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Here are few quick tips to help you breeze in and out of your emissions test with or without a new car

Before you take your car in for an emission check, is there anything you can do to give it a better chance of passing? The answer is yes. First and foremost, make sure your car is running well. A well-maintained car, with all its systems operating correctly, will likely pass your state’s emission test. However there are simple steps you can take to tilt the odds of passing in your favor:

Make sure the engine is warmed up. Before you drop off your car at the inspection station, make sure it’s warmed up. A drive for 10-15 minutes should ensure that. This should ensure all mechanical systems are operating at the temperatures they are designed to operate at and emissions are minimized.

Is the “Check Engine” illuminated? If your car displays the Check Engine Light (CEL), that’s an automatic failure for many state inspections. The most common reason for a CEL to be illuminated is a faulty oxygen sensor (approximately a $200 repair). Of course, there are many other reasons that a CEL can be illuminated and you should have your mechanic look at it.

Drive the car at highway speeds for 30 mins or more prior to the test. This gets the catalytic convertor hot enough to burn off any oil and gas residues. By driving the car at highway speeds for a while, the catalytic convertor will burn off any residues that could cause you to fail your smog test.

Change the oil but only if it needs it. Dirty oil in the crankcase can release additional hydrocarbons and other pollutants which could cause the car to fail the smog test. Refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations to see if the oil needs to be changed.

Use a fuel additive. Older cars could have clogged fuel injectors causing them to run lean. Injector additives can clean the small openings and help the car pass the smog test. Put this in your car a month or so before you bring it in for inspection.


Earthgargage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.