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Thread: etest help.

  1. #1
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    etest help.

    so heres the deal
    1999 sunfire 2.2L 5 speed. no egr.

    has failed etest twice for me since i got it for the wife, both times due to nox.

    after owining it and having it sit in the garage for 6 months, called they guy who owned it previously and he provided me with 4 other failed etest due to nox.

    how do i get my nox down?

    have done;
    plugs
    wires
    tb service
    air filter
    oil change
    new cat
    thermostat
    coolant flush

    in the middle of running a quarter tank of gas with injector cleaner through it.

    the first 5 etests the nox were all around 1000ppm

    after the tune up and oil change i gave it the first etest the nox were at 738ppm

    2nd etest i jumped the rad fan relay to run it cooler and got 624ppm.

    now I am out of ideas...

    HELP PLEASE!!! other than swapping heads im out of ideas.
    Last edited by death; 04-12-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I've seen this before on a low mile 2.2 Sunfire. Have you run seafoam or motorvac to decarbon the engine? I ran a mixture of 1/2 liter of Motorvac brand commercial cleaner with 3 1/2 L of water. You could probably use Seafoam, but I'd mix it 1:1 with water. We actually did this yesterday on a Safari van to address a lack of power issue & it helped there too after a tune-up.

    There's a small vacuum line off the throttle body going to the MAP sensor as I recall. I tee'd that line, dropping a 1/16 vacuum line into my mixture, and pinched that line off with small vice grips.
    Started the vehicle, and slowly opened the vice grips by turning the knob on the bottom of the wrench. DO NOT open it fully as it may hydrolock. Once the motor starts chugging a little, STOP. Let it chug. It should drink about 1L per 5-6 minutes.
    There will be a LOT of smoke, so do this in a well ventilated area and away from the public
    Once the mixture is consumed, rev the motor at 3000 for 5 minutes.
    Shut down the engine, remove your Tee, and go for a half hour drive with strong acceleration bursts every few minutes. Highway WOT works best.
    Retest and report your results!
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  3. #3
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    Are you sure that you have a 3 way cat and not a 2 way? It's not uncommon to mix up the generic catalytic converters & the 2 way won't remove NOX.

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    Also, was it a 3 way cat? Without a 3 way cat, non-EGR engines will not pass. Or at least I've never seen one that did.

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    how does one tell if its a 3 way cat?

    I tried an injector flush, and threw a downstream o2 in it. nox went up to 638, everything else stays exactly the same on the etest.

    2nd temp sticker expires tomorrow, and the wife just blew the rad on my GTP... oh life, how i love you so...

  6. #6
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    Was it a universal or a direct-fit? Universals, you can only tell by the box or by cutting it open. Direct fits are almost always correct.

    What sort of injector flush? In the tank or disconnect the fuel rail and run it externally? In the tank stuff is garbage (in fact often makes emissions worse until it's GONE). Did you do the water/seafoam ingestion trick?
    Correct Thermostat?
    Good fuel?
    Working upstream O2? (if it's stuck rich, it might keep leaning the mix. Lean = high NOx)
    Confirm 3 way cat (you will NOT be able to pass without a proper cat)?

    I've run cars with water-injection systems before. Mostly VW's. They're set up with a little pump and it would mist water just behind the throttle plate. Those things ran like low 30's for NOx, no EGR.

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    it is a universal cat.

    it was a can of forte injector flush, hooked up directly to the fuel rail.

    correct thermo, its a month old and working.
    just put a tank of new gas in it, shouldnt be an issue.
    up stream and down are working. down stream was pretty much idle when i scaned it, so i replaced it, nox got worse by 20ppm.

    not sure the cat would be the culpret, not 100% sure so ill run it by you.

    co and hc running and at idle are always exactly the same;
    hc 13ppm co 0.03%
    nox is only failing by 130ish ppm (638ppm pass is 505ppm).
    if it were the wrong cat wouldnt it be much higher than that?


    I got the guy who i bought it from to send me the old etests;

    1- hc: 12 co: 0.34 nox: 1077

    2- hc:23 co:0.24 nox:931

    3- hc: 6 co:0.01 nox: 774

    what does seafoam do and where does one get it?

  8. #8
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    My passat kept failing for same reasons. Check for vacum leaks, I made up a cap with a fitting to an air hose and pumped 3 psi of air I to the inane manifold, and listened for thehissing noise. Careful, too much and you overpressure your gastank. Maybe find the purge line and block it. I found some problems, like a bad PVC valve but was not good enough. He vacum line to the fuel pressure regulator was deteriorated to the point that engine vacum would suck tje line together and not allow the fuel pressure regulator to do anything. That dropped my nox huge, just instaled some windshield washer hose to fix it. You may have a crimped vac line to the map sensor if you have one, you may have a leak between the mass air flow and the throttle body if you have a maf. I wouldn't worry about the cat, two different shops wanted to change mine right off the bat.
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    Unfortunately if it's as universal there's no real way for me to tell you if it's a 2 or 3 way. Older ones had a air pipe in the side for the air injection pumps, but newer 3 way cat's look the same as 2 ways. The only way I can think of to be sure is for a garage to probe the exhaust before and after the cat, and measure the pollution levels. We have small wands for the exhaust probe to sample with (drill a 1/4" hole for the test, plug it when we're done).

    Seafoam is available from Parts Source now, about $15 a can. But if you ran a rail-mounted injector flush I don't think the seafoam is going to do anything more.

    Without expensive testing equipment I can't really tell you exactly what's wrong. My gut says 2 way cay in a 3-way position. You've covered almost everything else. Bandit's made mention of a small vacuum... this is possible but as I recall there is no MAF sensor on the 2.2; It's a speed-density system.

  10. #10
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    It is a speed density system.

    gonna try to find a cheep 3 way and throw it in...

    ---------- Post added at 03:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:30 PM ----------

    forgot, etest guy said it feels like it has a lean misfire. does that help any??

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    I have a Universal 3 way that I took off one of my jeeps a while back. I don't know how good it is, but it should give you better results than what you're getting. If you want to give it a try (no charge), let me know & I'll send you my address and phone number. If you're interested, you may need a pipe adapter to go from your pipe diameter to a YJ pipe diameter.

    ---------- Post added at 05:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by death View Post
    It is a speed density system.

    gonna try to find a cheep 3 way and throw it in...

    ---------- Post added at 03:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:30 PM ----------

    forgot, etest guy said it feels like it has a lean misfire. does that help any??
    Did the mechanic say what he meant by "lean misfire"? If you do have a misfire for any reason, you'd pick it up with a vacuum gauge - do you have one that you could attach and post the readings you're getting? I find the vacuum gauge to be an exceptional diagnostic tool, especially for the price.

  12. #12
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    i have one at work, but not here. lean as in not getting enough fuel at times so it misfires

  13. #13
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    So check your vacum lines, especially before you swap a cat out

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    Ok, checked with the wife, since its her car. Alfons I would like to take you up on your offer.

    Plan is to try the cat out, think we have a new smoke machine at work to check for vac leaks, if that doesnt work, think im gonna blow the car up.

    Thank you guys for all your help, it is much appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Smoke machines work great for vac leaks. I use ours all the time. I know on my old Quad4 (Alero) there was a few hoses that degraded over time and caused lean conditions (but enough that the engine misbehaved & I quickly knew there was problems).

    Without a 3 way cat, there is almost no way to get the NOx down. Even with a lean run, I don't think the nox would be that high with a functional 3 way cat. The only other system I can think of to get your NOx down is water injection... clearly not the proper way to fix this.

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