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Author Topic: Japanese auto inspections
WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I was listening to Car Talk today, and a caller made a statement that sounds like a UL to me. She said that in Japan the emissions inspections are so strict, they're required to replace the engine every 30,000-50,000 miles. Thanks to these strict Japanese rules, there's a huge supply of perfectly good used, low mileage Toyota engines over in Japan available for purchace. The woman said she did in fact order an engine for her Camery from Japan, but I think she could be mistaken about why she was able to get it.

Tom and Ray mentioned that they've heard this rumor before and said someone ought to verify the story. This sounds like a job for snopesters.

In fact, as a regular listener of Car Talk, it seems like I've heard this rumor on the show before, though that time I think is wasn't that they were required to replace the engine every 30,000 miles, but that the inspections are so strict that it's easier to simply replace the engine than to make the necessary repairs.

Are Japanese inspections really that strict? Do drivers in Japan routinely replace their engines every 30,000 or so miles? Is there really a huge supply of low mileage used Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. engines available over there?

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beaver_slayer
Deck the Malls


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Well, this is somewhat exagerrated, but the general idea is that due to stricter emission regulations it is indeed easier to obtain a cheap used car in Japan. In fact, a lot of them are exported to Russia and China.

However, to my knowledge it's not 50k miles, but something more reasonable.

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me, no really
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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It has been possible to buy low km Japanese engines second hand in AUstralia for a while now. Not sure exactly how many k's are on them though. They do make a pretty good alternative to reconditioning an old motor as they are often cheaper.

me

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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When the Subaru WRX came to the US it had been in Japan for years (as was the EVO from Mitsubishi). In Japanese spec it could outrun many a Corvette.

My understanding as to why it was not imported to the US is that OUR smog regulations were STRICTER and that a lot of redesing had to be done to allow it to be imported.

However, in hindsight, perhaps it was not emissions but safety features? Still, though, how is it that the imported models are still slower for many reasons, but not the least of which is due to restricted exhausts (3 catalytic converters, for instance)?

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Every few years we have to have our vehicles inspected. The limit is time, not mileage. You don't have to the replace the engine, thank gods! (Unless it is completely useless, I guess.) But you do have to repair lots of little things.

US emissions testing is more strict in most states but Japanese standard certification tests for various parts are extremely strict. As your car gets older it becomes less and less economically advatageous to keep. It gets more and more expensive to inspect it and repair it so there are few older cars on the road here. (Work vehicles, such as farmer's trucks, have some exemptions.)

On the other hand, most Japanese families drive much less than American drivers and usually maintain their cars more regularly anyway. Dents and scratches are repaired much more quickly because a car is as much a "status" symbol for many. A large part of the questions on the driver's exam are also about car maintenance (i.e. what you should check before going out on the highway).

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Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
[QB] I was listening to Car Talk today, and a caller made a statement that sounds like a UL to me. She said that in Japan the emissions inspections are so strict, they're required to replace the engine every 30,000-50,000 miles. Thanks to these strict Japanese rules, there's a huge supply of perfectly good used, low mileage Toyota engines over in Japan available for purchace. The woman said she did in fact order an engine for her Camery from Japan, but I think she could be mistaken about why she was able to get it.

There is a little truth to parts of the story. You can but cheep used low mileage engines from Japan. My coworkers is from the Philippines and use to import the engines from japan for the local market. They are often used to make
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeepney
Now, one thing to take in mind is a low mileage engine does not mean that the engine is not used fairly heavily. If the engine is from a big city in Japan I would assume there is a lot of stop and go traffic. So, the engine will still have a lot of use of it, but not very many 'miles' on it.

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Aud
We Three Blings


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How ironic. I think of Japanese cars a something that would run for 10 years as long I keep oil in it. If they are not engineered this longevity for themselves then is it really for the second market? Are they planning this recycling? That's such a different way of looking at automobiles.
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Singing in the Drizzle
Jingle Bell Hock


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My wifes Geo Metro overheated and warped the head and cracked the intake manafold, do to a waterpump seal blow out. After talking to my machanic I found that a installing a low milage engine from Japan would cost about $12K, while the cost to repair the engine would cost about $18K. As luck would have it there were no engines avalable for the car at that time, but I could wait 2 to 6 months for next shipment. Did not have time to wait around to get the car fixed and had to spend the extra $500. [Frown]
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crazybob
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Singing in the Drizzle:
My wifes Geo Metro overheated and warped the head and cracked the intake manafold, do to a waterpump seal blow out. After talking to my machanic I found that a installing a low milage engine from Japan would cost about $12K, while the cost to repair the engine would cost about $18K. As luck would have it there were no engines avalable for the car at that time, but I could wait 2 to 6 months for next shipment. Did not have time to wait around to get the car fixed and had to spend the extra $500. [Frown]

I hope you meant $1200 and $1800. For Twelve THOUSAND, I would have just bought another car!!

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Shadowduck
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I've never heard of the low-mileage engine thing; here it's usually the whole car! Since the Japanese are kind enough to drive on the same side of the road as us (and so use right hand drive cars), there is quite a large 'grey import' market of used Japanese-market cars - often with better spec than the UK models and invariably in good condition with low mileage for the year ('cos nobody bothers importing the ones that aren't). I'm pretty sure (after trawling through the used car ads to see if I could afford one) there are more grey import Mazda MX-5s on the second hand market than UK-spec ones!

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NickFun
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Speaking of that, why doesn't everyone in the world drive on the same side? When I was in Japan it was very confusing driving through cloverleafs the wrong way and trying to shift with my left hand.

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Shadowduck
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by NickFun:
Speaking of that, why doesn't everyone in the world drive on the same side? When I was in Japan it was very confusing driving through cloverleafs the wrong way and trying to shift with my left hand.

The Straight Dope on left or right.

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abigsmurf
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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*always finds it amusing when americans assume it's the british driving on the wrong side*
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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
*always finds it amusing when americans assume it's the british driving on the wrong side*

Since we are driving on the right side of the road, you guys must be driving on the wrong side. [Smile]

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abigsmurf
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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*baddum tsh*
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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
*always finds it amusing when americans assume it's the british driving on the wrong side*

Since we are driving on the right side of the road, you guys must be driving on the wrong side. [Smile]
Yeah? but our steering wheel is on the right side of the car!

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dave748
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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[lol] we drive on the left so that during a joust we can hang on to our lances with our right hand [lol]
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