HELP WITH 1997 CAMRY THAT FAILED CA SMOG TEST TWICE

  • Tiny
  • SoCal
  • 1997 Toyota Camry
  • 14,000 miles

Hello,

This is my first post in the forum. I have a 1997 Camry XLE (V6) with 140,000 miles on it that failed its smog test twice. Here are the results from the first test:

15 MPH, 1747 RPM
HC = 25, MAX is 52 = Pass
CO = 0.01, MAX is 0.49 = Pass
NO = 967, MAX is 424 = FAIL

25 MPH, 1736 RPM
HC = 18, MAX is 36 = Pass
CO = 0.01, MAX is 0.46 = Pass
NO = 1,115, MAX is 711 = FAIL

The test-only smog technician said I either have a failed EGR valve or failed oxygen sensors. I took the car to an independent mechanic who plugged a diagnostic into the dash. He said the EGR was dead but all the oxygen sensors were fine. He replaced the EGR valve and the car failed again. Here are the results of the second test:

15 MPH, 1754 RPM
HC = 23, MAX is 52 = Pass
CO = 0.02, MAX is 0.49 = Pass
NO = 1,213, MAX is 424 = FAIL

25 MPH, 1723 RPM
HC = 18, MAX is 36 = Pass
CO = 0.01, MAX is 0.46 = Pass
NO = 1,479, MAX is 711 = FAIL

Not only did it fail, the NO numbers got worse! I am not a mechanic. The person we used is a mechanic for the US Marines who I trust. He fixed a nagging oil leak for us in the past. I am praying this is something simple - like the unit is not connected properly. The car is being saved for my 15 year old daughter to learn on. It will barely be used - maybe 1,000 miles over the next year. Any help, suggestions would be appreciated.

P.S. I have tried contacting the Marine and have not heard back. He is normally responsive, so he may be out of town for the holiday.

Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 1:22 AM

8 Answers

  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,260 posts

So do you have any trouble codes in the computer?You could also have a plugged up egr port even if the egr valve was good with a clogged port the nox would be high.

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 1:27 AM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

Failing the oxides of nitrogen-try cleaning out the EGR valve and see what happens could also be a defective catalytic converter and also the oxygen and coolant temperature sensors remainng in the open loop mode-

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 1:29 AM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,260 posts

As good as the hcs are I would say the cat is good and with a new egr I would be checking the egr ports for being clogged. Remove the egr valve and start the car for a few seconds the engine sould race and you should hear a loud exhaust leak.

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 1:36 AM
  • Tiny
  • SoCal
  • Member

Thanks everyone for such quick replies. How easy/difficult is it to take the EGR valve off? Are we talking 1 hour, 2 hours or more to remove, test for clogging, unclog and replace?

Let's say he takes it off and it is not clogged. Is there anything else he should check while it is off?

P.S. Saturntech - I will ask him if he remembers any error codes. When I picked up the car he said everything tested out fine.

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 2:03 AM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,260 posts

Its just a bolt and unbolt maybe 30 mins tops then you can check it like I suggested.

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 2:17 AM
  • Tiny
  • SoCal
  • Member

Great, I will pass this on to the marine who worked on my car. In the event he is not available, how much should a repair like this cost if I went to a Smog testing center that does repairs?

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 3:21 AM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

You can do this yourself what are you female or male? Leave the Marine along has to go training to protect this great country of ours and its allies

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Monday, November 21st, 2011 AT 3:28 AM
  • Tiny
  • rivermikerat
  • Expert
  • 6,118 posts

SoCal, did you get this figured out and pass the smog test? Did you leave your Pendleton Marine alone?

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 AT 4:14 AM

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