Everything You Need to Know Before Your Emissions Test

In many states, emissions tests, also known as smog checks, are required for annual vehicle inspections. These vehicle tests are designed to ensure that your automobiles in the US are not emitting an excessive amount of harmful pollutants into the environment. Here's everything you need to know before your next emissions test or smog check.

What Does the Test Involve?

During an emissions test, your vehicle's exhaust system is closely examined to determine the level of pollutants being emitted. It may involve connecting a diagnostic tool to your car's computer and measuring the levels of pollutants coming from the exhaust pipe.

What Should You Do Before the Test?

Before your emissions test or smog check, there are a few things you can do to prepare your car:

  • Warm up your engine: Drive your car for at least 15 minutes before the test to ensure the engine is warmed up and operating at the correct temperature.
  • Inflate your tires: Properly inflated tires can help your car run more efficiently, lowering emissions overall.
  • Change your oil: Fresh oil can help your engine run more smoothly and reduce emissions. You should have it replaced at least two weeks before the test to allow any oil residue to burn off.
  • Check your gas cap: A loose or damaged gas cap can cause your car to fail the emissions test. Tighten it before you head to the testing facility.
  • Replace any faulty parts: If your check engine light is on or you notice any other issues with your car, have it inspected and repaired before the emissions test. Otherwise, it will lead to immediate failure.

What Happens if Your Car Fails the Test?

If you fail the emissions test, don't worry because your tech can diagnose the issue and perform the necessary repairs to get you back on the right track. In some cases, it may be a simple fix, such as replacing a faulty sensor. In other cases, more extensive repairs may be necessary.

All in all, you should understand that emissions tests or smog checks are an essential part of vehicle maintenance, and preparing for the test can help ensure that your car passes with flying colors. Luke's Auto Service has professional technicians who can assist you with any necessary repairs or maintenance to help your car pass its upcoming emissions test.