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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

Quick question. I have a 1981 BMW 320i and it's great. However, my mechanic told me he may not be able to keep it Smogged in California in 2012 as California's air laws have increased and the car will be too old to pass.

Does anyone know about this? I love my car and was going to spend big bucks getting her repainted and interior redone.

Thanks!
Cheers!
ClimbHigh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Zeaq! Thanks for the info!!! That was a great help!! "The Betsy" my car's name, doesn't qualify for the "before 1976 smog issues." Bummer!

I'm hearing a lot of flack that cars older than 2001 won't be passing the new California Smog and Air laws in the next couple of years. Does anyone know if this is correct?

No. 1: I want to keep my BMW and rebuild her. She is my BEST FRIEND!!!

No. 2: I don't want to do that if she won't pass smog. It's going to cost big bucks to get her back to her Glory Days.

My mechanics are worried. They know way more than I do! And Darryl said he's starting to have a hard time getting new parts.

If anyone out there knows the skinny, can you let me know? I SO don't want to give up The Betsy. She's been with me through thick and thin and I swear, she ran on fumes when I was getting divorsed--wasn't my plan, it was his.

Thanks everyone!!!
Cheers!
Patty
 

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register it in a different state ... find a buddy to whom a title can be sent.
Problem solved :D
 

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Hi Zeaq! Thanks for the info!!! That was a great help!! "The Betsy" my car's name, doesn't qualify for the "before 1976 smog issues." Bummer!

I'm hearing a lot of flack that cars older than 2001 won't be passing the new California Smog and Air laws in the next couple of years. Does anyone know if this is correct?

No. 1: I want to keep my BMW and rebuild her. She is my BEST FRIEND!!!

No. 2: I don't want to do that if she won't pass smog. It's going to cost big bucks to get her back to her Glory Days.

My mechanics are worried. They know way more than I do! And Darryl said he's starting to have a hard time getting new parts.

If anyone out there knows the skinny, can you let me know? I SO don't want to give up The Betsy. She's been with me through thick and thin and I swear, she ran on fumes when I was getting divorsed--wasn't my plan, it was his.

Thanks everyone!!!
Cheers!
Patty
what is the worry of the mechanic in specifics? If you are willing to spend... why not portion some of that expense into engine upkeep with cosmetics to follow? ;) just my 2 cents worth :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Dark Horse:

My mechanics said with that the new air quality laws that were passed in California, my car's engine is not set up to pass those new emission laws. It has to do with the engine, air and gas mixture and what emissions are allowed to come out of the tail pipe. They said the car would require a new engine to meet the new air quality controls. They also said that some of the engine parts are becoming harder to come by.

Thanks!
Cheers!
Patty
 

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Looks like 2012 affects motorcycles more than anything, and big diesel engines. Don't see anything about changes for passenger cars, but if there are they're probably keeping it quiet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Old Chevelle!

Thank you for your information. Yea, from what I could gather, no one knows for sure what's going to happen.

I ended up having to sell the car anyway. I moved farther out in the country and have a 2 hour commute to work and then 2 hours going home. 1 hour is driving in hot sun of 95 degrees plus and the BMW would overheat. So I had to sell it and get a newer commuter car.

The good news is that the DMV bought the BMW through it's Vehicle Buy Back program and I received $1,000 to put down on the new car.

Thanks all who gave good advice!! Wish I could have kept her, but with overheating, that's not going to get any better.

Cheers!
Best Wishes!
Patty
 

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Ah, another California taxpayer income "redistribution" program...did they crush the car?

FYI: a brand new catalytic converter installed a week or two before testing will usually make up for an engine that won't otherwise pass emissions (particularly if the hydrocarbons are too high). So for those with a beloved old car that just won't pass, consider a new cat every two years the price of continued ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Old Chevelle!!

Yea, I had a new muffler and catalytic converter installed just 2 years ago. For a new muffler and cat, the price is around $3,000 in the Bay Area. I've replaced one every 6 or so years. Living on the water, the cars rust a lot and the cat and muffler literally discentergrate.

The car overheats on the Altamont Pass, there's nothing that can be done about that. All the older cars are overheating on the pass daily. Overheating to and from work is not an option. It's just not economically feasible. I've moved to an entirely different weather environment, much dryer and much much hotter.

The lot where she is resting will part her out, as she has lots of good BMW brand parts, a new battery, etc. Her body is totally rusted from the salt and foggy air. It is worse than I thought it was. I was going to have her rebuilt inside and out, but she'd be mostly bondo. So, sadly, it was time to say good bye.

She'll reincarnate into another BMW next time around, maybe a convertible. Maybe I'll even get to buy her again!! She was a great car and life-long friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh yea, BMW parts are expensive. The older the car, the harder it is to find parts. My mechanics were beginning to have trouble finding what they needed for the car, 30 years old. Most BMW repair shops in this area only service cars newer than year 2000. They don't want/can't spend a lot of time looking for parts.

Plus, labor here is very expensive. So when you add all of that together, you're looking at a lot of money to hold a car together that is overheating................
 
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