Here’s the View from Seat 6A - August 2012 Over a Trapped Layer of LA Smog:
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I want to live in los angeles
Not the one in los angeles
No, not the one in south california
The got one in south patagonia
Old Mercedes diesels* might be really slow, and they might emit more particulates than a fleet of new cars, and they might get converted to run on french fry grease, but…
The most cartoonish cloud of smoke coming from a car exhaust I’ve ever seen:
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…they will never die.
And here’s the thing – old diesels are exempt from California’s annual smog check program.
That’s a giant loophole big enough that you could drive a big old honking Mercedes Benz diesel through.
“I’ve only been a Benz owner for less than a year now. However, I’m beginning to think that stamping out smoke on these 616s is like trying to rid your yard comletely of dandelions – it’s a fool’s errand.
I’ve had my IP rebuilt, rolled in a new timing chain, and had the valve seals replaced all within the last 6 months. Injectors are also new and the valves were adjusted when the seals were replaced. Fuel filters and fuel lines are also new and all fluids are fresh. The only differences between mine and yours are that I have lower compression and I use perhaps a 1/2 quart of oil in 2,000 miles.
Despite this, I still have some smoke. There’s a hint of whitish smoke on cold idle at start up and a bit of black smoke when I get on the throttle or climb steep hills.
I have another set of injectors that I had rebuilt and will install them in due course. I’ll also rebuild the vacuum pump as a preventative measure. But after that, this game of “whack a mole” has to end.
There is one good thing to come from all this work, however. My engine sounds silky smooth. No knocking, no nailing, and no hicccups. The only underhood sounds you hear are the clickity click of fuel injectors popping and the combustion inside the engine. So long as this continues to be the case and my oil consumption doesn’t increase, I should consider everything else to be inconsequential.”
*Pray that this particular old Mercedes is a diesel. ‘Cause otherwise this rig prolly needs to get oil added on a daily basis…
Back a half-century ago, Oklahoma Senator Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney gave us the ubiquitous window sticker that you’ll see on the side of just about every new vehicle for sale. For your protection, of course. Thanks Mike.
But window space is going to get a little more crowded with information now that California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have teamed up to give you DriveClean. Now, you’re your going to get a SMOG score plus a Global Warming Score:
Smog is a haze-like form of air pollution produced by the photochemical reaction of sunlight with volatile organic compounds (including non-methane organic gases) and oxides of nitrogen that have been released into the atmosphere, especially by automobile operation.
Greenhouse gases (ghg) emitted from vehicles include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) from air conditioner refrigerant. Greenhouse gas emissions are the sum of all the ghg emissions and are identified as the CO2-equivalent value.
So, something like a giant hybrid Lexus LS 600h L, which gets a relatively good Smog Score of 8, will get a poorer Global Warming Score. On the other hand, if they ever tested an old school Honda CRX HF, it would get a very poor Smog Score and a very good Global Warming Score. So it’s educational to have two separate scores.
The all-electric “2008 Tesla Roadster” (both of them! haha!) has a rating of a perfect 10 due to its “0 lbs.” of Annual Smog Emissions. The catch is this: ‘Does not include upstream emissions.” Uh oh. It’s a little funny how some people will bend over backwards to come up with a nonsensical 135 MPG figure for an all-electric car, but other people can’t even hazard a guess as to “upstream emissions,” which exist. (Of course, you power your Tesla with solar, of course, but averaging out emissions from coal fired and nuclear panner plants and the like wouldn’t be a crazy thing to do.)
During a confusing time when an outfit like Lexus categorizes its hybrid products separately, (as if they’re an entirely different species of vehicle even though they are pretty similar to their gas-only stablemates), these ratings from DriveClean could have merit. So far, so good.