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1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in Lexus

image1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

We're selling the 1996 Lexus ES 300 so we held our breath and waited for it to pass smog.

Read the full story here



  • yellowbalyellowbal Posts: 234
    In California, do they just hook up the OBDII and visually check for components and smoke?

    You can do that at home with a cheap OBDII scanner before bothering to schedule a smog check.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    How does the "smog" check work? Your comments about heating up the cat make it sound like this is a tailpipe test.
  • agentorangeagentorange Posts: 893
    $71 for a smog test??? Yet another reason I will NEVER live in California.
  • If you drive a car that runs on diesel in California, you're exempt from the smog test.
  • In california a smog test involves the 'blowback' procedure - Since smog levels are so high to begin with, the ambient pollutant levels have to be subtracted from the exhaust pollutant levels. This is accomplished by putting a probe into the cold-air intake as well as the exhaust outlet. Exhaust gases are aspirated and an initial analysis is performed on the hot pollutant levels. Another technical challenge is that certain pollutants only become detectable once they cool down to atmospheric temperatures, but they also quickly undergo 'deposition' and fall out of solution if the gas mixture isn't circulated continuously. To remedy this, after hot analysis, the exhaust gasses are rotated centrifugally in a sealed, nitrogen-flushed chamber until they can be cold-analyzed.

    This procedure isn't cheap, which is why you see price tags above 70$
  • It's interesting to note that with the more stringent requirements for fuel mixture regulation and catalytic converter design, exhaust gasses are often actually CLEANER than the ambient air
  • da_waveda_wave Posts: 0
    I personally think that this has been a great project car for Edmunds, and I've enjoyed the series very much - I'll be sorry to see it go. What will you guys be asking for it?
  • Well, my ES300 I bought at around the same time as yours has been wonderful. Just did the 75,000 maintenance for $239. Love the bi-xenon HID lamps and the car is just right. Comfortable, reliable, cheap to operate, and nothing too fancy/tech-y to break.
  • hybrishybris Posts: 365
    Well it was nice to see you guys attempt to live like lower income drivers and while as many have said before you guys did fail that part of the experiment overall it was decent reading.

    Maybe the next used car you guys get you can go through a full engine/drivetrain rebuild and your adventures through that. I would suggest a 97-03 Mustang or a domestic pickup truck.
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