Emission Mission

Jul 27, 2002

RAY: The other day in the shop I had two Toyota Camrys each side by side. One of them didn't run. It cranked and you turn the key and wa, wa, wa, but it wouldn't fire up. And other one was in for an emissions test. So I tell Ralph to do these two cars. So he takes the emissions tester probe. He sticks it in the tail pipe of the car, which he is supposed to do the emissions test on. He opens the hood. The next thing I know he is cranking this car, wa, wa, wa.

TOM: It won't start.

RAY: He then takes the probe out of the tailpipe, sticks it in the other car. He gets into the car that wouldn't start. And he turns the key and of course, it doesn't start. It does the same thing that the first car did. Wa, wa, wa. I say to him, "What the hell are you doing?"

TOM: You must have assumed that he went to the wrong car.

RAY: That's what I assumed at first. I didn't know what he was doing. He then explains to me what he is doing. I say ah ha! What's he doing?

RAY: Well, he knew that the first Camry, the one that came in for the emissions test, ran. He sticks the probe in the tailpipe, and opens the hood, and disables the ignition system so that the car will not start. So, now he basically has this car, number one, like car number two. He turns the key, and he reads the emissions on the machine. He reads it's got like 3,000 parts per million of unburned hydrocarbons. Obviously, because it won't start.

TOM: Stuff is going out the tailpipe!

RAY: The injectors are squirting fuel and it's not getting combusted. When he puts the probe in the other car's tailpipe, he's looking to see if it has the same kind of emissions. If it does, then he knows that the fuel system's working. The pump's working, the injectors are firing off. And if he sees that there are no emissions with the same cranking time, then he knows that it's a fuel system problem, and not an electrical system problem. Pretty cute, huh?

TOM: So, what did he find out?

RAY: I don't know, I fired him before he could say so.

TOM: Wow, he's a genius of a guy.

RAY: He is. He's a bleedin' genius. Who's our winner this week?

TOM: Our winner this week is Crispin Reedy from Richardson, Texas.

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