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Author Topic: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)  (Read 1005 times)

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Offline Wittsend

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Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« on: April 21, 2017, 12:09:44 PM »
The other day I received a standard junk mail card. However, instead of being addressed to "Resident," "Home Owner" etc. it had a unique way of addressing me as the "1973 Pinto Owner" (see pictures). The card was for California's buy back program to get "polluters" off the road.  Ahhh..., no thanks.  BTW with the 2.3T engine from the '88 Turbo Coupe (with the CAT still in the exhaust system) I'm sure is far cleaner than a lot of other cars still on the road.

Update: While my initial intention was to note being amusingly referred to as a "1973 Pinto Owner" in a mailing this has taken its own course towards the smog side of the mailer. And, I have no problem with that. Chat on!

Offline pinto_one

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 01:29:35 PM »
I just looked at the buy back site to the buy back program,  and the way its reads I have to say someone has to be smoking that government issued Obama Weed if your going to spend a couple of hundred bucks just to make sure it passes a smog test before they give you any money , nope  :o
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Offline dick1172762

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 01:34:08 PM »
Thank God its only in Cal-a-porn-ya! At least so far.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 02:35:33 PM »
I'll have to say that the requirement to pass smog is an oddity. The reason there are so many stipulations is that people were buying cars that would fetch $1,000 for a few hundred dollars and making a business out of it. Where as the program was intended to assist individuals to remove higher polluting cars.  I "retired" my old daily driver (a 1991 Mazda 323) back in 2011. That was though the state, not county program and in that situation the car HAD TO FAIL its bi-annual smog test.  The previous test I hit a 134 ppm on the HC..., on a 134 limit. So, I was glad to pass the test and get another two years out of the car.

 But, I also knew that a new CAT would be needed next time. And here we HAVE to have California Certified CATS. You consider yourself fortunate if your car requires one in the $350-$400 price range. Some cars with dual CATS run over $2,000!  Anyway, two years later I hit something like 148 ppm on the HC, failed the test, qualified for the state version of the buy back program and got my $1,000. Not bad for a car my brother gave me for free and I drove for 5+ years.

For the record (assuming the car passes without any repairs) the test cost about $60. If your car is older than 1996 (they test down to 1976) you have to have an additional EVAP test that runs $15-$20.  1996 and up cars have an EVAP monitor system in the OBD II, but the older OBD I cars don't. Thus the reason for the test.  Thankful 1975 and older cars have no testing requirements.

Additionally not all of California is held to the same testing requirements. It is only the larger city areas and the adjoining suburbs.  The reason is there are far fewer cars therefore less pollution. Also there isn't a large enough population to support a test facility in those very rural areas.  This list/map shows what areas require what.  There are the Enhanced (dyno test), Basic (stationary) and Change of Ownership areas only.

Don't get me wrong, I hate the testing as much as the next "car guy." But the test itself only works out to about $2.50 a month. It's the repair cost that make it SO expensive.  In this state the SELLER is REQUIRED to have a (passing) smog test before the car is sold (good for up to 60 days).  A lot of sellers play dumb and act as if they never knew.  And a lot of buyers are naive.  However, the seller can be held liable to get the car to pass smog regardless of cost if the buyer pressed the matter. The state refuses to do a change of ownership until the smog requirement is satisfied. All that said tens of thousands of people trade in a car to a dealer (therefore change of ownership) without a smog test and that doesn't seem to be an issue???

Offline one2.34me

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 02:59:29 PM »
Ah, California, the hits just keep on comin'. The more they fix it, the worse it gets. :'(
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Offline Pintosopher

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 03:46:58 PM »
Hmm, we have a law that allows the pre 76 exemption. But since we have no choice to buy reformulated fuel, our older cars will suffer from the dreaded Fuel hose deterioration ( unless you install new hoses with SAE J30R9 or higher permeability resistance , Gates Barricade comes to mind) . Even if that is taken care of , the also dreaded "Canister Vapor Breakout" . Which occurs if you don't now how to fill up your vehicle properly, and in addition if you've never changed the Charcoal canister or drive the car infrequently. This and old hoses are the single biggest contributing factor to that  puts the blessed odor of Fuel in your garage in hot weather.  (Think Gas Water heater! Boom!) Problem solved in the CARB peoples mind!
 So the Hits do indeed keep coming, and soon the plug in Greenies will have you RENTING an electric slug when you arrive to view the coast or use mass transit. ???
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 09:12:59 PM »
Since CA vehicles 1975 and older aren't subject to smog checks anyway, that mailer is a clever attempt to get a few more of those "dirty" old exempt cars off the road. Interesting that it's from a county agency and not the state....there must be hidden subsidies involved.

The thing is, $1000 isn't much and just about ANY pre-smog vehicle in CA that is registered and driveable is worth more than $1000.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 11:04:20 PM »
In my case I went from a 192,000 mile, 20 year old Mazda 323 to a 95,000 mile, 11 year old Mazda Protege. And when you throw in the $1,000 from the state the Protege only cost me $900 ($1,900 total). So by comparison I got 97,000 less miles and a 9 years less wear and tear advantage over the old car for my $900.

 I've already gotten 6 years and 33,000 miles out of that Protege. And at only 128,000 miles and driving no more than 5,000 miles a year it may well go another 6 years +.  BTW, the $1,000 comes for a small fee attached to everyone's registration. The money pool is only so large and once it's gone the opportunity is also.  At the time my paperwork advised me the fund was running low and to turn in the car ASAP.  But, yes, I agree about them being a bit "tricky" in trying to get smog exempt cars off the road. And, I wonder what the incentive is for the county, not the state to be making the offer?

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Pinto Related Mailing (and smog issues)
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 11:30:54 AM »
And, I wonder what the incentive is for the county, not the state to be making the offer?

That's what I was hinting at with "hidden subsidies."

Gooberments and po-lie-ticians typically avoid doing things unless
1.) They can get money (from taxpayers) and/or
2.) they can get (buy) votes (with taxpayer money) and/or
3.) there is some kind of public outcry, which creates an opportunity to apply 1 and 2.

I would not be surprised if the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had a tentacle in Ventura County's little "cash-for-clunkers" program. It's also possible the smog lobby pushed for it. '00+ vehicles just get a computer check and no dyno test. That means that smog shops have less work, can increase customer throughput, and charge the same for a shorter, easier, cheaper  test. Newer cars also tend to have fewer miles and a higher probability of passing, thus no "lost" money on "free" retests.
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