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  • My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

    I bought a 2000 Civic GX early in August and have really enjoyed the new car, I am happy to put up with the setbacks of CNG for the many benefits.

    I had Safety and Emissions done yesterday and the car PASSED safety and FAILED emissions. I thought the guy at Jiffy Lube was kidding me.

    The errors are:
    -System too rich (Bank 1)
    -Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
    -Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected

    He said the errors may be because their machine doesn't work right with CNG cars. I think he mentioned the one that made it fail emissions was the "System too rich." He said to take the car in a full service shop to find out whats wrong and fix it.

    I am thinking any other full service shop wouldn't quite know what to do, or would they? I think I should probably just take it in the Ken Garff Honda in SLC, they are the only ones that still sell the Civic GX around here.

    What do you think? What should I do? Is the problem really that their equipment just isn't tuned for CNG cars?

    I'm still at a loss as to how a natural gas powered car can fail emissions... any help is much appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

    All the state of Utah requires during an emissions test is that the OBD system is working properly. Unless the vehicle is not equipped with an OBD II system ('95 or older), then they run a "sniffer" test (tailpipe). If your vehicle has the OBD system, then they just make sure that there are no codes recorded and that the sensors are working properly.
    Jared.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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    • #3
      Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

      Originally posted by Avara222 View Post
      I bought a 2000 Civic GX early in August and have really enjoyed the new car, I am happy to put up with the setbacks of CNG for the many benefits.

      I had Safety and Emissions done yesterday and the car PASSED safety and FAILED emissions. I thought the guy at Jiffy Lube was kidding me.

      The errors are:
      -System too rich (Bank 1)
      -Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
      -Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected

      He said the errors may be because their machine doesn't work right with CNG cars. I think he mentioned the one that made it fail emissions was the "System too rich." He said to take the car in a full service shop to find out whats wrong and fix it.

      I am thinking any other full service shop wouldn't quite know what to do, or would they? I think I should probably just take it in the Ken Garff Honda in SLC, they are the only ones that still sell the Civic GX around here.

      What do you think? What should I do? Is the problem really that their equipment just isn't tuned for CNG cars?

      I'm still at a loss as to how a natural gas powered car can fail emissions... any help is much appreciated.

      Unless you know engine tune-up and CNG take it to the dealer.
      They should start with the misfire code, get that fixed. They will next have to test the CAT. With a misfire a CAT can overheat, especially if it is an ignition misfire, the CAT may be fried. The CAT needs to be tested to be sure it is bad. If you want reliability replace it with a "factory" CAT. If you try to "cheap out" and go with an aftermarket CAT, make sure it is OBD II compliant. A non-OBD II compliant CAT is a violation of federal emission laws and if anyone checks, it would fail the emission test (especially in Calif). Also aftermarket CATs don't seem to last a long as the factory units.

      later

      Larrycng

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

        Originally posted by larrycng View Post
        Unless you know engine tune-up and CNG take it to the dealer.
        They should start with the misfire code, get that fixed. They will next have to test the CAT. With a misfire a CAT can overheat, especially if it is an ignition misfire, the CAT may be fried. The CAT needs to be tested to be sure it is bad. If you want reliability replace it with a "factory" CAT. If you try to "cheap out" and go with an aftermarket CAT, make sure it is OBD II compliant. A non-OBD II compliant CAT is a violation of federal emission laws and if anyone checks, it would fail the emission test (especially in Calif). Also aftermarket CATs don't seem to last a long as the factory units.

        later

        Larrycng


        Larrycng is right on the money. You need to repair the misfire first. System too rich can be caused by the misfire. You will definately need to replace the cataylic converter.

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        • #5
          Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

          Originally posted by larrycng View Post
          They should start with the misfire code, get that fixed. They will next have to test the CAT. With a misfire a CAT can overheat, especially if it is an ignition misfire, the CAT may be fried.
          hmmm I do know my car does have a little trouble starting. If its been sitting overnight it starts right up, but when I start it up driving around town or after work, it takes 5-6 seconds to start.

          I'll call the dealer and schedule an appointment I guess. Its a bummer I just got the car and already have to fix stuff on it =\ No biggie, there could be worse things wrong though.

          Thanks for the input so far.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

            The misfire problem is most likely the ignition coil for that cylinder, which is easy to replace (but kinda expensive). If that's it, the other problems will probably go away, too.
            02 GX
            01 GX
            03 Crown Vic
            06 GX
            Home Fueler

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            • #7
              Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

              It could even be as simple as just chaging the spark plugs. The cheapest first option, and doens't necessarily require paying mechanic fees (if you've got a wrench).
              1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
              2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

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              • #8
                Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                You are correct, the is cheaper. However, if the plug does not come out easy, don't force it, I mean just after it breaks loose. I've had problems with a couple of the '95 prototypes and a '98 production unit. You need to be real careful not to screw up the threads in the head. Take the plugs out when the engine is cold. I'll probably get hammered on this one, but, use a very small amount of anti-sieze on the new plug threads.

                Good Luck

                Larrycng

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                  Fine. Change the plugs. I doubt it will do anything. Which is less expensive, the cheap repair which probably won't work or a more costly one that probably will. I would buy one coil and change #3 while I'm there. Worse comes to worse, you'll have a good but old coil to use for troubleshooting later. That's what I would have done had Honda not covered this same problem under the Calif special emissions warranty (15yr/150k but only for 2001 and up GXs).
                  02 GX
                  01 GX
                  03 Crown Vic
                  06 GX
                  Home Fueler

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                    Single cylinder misfire is often a valve adjustment issue. As to the other codes, they should trigger the check engine lite.

                    Bad misfire ? you would feel it when driving.

                    One thing the tech said is correct , take it to a full service shop , with the reputation jiffy lube has , I wouldn't let them lube the axle on my kid's radio flyer wagon

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                    • #11
                      Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                      I just had all 4 coils replaced on my 04 yesterday. They replaced 2 and still had a misfire under acceleration load, so they did the other 2. Now I think I'll have the cat checked. I believe the catalytic on the GX is a special 3 stage cat, although I don't know what year they began using this design. Fortunately the cat is also covered under the 15/150 in Ca. Unfortunately, if you bought a GX in Ca and left the state with it you revert to the 3/36 unless you live in Pa I believe. Then it is 5/50, if I recall correctly. The last # I heard on a cat replacement (on my model) was $2400. This may be due to the special design. I need to do some more checking on this however. If any of you have dealt with this issue and have actual 1st hand info... let me know.

                      I haven't driven enough to know if my misfire has been resolved. For some reason my OBD computed wasn't storing a misfire code even though the misfire/s were pronounced. My tech (Jesse) at RPH had to plug his scanner into another Civic, pull up the screen to read them, then plug back into mine to be able to see them... weird. I never figured out if it was a GX computer thing, or a problem with my computer. I'll do more checking and let you know. Jesse said it's usually a combination of things causing misfires like Freedml and I had. Usually a combination of coils/injectors/valve adjustment.

                      Avara, my $.02 adjust the valves 1st. Do the coil exchange but 1st inspect all of them for visible cracks (I had 2 that were visibly problematic), throw in a set of plugs just for giggles if you feel inclined (as that can never hurt... unless you screw up a head) Last resort is injectors (due to their cost) and finally have the cat tested. Do your smog at Garf, or anywhere. Any smog machine should be able to test the car. Operator error would be a consideration but the machine reads the codes, not the operators ineptitude.

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                      • #12
                        Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                        I talked to the Honda dealer in SLC and made an appointment. It'll cost me $200 minimum just for the diagnostic, and if anything is found the $200 goes towards that.
                        Last edited by Lakewood90712; 08-30-2008, 11:22 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                          [quote=Avara222;15482]
                          I talked to the Honda dealer in SLC and made an appointment. It'll cost me $200 minimum just for the diagnostic, and if anything is found the $200 goes towards that. [quote=Avara222;15482]

                          That's charging you 2 hrs labor at $100/hr to diagnose. I've nevr heard of such a thing... except at that dealer. On my car the tech threw in 2 new coils on the ones visibly damages. I drove it a few days, still had a minor issue which was more noticeable when I started out from a stop with the A/c on. He threw 2 more coils in it and --- no more misfire that I can feel.

                          A minor misfire feels like a gear shifting to me. Multiple misfires feel like sputtering or the tranny slipping. I swore it was a tranny slip to start out with, but they'd just dealt with the issue with Michael's car and went strait to the issue. If I still had problems the injectors would be next. So far, so good. Thank god for Ca's 15/150. It was all free.

                          You can see that an experienced mechanic diagnosed the problem and changed out all 4 injectors in less than half an hour. Of course they'll get you for parts since you're not under warranty, but a non GX mechanic can handle coil packs and valve adjustments. Might want to shop around for a price that's reasonable and commensurate with what your problems are. If you get to the injectors it will require shutting off the pressure in the fuel system and a bit more cng related mechanical knowledge, even though the injectors are simple enough to do, as with any injector.

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                          • #14
                            Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                            what you can also do is to swap #3 coil with #1 coil and reset the light. If you get a code for misfire #1, then coil for sure is bad. You can also do that with fuel injectors too

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                            • #15
                              Re: My Civic GX Failed its Emissions Test! Advice needed.

                              Most likely its the fuel injector. That's what happened to me. I did a complete tune up and changed the coil, but it didn't work. So I swapped out the fuel injector and it ran like a champ again. Check the board for the Honda parts section. Theres a company that will rebuild your injectors for cheap.

                              A little first hand experience,
                              Anthony

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