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Smog Inspections

September 14, 1987

Once again, my car has come due for a smog inspection. Once again, I approached the situation with "will I pass or fail?" In college, I experienced this feeling during final exams. But I knew with preparation I would pass. I figured if that method could get me through four years of college, it could guarantee a "passed" reading on the smog analyzer.

Before I had the official smog test, a mechanic friend of mine tuned-up my car. He even did an unofficial smog check on it. It passed his test with flying colors. Confidently, I drove into one of those convenient drive-through smog inspection centers. My car was tested and, surprisingly, it failed. I then went to another inspection station because I was not satisfied with those result. This time I went to a tune-up center. Their computer flashed a hearty "passed."

I'm amazed at the different results each time my four-cylinder car was tested. I wondered if the procedures the mechanics followed to test cars were the same test center to test center. It didn't seem that way from the range of the high emission results. The carbon monoxide output covered a span from a low of .56% to a high of 1.97% based on the allowed maximum of 1.20%. If there is a standard test procedure, we should be informed of what that procedure is. Nevertheless, if my car fails the smog test in 1989, I'm getting another opinion.

LOU ELLEN KRAMER

Cypress

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