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      08-15-2022, 02:36 PM   #1
e90_503
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Portland Metro / Oregon Emissions + Test Pipes

Can anyone provide some anecdotal information regarding emissions testing and test pipes + tune? I am doing some research before installing test pipes on my E90 M3 but would like to know if I will fail DEQ in the Portland Metro as a result.

It sounds like many tuners disable the O2 sensor but this maybe leaves us with a cat and o2 "unready" state, which might cause DEQ failure?

Thanks.

DEQ provides information below:

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/...VrsnRsn=274409

(2) Test criteria:

(a) Gasoline powered motor vehicles from model years 1996 to 2000 are allowed two unready monitors; 2001 and newer vehicles are allowed one unready monitor.

(c) A vehicle which previously failed with either a catalyst or evaporative Diagnostic Trouble Code must have their respective monitor in a ready status to pass a subsequent retest. The vehicle will be allowed one or two unready monitors depending on the model year, but an unready catalyst or evaporative monitor cannot be one of them.
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      08-15-2022, 02:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90_503 View Post
Can anyone provide some anecdotal information regarding emissions testing and test pipes + tune? I am doing some research before installing test pipes on my E90 M3 but would like to know if I will fail DEQ in the Portland Metro as a result.

It sounds like many tuners disable the O2 sensor but this maybe leaves us with a cat and o2 "unready" state, which might cause DEQ failure?

Thanks.

DEQ provides information below:

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/...VrsnRsn=274409

(2) Test criteria:

(a) Gasoline powered motor vehicles from model years 1996 to 2000 are allowed two unready monitors; 2001 and newer vehicles are allowed one unready monitor.

(c) A vehicle which previously failed with either a catalyst or evaporative Diagnostic Trouble Code must have their respective monitor in a ready status to pass a subsequent retest. The vehicle will be allowed one or two unready monitors depending on the model year, but an unready catalyst or evaporative monitor cannot be one of them.

Looks like OR is an OBD scan and no direct testing of test pipe emissions.

You have a few options if you want to run test pipes:

A. Run a stage 1 tune with either 90-degree elbows / spacers in front of the downstream oxygen sensors. They can be had on eBay for $20 and will prevent you from throwing a check engine light 9 months out of the year - the warmer months for reasons unclear to me I threw codes. you'd need to clear them when they pop up.

B. Run a stage 1 tune with test pipes mini-catalytic converter spacers in front of the downstream oxygen sensors - I'm not sure who is carrying them these days but last I saw them they were a few hundred dollars. Can't personally attest to their effectiveness versus the $20 option.

c. Running a stage 2 tune will essentially tell the car to ignore downstream O2 sensor errors when it comes to a check engine light - but internally the car will have an OBD2 not ready error so you will fail the emissions. So this will give you a downstream O2 sensor "not ready" reading no matter what you put in front of the oxygen sensors. So if you want to run stage 2 on test pipes, your option is to flash your tune to a stage 1 or 240e stock tune when you do emissions, then flash back to stage 2 after. the spacers in this scenario would increase the probability of getting through the test (having flashed back to 240e) before a check engine light goes off.

Having a BMW-specific OBD2 scanner like Bimmerlink is key. the $30 generic models won't see / clear everything on a BMW.

OF course all of this assumes you are considering doing this in the well known province of Oregon, Mexico.
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      08-15-2022, 11:27 PM   #3
e90_503
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Appreciate the input.

In the case of (A), does this require additional provisions for keeping the downstream o2 sensors enabled from the tuner? I have very little understanding of the fine details of tuning, but my thoughts are that if the downstream o2 sensors are disabled to bypass the CEL code (but still show Not Ready), then I will still fail a DEQ/OBDII scan? I (somewhat stupidly) reached out to a tuner today and was told that we could not have any emissions discussion over email so I am trying to gather some thoughts up and see if they'll discuss over the phone... Don't have high hopes though, as I understand they are put in a bad spot if they go public with any information regarding their methods.

I would also be interested to see what a scan for a Stage 2 vehicle returns in terms of Not Ready statuses, will do some more independent research.

Maybe this is a moot discussion if the Catalyst system reports Not Ready since Oregon DEQ explicitly outlines this as a condition of failure.
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      08-16-2022, 06:51 AM   #4
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The function of the downstream oxygen sensors is to provide an "after catalytic converter" measurement so the ECU can determine if the catalytic converters are working (or there), throwing a CEL (check engine light) if there's a problem. They have no input to the car's performance.

A stage I tune assumes cats are in place and does nothing regarding the downstream oxygen sensors. If you run a stage 1 tune and test pipes, my experience is you will maximize your probability (not guarantee) ability to pass emissions and get maybe 80% of the power gains.

A stage 2 tune tells the car to ignore the downstream oxygen sensor calculation altogether, you'll never throw a CEL over it, but you'll fail emissions 100% of the time. Unless you flash to another tune when you do emissions.

Having had both stage 1 with test pipes and stage 2 tune with test pipes, the car didn't feel any different with stage 2 so I'd probably elect to run on stage 1 if I was in a state that did obd testing
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      08-16-2022, 11:36 PM   #5
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Ok - I think I am finally following.

Based on what you said above and some reading, a Stage 2 tune with provide "Not Ready" statuses for the downstream O2 sensor as well as Catalyst system. Tuners will not mess with the Catalyst system as there are regulatory pressures on businesses and this is a very understandable stance they are taking.

The idea is to flash Stage 1 (or stock) tune with the spacers and complete the required drive cycle, where the spacers allow for more cooling of exhaust gasses, which causes the ECU to believe there is a cat? Bonus points for mini-cats (looks like these are available for approx $50 a piece). Also since the tune is not modifying the downstream O2 sensor, those should be "Ready" in an OBDII scan as well?

I am still a bit on the fence on the test pipes and Stage 2 tune as the car is driven <2K miles a year and mostly want the test pipes to open up the exhaust note with my Corsa axle back. The added performance is a nice bonus.

I guess if all else fails, I can put the stock cats back on and complete the drive cycle every other year to satisfy emissions requirements at the time of testing, just would like to have a less inconvenient and more "permanent" solution.

Appreciate the input.
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      08-17-2022, 08:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90_503 View Post
Ok - I think I am finally following.

Based on what you said above and some reading, a Stage 2 tune with provide "Not Ready" statuses for the downstream O2 sensor as well as Catalyst system. Tuners will not mess with the Catalyst system as there are regulatory pressures on businesses and this is a very understandable stance they are taking.

The idea is to flash Stage 1 (or stock) tune with the spacers and complete the required drive cycle, where the spacers allow for more cooling of exhaust gasses, which causes the ECU to believe there is a cat? Bonus points for mini-cats (looks like these are available for approx $50 a piece). Also since the tune is not modifying the downstream O2 sensor, those should be "Ready" in an OBDII scan as well?

I am still a bit on the fence on the test pipes and Stage 2 tune as the car is driven <2K miles a year and mostly want the test pipes to open up the exhaust note with my Corsa axle back. The added performance is a nice bonus.

I guess if all else fails, I can put the stock cats back on and complete the drive cycle every other year to satisfy emissions requirements at the time of testing, just would like to have a less inconvenient and more "permanent" solution.

Appreciate the input.
Correct!

Another option not stated is to spend around 2k on a quality xPipe with 300 cell high flow cats. This will achieve your louder exhaust desire and allow you to pass emissions. aFe has one :

https://afepower.com/afe-power-49-36...-cat-resonator
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