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International Automotive Technicians Network
Re: STAR Stations Very Interesting
Posted to Emissions Forum on 1/7/2013

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Awesome, Mike! Your candid and well-informed response gave my faith in humankind a much-needed boost!

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I find it impossible to disagree with you. Perhaps my situation is an unnatural side-effect of the antiquated TSI test. It's possible that the driver never saw a blinking MIL, because, really, how many vehicle owners do you know who are likely to hold a warmed-up engine at 2500 rpm in park for 30 seconds?

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Agreed. It is clearly a rare anomaly. I have only seen an OBD-2 vehicle do this specific behavior twice, in over 16,000 inspections, and only one of them passed.

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I agree whole-heartedly. Consistency is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for the SVFR and FuPR to demand any credibility whatsoever, IMNSHO.

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I care. I always perform the MIL functional AFTER the emissions test, because scenarios like you just described are not as uncommon as many would like to believe, at least in my many years of experience at that ragged edge between legally registered vehicles and junk.

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Excellent point! At the risk of sounding repetitious, CONSISTENT, un-biased inspections are an essential ingredient to ensure fairness to the customer, as well as fairness to the shops and inspectors being subjected to the STAR metric.

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Another excellent point. Variability is extremely prevalent in OBD-1 MIL functionality, and, like it or not, will not just disappear from the smog check program, unless, by some small miracle, '95 and older becomes exempt. OBD-1 still constitutes a small but significant percentage of my inspection population (although that is quite likely to go down this year, due to my lacking of STAR qualifications). Variability, as you well know, is the opposite of consistency, and is therefore a problem, one which STAR fails to address properly, again IMNSHO.

I know that it's asking a lot from you, but could you please decide whether any of my numerous problems with STAR have the slightest hint of merit, and forward these concerns to the appropriate people? I have been stone-walled in my attempts so far, at least partially due to my anonymity and abrasiveness, but I sense a glimmer of hope that you understand at least a small portion of my reasoning, possibly much more.

Thank you.

Respectfully and sincerely,

Michael Barry
Technician
Quick Stop Smog & More
Sacramento, California, USA