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Old 04-22-2016, 02:18 PM   #1
SgtMarty
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Default Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

So our '99 Tahoe isn't worth the cost of rebuilding the engine and drive train. (Anyone want it for, say $500? Runs okay but isn't very dependable.) We got a good deal Wednesday on a 2005 Tahoe that is in excellent shape. Went in today to get the emissions testing done and don't you know it, the gas cap failed the test. Grrrrr....

Now, that has happened to me (and LOTS of other people) before, but the cap looks to be in fine shape, and the gasket is perfect. I've had to buy new gas caps in past years for various cars, but this time I wasn't having it.

I've heard from others with strong opinions on the subject, and it's a widely held belief that the testing stations are expected to fail a certain percentage of vehicles, which is therefore a requirement that they "fail" a certain percentage of vehicles. Gas caps are an easy "fail" when they want them to be.

So the very sincere station guy tells me that my pristine gas cap failed, hands me the obligatory explanation flyer, and assures me that a new cap is pretty cheap and re-testing within ten days is free.

I stare at him a minute and tell him without anger that I'm fed up with buying gas caps just so they can report the expected number of failures. He tells me that it's just my "bad luck of the draw." I'm not sure how he meant that remark; whether he was admitting anything or just lamenting that I have bad kismet with gas caps.

I told him that I wanted the cap re-tested by the manager, and they were to make sure it was screwed into the test machine tightly. He said their software wouldn't allow a casual re-test unless I drove through again, so I took the paperwork from him and said I'd seen him again in about one minute. I drove around, and was soon waved in to the service bay by a different technician who had just been spoken to by the guy who failed me. When I got out of the car, I asked the tech to make sure to secure the gas cap properly because there was nothing wrong with it and I wasn't going to buy another one.

Now, I fully expected them to ensure that I failed again, just to protect themselves from any criticism, but that's not what happened. The gas cap magically passed the test this time (Gee, really!?) and the same guy who checked me out the previous time just handed me the paper, told me I was "Good to go," and walked away. I did the same. Very unemotional and professional exchange between two middle-aged men who both knew full well what bullshit smells like.

There. I feel better now. Got the emission test paper with "Gas cap integrity: Pass" printed on it, so I'm good to get the Tahoe plated.

Ain't life grand?
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

GGEEEEZZZ!!!! In Alabama you pass if your gas tank is a series of milk jugs.........NONE of them having caps!!!

God Bless your patience!!
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

If you are serious about selling the 99 let me know
I am in Brighton CO
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

Sent you a message.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

Wait, did you say, "middle aged"?!?!?!?!?
I honestly never heard that they have to fail a certain number, but I have had to replace two gas caps in my time.
Frankly, I never considered it.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

W/O getting too political, I find the whole emission testing racquet a complete joke! Any modern car should pass with flying colors unless there's a legit mechanical issue. Speaking as a CA resident, in this state's case, it all about money, which I know it almost always is. I'm not that naive anymore.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

Stgmarty
Never received a PM , tried to send you one
Maybe they don't work since the server snafu.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

Got your message. I'll email you.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Emission Fail due to gas cap? Re-test!

Alan, if you've bought two new gas caps, you're with me on the victim list.

Next time I get a vehicle tested, I'll tell them right up front that I want them to tighten the gas cap onto the tester adequately and I want to hear it click. Of course, they make you wait in that customer room, but I'll be standing at the door.

I'm not generally opposed to the clean air purpose of the emission testing process (and the cost is minimal). It's the government expectation of a certain number of failures that gets me, and that the independently-owned facilities are therefore "required" to fail that percentage of vehicles. If there was some reasonable way to contest the tested "failures" right then, as can be done in other States, that would cut WAY down on these scams.
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