Keeping Your Car Clean

Keeping Your Car Clean

Tips To Help Prepare Your Car For The First Emissions Test

Patrick Fuller

Smog inspection requirements can be vastly different from state to state, with some states and counties not conducting any testing. That makes it likely that you could move from a state with no emissions testing at all to a state with strict annual testing requirements. If this is your first year preparing for smog testing, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car.

Do Your Routine Maintenance

Several weeks before the test, take time to complete routine maintenance. Change the oil so that there isn't any dirty oil releasing pollutants into the engine. At the same time, have a tune-up done and top off all of the fluids. The tune-up will reset the car's onboard computer, clearing any errors. You'll then want to drive the car normally for a couple of weeks before doing the testing. Topping off the fluids is also important; the car will run on a dynamometer at high RPMs. Since it will be on the machine, there's minimal air flow. That makes the presence of sufficient coolant essential. A full gas tank is important, too; it prevents vapor in the lines.

Deal With Warning Lights

If your car's check engine light is on, most states require an automatic failure on the testing. Before you bring your car in for the test, you'll want to have the car's computer scanned to find out the cause of the light. A mechanic can plug a diagnostic device into the computer port on your car to read the error code. One common reason for the light to come on is a failed oxygen sensor. These are fairly inexpensive, so you can have it fixed before the smog test.

Ask About A Pre-Assessment

Some states will allow you to have a preliminary smog test done without actually recording the results in the database. This gives you the chance to identify problems before you're actually required to pass the testing. When you do this, the technician can give you a report of all of the errors that arise, if there are any. Many auto shops will even do these preliminary tests free of charge if you agree to have the official test done at their facility.

Don't let new inspection requirements and emissions tests leave you feeling uneasy about your car registration. With these tips, you can prepare your car for that first smog test and increase your chances of a successful result. Contact a company like Lakeside Radiator & Auto Repair for more info.


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About Me
Keeping Your Car Clean

My name is Amelia, and I have been a mom for about 20 years now. One thing I can tell you about kids is how difficult they can be on cars, which is why I made this blog. One day, I just got tired of driving around a car that smelled like the inside of a garbage bin, so I decided to make some changes. I implemented some rules in our family cars that really helped, and I worked hard to detail the interior, getting professional automotive cleaning and maintenance help as well. Check out this blog is you want to drive a car that looks just as good as it smells.