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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - Mid-Atlantic > Virginia Emissions Changes, Rapidpass/Sniffers, and DP



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      03-26-2022, 02:47 PM   #1
Danksies
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Virginia Emissions Changes, Rapidpass/Sniffers, and DP

Read an article that says VA is adopting the same strict emissions laws as CA come 2024 (https://www.virginiamercury.com/blog...r-regulations/). VA also has mobile emissions testers (sniffers ; https://rapidpassvirginia.com/VaPublic/), or at least Northern VA does.

I cant find much information elsewhere on this so a couple questions:

1. For those with DP's (catted or uncatted), has there been any crackdowns or hinderance from the mobile sniffers? I know they've been around for a while (saw some as far back as 2013) but seems like VA put out a lot more recently (you can see the locations on the rapidpass site)

2. If throwing on the stock cats before an emissions and taking them off after no longer works (or garaging in another county) cause of the sniffers, whats the alternative?

I feel like with the amount of modded cars (let alone N54s) around the DMV there should be more info on this but I cant find anything recent at all regarding new emissions laws coming up or anything about mobile sniffers causing problems for people with aftermarket DPs. Still find it hard to believe VA is more strict than CA when it comes to emissions cause of the sniffers, but then again CA is broke and VA gets its money from predatory traffic infringements like this bullcrap so they can probably afford to develop and try the mobile sniffer program lol
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      03-26-2022, 03:24 PM   #2
Danksies
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Ah and then there's also this (https://www.crvownersclub.com/thread...estion.224507/) which talks about inspectors checking if your cat has the right stamping on it. Previously there was no way the inspector was taking down the under carriage to check but I think recently they've been cracking down hard so more inspectors are doing the job by the book. 2-3 shops that I took my car to have changed management, but that started a while ago like in 2018

Also another person on NASIOC said (https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...hp?t=2923189):

"After years of my inspection place passing me with whatever cat I had on the car, they failed my 2020 safety inspection (not emissions inspection), because my cat did not have an EPA code stamped on it.

The station confessed that VA DEQ has been coming down hard on shops that have been skirting emissions regulations."

And also from the same post:
"VA changed the aftermarket exhaust catalytic converter details at the beginning of 2020. An aftermarket cat that is not registered? will not pass.

I needed to replace my cattted Invidia downpipe as it was not compliant. Mach V crafted one for me, connecting a legal cat with a non-cated downpipe.

That passed inspection last month."

But that second guy went to an inspector who never lifted or checked anyhow lol...pretty sure the aftermarket DPs to the "legal" cat would definitely not pass or be cheap
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      03-30-2022, 10:19 PM   #3
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If someone wants to not get sniffed, they should be decelerating through the sniffers. You won't get a reading at all as your exhaust doesn't put out anything on decel. So give yourself some room, speed up and downshift.
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      04-01-2022, 12:13 PM   #4
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I thought those sniffers were just to get a pass/renewal on the fly. If it fails, there's no harm, you just got to get it inspected yourself when the time comes.

Also anyone know of a mod friendly shop? Pre-covid i had a shop that would pass my car but they went out of business during the pandemic. tried going to another shop last year and they immediately failed me lol.
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      04-04-2022, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeP335i View Post
If someone wants to not get sniffed, they should be decelerating through the sniffers. You won't get a reading at all as your exhaust doesn't put out anything on decel. So give yourself some room, speed up and downshift.
Shouldnt be all that hard to do as stated since I doubled checked and they really only have 4 machines up at a time on the 4 most populated highway entrances.

Coincidentally enough, a couple days after I posted I needed a quick wash to get some bird doodoo off and had to use a shell brushless. On the way back I needed to dry to car off so hit the highway entrance and boom, the sniffer box was right there lol. There was ample time to see the box as long as you keep your eyesight to the curve but shouldnt be a problem if you know ahead of time its there and they stick to only having 4 up at a time.

Im just worried theyre going to shift away from the model of using these sniffers as a preemptive emission test for public use to instead a method of enforcing stricter emissions regulations in the future by placing them everywhere
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      04-04-2022, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HooDat View Post
I thought those sniffers were just to get a pass/renewal on the fly. If it fails, there's no harm, you just got to get it inspected yourself when the time comes.

Also anyone know of a mod friendly shop? Pre-covid i had a shop that would pass my car but they went out of business during the pandemic. tried going to another shop last year and they immediately failed me lol.
From what scant information I could muster, yeah it seems like the rapidpass sniffers can not issue tickets but if you keep getting frequent infractions you will be forced to rectify your car's emissions

" If you are considered a gross polluter after driving past an emissions station, you’ll be issued a Notice of Violation of Exhaust Emissions Standards for Remote Sensing (holy mouthful).

From the DMV website, “You have received a Notice of Violation (Notice) of Exhaust Emissions Standards for Remote Sensing from DEQ showing a determination by remote sensing equipment that your vehicle is emitting excessive pollution.

Within 30 days of the date of this Notice, your vehicle must have either passed an emissions inspection or received an emissions inspection waiver. If the vehicle is equipped with an on-board diagnostic (OBDII) system, the vehicle must pass both types of tests (OBDII and exhaust emissions). The first step in this process is to present the vehicle to an emissions inspection station for an emissions inspection “Confirmation Test.” This emissions inspection will determine if the vehicle is actually in need of emissions repair. The station may charge a fee for this test if the vehicle fails.

In order to meet the requirements of the Notice, the vehicle must pass the emissions inspection or receive an emissions inspection waiver within 30 days of the Notice. If you don’t meet this deadline, you may be required to pay the civil charge listed on the Notice.”
(https://www.findcarmeets.com/roadsid...ting-virginia/)
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      04-04-2022, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeP335i View Post
If someone wants to not get sniffed, they should be decelerating through the sniffers. You won't get a reading at all as your exhaust doesn't put out anything on decel. So give yourself some room, speed up and downshift.
Yeah so you can get around these if you know you wont pass and are forced to go by one. Just hope you see it in time and get off the gas lol

"The emissions pass factors in a few different things including the vehicle’s speed at the time, a readable photo of the license plate, the temperature of the vehicle (colder vehicles = high polution levels) and the acceleration of the vehicle when passing an emissions tester. They make a note on their site that this information is only used for emissions testing (no speeding tickets here). How to drive past the sniffers? “Accelerate moderately as you drive through the RAPIDPASS system. Moderate acceleration helps to produce an adequate and representative sample of your vehicle’s exhaust emissions. Deceleration or heavy acceleration may result in a test that cannot be used to qualify the vehicle for the RAPIDPASS program.”
(https://www.findcarmeets.com/roadsid...ting-virginia/)
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      04-04-2022, 12:24 PM   #8
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Also some other interesting information about garaging in another county from a member in the G80/82 forum at the bottom

"Roadside detection units have been out for a few years, you will only really find them on on ramps or off ramps usually entering in a major roadway, this is because the engine needs to be under load to get a NOx reading. 2 emission systems are primarily responsible for NOx reduction, EGR valves & catalytic converters.

Your vehicle has to drive through a roadside tester & fail more than once to get a letter in the mail. The letter is similar to a speeding ticket, it will have a picture of your car/plate & it will give gas readings of your vehicle. It will inform you to go to your nearest testing station to verify if the test results are true. Since NOx primarily occurs when the vehicle is under a load, the vehicle will be put on a dyno (AWD is exempt since no stations are required to have an AWD dyno, this is a loophole for all the Evos/STis or anything without disengageable AWD/TCS)

If you choose to ignore the letter eventually the DMV will put a stop on your account, it will prevent you from doing anything DMV related such as re-registering your vehicles/drivers license..etc.etc. VA will also then serve you will a civil charge & fines.

Garaging in another county only matters when you don't get caught and prevents you from needing to do a test every 2 years. Commuters from down south with no emissions are required to abide by NOVA regulations, if you're in Richmond and commute to DC everyday & your vehicle gets flagged as dirty...you have follow the rules as if you lived in NOVA & be tested."
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      04-26-2022, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeP335i View Post
If someone wants to not get sniffed, they should be decelerating through the sniffers. You won't get a reading at all as your exhaust doesn't put out anything on decel. So give yourself some room, speed up and downshift.

I would always put the car in neutral and coast past those. Never had an issue.

I did also do the garaging in another county method briefly - about a year - before I moved out of the area completely.
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      09-24-2022, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danksies View Post

"After years of my inspection place passing me with whatever cat I had on the car, they failed my 2020 safety inspection (not emissions inspection), because my cat did not have an EPA code stamped on it.
I think I know the answer to this, but are there any aftermarket dp's with EPA stamps for our cars that would pass a VA inspection?
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