My car keeps failing emissions but only when it is idle. What can be the issue? on 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis

I have failed every year. My car is too old for a diagnostic so how am I to know if the repair person is really fixing the issue or just adjusting it to pass.

by in Lawrenceville, GA on November 06, 2013
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3 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by , November 07, 2013
agree with puhrod,seek a 2nd opinion
ANSWER by , November 06, 2013
1991 is very easily disgnosed!! Maybe try another shop. However a lot of things can happen in a year's time!
ANSWER by , November 06, 2013
Agree with #1, these are easy. Can you post the HC, CO2, O2, and CO readings taken during testing?
COMMENT by , November 08, 2013
IDLE RPM TEST HC ppm reading 282 allowed 220 FAIL CO% reading 0.11 allowed 1.20 PASS RPM reading 786 allowed 1250 max CO+CO2% reading 15.7 allowed 6.0 min
COMMENT by , November 09, 2013
It's possibly a tiny bit too lean when I see .11CO and HC's too high. That usually means a small vacuum leak affecting only one or two cylinders, one or two injectors that are a little lean so that they don't provide as much fuel as the rest of the injectors. Now that being said I still have to consider that without the O2 readings I can't comment on how efficient the Catalyst is at cleaning up the exhaust. If there is O2 making it out the tailpipe then forget the idea that this is too lean, the catalyst isn't doing its job of cleaning up the exhaust. Some of the other things that can elevate the HC reading would be spark timing that is over advanced, and even carbon deposits in the combustion chamber. Your not failing by much, that can be a little tougher than one that is failing by a ton.