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Old 07-22-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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Tune vs Emissions Inspection

This is just a FWIW for those who may experience a similar problem.

I live in north Texas in a Fort Worth suburb. Because of our proximity to a large city our county requires an annual vehicle inspection which includes emissions verification. I stopped in my local inspection station the other day for the ritual. I thought nothing of this as I have never in my almost fifty years of car ownership failed an inspection. My Mustang V6 is a 2011 with a BAMA 93 tune. After the guys there oohed and ahhed about my nice "six cylinder", they plugged in the magic machine and, Whoa...what? It's showing three problems that result in a failure. They double checked it with another tester and the results were the same. I was just dumbfounded. They told me that I had fifteen days to get these problems fixed without having to pay for another inspection ($40.00).

I took the car straight to my local dealer with whom I have a great relationship. I should have taken it there in the first place. My service guy asked if I had a tune (I'm sure that he already knew the answer). When I told him yes, he said, just take it back to stock and take the car back. He was right. I pulled the tune and returned to have them tell me all was fixed and I got my sticker. That was when I realized how much difference the tune made. As soon as I got home it got reinstalled and life is good again.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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This is just a FWIW for those who may experience a similar problem.

I live in north Texas in a Fort Worth suburb. Because of our proximity to a large city our county requires an annual vehicle inspection which includes emissions verification. I stopped in my local inspection station the other day for the ritual. I thought nothing of this as I have never in my almost fifty years of car ownership failed an inspection. My Mustang V6 is a 2011 with a BAMA 93 tune. After the guys there oohed and ahhed about my nice "six cylinder", they plugged in the magic machine and, Whoa...what? It's showing three problems that result in a failure. They double checked it with another tester and the results were the same. I was just dumbfounded. They told me that I had fifteen days to get these problems fixed without having to pay for another inspection ($40.00).

I took the car straight to my local dealer with whom I have a great relationship. I should have taken it there in the first place. My service guy asked if I had a tune (I'm sure that he already knew the answer). When I told him yes, he said, just take it back to stock and take the car back. He was right. I pulled the tune and returned to have them tell me all was fixed and I got my sticker. That was when I realized how much difference the tune made. As soon as I got home it got reinstalled and life is good again.

They are usually looking for codes when plugging in. If they find any, you automatically fail. We did away with state testing stations in Wisconsin and have contracted that out to the private sector. My Ford dealership is one of them. Maybe Texas will go that route some day, although they will still probably fail you unless the stock tune is back in there.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #3
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We did away with state testing stations in Wisconsin and have contracted that out to the private sector. My Ford dealership is one of them. Maybe Texas will go that route some day, although they will still probably fail you unless the stock tune is back in there.

While the inspection stations are monitored by the state, they have always been private here in Texas. Before emissions came about and special equipment was required, every gas station did them.

I just wasn't thinking when I didn't go to the dealer because that's where I always go for my service. Yeah they had a list of codes print out from O2 sensors to what all else.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
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While the inspection stations are monitored by the state, they have always been private here in Texas. Before emissions came about and special equipment was required, every gas station did them.

I just wasn't thinking when I didn't go to the dealer because that's where I always go for my service. Yeah they had a list of codes print out from O2 sensors to what all else.

When they first started emissions here they did a sniff test, so they built all of these state testing stations with rollers they would drive up on and run your car with probes up the tail pipes. When they quit the sniff test and stopped testing cars that were OBD1 and older, they shut all those places down and contracted it out.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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When they first started emissions here they did a sniff test, so they built all of these state testing stations with rollers they would drive up on and run your car with probes up the tail pipes. When they quit the sniff test and stopped testing cars that were OBD1 and older, they shut all those places down and contracted it out.
They still use sniffers here on the cars that do not have the plug-in port but are less than 25 years old.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:44 PM   #6
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It's the same here in NC. We have emissions test every year. I had bama 93 R tune and failed like three times. Good thing my local inspection gas stations don't charge unless it passes. So I switched to MPT and they ask you if you do emissions test for your state and I said yes. Tune it with MPT and pass without a problem. I heard you can pass with 87S or P but not With bands race tune.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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They still use sniffers here on the cars that do not have the plug-in port but are less than 25 years old.

Wow, we're lucky, then. I haven't had to take my '95 in since I think 2007. They also do us every other year.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:51 PM   #8
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Yea sucks but oh we'll. if you have a older car you don't need emissions inspection. I believe if it's older then 95 then you are good or if you have a diesel vehicle.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
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Yea sucks but oh we'll. if you have a older car you don't need emissions inspection. I believe if it's older then 95 then you are good or if you have a diesel vehicle.


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I think that's because that's when they switched to OBD2. My '95 T/A has an OBD1 computer with an OBD2 connector. I think in '96 they changed them to OBD2 computers.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Oh okay. We'll now I know. Haha thanks for the info bro.


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Old 07-22-2014, 04:59 PM   #11
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We have 5 of the 20 largest US cities in Texas. Every county that borders one of these are subject to emissions testing for any car 25 years old and newer. Once you roll into a station for testing, you get charged whether you pass or not. You have 15 days to fix your problem and get RE-checked for free. Oklahome just to our north does not inspect their vehicles. I'm not sure how the EPA allows that but good for them.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #12
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I see your point. It's 35 years or older in NC I believe. Lucky we don't get charge if we don't pass. We'll in my county we don't. In Florida where I used to live, we did not have emissions inspection like in NC.


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Old 07-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #13
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We have 5 of the 20 largest US cities in Texas. Every county that borders one of these are subject to emissions testing for any car 25 years old and newer. Once you roll into a station for testing, you get charged whether you pass or not. You have 15 days to fix your problem and get RE-checked for free. Oklahome just to our north does not inspect their vehicles. I'm not sure how the EPA allows that but good for them.

They charge you just for the test, or they charge for your plates right away? Our tests have always been free.


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Old 07-22-2014, 05:23 PM   #14
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With bama when u run the race tune or the hybrid tune it turns off ur back o2 sensors so u automatically fail but if u run the performance or street u will pass. And for Texas if ur car is 25yrs or older it does not require a inspection

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Old 07-23-2014, 08:10 AM   #15
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They charge you just for the test, or they charge for your plates right away? Our tests have always been free.
Plates and inspections are separate things and have nothing to do with each other. An emissions inspection is $39.00, a non-emissions inspection is $13.00 I believe. You pay the station this amount whether you pass or fail. They are private stations which are overseen by the Dept of Public Safety (Highway Patrol). The registration is controlled by each county through the county clerk's office and is based on the value of your car. You only get new plates every five years but you get a window sticker annually. This is probably much more than you actually needed to know.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:11 AM   #16
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With bama when u run the race tune or the hybrid tune it turns off ur back o2 sensors so u automatically fail but if u run the performance or street u will pass. And for Texas if ur car is 25yrs or older it does not require a inspection
Wish I would have known that the other day.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:22 AM   #17
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Wish I would have known that the other day.
Hi Frank,

Sorry about the inconvenience there! It's looking like BigMac beat me to the punch here! Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, I'm a PM away or Bama can be reached directly at 888.226.9764

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Old 07-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #18
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Hi Frank,

Sorry about the inconvenience there! It's looking like BigMac beat me to the punch here! Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, I'm a PM away or Bama can be reached directly at 888.226.9764

Alex
Thanks Alex, no prob. All fixed now. I'll know next year.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:48 AM   #19
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Plates and inspections are separate things and have nothing to do with each other. An emissions inspection is $39.00, a non-emissions inspection is $13.00 I believe. You pay the station this amount whether you pass or fail. They are private stations which are overseen by the Dept of Public Safety (Highway Patrol). The registration is controlled by each county through the county clerk's office and is based on the value of your car. You only get new plates every five years but you get a window sticker annually. This is probably much more than you actually needed to know.

Actually, it's interesting to hear how other states do it. Texas is definitely different than Wisconsin. Our inspections are free. They also don't send us new plates until look changes, which is rarely. Our annual sticker goes on the corner of the plate. I have stacks of stickers on some of my plates. We can buy brand new duplicate plates for $2.00 if our old ones are getting worn out and we want new ones with the same number. That seems like a reasonable price also.


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Old 07-23-2014, 09:11 AM   #20
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Actually, it's interesting to hear how other states do it. Texas is definitely different than Wisconsin. Our inspections are free. They also don't send us new plates until look changes, which is rarely. Our annual sticker goes on the corner of the plate. I have stacks of stickers on some of my plates. We can buy brand new duplicate plates for $2.00 if our old ones are getting worn out and we want new ones with the same number. That seems like a reasonable price also.
That's real reasonable. We used to do it with the sticker on the plate but people were stealing plates with current stickers so they thought a window sticker would deter that, which apparently it has. We are issued new plates (with new numbers) every five years if we keep the car that long. We have hundreds of vanity plates available for an additional fee if you so desire. What's crazy is that we even issue plates for non-Texas entities, like colleges. We probably have one for University of Wisconsin. I guess anything for a buck, huh? I have US Air Force plates on both of my cars.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:53 AM   #21
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Regular auto plate registration is $75 per year, how about you guys? I have Collector plates on my '79, and will put them on my '95 next year. Although they cost more initially, you pay one time and never have to pay again. On the '95, since it's my second Collector vehicle, they will cost $150, but in two years I will have broken even.


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Old 07-23-2014, 10:13 AM   #22
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My plates for each car are $64 which includes a county bridge tax of $10. Not all counties charge that. Texas has "Antique" plates that are good for I believe 6 years. The price is not much. They only issue one. I wish they did that for the regular plates also. Technically you are very restricted as to their operating usage but I don't think they really enforce the rules. If you get stopped you are always "taking it to the carwash or a show." Don't get stopped at 2AM. LOL.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:02 PM   #23
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My plates for each car are $64 which includes a county bridge tax of $10. Not all counties charge that. Texas has "Antique" plates that are good for I believe 6 years. The price is not much. They only issue one. I wish they did that for the regular plates also. Technically you are very restricted as to their operating usage but I don't think they really enforce the rules. If you get stopped you are always "taking it to the carwash or a show." Don't get stopped at 2AM. LOL.

We can't run our Collector plate in January. You must also have another regularly registered vehicle. Not sure about the Antique plates for 50 years and older, I haven't checked into those just yet, will do in 2029!


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Old 07-24-2014, 09:29 AM   #24
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Thanks Alex, no prob. All fixed now. I'll know next year.
Very welcome! Let me know if there's anything else I can help out with in the meantime. If you don't have our forums discount code either shoot me a PM and I'll get you set up for the future!

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