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PA Emissions Terms

PA Emissions Inspector Terminology

TermDefinition
Emissions Inspector Person who completed the 16 hour certification program and is licensed to perform emissions inspections anywhere in Pennsylvania.
Northern Region Emissions Inspector Person certified to perform emissions inspections in the Northern Region only.
Certified Emissions Repair Technician Person certified to deliver emission waivers.
Subject Vehicle A gasoline powered vehicle, 1975 and newer model year, having a GVWR of 9,000 pounds or less and registered in an I/M county.
Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) A printout that occurs the conclusion of every emissions test that must be signed by the inspector and given to the customer.
Free Retest A failing vehicle is eligible for one free retest at the original station if it returns with 30 days of the initial test.
Repair Data Form This is printed out when a vehicle fails emissions inspection to document what repairs were performed and document the cost of the repairs.
Sticker Security All emissions stickers must be secured under lock and key at all times.
Void Sticker If a sticker becomes unusable (torn, damaged, etc.) and cannot be affixed to the windshield the inspector must void the sticker and retain the unusable sticker.
Windshield Replacement When replacing the emissions sticker due to windshield replacement, the inspector can charge the current program management fee plus no more than $2.00 labor.
Waiver A vehicle is eligible for a waiver if it has failed the emissions test, the owner has spent over $150 in repairs relative the the failure, and it still fails a second emissions test.
Tampered Systems Emissions systems that have had parts changed, removed or disconnect as to effect the performance and operation of the emissions controls. These systems and repairs are not eligible for a waiver.
Referee Process A customer can challenge the results of an emissions inspection if they contact PennDOT within ten days of the date on which their vehicle failed.
Gasoline Fuel consisting of hydrogen and carbon atoms combined into hydrocarbon compounds.
Hydrocarbon (HC) Exhaust pollutant that is unburned fuel from incomplete combustion or a misfire.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Toxic exhaust pollutant formed when there isn't enough oxygen to support combustion.
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) Exhaust pollutant that is highly toxic and increases when combustion chamber temperatures exceed 2,500 deg. F.
Rich Mixture Fuel ratio below 14.7:1 that represents an excess of gasoline and not enough oxygen.
Lean Mixture Fuel ration above 14.7:1 that represents an excess of oxygen and not enough gasoline.
Stoichiometric point Ideal fuel mixture of 14.7 parts oxygen to 1 part fuel. (measured by weight)
Oxygen (O2) Exhaust gas that is a good lean indicator.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Exhaust gas that mirrors CO levels. When CO2 goes up, CO always goes down.
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Precombustion emissions control that allows a small amount of exhaust gas mix with the air/fuel entering the combustion chamber to reduce the volatility of the mixture and reduce NOx production.
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve location on top of the engine for the purpose of regulating the flow of blow-by gases being removed from the crankcase.
Evaporative Control System (EVAP) Emissions control that uses a charcoal canister to collect and store vapors that originate in the fuel system (from the fuel tank and carburetor).
Vacuum relief valve Valve located in the gas cap that is designed to open and fresh air to enter the fuel tank to relieve vacuum that might build up during cooling down periods.
Pressure relief valve A valve found in the fuel cap that is designed to relieve pressure that may develop in the fuel tank. If pressure gets to be excessive, this valve opens to lower internal tank pressure.
Air Injection Reaction (AIR) Emissions control system designed to inject fresh air into the exhaust system to enhance the burning process as combustion gases leave the engine.
Non-Pump (Pulse Air) System AIR system that instead of using a pump, it uses the natural exhaust pulses to draw fresh air from the air cleaner into the exhaust system.
EGR Valve Valve used to control the flow of exhaust gas back into the intake and can be controlled by either vacuum, pulse-width modulation or other electronic controls.
Catalytic Converter Located in the exhaust stream, it uses the heat from combustion, unburned fuel, and air in the exhaust stream to convert the pollutants into environmentally acceptable non-pollutants.
"Light off" temperature Temperature around 500°F when a catalytic convertor begins to work.
Oxidation Converter Converter that uses the oxidation process to reduce HC and CO, converting them to CO2 and H2O.
Reduction Converter Catalytic converter that reduces NOx emissions by reducing them back into their main components of N2 and O2.
Three Way Catalyst (TWC) Catalytic converter that can reduce all three of the harmful pollutants (HC, CO and NOx).
Closed Loop Fuel control mode when the fuel mixture is being adjusted based on real-time feedback from the oxygen sensors.
Catalytic Converter Damage Excessive temperatures of over 1500°F, caused by overly rich exhaust, will cause the catalytic material to sinter and will cause damage to the catalytic converter.
Data Link Connector (DLC) A 16 pin connector that serves as the interface between the vehicle's on-board computer.
Drive Cycle The driving conditions needed to execute all readiness monitors on a vehicle.
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Standardized alpha-numeric code that identifies where and what on-board problem exists.
Freeze Frame Snapshot of important operating parameters recorded at the time of a fault as required by OBD II standards.
Fuel Inlet Restrictor A reduced size opening located under the gas cap to prevent the addition of leaded fuel in unleaded vehicles.
Fuel Trim Setting controlled by the PCM that reflects adjustment to fuel delivery to optimize engine combustion conditions.
Powertrain Control Module (PCM) On-board computer responsible for control fuel system controls and engine performance.
Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Indicator light illuminated when an emissions related fault occurs that increases pollution 150% the limit.
Flashing MIL Light Warning to indicate a sever misfire that can cause Catalytic Converter damage.
Misfire Failure of the air fuel charge in a cylinder to ignite.
Monitor Onboard diagnostic test that is executed by the PCM.
Oxygen Sensor Sensor located in the exhaust stream that provides feedback to the rich or lean condition of the combustion process.
Readiness Status Indicates whether or not a monitor has successfully run.
Scan Tool Diagnostic computer that allows the technician to read diagnostic trouble codes, readiness status, freeze frame data and other information.
Trip A vehicle driving mode that allows a component or system to be monitored.
Created by: die5el3
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