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81. Why the Sky Is Brown
Every two years, DMV sent Cory a notice
get a pollution check to make sure his
wasn't fouling the California sky. Cory thought that
was fighting a losing battle, considering that there
30 million cars and 10 million cows in
, not to mention the air pollution drifting into
from across the Pacific.
After driving on the
freeway for 20 minutes to warm the engine
, Cory drove to the test-only center on Colorado
. Sam, the owner, offered Cory a bottle of
water. Sam pulled the car up to the
machine and stuck the machine's sensor up the
's tail pipe. This isn't good, Cory thought. Sam
Cory the printout: “Your vehicle is a gross
"What does that mean?" Cory asked. It meant
Cory had to take his car to a
to find out why the car was running
rich. It was using gasoline inefficiently. Maybe that's
I'm getting only 8 miles per gallon, Cory
. Sam said that once the problem was fixed,
the car back for a second test, which
Cory took his car to Moe,
regular mechanic. Moe said he couldn't help Cory,
his friend Ramsey specialized in emission problems. He
Cory Ramsey’s business card. “Tell him that I
you,” Moe said.
Ramsey said to bring the
by 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday--"first come, first
." Cory got there at 7:40 a.m. Monday. There
three cars already parked there, but Cory was
to discover that they were the mechanics’ cars.
was the first customer. Ramsey introduced himself, saying, "
will be ready in a few minutes. I'll
you the waiting room." He was a friendly,
man. Cory felt comfortable. Moe had sent him
a good place.