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This post might pertain to you if you live in California and purchase your 124 Spider from out of state, as I did. Even though the Fiat 124 is 50-state smog compliant, you still have to get it smog checked before you can pick up your plates at the DMV.

So I got a call today from my local DMV informing me that they are ready to issue plates, and to go ahead and get a smog check certificate.

I then took the car in to a local certified shop, and low and behold, it failed. The printout said "OBDII Not Ready". The mechanic, with his very thick Russian accent, tried to explain that most new cars pass the test after 35-45 miles, as the computer needs to reset (I'm at 125 miles of most city driving). He also told me to put some hard freeway miles on the car at steady speeds, "for a few days". For a second opinion, I stopped by another smog shop on the way home and was told something similar. I called my local Fiat service tech, who seemed to know very little, and he suggested that I drive the car 300 miles before attempting another smog check.

Has anyone else had to deal with issue?
 

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This post might pertain to you if you live in California and purchase your 124 Spider from out of state, as I did. Even though the Fiat 124 is 50-state smog compliant, you still have to get it smog checked before you can pick up your plates at the DMV.

So I got a call today from my local DMV informing me that they are ready to issue plates, and to go ahead and get a smog check certificate.

I then took the car in to a local certified shop, and low and behold, it failed. The printout said "OBDII Not Ready". The mechanic, with his very thick Russian accent, tried to explain that most new cars pass the test after 35-45 miles, as the computer needs to reset (I'm at 125 miles of most city driving). He also told me to put some hard freeway miles on the car at steady speeds, "for a few days". For a second opinion, I stopped by another smog shop on the way home and was told something similar. I called my local Fiat service tech, who seemed to know very little, and he suggested that I drive the car 300 miles before attempting another smog check.

Has anyone else had to deal with issue?
Have heard of this with other cars...the 124 is not alone. The ECU needs a certain amount of driver cycles before it will put out the proper code. Just take it out and drive it normal. It will pass.
 

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It wasn't in sport mode during the test, was it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It wasn't in sport mode during the test, was it?
No, but I certainly used Sport Mode quite a bit while racking up my 125 miles. I'm going to leave it off for awhile.

Thanks for your reassurance Adrenaline.
 

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Have heard of this with other cars...the 124 is not alone. The ECU needs a certain amount of driver cycles before it will put out the proper code. Just take it out and drive it normal. It will pass.
Are you referring to engine on/off cycles? I'm wondering if it matters whether the driving is city vs. highway, or fast vs. slow.
 

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Are you referring to engine on/off cycles? I'm wondering if it matters whether the driving is city vs. highway, or fast vs. slow.
Usually a combination of highway and city is good...fast and slow...20-30 minutes and then shut down. There is a certain criteria of rpm, throttle position engine load...all that fancy stuff in the computer that it needs to see to be considered a driving cycle.:confused:I have seen brand new Corvettes fail the same test until they got several driving cycles on them.
 

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Wow, Jim. I can only imagine how you must've felt!
Yeah, I was pretty upset and it didn't help that I was catastrophizing the situation while dealing with a Russian mechanic who spoke broken English, lol. Then I got irritated with a Fiat Service Advisor on the phone who acted like it wasn't his problem (I'll make it his problem if the ECU doesn't clear after a couple hundred more miles). Emissions are under warranty, right?

Thus, I'll try to burn through a tank or two of gas in the next couple of weeks to help the computer finish its thing. At least that part will be fun.
 
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Then I got irritated with a Fiat Service Advisor on the phone who acted like it wasn't his problem (I'll make it his problem if the ECU doesn't clear after a couple hundred more miles). Emissions are under warranty, right?
This is absolutely covered under warranty. However, again, I am certain this problem will clear itself up, and I have a lot of experience with the readiness monitors in this ECU.

Thus, I'll try to burn through a tank or two of gas in the next couple of weeks to help the computer finish its thing. At least that part will be fun.
If it still doesn't pass, take it to the dealer. Please keep us updated on how this goes, since you are likely the first person to go through this with a 124.

Greg
 

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It passed smog today, what a relief! I ran the odometer up to 400 miles before my second attempt. The computer had finished its analysis. Now I can get my plates.

Thanks to those here who offered encouragement.
 

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Only because it's an out of state car.
Correct. Today I also took the Fiat in for a DMV inspection. One of the things they look for is the 50 state emissions sticker, located under the engine hood.

Actually, I salute California's air quality efforts. As a child the smog was so bad my lungs would often burn, and sometimes school would get canceled. Today's air is mountain clean in comparison.
 

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Correct. Today I also took the Fiat in for a DMV inspection. One of the things they look for is the 50 state emissions sticker, located under the engine hood.

Actually, I salute California's air quality efforts. As a child the smog was so bad my lungs would often burn, and sometimes school would get canceled. Today's air is mountain clean in comparison.
I can remember how bad the air was in California's San Fernando Valley in the 70's and 80's. Today's kids have no idea what bad air quality is. Back then you couldn't take a deep breath on certain days without coughing (that's not an exaggeration). The air is better now, a lot better, but I am not sure I would credit vehicle inspections.

Greg
 

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It was a lot of things - tracking down and eliminating every minor source of pollution wherever it was. It all added up to a big problem and they all had to be addressed. Vehicle inspections are a part of that.

The fact that they are perceived as mostly a waste of time and money at this point means they have done and are doing their job of keeping bad polluters off the road.
 

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I can remember how bad the air was in California's San Fernando Valley in the 70's and 80's. Today's kids have no idea what bad air quality is. Back then you couldn't take a deep breath on certain days without coughing (that's not an exaggeration). The air is better now, a lot better, but I am not sure I would credit vehicle inspections.

Greg
it was horrible back in the 70's. A day at the beach usually left me coughing for days and we often would call off p.e. in school due to the smog. There are lots of pictures out there showing the various mountain ranges all but invisible behind smog and that rarely is the case now. it's probably a combination of many things, but with the top down, just following behind a 70's classic car is a quick reminder of how much smog those things threw out.
 

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It was a lot of things - tracking down and eliminating every minor source of pollution wherever it was. It all added up to a big problem and they all had to be addressed. Vehicle inspections are a part of that.

The fact that they are perceived as mostly a waste of time and money at this point means they have done and are doing their job of keeping bad polluters off the road.
Maybe, but I can clearly remember when carb ( California Air Resouces Board ) was doing more harm than good. Anyone else remember all those NOx devices they made us put on our cars? They actually increased emissions, then they made us take them all off. Of course that was all at the individual's expense. Air quality has improved everywhere, in Oklahoma we ended vehicle emission inspections and air quality still improved.

Modern cars have amazingly low emissions. Modern fuel injection and catalytic converters make that possible.

Greg
 

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Modern cars have amazingly low emissions. Modern fuel injection and catalytic converters make that possible.

Greg
How quickly we forget that it was primarily CARB requirements that were responsible for that. Manufacturers made all their cars California compliant and everyone benefited for it. The EPA simply followed along with CARB, making most of their requirements national.
 
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