U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 31, 2023

§ 610.33 - Durability tests.

The Administrator may determine that a device under evaluation will require durability testing in addition to the basic evaluation testing for device effectiveness. This requirement may be necessary for several reasons:

(a) A retrofit device manufacturer may claim that some mileage accumulation may be needed before the full effectiveness of the device can be obtained. If such claims are made, durability testing as described in subpart E may be performed. To determine whether the effectiveness change during the mileage accumulation is a function of the device or of the mileage accumulation alone, in some durability tests it may be necessary to run the mileage accumulation on vehicles with and without the device. Due to the high cost of durability testing and in particular of such duplicate testing, it will be used only where it is judged by the Administrator to be necessary.

(b) A device may have a limited life expectancy or be such that it requires replacement or adjustment at a prescribed mileage interval. Confirmatory durability tests may be run to assess whether such mileage intervals are proper and effective.

(c) A device may be suspected of having an adverse effect on the durability of the engine to which it is applied. After identification of a potential failure mode, durability tests may be conducted to investigate any changes in engine characteristics associated with that failure mode. Examples are valve problems, deterioration in spark plug life, increase in carburetor or combustion chamber deposits, or increased engine wear. If it is not possible to directly measure the change in the suspect characteristic, then a durability run may be made as described in subpart E, in which fuel economy and exhaust emissions are periodically checked during the accumulation of up to 15,000 miles.

(d) A critical item which can influence fuel economy is vehicle maintenance. Any durability test program used in evaluation of the effectiveness of a fuel economy device will be designed to differentiate maintenance effects from the effect of the device. Any maintenance associated with the device operation will be rigidly controlled. If the maintenance appears to be a significant factor in the effectiveness of a device, then it may be necessary to run a control test on vehicles without the device installed where the same maintenance is performed to quantify any incremental effect of that maintenance.