Although it might just seem like a huge hassle to seem, the reasons that you’re forced to periodically look up locations where you can get “emissions inspection near me,” are actually quite noble.
Modern vehicles have components and systems that work together to ensure that the engine is working properly and that exhaust contains as few pollutants as possible. The pollutants in the exhaust are harmful to air quality and to the environment, and so there are a variety of laws that regulate emission standards.
Plus, making sure your car is compliant is not simply a matter of staying in line with the law and avoiding penalties and fines. Some of the following issues that will cause your vehicle to fail an emissions test can also cause damage over time if they aren’t addressed.
If your car exhibits any of the following issues, you’re going to fail an emissions test when you bring your vehicle in for inspection. Stay tuned to the symptoms, and get them repaired ahead of time.
- A rich air-fuel mixture
When your car is running a rich air-fuel mixture, it means that too much fuel is being fed into the engine and burning with each stroke. This actually produces a little extra power than a lean mixture (which is the opposite problem) but it also causes diminished fuel efficiency and dirtier exhaust.
One of the signs of a rich mixture is the exhaust that smells sulfurous or like “rotten eggs.” If your car is running a rich mixture, it’s going to fail an emissions inspection program test when you bring it into the motor vehicle agency testing center.
- A leak in the fuel system (could be caused by a gas cap issue, or something worse)
If your fuel system has a leak, it’s a problem one way or another. What it means is that some fuel is evaporating out, somewhere in the system. When your car’s system takes note of this, your check engine light will come on, and you’ll fail inspection.
Luckily, a common cause of this issue is a faulty or leaky gas cap. Sometimes your check engine light will come on simply because your cap wasn’t screwed on all the way. Either way, it has to be addressed.
- Air filter problems (like a clogged or dirty filter)
Air filter problems will cause your engine to run less efficiently, which, as you might be able to guess, will result in the release of higher emissions. That will cause you to fail a test and it needs to be addressed.
- Old spark plugs that could cause misfires and other problems
Old spark plugs can cause a host of problems including but not limited to misfires. Some of these issues will cause your check engine light to come on but others may not. In fact, your car may be running relatively smoothly, but if the spark plugs are excessively worn, you could still fail emissions inspection.
- Aging or damaged catalytic converters
Your catalytic converters help to reduce your emissions by converting harmful emissions into less harmful ones. However, over time, they get clogged up with dirt, debris, and emissions from the exhaust. When this happens, you may notice sluggish engine performance or any other problems. Also, when your cats start to go, you’ll fail emissions inspection.
- Your check engine light is on
There’s one more thing to account for before you go looking up “emissions inspection near me.” Many of the items in this list will cause your check engine light to come on, but there are other reasons it will come on to.
They don’t matter in this instance, because whatever they are if your check engine light is on, you’re going to fail emissions anyway. That’s a good reason to have the problem (whatever it is) diagnosed and remedied before you go.
There’s one more reason to have your vehicle tested before you go for emissions testing.
One more thing to note, although it will not necessarily guarantee the failure of an emissions inspection, is if you haven’t changed your oil recently enough. There are many reasons why running on old, thick, burned oil is terrible for your car, and not the least of them is the fact that old oil can cause you to fail an inspection.
As oil breaks down under heat and pressure, it will become saturated with hydrocarbons, your engine will not run as efficiently, and consequently, it will release more harmful pollutants during operation. That’s just something to think about, as following a routine oil change schedule can help prevent this.
Before you go looking for “emissions inspection near me” get in touch with our team of A.S.E. certified technicians and we’ll see if we can’t help make sure your car is prepared. Bring your car to us and we’ll check it out for multiple factors affecting vehicle emissions inspections and measured at testing stations. Ten percent of vehicles in Arizona failed inspection in 2017 – don’t be one of them this year.
Give us a call at one of our locations (we’re in Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa!) or schedule an appointment online and come in to see us. We’d be more than glad to go over some of these pain points and offer more information on some these pain points.