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      02-14-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
YolkyPalky
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My '02 E46 M3 failed CA smog twice, tried "CRC Guaranteed to Pass", it worked! PASS!!

Hi all,

Just thought I would share my experience in case others run into my situation. My '02 E46 M3 w/ SMGII failed the bi-annual California Smog Test. I couldn't believe it, never had it failed before. The car was low on oil, yellow light was on when tested, so I added a quart of 10w-60 and re-tested the next day, it failed again.

I was in no mood to bring it to a dealer and have them embark on a lucrative "fishing trip" as to what could be wrong, possibly including more than $3K to replace both Cats. Instead, I found out and read about "CRC Guaranteed to Pass", a fuel additive. I followed the instructions exactly and PASSED third time around.

My results are below, my HC's were too high, meaning I was dumping fuel. On the third test I passed, the HC level on the 25mph test dropped significantly, or at least enough to pass. Plus, I swear my M3 feels much more "torqueier" on the low end now! I think it really did clean out and potentially unclog the fuel system/injectors, etc.

Results (only HC's, CO and NO were fine):

Fail #1
HC - 15mph Max 51 Meas 51 PASS
HC - 25mph Max 35 Meas 63 FAIL

Fail #2
HC - 15mph Max 51 Meas 64 FAIL
HC - 25mph Max 35 Meas 62 FAIL

Pass #3 (after CRC Guaranteed to Pass)
HC - 15mph Max 51 Meas 51 PASS
HC - 25mph Max 35 Meas 27 PASS

All tests I tried to heat up the Cats as much as possible by driving high rpm for a good amount of time on the freeway. Anyway, I just thought I would post my results here in case someone else with an E46 M3 (or any car for that matter) fails their smog test, particularly in CA since it's so stringent. I can recommend trying the "CRC Guaranteed to Pass" for around $10 as a first step, before doing other costly, potentially unwarranted, "repairs".

Last edited by YolkyPalky; 02-15-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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      02-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #2
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Cool information.

So you are on 100% OEM headers/cats?

I wonder how this would effect those in CA with high flow 200cpsi cats in their Section1.
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      02-15-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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There have been several articles regarding these types of gimmicks to pass smog. None have ever proven this stuff was credible. Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.
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      02-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipm3 View Post
Cool information.

So you are on 100% OEM headers/cats?

I wonder how this would effect those in CA with high flow 200cpsi cats in their Section1.
Yes I am 100% OEM on headers/cats. I did put an aftermarket exhaust on about 2 months after I bought the car new in '02, an Eisenmann.

I tried to read a lot about this product beforehand. If this didn't work, I was going to try Seafoam next, which I believe to be an even more aggressive treatment to clean out the carbon buildup over the years.
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      02-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
There have been several articles regarding these types of gimmicks to pass smog. None have ever proven this stuff was credible. Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.
Well, for ~$10 you can hardly go wrong trying. At the worst you'll end up with a cleaned out fuel system and properly working injectors, I promise I can feel the difference on the low end. And I passed my CA Smog after failing twice before trying the product. And I did nothing else except this treatment. As far as I'm concerned it worked!
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      02-15-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YolkyPalky View Post
Well, for ~$10 you can hardly go wrong trying. At the worst you'll end up with a cleaned out fuel system and properly working injectors, I promise I can feel the difference on the low end. And I passed my CA Smog after failing twice before trying the product. And I did nothing else except this treatment. As far as I'm concerned it worked!
Well maybe but you are taking a risk. For all you know, the stuff could kill your cats and then $10 turns into thousands. Obviously there is an actual issue why the car doesn't pass smog and something in a can isn't gonna change that fact. I'm glad you got your car to pass, but obviously there are some other issues you might want to address.
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      02-15-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
Well maybe but you are taking a risk. For all you know, the stuff could kill your cats and then $10 turns into thousands. Obviously there is an actual issue why the car doesn't pass smog and something in a can isn't gonna change that fact. I'm glad you got your car to pass, but obviously there are some other issues you might want to address.
This isn't a new product, I think it's been around for a decade or more, and it's well reviewed on many forums etc., if it was killing cats or whatever it would be a known issue by now. Basically it's a fuel additive, you fill up your gas tank full, add the product into the tank, burn through the tank of gas to almost empty, refill the tank with gas and take the test. The product is supposed to help clean out carbon buildup (a reason for high HC's) and clean/unclog injectors (another reason for high HC's).

Also, I'm pretty sure in most other states my car passes easily, but here in Communistfornia the regs are so strict it doesn't take much to fail, basically my M3 is running "rich" is all. If there was a serious problem with my cats, other than my car just running a little rich, I would think it would trip the "Check Engine" indicator, it has never come on.

Anyway, I didn't mean to start a debate on whether this product is good or not, just saying I tried it and I passed CA smog after failing twice, thought others might want to know before being talked into replacing cats by their dealer ('02 M3 has two cats, one costs $2,188, the other costs $1,200).

Last edited by YolkyPalky; 02-16-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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      03-24-2012, 07:52 AM   #8
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Yolks, I had a heavily modified E36 M3; which included dinan S/C super sprint headers and exhaust, and a throttle body. I drove of the fwy for like 30 minutes at high speed, high rpm. Passed with flying colors. The trick is to drive at high speed high RPM on a warm or hot day.
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