Ojai hit by new smog restrictions
by Chris Wilson
Smog testing in Ojai is getting more complex. And local smog
check stations are installing new equipment to meet the tougher
A new roller-type smog testing machinery has already been installed
at the Union 76 station on Maricopa Highway. The dynometer, which
tests for nitrogen oxides, cost more than $50,000 to install,
said Garry Appel.
California state requirements long in place for the rest of Ventura
County will take effect in Ojai, Oak View, Piru, and Fillmore
on June 1, Appel said. This will change these areas from a "basic"
to "enhanced" smog test area.
Procedures used for smog testing in the Ojai Valley have been
the same since the 1970s, Appel said. Cars have been tested for
their hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide output. The test was conducted
with the car at idle and at 2,500 rpms for 30 seconds.
But the chemicals that make smog, oxides of nitrogen, haven't
been tested for thus far in Ojai and other regions in the county.
In order to test for oxides of nitrogen, a car must be driving
under load, hence the new roller-type testing unit called a dynometer
or "dyno." This is called a load moded test, or acceleration
simulated mode (ASM), Appel said.
In 1998 most of Ventura County had to switch over to the ASM,
and now Ojai must follow suit, thanks to a county level vote
aimed at removing another 50,000 tons of pollutants from the
air, said Susan Roland of Roland's Smog Check in Meiners Oaks.
The new machinery will require the car to be in gear and have
the running wheels on a set of rollers. By creating resistance,
the rollers will simulate a load, like driving uphill, at 15
and 25 mph.
Then a probe, inserted into the exhaust pipe, will detect the
exhaust's nitrogen oxide levels.
"Basically, I expect to see a lot of cars failing,"
Bronk Vreeland Ford's Don Toomajian said they were putting together
their proposals to get the new system installed. And Susan Roland,
of Roland's Smog Check in Meiners Oaks said they'd be upgrading
"I'd rather upgrade our kitchen, but if we don't do this,
then we're out of business," Roland said. "We'll be
doing it as soon as we can afford to get a loan and refinance
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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