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Old 02-10-2008, 09:22 PM   #1
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California Smog Check?

To perform California Emissions Testing on a Boxster, do they need to gain access to the engine compartment --from top or bottom, from inside the car-- for checking timing for instance?


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Old 02-10-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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I have checked with three smog check shops around where I live. Three different stories... note that this is for the visual, not for any measurements.

One insists that you remove the cover, and they will not do it for you. I went with this option because i get a company discount at this place.
Another will remove the cover for an extra $20 or let you do it.
A third inspects only from the bottom with mirrors. (The other places look from the bottom and the top.)

Is isn't that much trouble to take the cover off, so it isn't a big deal. The hardest part of getting my cover off is detaching the Bose subwoofer. I have a connector that is different from the one shown in the manual, so I dropped by my dealer one day and had them show me how to do it.

So check around... better yet, if you have friends with Boxsters ask them for recommendations on where to get it done.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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Since I have a 1997 my car has been smogged several times.

Only once I was asked to remove the engine lid for inspection. That was a unique inspection that year. The same smog guy had smogged my car before without removing the lid.

The lid only needs to be removed for a visual inspection, if the inspector wants it removed.

For my very first inspection 100 years ago I had to remove the lid because the machine would not pick up an rpm signal from other places on the car. So we put the rpm sensor on top of the engine. This was many years ago, before the dyno, and there is no longer an rpm sensor used with the current test.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:15 AM   #4
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It's weird to hear about smog checks etc... I've never had to do one.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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The smog place I went to, said that they DO have to remove the engine cover, and that it was more expensive since it is a boxster (mid-engine as their reasoning) and that they have to do more steps... they also said that they did the majority of cars for the PCA chapter here, but they never removed the eng. cover, nor did I ever see them do any sort of visual below the car... I felt like I overpaid for no additional work, like they had claimed, but live and learn...

Some stuff for sale: M030 S 24mm front sway bar, M030 base 19.6mm rear sway bar, 996 GT3 OEM Porsche Motorsport front strut mounts monoball "camber plates"

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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I had the car smogged today, and no amount of extra work was apparantly necessary! Many places I had contacted wanted more money as soon as I mentioned that I was smoging a Boxster. But this place said that it didn't make any difference. Also, when I mistakingly quoted a higher coupon price, they corrected me saying that their coupon was for less!!

In any case, it is done, and --no, the tray doesn't need to be removed.

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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I usually go to the absolute cheapest smog check place I can find, typically about $29 for the smog check. Most of the cheap places just want to get cars out as fast as possible, so will do the absolute minimum necessary. When I had my Boxster smogged for the first time last year, they plugged in the OBD connector, stuck the wand up the tailpipe, and ran through the emissions tests as fast as possible. No visual inspection. If they had asked me to make the engine accessible for a visible inspection, it would have taken at least twice as long.

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