Question about 1992 Buick LeSabre

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Emissions Failed emissions test for first time but no one knows what the codes stand for to know what I might be able to do to fix it.the things that failed were on 50/15 test for HC ppm and CO %. Any ideas?

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  • sunsetatdawn Jul 21, 2008

    Update: I took it in to be checked out but being told it has to have oxygen sensor and catalytic converter replaced as well as fuel injection cleaning, totalling to like around $500 in repairs that I simply don't have but have to pass test or I have no transportation to work. Capsman, you were correct on one of the things they are saying I need. I am wondering if anyone might know what is my best possibility of passing test for only getting some of it done?

  • sunsetatdawn Aug 07, 2008

    thanks, I managed to pass it, but still have repairs I need to make before next year to make sure it continues to pass. Appreciate the input:)

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Sounds like it's not getting enough oxygen to burn all the hydrocarbons and carbon. Change out the oxygen sensor. Hope that helps. Is the air filter dirty? It might even improve things enough if you just change that.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

  • Peter Stearns
    Peter Stearns Jul 21, 2008

    Change the oxygen sensor first. If you can change it yourself that should cost less than $60. Then if it runs smoothly you don't need fuel injectors cleaned. You could try a bottle of fuel injector cleaner, $4. Hopefully you won't need a catalytic converter. It could be that driving it with a bad oxygen sensor has fouled the catalytic converter, and that driving it awhile with that fixed might clear it out.

    I don't know if this did any good. But I used to spray water into the air intake of my car with a Windex bottle before a smog test. I was hoping that the steam might clean the catalytic converter.


  • Peter Stearns
    Peter Stearns Jul 21, 2008

    I just looked at an article on catalytic converters. It said that operating the engine with an overly rich mixture (with a bad oxygen sensor) can melt the substrate in the catalytic converter, making it useless.

    Standards are lax enough that you might be able to pass smog with a bum cat. The downside of trying, however, is that you pay for another test. The useful life of a catalytic converter, the article said, is 60K miles. My car has twice that and it still passes. So you take you chance on another test.



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