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Old 10-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #15
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That is crazy. I would try another smog guy and see if same result.
Yes, we were thinking the same thing. But, apparently, this is not uncommon. Crazy s***. But yes, we will try a different station next time.

Gonna call Mercedes tomorrow and raise a fuss. Don't have time for this BS.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:46 AM   #16
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In the good old days, you could take a case of PBR to a shop in Kennsington and get a certificate. Another great idea was to buy a Mercedes Benz TDI station wagon with the 5 cylinder turbo diesel that usually went south with fewer than 20,000 miles and drop in a SBC and 400 transmission. No smog checks until CARB caught wind of that scam.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:56 PM   #17
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Don't know why, all of my things turn into long drawn out sagas.....

I just talked to the Smog Referee...they told me I shouldn't need a smog test, and that it was probably a mistake on my registration renewal.

Now I will spend the rest of my day trying to reach the DMV on the phone!
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:17 PM   #18
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We recently had a similar experience: Our 14 year old 2001 Toyota Camry Solara needed a smog check for DMV registration renewal last August. We took it to our favorite smog station, College Smog Check, and for the first time, the test could not be completed because the car's computer showed the "OBDII monitors not ready!" We then took the Toyota to our local Toyota dealer/service department and they could not complete the test either and told us to drive the car for 60 miles & return. We did and they got the same results. This was repeated over the next several days with the same results after another 40 miles and then another 330 miles!

Toyota suggested that I could take it to the DMV Referee, but I asked them to do the specified "Drive cycle Procedure." They did and the test was able to be successfully completed and I promptly drove the vehicle back to College Smog Check for their "free re-check within 30 days test", and our Toyota passed!

Toyota charged me $330!

What I learned: When we take our Toyota for its next Smog Check, I will drive it that day in varying traffic conditions including freeway and city just before pulling into the smog check station. If the test is unable to be completed with monitors showing "Not Ready", I will then take our Toyota's service history and the smog station paperwork to a California State Referee Program Center, which provides "assistance to consumers whose vehicles have OBD II [Emission Control Systems] related issues."

Good luck!
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:25 PM   #19
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I just talked to the Smog Referee...they told me I shouldn't need a smog test, and that it was probably a mistake on my registration renewal.

Now I will spend the rest of my day trying to reach the DMV on the phone!
Hope you got the Smog Referee's opinion in writing to take with to DMV or it may take several days.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
In the good old days, you could take a case of PBR to a shop in Kennsington and get a certificate. Another great idea was to buy a Mercedes Benz TDI station wagon with the 5 cylinder turbo diesel that usually went south with fewer than 20,000 miles and drop in a SBC and 400 transmission. No smog checks until CARB caught wind of that scam.
I'm not sure what kind of maintenance your acquaintances did, but I think you're missing a zero on the average life of that old inline-5 turbodiesel in Mercedes wagons and sedans. There are a couple still smoking along that I see regularly near my home, and my mom put about 350,000 miles on one. Perhaps people just got tired of waiting for 60 mph to come up and put in that 350...
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:30 PM   #21
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SilverGate...yes, that is exactly the result we got at the smog station..."OBDII monitors not ready!"

Today I talked to the Smog Referee, who told me we don't even need to be smogged yet.

Then I called DMV to make sure. DMV told me I DO have to be smogged, and that I have to be smogged every 2 years.

Tomorrow, I'll call Smog Ref back and see if I can get this taken care of without having to pay a dealer to do the Drive Cycle Procedure, like you had to do.

Does California not think there's something wrong when you have to have a "Referee" to oversee smog test problems????
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:35 PM   #22
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SilverGate...yes, that is exactly the result we got at the smog station..."OBDII monitors not ready!"

Today I talked to the Smog Referee, who told me we don't even need to be smogged yet.

Then I called DMV to make sure. DMV told me I DO have to be smogged, and that I have to be smogged every 2 years.

Tomorrow, I'll call Smog Ref back and see if I can get this taken care of without having to pay a dealer to do the Drive Cycle Procedure, like you had to do.

Does California not think there's something wrong when you have to have a "Referee" to oversee smog test problems????
Thanks for the update... this does appear to be getting weirder! Looking forward to your next installment of this saga!
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:55 PM   #23
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The state of California is f'd up.

I talked to the smog referee. They can only help me if only one monitor was "not ready." Unfortunately, three of ours were "not ready."

I guess I'll have to call the dealer and see if they can run the vehicle through the Drive Cycle Procedure.

This is going to be the most time consuming and expensive smog test in the history of the world. OK, I exaggerate. But it feels that way.

EDIT: Boo. Dealer doesn't have ability to put on the dyno thingy and do the procedure. So, we'll be out driving and polluting for 200 miles or so, for no other reason than to pass the dang smog test.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:28 PM   #24
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What I learned: When we take our Toyota for its next Smog Check, I will drive it that day in varying traffic conditions including freeway and city just before pulling into the smog check station. If the test is unable to be completed with monitors showing "Not Ready", I will then take our Toyota's service history and the smog station paperwork to a California State Referee Program Center, which provides "assistance to consumers whose vehicles have OBD II [Emission Control Systems] related issues."
See my last post. Apparently, the referee will only help you if ONLY 1 monitor reads not ready. More than 1, and you're screwed, and will back at Toyota for another $330 drive cycle.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:51 PM   #25
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How aggravating.

I can't wait until I get to go through that
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:08 PM   #26
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So sorry you're having to deal with all this.. I'm so glad I don't live in that state anymore.. What a pain in the in the rear!!
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:03 PM   #27
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While researching on line, I found this blog where this guy explains his smog nightmare (same nightmare as I'm in). Interesting to read his post and to read many of the comments below the blog entry.

Stuck In California’s Smog Check Hell | WorkingReporter – Ron Olsen on the web

Also, I googled "Mercedes drive cycle" and this is what is required in order to get your monitors ready (see attachment). Not sure if this pertains to our exact model, but, it'll give you an idea of the absurdity. (note #17...."Repeat the cycle")

I also just called the office of our state Senator, Marty Block, to complain. First time I've ever called the government for anything.
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by weirdstuff View Post
SilverGate...yes, that is exactly the result we got at the smog station..."OBDII monitors not ready!"

Today I talked to the Smog Referee, who told me we don't even need to be smogged yet.

Then I called DMV to make sure. DMV told me I DO have to be smogged, and that I have to be smogged every 2 years.

Tomorrow, I'll call Smog Ref back and see if I can get this taken care of without having to pay a dealer to do the Drive Cycle Procedure, like you had to do.

Does California not think there's something wrong when you have to have a "Referee" to oversee smog test problems????
I have been driving in CA since 2000 and I have never heard of a Smog Referee. But then I have never had a vehicle not pass either. My first car was a 1991 Acura Legend and now I drive a 2003 F150.
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