Emissions tests are performed to make sure your car’s exhaust is not harming the environment. If your car’s exhaust is meeting the environmental standards it means you’ve passed the emissions test. Not every state has an emissions test, a few of them don’t and the standards for emission testing also differ from one state to the other.

Though some states don’t require emission testing, you should reach a certain standard for the vehicle to run on the road. Here are a few tips on how to pass emissions test, before talking about the tips, let’s look at what an emissions test looks for.

What an emissions test looks for?

In an emissions test, the first part of it is the OBD test. The ECM is your car computer; in an OBD test, the technician will attach an onboard diagnostic tool to measure the efficiency of your ECM. What the ECM does is monitors the exhaust system of your car. You can pass the emissions test only if the ECM is in a good and working position.

The second step for testing your car is the exhaust gas analysis which will be a lot deeper and thorough than OBD. This test will technically get to know what is being pushed out of that exhaust. There is a specific tool that’s used to calculate what actually comes out of your car when it’s running.

The gas exhaust test is going to look for gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, etc. Each and every test won’t be looking for the nitrogen oxides but some tests do.

That’s not it, a diesel exhaust test will also be done which will include the measuring of soot emissions. When you are done taking all of the tests, it will be determined if your vehicle reaches the EPA standards or not. If it does, congratulations, if not, give it another try but follow the below-mentioned tips to know how to pass the emissions test?

7 tips to pass your emissions test 

Make sure your engine is all heated up

One thing that will improve your chances of passing the emissions test is to heat up your vehicle’s engine before taking the test. Just go on a little 20-minute stroll on the highway or go to Starbucks and get a drink.  

You should know that your car will work its best at the temperature it is designed for. If you tend to take small trips here and there, your car won’t reach its ultimate heating point. When it doesn’t do so, carbon and other pollutants build up and your car won’t be heated enough to burn them off.

Just forget that I mentioned a drive to Starbucks, go on a good drive which would heat up your car to a good limit that it efficiently consumes fuel. It will give a lot of help to the catalytic converter as well as your car’s engine to reach the optimum heat before testing.

Inflate your tires beforehand 

You should always know the fact that perfectly inflated tires make sure your car runs smoothly. When all four of the tires are inflated to a good amount, it increases fuel efficiency and decreases engine strain. The engine will have to struggle a lot if the tires are not inflated all the way.

When the engine struggles, it will be difficult to meet the emission demands. Just like how hard it is to drive a bicycle with flat tires, it is also difficult to drive a car with a flat tire.

An oil change makes a lot of difference 

If your car is having old oil that really doesn’t do much, you better change it before taking the emission test. Old oil can actually burn in your engine and produce toxins inside the exhaust.

If you’ve had a recent oil change before taking the emission test, that’s gonna show a lot of difference. It makes sure that everything is going well and is burning without leaving out any toxins. You always need the oil to burn cleanly, so be extra sure of that before getting an emissions test.

Pay a good amount of attention to the “check engine” light 

Most of the drivers I know tend to very easily ignore the check engine light. The light is produced for a range of different reasons. There is no absolute way your car is going to pass the emissions test with that ignited check engine light.

If you do have that thing on, go to a mechanic or whomever you think can solve the problem and get it fixed. Make you do whatever you can and get that check engine light off before going to an emission test.

Fix all the engine-related problems (if you have any)

Many people tend to ignore engine-related issues for long periods of time. If you know that something is wrong with your engine, please get it checked. You cannot get that sticker on your car if you have unsolved engine problems.

Your engine might be running rough, stalling, or showing any other kinds of problems. If you do choose to ignore all of that and take an emission test, this is going to increase tailpipe emissions. This is one of the best tips you can receive if you ask the question how to pass the emissions test?

Bring the vehicle to a smog test location 

If you have to bring the vehicle on a second test, that means the expenses are definitely doubled. That is the reason, I prefer going to shops that provide free retest. When you do so, you are on the safe side, because even if the vehicle fails for the first time you can get a retest without paying again.

Your vehicle has to be up-to-date on routine service 

If you want to pass on the emissions test, you need to make sure that you are on top of your game with routine services.


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