1996 Lexus ES 300: Passed Smog
March 13, 2013
We're getting ready to sell this old guy and we had to get a smog test before we did the deal. We were a little nervous about whether it would pass, what with all the "issues" we've had lately (mass air flow sensor, check engine lights, O2 sensor etc.). So it seemed prudent to change the oil first and do a little highway driving. One smog test expert explained that long drives are helpful because it allows the catalytic converter to heat up enough to burn up all of the oil residue left from the inevitable "blow-by" in an older engine.
Highway driving is my specialty and with the ES nice and hot I brought it into ACA in Long Beach, Calif. They weren't the cheapest shop, but they were perhaps the nicest smog guys I've ever dealt with. While they were doing their thing, I had some Awesome Sushi (actually that's the name of the place) across the street. While the last piece of raw fish was wriggling down my throat my phone rang with the news: "You passed." The smog test was $71. The sushi was $12. It took one hour.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor, @ 154,000 miles