Failed emission tests lead to dead end for Valley man

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GLENDALE - Steve Kaminski's car is his lifeline.

He bought it back in January, and while he admits driving a 1993 Buick Roadmaster isn't his first preference, he says he's not complaining.

“Air works wonderful, in Arizona, you need air,” he said.

But Steve was in danger of his lifeline being cut because couldn't pass an emissions test.

I have a temporary plate until August 1, and then I don't know what to do,” he said.
 
Steve has taken his vehicle through emissions three times, and each time, he failed.
 
Steve then replaced a few parts hoping that would solve the problem, but when his emissions got even worse, Steve wondered if there was something wrong with the way the car was being tested.
 
That's when he e-mailed 3 On Your Side for help.
 
“I don't know really what to do, I don't know how much more I can afford, or I can't really afford to put anymore money into the car,” he said.
 
When the owners of Valley-based Community Tire heard about what was happening, they offered to help us out and inspect Steve's vehicle for free.
“We wanted to get in there and basically get him a proper diagnosis,” Howard Fleischman with Community Tire said.
 
But, the results weren't good.
 
Steve would need $1,000 worth of work to even have a shot at passing emissions, and that's money he doesn't have.
 
That's when Community Tire stepped up to save the day.
 
“We understand you've been through some hardships recently, and that you've had some issues trying to get this fixed up, so community tire's gonna step up to the plate and try to help out where we can and we're gonna repairs this for free for you today. What do you think about that?” Howard said.
 
“I think that would be very nice. I think that would be very nice. That would help me out greatly,” Steve said, stunned.
 
It should've been a fairly simple fix, but because the emissions were so bad, it took three days worth of work.
 
“This was difficult,” Fleischman said.
 
But, the mechanics at Community Tire stuck with it, and finally Steve's car got the green light.
 
“Passed emissions, passed with flying colors thanks to Channel 3 On Your Side and Community Tire and Auto,” Steve said.
 
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality oversees emission stations in our state.
 
3 On Your Side asked ADEQ how it ensures smog readings are accurate. 
 
In an email, an ADEQ spokesperson says, “Testing equipment at the emission stations are calibrated every three hours. If there were problems, the station would be aware of it quickly and ADEQ would begin conducting special audits.”