Need Help?

1995 Nissan 300ZX Base 2dr Coupe Slicktop Manual

1995 Nissan 300ZX
Do you own this car?
Estimated Mileage
Enter current mileage for most
accurate info about this vehicle

Track Your Service Records
Get Recall Alerts
Get Updated Value Estimates on Your Car.

back to question list

Ask the Community

Ask Our Auto Mechanics

August 10, 2012, 1:15 pm

Sophia L

Question: Fail Smog Certification and Power Steering Belt

Hello, I am trying to register a 1987 Nissan 300zx in California. Took it to a smog check it failed. Walked over to mechanic was told that it needed a new catalytic converter, paid to have one installed. While driving around before going to have it rechecked for smog compliance the power steering belt broke. Failed smog again, returned to mechanic for additional adjustment and power steering belt. For some reason am told that the ordered belt didn't fit and still do not have one. Have had a 2nd new catalytic converter installed and now a new muffler but still fail CA smog certification. Most recent emission test results are:
15 mph RPM 1542
HC (PPM) = 186 *allowable max = 112 FAIL
CO% = .21 * allowable max = .51 PASS
NO (PPM) = 1365 * allowable max = 545 FAIL
25 mph RPM 2503
HC (PPM) = 61 * allowable max = 61 PASS
CO% = .03 * allowable max = .42 PASS
NO (PPM) = 332 * allowable max = 502 PASS

Is there something you could suggest to help me pass smog? Between the repairs that aren't working and multiple smog checks this is quickly becoming very expensive.

Also, is there any reason you can think of that the power steering belts aren't fitting? is there something quirky about them?

I am going to a legitimate mechanic and as it stands right now, without power steering I am not strong enough to comfortably drive it to a different mechanic. Please help.

August 14, 2012, 4:13 pm

Elizabeth K

Either the communications is very poor, or this shop is doing a very bad job diagnosing your vehicle. Did it ever pass CA smog? Why did they need to get a second catalytic converter?

There is obviously something wrong with your car, and possibly more than one thing, making the diagnosis difficult. But to recommend a customer replace a catalytic converter without noticing that the muffler has a problem is just poor service or a sign of incompetence. I highly suggest you find a new shop and pay a tow fee to get it there, or ask the new shop to drive it over. It is an added expense, but the place you are at right now seems like a hopeless money pit. Here's a good article with some tips on choosing a good mechanic:

And here is some info on the CA emissions:

0/0 users found this helpful.

Ask our panel of certified auto mechanics a question. We pay for their advice so you don't have to

My Auto Score

See the free AutoCheck score

Meet The Experts
Kim Perrin
Kim Perrin is our resident mechanic here at DriverSide. Kim worked as…
Tyler Orr
Tyler Orr is an expert in German and Japanese cars and has been a mechanic …
Elizabeth Kriesten
Elizabeth Kriesten worked as an automotive technician for several years at Dodge…
Tips on Servicing

Car Brakes: How Do You Know When to Change Them?

By Zach Bowman For those who suffer a daily commute through heavy traffic, your vehicle's braking system can bring thousands of pounds of metal, plastic and empty Starbucks cups to a stop hundreds of times before you get to work. It goes without saying that these pieces wear out, but they do so slowly, meaning you may not notice they need attention until ...

Read more…