The copy of earlier insurance policy effectively owns the car until the designated proprietor or driver of the vehicle. There is an app for Apple and the.

How to check to see if a car title is clean,personal checks what is it,history of a flying car - You Shoud Know

When transferring a vehicle title and changing ownership, owners must submit an accurate odometer reading. Ohio: The reverse side of the current Ohio Certificate of Title has the necessary statement.
Washington: The Odometer Disclosure Statement form is printed on tamper-proof paper, and not available online. You will likely need a bill of sale form whenever you buy a vehicle from, or sell one to, another person. I acknowledge that is a privately-owned Web site that is not owned or operated by any state government agency. is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any state government agency. Registering a VW bus is an increasing challenge especially with ever stricter smog limits that come into effect.
Passing the test isn't as hard as it seems: just because you own a vehicle from the 70s doesn't mean that it will pollute so much by comparison to a new model vehicle that you won't be able to register it. If you live in California, you most likely live in a smog testing area but many other states implement or are in the process of implementing similar testing requirements that mimic if not duplicate CA exactly.
The biggest challenge for any owner is figuring out if a newly purchased bus is in a condition to pass. What to do when things go wrong is confusing for the VW owner so I've tried to compile all of the detail from my own experience and from others. In August 2005, Oregon and Washington announced that they were going to adopt the California emission standards (the strictest in the country) in a few years. The ramifications of this test are that the fuel filler neck and hoses must allow the fuel tank to seal and the fuel evaporative lines that lead to the charcoal canister must also seal (no cracks). 75-79 models were also unattractive because the fuel injection had often been completely removed by the PO and replaced with carbs. This is government stupidity at its best because these late model baywindows are fuel injected models and far less polluting than the earlier models especially the dual carb buses built from 1972-74. Here's another sore point: although your 1976 bus may have been built between August and December 1975 it is considered a 1976 model by the smog testing system. If you are near your registration deadline and have not passed your test or even taken it, you can still re-register your bus but they only give you a month of grace to complete your test. The air-gasoline combustion chemical equation is quite complicated but general air quality is effected the emissions of three by-products due to incomplete combustion: hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and various nitrous oxides (NOx). The emissions test is where they insert a probe into the tailpipe to sniff for combustion byproducts and attach a coupler to any spark plug wire to measure engine rpm.
The computer automates the testing and the smog tech simply uses a remote control to communicate with the computer from the driver's seat. When fuel (HC) and air (O2 + N2) are combusted the ideal product would be energy and water vapor (H20). Unfortunately on a VW there is no simple way to minimize all three emissions at once like a modern car is able to do. On top of that, there are a higher set of limits that are classified as Gross Polluter (GP).
The visual inspection is a check for the presence of the emissions control items installed by the factory.
This is a complete list of the codes taken from the Mitchell Applications Guide used by the smog testing system (CARB). Personally I would keep any emissions devices from your engine rather than sell or dispose of them. A DVDA distributor and retarded timing is also installed up to the above mentioned VIN but is not mentioned for some reason.
Note: this configuration also applies to 1974 CA Automatic models (VIN 214 2 132408 - 214 2 300000) which were first fitted with FI in USA. Note: 74 automatic transmission models have SPK-TCS but the guide makes no mention of this.
The valve is meant to be closed at idle and at wide open throttle (WOT) and open the rest of the time. The filter's proximity to the engine and the fact it carries hot exhaust causes it rust and disintegrate. The filter to EGR pipe joint must be properly sealed and so must the valve to throttle body joint.
The hardest system to test before the 74 models were exempted were the dual carbs version because it required the EGR valves be removed from the intake manifolds.
To test the early FI system the smog tech only needs to disconnect the green EGR electrical connector on the wiring harness. The mechanical setup on the later FI models is harder to test because the linkage must be disconnected and activated by hand. Adjusting the linkage is relatively easy: undo the 8mm locknuts and shorten the linkage until the idle drops.
Note: all these part numbers reflect the dizzying array of exhaust configurations the factory used.
The photo to the right shows how the filters vary greatly in configuration and are not easily adapted.
Having the correct timing is not only necessary for the functional test but it may effect your emissions.
Smog tests are now done on the dynomometer (aka the rolling road) although some test areas may not have implemented this system because the dyno equipment is expensive.
Just judging by the numbers, the old TSI test was lenient by comparison to the current ASM standard but the ASM test is supposed to be easier to pass than the old test because the engine leans out under load and light throttle. The results from my own report are a good guide as to what emissions you can achieve (see next section). When they roll you onto to the dyno, the vehicle is weighed and that factors into the ASM standards that are set by the BAR scientists.
I believe the formula on the document is incorrect so I filed a misdemeanor complaint against BAR under the Business & Professions Code (sounds crazy but that's how CA works I'm sad to say). I have to conclude from the formula that the heavier your vehicle is the lower the limit and the harder it will be for you to pass. For example, the smog ref initially entered 5,999 lbs as the GVWR weight of my bus into the smog system. The top-middle boxed portion of the test report will indicate whether or not you passed, failed or were a gross polluter. I was naturally unprepared for my first test thinking the smog referee would only be helping me assess my vehicle. The first test run actually recorded a fail at idle as they hold the engine above idle before letting it drop back down to idle and then take the sampling.
I convinced them to adjust the AFR and re-test rather than have me come back because it was a long drive from my house to the referee center. The lesson here is to have your idle AFR measured before you go for your test (there is also a limit to how much the screw will alter the idle AFR). If I had lowered my idle %CO to spec prior to the test I would have easily passed but how would I have measured it? The smog pre-test gives you exact results but the test costs full price and won't offset the cost of the real test.
You will also need a chart to convert readings because most testers only display Lambda and AFR while the smog test registers %CO. A wide-band tester like the Innovate LM-2 (which replaces the venerable LM-1) is about $350 but you'll recover the money over several tests by not having to pay for testing through other means and you'll have the personal satisfaction of "beating the system".
You'll need to get someone (perhaps a muffler shop) to weld an oxygen sensor bung onto your exhaust unless you have a CAT from the factory 75-79 setup with a test port. Before adjusting the AFR, you must have performed all the other tune-up adjustments because CO is always adjusted last. When you cannot get the AFR into spec at all rpms after adjusting the idle mixture screw, you will need to open up the AFM but only then. While the general throttle readings I first mentioned in the previous section are a guide for you to achieve my results and provide a simplistic view of Bosch L-Jetronic fuel mapping, what matters most is recreating the test conditions ("simulating the simulation").
With the engine ready for adjustment and before you set out, pop the cover of the AFM by cutting the bead of silicone that holds it on. Start the engine, let it warm up and then adjust the idle mixture screw so that it is roughly in the middle of its range of travel for future refinement. You want to record the AFR reading from the LM-1 at the same speeds they use in the smog test + idle. Those will be your baseline readings; keep organized using a piece of paper and record your initial results before making any adjustments.
With your first "pass" complete, pop the cover and adjust the AFR slightly by leaning it out a little (see FI Tuning Obstacles for the exact technique). Keep adjusting the wiper until you get the %CO below 1.0 at both speeds and you should have no trouble passing.
When you pass you are issued a certificate number which the DMV uses during the registration process. The lower HC and NOx levels are solely due to the presence of the CAT and why EGR systems have largely disappeared from the engine compartments of more modern vehicles with their 3-way catalytic converters.
In the 60's high levels of HC and CO emissions were blamed for the brown haze that engulfed the LA basin.
Lean mixtures == low levels of HC and CO but high combustions temperatures produce high NOx levels.
Before 1975 when CATs were introduced, the only way to reduce NOx was to keep the fuel mixture rich.
Getting the exhaust within spec can sometimes be a chore if the engine is worn out or if parts have been tampered with.
Fuel Pump - a weak fuel pump may cause the engine to stumble or lean out the exhaust too much.
Fuel Pressure Regulator - a broken regulator often causes an over rich condition because the fuel pressure is not reduced as the vacuum level of the engine increases as it normally should. Injectors - if the spray pattern of your injectors are poor, you will have to recondition them.
Cold Start Valve - When the engine starts the cold start valve (CSV) gives the engine a burst of fuel to help it get going. Aux Air Regulator - At startup, the aux air regulator (AAR) allows some air to bypass the throttle to speed up the engine to overcome the resistance of the cold rotating parts until they both time-out by design. AFM - Normally the idle AFR is adjusted by turning the bypass screw on the AFM (later production Bosch replacement units require an allen key instead of a flat baded screwdriver).If you have excessive emissions by FI standards you may have to adjust the AFM by opening it up. That said, you must attempt to get the idle mixture set correctly before you perform any adjustment on the wiper.
What's important to understand is that the wiper inside the AFM greatly affects the AFR while driving but at idle and during warm-up (1050 RPM -> 900 RPM) the idle mixture screw also has a great affect on the AFR because it adjusts the airflow to the engine against the ECU baseline.
Before making any adjustments, record the current state of the engine and break your measurements into 3 groupings (starting, warm-up, warm idle). Warm-up problems depend on the state of the vacuum hoses and the various sensors I've already mentioned. Turning the idle mixture screw by a full turn can adjust the AFR by 0.5 which may get you into spec but its more important to have the idle mixture set appropriately so that there is a smooth transition from idle to part-throttle. Your AFM whether a factory original, new or NOS came with a thin clear silicone bead sealing the top. When all of the above checks out, you'll just need to perform an internal adjustment to correct the AFR.
Major: rotating the gear to tighten the spring has the effect of raising the AFR (lean) because it resists the flap and tells the ECU that there is less air flowing into the engine and therefore less fuel is required.
Adjusting the wiper screw with the engine turned off is counter productive because the wiper arm position is very sensitive as far as the ECU is concerned. If you do decide to adjust the gear, mark it's position with a couple of white dots from a marker so you can return it back to its original position if needed. Replace it as above but attempt to modify the leaded retaining ring (mount a secondary plate behind the leaded plate). Because all FI models are virtually identical it's not worth mentioning to the smog tech (in fact never do this) if you happen to have a 78 engine code in a 76 bus or vice versa. If this becomes an issue while testing, the smog referee will have to determine if your swap is acceptable. If you are moving from another state to California or buying an out of state vehicle you will have to visit the smog referee for your initial test. You are required to register you car within 20 days of establishing employment or residency in CA (whichever comes first). As a matter of interest, you are not allowed to register a out of state vehicle in CA with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer.
Although you can renew your registration at AAA if you are a member, all the initial work must be done through the DMV which means waiting in long lines. If you are buying a vehicle from or selling to a CA resident it is supposed to have a recent smog certificate.
Contrary to popular belief (and what is written at the DMV website), you apparently CAN buy and register a used vehicle without a smog certificate.
Previously, low income persons were eligible for government assistance to help them repair their vehicles to pass smog. The CA government will pay up to $1000 for you to voluntarily retire high-polluting vehicles. You may have also heard about a tax loophole that allows you to donate your vehicle to a charity like Goodwill and claim the list price. First timers: have you had a pre-test to confirm you will not be labelled a gross polluter? Avoid buying ethanol based miracle-in-a-can products (many fuels already have a high ethanol content).

To do this, many state motor vehicle agencies provide a form called the Odometer Disclosure Statement. The older yellow (gold) title requires a separate federal odometer statement you can get from any title office. When I first saw the passing limits imposed for 2004 I thought for sure every VW baywindow bus would either fail or have to be specially "tuned" to pass. Tailpipe emissions are graded on a sliding scale that depend on model year and vehicle type. Because of all of the tampering by the mechanics and POs over the years the bus may have no chance in its current condition yet be close to passing given the appropriate attention. Any leaks due to cracked hoses in the system after pressurization is going to result in a fail. This meant that 1974 vehicles would be exempt from testing in 2003 and then 1975 vehicles in 2004 and so on.
The DMV mails out registration notices that remind you about smog testing every other annual re-registration mailing.
If you lack this sticker it means you have an out of state vehicle that has never been tested or it has been removed. The gas sniffer used by the smog tester has the ability to detect all three emissions simultaneously. The first stage revs the engine to 15 mph and they hold it there while the sniffer does its job. The visual inspection determines if any emission devices that were factory installed are missing. The idle speed has to be within the manufacturer's guidelines and the timing has to be within 3 degrees of the specification otherwise you will fail.
If the do not, the timing mark will not appear and they may simply decide to fail you when the timing is indeed within spec. When you hear about octane it's often a reference to the anti-knock index at the pump (87 etc) but it is also a reference to the chemical composition of fuel, part of which is made from C8H18 (eight carbon atoms and 18 hydrogen atoms; hence octane).
It was once viewed as the #1 environmental enemy and largely responsible for the smog in the LA basin.
These limits are not as high as they used to be and if any of your exhaust readings exceeded the GP limit you were forced to have to smog your vehicle every year instead of every 2 years.
Remote sensing of tailpipe emissions is a concept that is gaining popularity with governments and the possibility that you may have to restore the emissions devices on your exempt vehicle simply because a sensing vehicle near the highway onramp detected your exhaust and recorded your license plate is a growing concern. I've made note of the errors in the guide because Mitchell, the 3rd party company that provides the guide, does not have the facts we know to be true from Bentley and from visual evidence.
Until revised guides from Mitchell are distributed to all testing centers and the computer system is updated, you may have to visit the smog ref to prove this point if your testing center decides to fail you for lacking it. The early EGR system from 73 thru 76 ½ was electo-vacuum operated and the later system purely mechanical via linkage to the throttle. In this event you'll have to source the parts or cross you fingers the smog tech is lazy and doesn't notice.
For the smog test the tech only needed to attempt to close the throttle switch on the left carb. Taking apart the valve is relatively straight forward but you will probably need to replace your broken unit with a viable spare from the junkyard. This is because as you leave idle, a large amount of exhaust is dumped into the intake which causes a slight hesitation.
Keep in mind that the smog limits are strict enough that you are likely to fail if you go in the test unprepared because of the lack of modern engine management (computer controlled ignition, pre and post CAT oxygen sensors etc).
Since the dyno scale may not be the same as yours, your calculated limits will be estimates.
A and B are both shown in the table and VTW (vehicle test weight) depends on what you have in the bus at the time you roll onto the dyno.
Unfortunately you don't get to see this information until the test report has been printed out.
Every test this comes up as the default but the good techs re-enter the value read from the VIN sticker in the doorjam (2250 kg which you often have to help them convert to 4950 lbs).
If you have good combustion the CO numbers will not creep up after they release the throttle. Instead he recorded the test results and I had left the checking of the AFR to the mechanic 5-12 years ago.
I whipped out the Bentley and with a screwdriver the smog ref turned the screw out 360 degrees and we crossed our fingers.
You might as well get this done at your mechanic because a smog test station will cost about the same as an hour of labor and they won't perform any adjustments.
On top of that you'll have no idea what your emissions will be after going back to your mechanic for a tune-up until you get re-tested which may require several trips ($$$).
Armed with one of these, a location to mount the sensor and a tachometer you are on your way to independence as far as smog testing is concerned (one of the last bastions of engine maintenance whose price have come down to the hobbyist level thanks to low cost technology from Bosch: the LSU-4 O2 sensor). I even use mine to help friends and other bus owners who've become trapped between repair shops and the smog system. One such unit is the EMICO replacement CAT which the FI beetle also uses (hence the 043 part number). See a muffler shop for a plug to cover the hole or use an old worn out O2 sensor when not in use.
If you are only 1-2 AFR units out of spec you will most likely have luck resetting the AFR using only this screw unless the screw is already at the extremes. In order to do this you will need a section of road that is flat and long enough to let you maintain those speeds and quiet enough so that you are not going to be holding up traffic. When you do this you are making an adjustment relative to the idle reading but it will have an effect throughout the driving range because moving the wiper shifts the AFR mapping set by the factory.
You only need to tap the backside where the screw is located lightly with a screwdriver before the reading with change and then you tighten down the screw before taking another test drive. Before taking your test, make sure you run the engine at 50mph for 20 minutes to ensure that it's warmed up for the test (heat soak will keep it warm while you are waiting in line for the test for any reasonable length of time). The results are sent electronically from each smog station to the DMV to help eliminate fraud. What's most interesting is that it demonstrates what a dramatic difference the catalytic converter makes to the emission levels. In an effort to reduce them, engines were leaned out but an equally damaging effect resulted: high levels of NOx emissions which created a grayish haze instead.
With the CAT installed, both HC and NOx are lowered which allows you to run near perfect AFR and reduce CO levels as well. It is good for the environment and will help you pass your smog tests by reducing your HC and NOx emissions by 50-80%. It is the PR that reduced the fuel line pressure from 35-28psi as the volume of air passing the AFM increases.
The thermo time switch (TTS) prevents the CSV from firing if the engine has already warmed up.
If the AAR doesn't close then idle simply gets adjusted to compensate but the engine tends to run too fast after it's warmed up. The screw doesn't allow for much adjustment overall but it can greatly adjust the AFR for the amount of air that it allows to bypass the air sensor flap. Once the engine is idling, you can then decide what to set the AFR to using the idle mixture adjustment screw and then the AFR can be fine tuned for driving using the wiper. If you can blip the throttle from the engine compartment and there is no hesitation (EGR disabled), the setting is appropriate although the overall AFR may not be ideal or let you pass. Bosch New is different from the other two simply by the lack of a VW part number on the top.
If the results are way out of spec you can crack open the top to see if you can determine if there is a an obvious wiring fault. Sometimes the track has worn down to the ceramic but only in the position where the wiper usually sits at idle. A dead spot from rotational wear can exist in certain wiper positions and Bosch knew this was a design flaw because later AFMs added a ground wire from the copper arm directly to the wipers. One notch adjusts the mixture by 9-12 %CO which is substantial so only consider adjusting the spring tension if you have a seriously incorrect AFR settings at idle and ruled other everything else.
You need to monitor the exhaust with a tester during adjustment to be able to watch the changes to your idle AFR adjustment because as you tighten the screw it will alter the adjustment. A spec of dirt can get trapped between the wiper arm and the resistor track and stall your engine until it is removed.
When the air fuel ratio is incorrectly set, the smog tester's sniffer knows immediately and this results in a fail. Excessive hydrocarbons can be caused by a clogged catalytic converter or it can be as simple as a larger than normal amount of ignition misses. Unfortunately, too many POs and mechanics have removed the simple L-Jet system from buses simply because they couldn't figure out basic issues like a clogged fuel tank or a poor electrical connection.
Quite often when the muffler has rusted and been replaced with a unit that has no provision for the EGR system anymore the rest of the system is blocked off or removed. In your doorjam and on the engine compartment lid are informational stickers that will indicate whether or not your bus is CATALYST or NON-CATALYST. In 2010, California tightened up their standards by issuing new rules regarding approved manufacturers of replacement parts.
Typically this is done to replace the original engine with a much bigger one (for example, putting a Subaru 6-cyl into a water cooled Vanagon). Engine replacement is common with VWs so just cross your fingers they don't care about the engine code. This means he will be looking for all of the specified devices and any indicators on the dash. Even though all single and dual carb baywindows are exempt you cannot replace a 76-79 engine with an earlier one. It must be in factory configuration but many of the ignition system upgrades have a CARB exemption in the form of executive orders (CARB EO). This is a drag because often you cannot make an appointment with the smog referee within that time. This is to force Californians to purchase CA models from Calif dealers which the dealerships take advantage of by marking up the price. You can make an appointment with the DMV buy they often give you a date that is weeks or months in the future.
As of 2004, the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) has been expanded to include anyone whose vehicles fail smog at test-only stations. You are not guaranteed to pass even if you can say yes to all of these items but this will give you your best chance. It's expensive to get done especially if you go to a test only station which tend to cost $60-90. You can use this to your advantage if you go back to the same station and get the same tech to test you again, otherwise you risk the other tech noticing that you're missing some smog devices. In some cases, you can simply fill in the odometer reading section on the certificate of title or registration application.
This is good news, if not for the air but for your wallet and your love for these old vehicles. The key is to inform yourself about the process before you go for your test and that's the goal of this article. Most of what I've written is universally applicable but the details are CA specific so if you live in another state be sure you understand the local rules and regulations. Some states, like Arizona have exemptions but require you to register your vehicle as "collector" and limit the mileage you can drive.
It used to be 4 but was recently extended much to the displeasure of the people who profit from testing. In order to legally register such a vehicle you only needed to pay your registration renewal fee at the DMV despite being a so-called heavy polluter.
I personally was looking forward to January 2007 when my own bus was to become exempt but before we could pop the champagne corks, AB2683 was signed into law by then newly elected Governor Schwartzenegger that froze the exemption at 1975 model years.
The notice will tell you whether or not you must have your test performed at a test-only station or if you can go to any testing center.
Be sure to ask your test-only station if they will do this for you and report them if they don't.
If your leave your test to the last minute you won't receive your renewal stickers in time so it's best to go to the DMV early in the morning (when it opens is best).
I don't know if the computer compensates for temperature variations but that would be something you could ask as well. Although the list is long, only a subset applies to each model but if you are missing any item you will fail the test, unless the smog technician fails to notice that you require it when it's missing (don't gamble that this will happen for you). This is the simplest of tune-ups to perform but some people drive to the testing center, cross their fingers and fail.
The benefit to the owner was that if you failed for something simple you wouldn't risk being tagged as a gross polluter (if you produced excessive emissions).
In practice the %CO measured is a few percentage points: a fuel ratio the VW engine can burn efficiently in all climates, temperatures and conditions. At that time emission reducing devices were geared towards reducing it at the expense of other emissions. Plus, the catalytic converter (which few air-cooled VW models are equipped with) can only do its job at the near perfect fuel ratio (theoretically ideal) which isn't the best ratio for long life of an air-cooled engine. The test is expensive (same price as a smog test) but worthwhile especially if you have never smogged before (or had the engine replaced recently) because you would be paying twice as much to smog every year if you get tagged as a GP. Take along Mitchell's email reply to my complaint to help enlighten any smog techs that are confused by the computer data. This pathway for so called false-air to travel will have the opposite effect of introducing more oxygen to the combustion process and make the engine run poorly and at a low vacuum level.

The throttle valve switch under the throttle body may not be closing which can be tested by shorting the switch closed.
If the internal spring is missing then the valve will be open at all times especially if the linkage is missing. Lengthen the linkage until the vacuum level (as seen with a gauge) increases to maximum and then tighten the locknuts. If you have a CA exhaust setup with the special driver's side heat exchanger you'll need a CA model EGR filter.
The exhaust is sniffed at 15mph in 2nd gear and 25mph in 3rd gear to gain a more realistic sampling of engine emissions.
If your smog tech is nice he will do his best to enter the correct information when he sets up for the test. The exhaust analyzer samples five different gasses simultaneously and you have be under the MAX limit for each of three gasses (HC, CO and NO).
If your engine isn't burning fuel correctly (weak spark, low compression, etc) then you'll have high HC numbers. I was lucky because the smog ref had less interest in my vehicle failing a second time (to make money from the repair). For example, if you have high HC or NOx levels you need to cure those first (see Why people unknowingly fail). Keep the LM-1 visible so you can watch it as you peer into the engine compartment from above. It will take a few tries before you get the technique down to the point where your adjustment is what you want after you tighten the screw, not before.
As I said earlier, the government doesn't want you to modify your engine even if it means producing lower emissions!.
If you have a bad injector there will be a excess of air pumped through the exhaust and the engine will be laboring on 3 cylinders. Unless you are taking the TSI smog test, you won't get much out of adjusting that screw if you are grossly out of spec. However at idle, a significant amount of the airflow goes through this channel as a percentage of the overall airflow. Startup testing will require letting the engine cool, sometimes overnight to correct major running problems due to PO fiddling.
If it's been remanufactured by Bosch or one of the major rebuilders, then it may have a sticker on top to indicate or an X added to the part number. The reading needs to be a max of 2800 ohms at 20?C which will often require you to bring the AFM into the house for the test. If you are failing your test at 3.5% for example you will be running far too lean after you tighten this spring.
This may not happen in the city but head to the beach or dunes and you can be stranded wondering why the engine won't run so seal the AFM properly (the engine compartment is always dirty!). It's normal for the engine to miss once in a while at idle but if it happens too much then unburned fuel will exit the tailpipe. Diagnosis is easy when you know how, unfortunately there are too many untrained mechanics out there who get paid to fix cars who don't know how. Returning the exhaust to the original setup isn't always possible or affordable so finding an aftermarket muffler with the EGR port is necessary.
The restrictor was placed on CA vehicles to prevent a leaded fuel pump hose from being inserted into the fuel tank. What does matter is that you swap over the model year correct intake and exhaust systems to the new engine.
If he deems the swap acceptable and you pass the emissions test, you will "youth" the vehicle. The reason you cannot go to a testing station is because every CA vehicle has a bar code sticker that the smog tech has to scan into the computer system. I've never heard of someone being fined for this but it's possible because the government regulations are poorly written.
The only impact this has on our buses is that the odometer has only five digits so if your mileage is 100,000 - 107,500 miles or any increment of 100k miles afterwards you may have to convince the ignorant DMV employee that your odometer has rolled over by providing prior registration documentation. If the smog report was submitted to the DMV within the last 90 days of the vehicle being re-registered by the previous owner you do not need to have another test done.
Once you pass (within the time limit) they will issue you with permanent title and registration. This means the government will pay up to $500 to repair your vehicle to pass smog after you've paid $100 towards the cost yourself.
Overcoming the red tape is a great feeling of victory and relief but the process can often test your will. Some states like CA, forbid vehicle title transfers without a recent smog test but quite often the purchase takes place before the paperwork is complete.
I guess the legislators got tired of smog testing their own new model vehicles but they left in a profit loophole: if you buy a used vehicle it will only be exempt if it's 4 years old or younger.
This means, that until the law changes all 1976 and later VWs are subject to smog testing (except for new vehicles previously mentioned).
Test-only stations are just as they sound: they do not offer repair or tuning services in the event that you fail your test.
Beyond two fails you must take the vehicle to a special government approved repair shop (there are hundreds).
If you are an AAA member you can go to any of their field offices that offer DMV services, pay the fees and receive your stickers in person. They are also supposed to use a large cooling fan above 72F ambient temperature but since our VWs don't have a radiator this isn't necessary. They will also test the gas cap to see if it seals and check for the presence of any fuel pipe restrictors if applicable. The problem for the government was that they failed to collect any tailpipe emissions data in the process and so they have reversed the testing order. It is a colorless odorless gas and if you breath it, it will combine with the hemoglobin in your blood and make you sick or kill you in larger doses. For example, 1-2% would be a relatively lean fuel ratio for a VW especially fuel injected models; 10% is very rich (so much so that you can smell the unburned fuel from the exhaust pipe and see it collect on the ground if it has been raining). That was 20 years ago and since then scientists have come to understand that all the emissions are destructive especially CO2 (a harmful greenhouse gas).
Even so, you can be labeled GP on the first test and you will probably have to go to a repair center immediately.
Keep in mind that it is a violation of Federal law to tamper with the emissions devices in your car whether or not you are exempt from emissions testing. Unfortunately you cannot ask a smog tech what you require for your test without paying for a pre-test or taking the real test as they rely on the computer for instruction. False-air can also enter at any joint where there is a poor fit between engine mounted components.
You can follow Bentley's recommendation for the number of turns required to twist the linkage after the rpm drops. I find the bus runs much better without it (EGR was not installed on the 79 CA models highlighting its limited usefulness).
What I didn't know at the time was that the first test was counted and recorded in the computer. The adjustment I'm going to detail mainly affects the CO level which is the biggest obstacle to passing for those with an otherwise well running bus.
Then go for a drive and compare the readings you get at the two test speeds to your last result. The trick is only to loosen the screw just enough to let the wiper move but not enough to let the moment be so free that the wiper moves as you re-tighten the screw. When the circuit is shorted, the engine can have a hard time warming up because the AFR is too lean and will cause the engine to run too lean after it has warmed up.
The ECU decides what to set to AFR to based on a baseline setting + the air passing the air sensor flap + the intake air temperature (IAT or TS1) + the head temperature sensor (TS2). If the PO has broken the factory seal to adjust it there will probably have a nasty silicone mess like the unit pictured below. Either way, the cure is often simple: get a tune up at a repair shop that has an exhaust analyzer. Low compression and valve timing can cause the engine to miss and it can also be induced to miss when the fuel injectors are clogged or vacuum leaks (false air) are introduced.
Quite often it has been removed by the PO or his mechanic and there is no way around passing unless you buy a new one and fit it. Is it also 3-5x the cost of the other one (Thanks to the ever-knowledgable Jim Thompson for this info). Even though CA banned leaded fuel years ago and the nozzles have been replaced, this is a holdover from the days when it was available and it's to prevent leaded fuel from ruining your CAT.
This was normally done at the dealership as part of required maintenance but probably hasn't been done in years. Since it installs under the distributor cap no one even knows it's there until they look but it's good to know about this legality anyway. When you pass, the smog referee will print out one of these stickers and affix it to your vehicle.
If you think that's inconvenient, they only give you 10 days to apply for a driver's license!
If the vehicle has yet to be be re-registered by the PO, the certificate is only good for 90 days.
This includes the engine and emissions devices on it which are getting harder to find all the time. If you don't pre-test, you'll often just accept the failure and go back for a free re-test after you or your mechanic correct the problems. The second time, the steps are repeated and the computer requests the speed be raised to 25mph for a few moments (3rd gear).
Because these vehicles were built before a lot of smog technicians were even born, many will find the engine compartment unfamiliar to them. Since all dual carb 72-74 models are exempt in CA you don't have to worry about this setup anymore. Bentley has different test instructions based on rpm but I find the vacuum gauge adjustment method to work best and requires no memorization or look-up. You can often read the display and learn the weight as you are talking to the scale technician in his booth before you have to turn around.
Adjusting the AFM could compensate for a bad TS2 when it is warm but it cannot help it warmup (the TS2 exists to report the engine temperature to the ECU). It's important not to single out any one component: they are all important ECU inputs for the determining the appropriate AFR. Everyone like the blame the FI because there are so many components but it has proven very reliable over time (know of any carbs that have stayed in tune for 25 years?). Serious engine problems may prevent setting the AFR properly which will require further investigation because setting the AFR is the final step in the tune-up process.
Holding a piece of white paper a few inches behind the exhaust when the engine is warm can indicate the presences of excess fuel.
This modification (replacing FI with carbs) falls under the tampering category which makes it harder to retest because it may require you to go to a certified repair station or smog referee for your retest. The problem that occurs is that the restrictor is rubber and part of the fuel filler neck and it cracks from age.
CATs clog, O2S sensors fail and EGR filters clog (they mainly rust out because they are so close to the exhaust). The reimbursement includes the cost of parts and labor but you will only get reimbursed if you file for assistance and are approved BEFORE you attempt any repairs. The only risk here is being labelled a gross polluter (yearly smog tests) in which case the money is better spent at your mechanics getting tuned up. It's effective but since the engine wasn't designed to run on exhaust there is a performance loss. The only downside to the shop's adjustment is that if you are near the borderline of the test limit at the shop during the test you may fail the actual smog test. The smog referee is an adjudicator with his own testing station that can determine whether or not your vehicle should pass when it has been modified.
Note that the 79 CA model has a one year only CA exhaust setup that could drive you nuts trying to locate replacement parts. There is a slim chance that one of these lights will come on during the test because the rear wheels are now racking up some partial mileage compared under the ASM test vs. If they complain that it can't be attached to a removable part, convince them (like I did) that the lid cannot be removed (the bolts will likely be hidden from view). The program also limits where you can repair your vehicle which maybe a problem for vehicles as old as ours because the mechanics are unskilled with VWs or unable to order the parts for you.
This may either be because the shop's equipment is out of calibration or simply because the vehicle is stationary and you are unable to simulate the dyno test. They normally affix the sticker in the doorjams (or engine compartment when the engine is up front). The CA fuel filler is often called the bird beak because of its shape when viewed from the back side. There is a reset button on the speedometer box that is behind the driver's side kick panel.

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