Prius Emissions Testing - how does it work??

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by daveleeprius, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. daveleeprius

    daveleeprius Heh heh heh you think so?

    Oct 30, 2006
    2007 Prius
    So I bought a new Prius last year, and this year I am exempt from emissions testing, but I have to wonder about it. I've seen few discussions here about it and have some questions.

    First test is a gas cap test. No worries there.

    Second test is a test at speed. They need to get the engine at a certain RPM at a certain speed to do this test.

    So my question is, do these techs at the emissions place know how to get the Prius engine to maintain a certain RPM at a certain speed? The front tires are on a pair of conveyers so they can spin and simulate the car on the road, putting the engine under a certain load.

    The second test is an idle test. Well, the prius usually idles around 1200rpm, and the test is for idle between 650-900rpm. So does this make the Prius fail all the time?

    Who has taken their Prius in for testing and how has it gone?
  2. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    Edmonton Alberta
    2012 Prius
    There is a "forced idle" mode you can enable by a sequence of button/pedal presses. I believe it was posted by Danman over on Priusonline.

    Success or failure at the emissions place will depend on whether they have a clue to how to proceed with the Prius.

    I've seen postings of success, and others of complete failure with no repercussions.

    I think I just read Oregon just requires plugging into the OBDII port and reading out the required values. Not sure what Washington requires.

    Oh, and your second test is on a "dyno". Quite normal.

    ACORNBLUES New Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    I've tried searching the site, but did not find the post you were referring to. Do you still have the link?

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Beale @ Sep 19 2007, 02:04 PM) [snapback]514908[/snapback]</div>
  4. SSimon

    SSimon New Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    N/W of Chicago
    2006 Prius
    Check your State's policy. I have been informed that the Prius is exempt from testing in Illinois based on the fact that it's a low emission vehicle. Maybe other states have adopted this policy.... or maybe I just receive erroneous information.
  5. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    Edmonton Alberta
    2012 Prius
    Drash posted over on Priusonline:

    To get the Prius to maintain a steady idle
    (such as for emission testing) follow this procedure:

    The following must be done within 60 seconds:

    1)Ignition on (not READY mode)
    2)Vehicle in Park
    3)Step on accelerator pedal twice
    4)Place vehicle in Neutral
    5)Step on accelerator pedal twice
    6)Place vehicle in Park
    7)Step on accelerator pedal twice
    8)Place car in READY mode.....ICE WILL RUN continuously (see rpms below)

    A warning icon on the MFD will be displayed.
    With no throttle applied.....idle is 1000 RPM (approx)
    With less than 60% throttle applied.....idle is 1500 RPM (approx)
    With more than 60% throttle applied.....idle is 2250 RPM (approx)

    Then Danman posted:

    "I went to a open deserted parking lot this evening to try out the Inspection mode. It really isn't hard to do at all.
    From power off:
    Press Press the power button (no brake)
    Stomp Stomp on accelerator
    Put in Neutral (doesn't matter if you press the brake)
    Stomp Stomp
    Put the car back in park
    Stomp stomp
    Stomp and hold brake
    Press power button.

    Now the results. In Park, the car indeed idles as documented. But in Drive, it stops idling and works as usual (but with no TC I guess since the warning icon still appears).
    Put the car back in park and it idles again. It has 3 different RPM setpoints based on the position of the accelerator, but it doesn't go to the target RPM suddenly, but rather gradually as if it were being variably controlled by the accelerator. No playing rock tunes with this method.

    I also tried B mode while still in inspection mode. I was in the garage at the time, so I had to also be on the brake and not actually drive the car. Once you get the ICE to idle, it does stay idle, but you have to press the accelerator to get there because as soon as you put the car in D first (you can't go straight from P to B), the inspection idle stops."

    And the final conclusion was that the Prius isn't the only car the stations are having fun with. All new cars are going CAN buss, and the stations will have to upgrade real soon now or they will be out of business!

    My apologies if the original posters object. I just assume once you post something, making it easier to find is a "good thing".
  6. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Mar 31, 2006
    Vienna, VA
    Inspection mode also turns of traction control -- this was discussed in several threads here about getting stuck in the snow. Turning it off allows you to uncontrolled wheel spin -- allows the front wheels to turn while the rear wheels don't. But TRAC protects the HSD and you can (in theory) fry the HSD if you spin the wheels hard enough with TRAC turned off. (Not talking about what you'd get on a dynomometer, talking about hitting a patch of ice with TRAC turned off.) The bottom line is that you probably should not drive around with TRAC turned off.
  7. boulder_bum

    boulder_bum Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Castle Rock, CO
    2007 Prius
    In Colorado, Prii are exempt from emission testing (as they should be). :D Really it's sort of laughable that anyone would require such a test on Prii.

    In Georgia, they had trouble getting the cars to idle at a constant RPM because the cars turn themselves off if they're not moving for long enough. An intelligent test would recognize the virtue of this feature and give the Prius a "pass" and a gold star for handling the situation so cleanly.

    Georgia apparently wasn't ready for such intelligence, and as of about 6 months ago, they gave the Prius an automatic fail because of the idle test and required every single owner to send $200 and an appeal to the state beaurocrats to argue that the Prius should have passed the emissions test. How's that for an insult!

    I'm not sure it's like that anymore (I hope not).
  8. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    Edmonton Alberta
    2012 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Boulder Bum @ Sep 19 2007, 05:50 PM) [snapback]515032[/snapback]</div>
    No, Danman actually helped fix that problem by explaining to the Georgia officials what had to be done, and giving them links to sites for help.
    At least I think it's fixed. The discussion indicated it was. But you never know with bureaucracies. ;)
  9. powphilprius

    powphilprius Elshawno~

    Sep 16, 2005
    2005 Prius
    Exempt here. But you have to physically go register, same as a diesel, for permanent exemption. In my case they didn't care enough to see the car, just the papers, so don't forget, sign z papers... don't wait for your emissions renewall notice on registration!
  10. jeneric

    jeneric New Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    You're okay in Washington for now.

    Not sure what's going to happen with the new EPA results that put the 2006 Prius at 46mpg. Hopefully the new figures only go along with the new 2008 models they accompany. Also it seems the legislature should get updated for the new EPA testing procedures. Wanna sign a petition?

    Also, I believe the test at speed is really obsolete for newer cars (I guess I still count my '97 Quest as newer and it's never had a test at speed). They all have OBDIC or whatever that you just plug in and they immediately know everything about you.
  11. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

    Jul 12, 2007
    Adelaide South Australia
    2004 Prius
    Why not just write them a letter and ask? It would be fair to ask the state government department if they are updating the exemption to coincide with the change to the testing method as all vehicles will have an increase in fuel consumption according to the new EPA method of testing. I think that would succeed with far less effort. :)
  12. rufaro

    rufaro WeePoo, Gen II

    May 26, 2006
    Lost Angeles
    2006 Prius
    We're exempt from emissions testing in California.

    As to writing letters and asking our government ANYTHING--BAD idea. The drone who gets the letter hasn't a clue and would NEVER admit it PLUS it'd get you flagged as some kind of traitor. ESPECIALLY if you're a tree-hugging lefty, which you OBVIOUSLY are if you drive a Prius. [​IMG]
  13. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 8, 2003
    Surprise, AZ (Phoenix)
    2010 Prius
    I took my wife's 2002 in today for it's first test (> 5 year mark). I was all ready w/ instructions in case they wanted to tread-mill it here in the Phoenix metro area. Instead, they had me pull past the dyno to a computer. They plugged into the OBD-II connector, inspected the VIN, and checked the gas cap. Kinda sad they charge $27.75 for that. Took less than 7-10 minutes tops.

    Didn't appear that they had any other types of connectors there though. Wonder how they'll handle the CAN bussed 2004+ when that's due in 2 more years.

    I could have sworn, however, that as soon as he plugged in the connector, the engine fired up on it's own and then he turned the key just after out of "routine", but I may have been distracted by the process.