It was a SoCal perfect weather day, and I was scrolling through my phone enjoying the late afternoon sun when the person doing my smog test approached me and asked me a question I wasn’t expecting.
“Did you recently have a dead battery?”
I looked up from Facebook and said, “No. I just got a new battery.”
Now he looked confused. ”Why? Did the other one die?”
“No, but the dealer said it was getting old and I didn’t want to get stranded with a dead battery.”
“When did you get the new battery?”
“Today. Is that a problem?”
“Yes, because you got a new battery, you didn’t pass the smog test.”
This was the first I had ever heard of this, but apparently, this info is out there. After failing, I found several different articles and opinions about it online, including this from a smog tips website:
Replacing the battery or even simply disconnecting the battery on a vehicle will cause the engine control unit (ECU) to reset and clear all the emission monitors (and trouble codes; if any existed). Emission monitors are needed to be READY or COMPLETE in order for the vehicle to pass the smog check.
Completing or making "Ready" the emission monitors requires driving a car through a specific driving pattern. Emission monitors are internal self-tests which the ECU performs to ensure a vehicle is not polluting and is running efficiently. The entire process of self-testing various emission control systems is called a Drive Cycle.
It is recommended to drive a vehicle 200-300 miles over the course of a few days in both city and highway traffic conditions in order to make the emission monitors "ready".
To say I wasn’t happy about this situation is an understatement. I am now looking at paying for another smog check, as well as a tank of gas to do driving I hadn’t planned on. This could have all been avoided had Toyota Pasadena asked a simple question before they replaced my battery. “Do you need to have the vehicle smog checked in the near future?” Because even though dealerships know this fun fact, they didn’t ask. Not great service. Not even good service.
On a more positive note, I did get to check out AtHome, a new home store chain that moved into the top floor of what was once the Pasadena Sears on Foothill. Don’t be fooled by the old front entrance which is boarded up and is going to be a new Hobby Lobby. Drive to the back and you will find a shiny home store that is full of everything you would need to set up a new home. It is huge! Right now, it is full of Christmas stuff, so if you are looking for any decorations, this is the place to go. Everything is reasonably priced and right now, organized and clean.
If I have one criticism, it’s that I didn’t really see anything out of the ordinary. Home Goods, which is right next door, has things that are less basic as far as colors, patterns, glassware, and even holiday décor. But if you are looking for a one stop shop wide for some new towels, organizational items and maybe a mirror, this is your place.
A new piece of information and a new place to fill in any missing Christmas décor. Not such a bad day off after all.