SAE Technical Paper Series Characterization of Recent-Model High-Emitting Automobiles

Publication Type

Conference Paper




In-use vehicles which are high emitters make a large contributionto the emissions inventory. It is not known, however, whether high-emitting vehicles share common emissions characteristics. We study this by first examining
laboratory measurements of second-by-second engine-out and tailpipe emissions from a small number of
MY90-97 high-emitting vehicles. We distinguish highemitter types by the behavior of six ratios in low- and
moderate-power driving: the engine-out emissions indices (engine-out pollutant to fuel-rate ratios) and the catalyst
pass fractions (tailpipe to engine-out ratios) for CO, HC, and NOx. Four general types of high emitter are
observed: 1) fuel-air ratio excessively lean, 2) fuel-air ratio excessively rich, 3) partial combustion such as misfire,
and 4) severe deterioration in catalyst performance in vehicles where malfunctions of Types 1, 2 or 3 are not
predominant. We also find that these behaviors may be chronic, or may only occur transiently. The second step
is to determine the prevalence of the four different types of high emitter in the on-road fleet. For this we analyze
IM240 tailpipe emissions from a large sample of cars measured in the Arizona inspection and maintenance
program. We find that all four types of failure are observed with roughly comparable probabilities.


International Fuels & Lubricants Meeting & ExpositionSAE Technical Paper Series



Year of Publication




Reprinted From: Advances in General Emissions


Research Areas

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