Smog checks are essential not only to ensure the proper working condition of the vehicle but also to adhere to environmental safety rules.
Vehicles, especially older models or ones that are left idle, can potentially run into issues with smog checks because of the following factors:
1. The Need for Repairs
Never subject a vehicle requiring major auto repairs to a smog check as it is bound to fail the test. A Vehicle needs to be completely repaired prior to bringing it in for a smog inspection.
2. Poor Oil Condition
The engine oil condition can be catastrophic in a smog check when the oil hasn’t been changed for the last 5,000 miles. Inadequate oil changes will result in a high concentration of hydrocarbons and will definitely fail the smog check.
3. Inadequate Engine Temperature
Optimum operating temperatures are vital in order to pass the emission test. A vehicle should be driven for at least 20 minutes prior to being taken in for a smog check. This gives the coolant, oil, and the catalytic converter enough time to reach and remain at the temperature recommended by emission test standards.
4. Recent Change of Battery or Disconnection
With a change in the existing battery or owing to disconnection, the data related to the ‘Driving Cycle’ of a vehicle will most likely be lost. In the absence of internal self-test monitors, a smog check can never be cleared. To do so, drive for around 100-200 miles for one week to reset or complete the emission monitors before getting smog inspected.
5. Status of the Check Engine Light (CEL)
An illuminated CEL will result in an automatic failure in the smog test. However, as per the California State Law, a switched-on CEL is no reason to avoid a smog check. Visit a certified emission repairs shop so they can use a trouble code retrieval tool which will extract trouble code data from the ECU (Engine Control Unit) and perform necessary repairs, turning the CEL off.
6. Inadequate Tire Pressure
All vehicle models that are older than 1999 are tested on a dynamometer while undergoing smog checks. Only an adequate tire pressure, as required by the vehicle manufacturer, will ensure greater stability and control while driving during the emission test. Therefore, make sure your tires are adequately inflated before pulling in for a smog check.
Also Read – The Common Signs of a Bad Air Filter
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