Re-evaluation of Vehicle Inspections, Specifically, Consideration of Automotive Enthusiasts sign now

Many states have already or are currently enacting plans to start scanning automotive diagnostic test ports as part of their vehicle inspections. Under these strict new laws something as simple as the check engine light could make you fail.

Many may say that the check engine light is a good way to indicate the proper operation of the vehicle and all of its necessary emissions equipment. But, there are problems with the system that aren't fully taken into consideration.

Firstly, some manufacturers actually program the check engine light to come on at a set mileage so the consumer will return to the dealership for their standard vehicle inspections. In this circumstance nothing is usually even wrong with the system, but it fools the consumer into thinking something is so they can check up on you vehicle and sell you things you may not notice you need, but dont effect emissions or safety.

Additionally, some problems can cause a vehicle to not pass which have absolutely nothing to do with cleaning up the environment. These faults include problems with the air conditioning control circuit, vehicle speed sensor, alternator, and power steering faults. All that is needed to pass inspection will then be to fix the problem and take it back for inspection, or so you may think. The first step to every repair on any vehicle is to disconnect the battery, this operation will store a code indicating power has been interrupted to the on board computer recently. This code alone will make you fail inspection due to the fact that it's a way to turn off the check engine light on some vehicles.

This brings me to problems that you cant even see with the check engine light, but will still make you fail. Take into consideration the following scenario, youre needing inspection in a few days, you leave your headlights on and your battery dies, you jumpstart the vehicle and you go for the vehicle test, but your vehicle fails because the computer is still giving off a code showing the battery was disconnected. The time the code stays in the computer varies, on OBDII Chryslers, its 50 times of turning the key on; Ive heard some other cars can take up to a thousand miles driving time.

Finally, theres one group of vehicles that arent even taken into consideration by these harsh new laws, the vehicles owned by automotive performance enthusiasts. Say you buy a vehicle that came from the factory with all the upgrades because of the upgraded power train it came with. You decide you can live without power steering and air conditioning, which dont make emissions better; in fact they cause more of a strain on the engine and sometimes add more fuel to raise the idle while in use. You remove them from the system, properly draining the fluids and disposing of them in a legal manner. This isnt against the law in any way, shape, or form. Yet, now the check engine light may illuminate because theres a problem with their respective control circuits, they arent there. Now, the enthusiast's are punished for removing the comforts from the vehicle. If you had an automatic transmission and switched it to a standard transmission, it could throw a code because its not finding that circuit either. The most extreme case is highly upgraded vehicles running stand alone engine management. These systems are expensive control units that completely do away with the stock computer, still use the oxygen sensors and catalytic converters, and often dont affect any emissions systems at all. Also, they are far more advanced than any stock engine control unit because they are dialed in by professionals for the consumers add-ons, geographic location, fuel grade, and a more precise fuel and ignition map, not necessarily making the vehicle run worse. The problem arises because no system on the market at this point in time utilizes an on board diagnostics port, an automatic fail though your vehicle could even run better with these expensive aftermarket systems.

Were not advocating the ability for people to run around in grossly polluting vehicles with no catalytic converters with the emissions systems removed and bellowing black smoke from their exhausts. We just want a change, many of the people upgrading their vehicles today are the future designers of tomorrows vehicles. And, were being stifled by unfair laws which have nothing to do with their intent, to clean up the environment. These new practices need to be evaluated, and performance vehicles should be taken into consideration. Include other further tests to evaluate the vehicles emissions in performance applications, and re-evaluate the current testing practices.

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Paige RhodesBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
U.S. Congress

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