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Old 06-08-2018, 01:40 PM   #1
SirBrass
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Question New to PA - what to expect for Emissions and Inspections

Okay, so here's the situation: I have lived my entire adult life in the Southwest. I went to college in AZ and stayed in AZ till 2015 when I moved to CA b/c I got married. However, I married a Marine and she was a Michigan resident, so I changed my residency to Michigan while we lived in CA.

We just moved to PA a few months ago when I got a job in the region and she went on terminal leave.

So, I never worried about emissions or inspections in AZ since until I got my BRZ, I hadn't done any exhaust mods. But with the BRZ, I did. But the BRZ was totaled before we moved out (I wasn't the one driving when it happened). And when we were in CA, car was MI registered so I just laughed every time I passed a place that said they offered smog testing. I loved giving the middle finger to CARB. Out-of-state plates AND non-CA residency, bitch! Thank you Federal Government (one of the only times you'll hear me say that).

Now we're looking at me getting a WRX again (wife says that I can't get another 2dr), but I've been hearing very bad things about PA and inspections. Things like "it's going to take the whole day and can cost around $500 each year". That's bad enough, but I'm worried about if I've done mods, because I WILL be swapping the j-pipe with a high-flow catted J-pipe as one of the first mods, along with Cobb AP and getting a pro-tune.

I've tried looking online but not much has popped up, or the state webpage for the stuff wasn't working.

Basically, what am I in for in terms of dealing with state compliance when we get me into a Subaru again? I didn't have to deal with anything like inspection stickers or emissions testing on a car less than 5 years old out in the Southwest, so I'm a complete newb in this regard.
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:24 PM   #2
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That's crap.
Being a PA resident as well, it depends on your area as to which tests are done. Most are an OBD2 test and a visual inspection. You'll pass the OBD2 test as long as you have no CEL and all but 1 readiness monitors are set. Visual inspection is a gray area. Some places are very particular. Others let some things slide...or they just don't have an in-depth Subaru knowledge to know that something is missing.
With what you are looking at doing, I suspect you'll be fine no matter what. It will be obvious there is a cat where there should be one. They won't go to the trouble to pull exhaust parts apart to see if it's a standard or high flow.
As to cost, again, that's crap. Most I've been charged was about $90.00. Least was about $50. As to time, the labor manual for most places pays a tech about an hour to do an inspection/emission. No where should it take longer than that...unless there is something that needs fixed in order to pass inspection and you give them the ok to do the work.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:24 PM   #3
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If under 5k miles/yr, you are exempt from emissions testing in PA
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tminus View Post
If under 5k miles/yr, you are exempt from emissions testing in PA
No way any vehicle of ours will have that. 12k-15k/year easy. Work for me (I work just across the state line in Endicott at BAE) is about a 22mi drive each way. And if my wife gets a job in Scranton, it'll be 53mi each way for her. We live in Susquehanna county.

We're currently borrowing my mother's CX5 and my wife's Malibu is junk (but runs). We're probably going to get the Outback my wife wants first, and if she can get a good job, then we can get me into a WRX in the Spring of next year. We're also going to scout out the Ascent once dealerships start getting them in.

I've actually been impressed with the recent MYs of Outbacks. The CX5's little I4 doesn't have any "getup and go" from a dead stop. The 50k used 2014 Outback we test drove a week or so back (2.5i trim), my goodness! World of difference. I think I like Subaru's FB series, not just the FA20 DIT.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svynx View Post
That's crap.
Being a PA resident as well, it depends on your area as to which tests are done. Most are an OBD2 test and a visual inspection. You'll pass the OBD2 test as long as you have no CEL and all but 1 readiness monitors are set. Visual inspection is a gray area. Some places are very particular. Others let some things slide...or they just don't have an in-depth Subaru knowledge to know that something is missing.
With what you are looking at doing, I suspect you'll be fine no matter what. It will be obvious there is a cat where there should be one. They won't go to the trouble to pull exhaust parts apart to see if it's a standard or high flow.
As to cost, again, that's crap. Most I've been charged was about $90.00. Least was about $50.
All this^^. Any car '96 or newer they just check your OBDII port, look for a CEL light, and it needs a cat. Light duty passenger vehicles 1975 and newer are supposed to have all factory emissions equipment in place and anything between 25yo (currently 1993) and 1996 will get a sniffer test. A new or newish Subie with common mods will be fine as long as a tuner did his job right and the engine isn't throwing codes.

Quote:
As to time, the labor manual for most places pays a tech about an hour to do an inspection/emission. No where should it take longer than that...unless there is something that needs fixed in order to pass inspection and you give them the ok to do the work.
I usually make an appointment and drop the car off for the day. Twice I have had to wait (different shops) and I sat there for 3-4 hours. I haven't found any "Drive Through" inspection stations in my 30 years of PA driving. Price varies by shop but is typically about $29 Inspection and $49 Emissions or so but adds up to $70-90 total without repairs.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
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So I do have to have it inspected and emissions tested (OBDII port read) yearly even if it's < 5 years old?
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:33 AM   #7
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Yes. My Subaru dealer gives me free safety inspection but I have to pay for the emissions inspection ($50+ to check for CELs.... WTF) since new. Same deal with our Toyota, also bought new. Inspection every year.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwedge View Post
Yes. My Subaru dealer gives me free safety inspection but I have to pay for the emissions inspection ($50+ to check for CELs.... WTF) since new. Same deal with our Toyota, also bought new. Inspection every year.
That just seems bizarre to me for a state to require that for brand new cars, but whoever said state regulations had to make sense?

Thanks for the info, folks.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:26 PM   #9
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according to this map you are in the same boat as i am with no emission inspection, its just a visual check with the safety inspection

http://www.aasp-pa.org/Files/Documen...ions%20Map.pdf
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:51 PM   #10
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according to this map you are in the same boat as i am with no emission inspection, its just a visual check with the safety inspection

http://www.aasp-pa.org/Files/Documen...ions%20Map.pdf
That's what my wife said she found out when she went to get her Malibu registered. Sounds excellent to me, though I find it odd that state inspection requirements differ by county. Oh well... good news for me.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:44 AM   #11
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I used to take my 06 wrx to a Kia dealership and they would pass me with no issues. I had full TBE and an external waste gate. Try to talk to some of the local subie crowd or if there is a local tune shop ask them where they recommend going for inspection and emissions.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lytlec View Post
I used to take my 06 wrx to a Kia dealership and they would pass me with no issues. I had full TBE and an external waste gate. Try to talk to some of the local subie crowd or if there is a local tune shop ask them where they recommend going for inspection and emissions.
As we live in Susquehanna County, we're exempt from emissions inspections, apparently.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:33 PM   #13
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
That's what my wife said she found out when she went to get her Malibu registered. Sounds excellent to me, though I find it odd that state inspection requirements differ by county. Oh well... good news for me.
I believe OH and CO are the same, depends on the county. My guess, population density.
Low, easy.
High, stricter.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:37 AM   #14
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Welcome to PA....=]
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:07 PM   #15
SirBrass
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According to this, it looks like I'd have to keep the egr components in place over top of the block off plates if I did EGRD. We might have to move to Lackawanna County sometime next year, but the only emissions test they add besides the visual anti-tamper test is gas cap check. Not even an ODBII readiness monitor check.

http://www.drivecleanpa.state.pa.us/info_non.htm
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:23 PM   #16
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Go to a mom and pop place here in northeast philly and you wont have a issue. I can give you a couple shops. Last time i paid $60 for inspection and i have no cats, over 400 whp with a built eng and tranny and pass all the time. Knowing the people that work in those shops helps.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:46 PM   #17
SirBrass
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Originally Posted by BlackFighter View Post
Go to a mom and pop place here in northeast philly and you wont have a issue. I can give you a couple shops. Last time i paid $60 for inspection and i have no cats, over 400 whp with a built eng and tranny and pass all the time. Knowing the people that work in those shops helps.
That's way, WAY out of my way. Philly is about as far a drive as the jersey shore for me.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:21 PM   #18
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackFighter View Post
Go to a mom and pop place here in northeast philly and you wont have a issue. I can give you a couple shops. Last time i paid $60 for inspection and i have no cats, over 400 whp with a built eng and tranny and pass all the time. Knowing the people that work in those shops helps.
Not being a smartass, we don't have different inspections in NJ that I am aware of by county.
Don't you have to be inspected by the county you are registered in?
If so, your suggestion is not valid for the OP.

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That's way, WAY out of my way. Philly is about as far a drive as the jersey shore for me.
Any problem with the Jersey shore?

LOL.......
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post



Any problem with the Jersey shore?

LOL.......
About 3 frikkin hours drive .

That, and those counties are stricter on inspection requirements than where I live.

Susquehanna county only requires the visual "anti tamper inspection". Lackawanna (where we're probably going to move to within a year's time) only requires visual inspection and "gas cap check".

The counties in and surrounding PA are much much stricter.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:44 AM   #20
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You shouldn't have any issues with emissions. You're only subject to visual inspection anyways. Catted downpipe so as long as it looks like u have one you would pass in the counties that require an obd test. You live in a part of Pennsylvania that you will be exempt from emissions testing. The only part that would get you is safety inspection. If u goto a shop with an inspector that nit picks everything they will find something wrong with it. Ie: ground clearance, tires sticking out past fenders, decibel levels, dumb things.
I wouldn't worry too much about where u live. If u have issues and you're near philly message me. I used to be a tech, I still have friends that will give u a pass for a couple bucks
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