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Does my 88 626 have an ECU failed timing california function smog test

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Please help i went to smog my 88 626 and failed california function test they said they cant find the timing marks but i found something about an ECU and my check engine light is not on if my timing were off this would be on i think im not sure please help 

This is what i found online about this function test

PART 3. Functional Inspection

The final part of the entire smog test process is the functional inspection. The functional inspection is conducted by the smog technician and is hands-on. The smog technician will ensure proper operation of the following emissions components and systems.

A. Engine Ignition Timing 
B. Check Engine Light 
C. Gas Cap & Filler Neck
D. Exhaust Recirculation Valve (EGR)
E. Fuel EVAP Test (LPFET)

A. Engine Ignition Timing

Your vehicle's engine ignition timing will be inspected during the smog test. The smog technician will ensure ignition timing is set properly, and the system is supplying electric current to the sparkplugs at the correct intervals.


Spark, 15,000 to 20,000 volts, is created at the engine's ignition coil. Electricity is delivered to the coil, a spark is generated, then sent to the distributor. It is the distributors responsibility to route the spark to the correct spark plug, at the correct time. The timing inspection will ensure the distributor is sending spark plug energy at the exact moment required for optimum air/fuel combustion. Adjusting a vehicle's ignition timing is performed by rotating the distributor clockwise or counterclockwise direction as needed.

Failed Ignition Timing: Engine ignition timing is measured in degrees. An ignition timing failure for example; ignition timing is required to be set at 15 degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC) and instead is set to 10 After Top Dead Center (ATDC). This fault will cause a functional failure, as well as increase Hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. California's emissions standards allow timing to be up to 3 degrees +/- off the manufacturer's required setting; resetting is recommend. One or two degrees off will not cause your vehicle to fail the ignition timing inspection.

Electronic Ignition Timing: Some late model vehicles may not have an ignition distributor, and therefore no timing adjustment or testing of the ignition system is required. On these engines, timing is controlled electronically by the Engine Control Unit, also known as the ECU, and the camshaft sensor and/or crankshaft sensor.

Both the crankshaft and camshaft sensors send vital data to the ECU indicating the position of the engine pistons, thus allowing the ECU to send spark to the proper cylinder at the exact moment fuel and air mixture is at it's optimum pressurization.

Any electronic ignition timing fault will automatically illuminate the check engine light, service engine soon light, or malfunction indictor lamp.


Note the last part my check engine light is not on am i being scammed ?

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It is very unlikely that a check engine light would come on with the ignition timing a little off. Maybe the person doing the test did not know how to check timing on this vehicle. If you look at the lower valve cover the timing marks are on there. Then on the harmonic balancer there is a notch. With a timing light you would be able to see what the timing is set. 

If the tech knows what he is doing, then maybe your timing is off. 

Another thought is, the car uses a harmonic balancer, it is possible the timing notch on the balancer has slipped. The balancer is a two piece design with rubber separating the two pieces. As the balancer ages the rubber deteriorates. Then the outside can move without the inside moving. So the timing could be perfectly fine, but cant be checked. 

Here is a pic. You can check that by rotating the crank. If you move the crank key to the top. then the notch on the outside balancer should be at TDC.


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He said they couldn't find the timing marks.  Maybe covered in dirt oil.  Print that page I gave you and look yourself.  May need cleaning off.  

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Wonder what happened. I suspect the first issue with the timing mark on the balancer is that it is obscured. By now it should be pretty dirty and I know that little line is hard to see even in the best of times. Plus the angle to see it, especially for someone who hasn't looked at many, is not that easy. The lower cover should have been easy enough to see with a small flashlight prior to checking the timing. That makes the second issue somewhat obvious also. I have two of these cars and need to get them smogged also. When I brought my wife's 90 in the younger fellow went "Wow, this is an old car". I showed that guy where the marks were. It is no longer an issue since the cars have had the timing sets changed out and all the marks have been painted white. Piece of cake now.

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