another for the evap canister, and a third for the throttle position sensor. The check engine light on the dashboard indicates there is at least one code stored in the computer’s memory. Exactly how many codes are stored, and which codes, comes by reading them out. To do this they use a diagnostic gadget shops have on hand called a scan tool, which they plug into the OBD II connector under the dash and the codes are then displayed on the scan tool display. So no problems would be masked, all the problems stored by the engine computer would show up at that point.

Thanks guys. I am getting an education here. My plan here now is to take the car in for inspection and see if there are any costly problems other than the check engine light. The check engine light is the malfunction indicator light (MIL) of the OBD2 system. If that is the only major problem I will go for the waiver. The rules say you have to spend $558 trying to repair the problem and if it still fails inspection you can get the waiver. In my opinion, unavailability to get the parts is equivalent to best effort at trying to repair the problem. Hope the inspector agrees.

Best of luck. As a bit of forewarning, as you probably already understand, the inspector follows the rules the state officials tell him to follow. While the reduced emissions objective is a good one, sometimes the result of following those rules might appear to result in the opposite of the objective, and lack basic common sense. My Corolla unexpectedly failed to pass emissions a couple years ago. Just barely over one of the HC limits. I took the car to the testing station a few days before the deadline, but since it didn’t pass I couldn’t legally drive the car after the deadline, even to take it to a repair shop or even to the auto parts store to buy parts to get the problem fixed. Common sense seems like if the test is taken prior to the deadline and it doesn’t pass, the deadline is extended 60 days or so in order to resolve the issues. But no, that’s not the way they do it. The result was that since I couldn’t drive the Corolla as a daily driver while getting ready for a re-test, I drove my 70’s era 302 V8 carbureted truck instead, which I’d guess produces 10 times the amount of air pollution as the Corolla. Opposite of the objective.

What can I say? This is why Minnesota did away with the whole emissions testing under Gov. Ventura. He said the only ones benefiting from it were the inspection stations. The natural replacement of vehicles seemed to be more effective for emissions reduction than testing.

That’s OK for Minnesota where rust solves the problem, but down here in the south, vehicles go on smoking and choking for a lot longer.

Before you spend another hundreds of $$ I would ask the shop to indicate on the repair order/invoice that the part is no longer available. Take that invoice to the testing station and with a little luck they let you slide. You have nothing to loose, worse case you have to return within 30 or whatever days for a re-inspection.