Most states require that your vehicle meet federal emissions standards. However, some states, such as California, have their own emissions standards. For most driver’s this means getting their vehicle tested every two years. Failing this test could mean getting pricey repairs. These standards apply to most vehicles, though depending on the year and vintage status, there may be some exceptions. Check with your local DMV if you are unsure of the testing requirements in your state.

The best way to avoid extra repairs and paying for subsequent tests is to make sure your vehicle is ready before you take it in to be tested. A smog check takes a look at what comes out of your vehicle and whether it is within an acceptable range according to state or federal guidelines.

Smog Check

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Follow these tips to help your vehicle perform at its best. A properly running vehicle will operate more smoothly and burn more cleanly.

Test On a Warm Engine:

A smog check with a cold engine will show much different results than an engine that has had time to warm up. A hot engine means that the catalytic converter has had time to heat up, which burns more hydrocarbons in the process and ultimately decreases the number of hydrocarbons making it out of the tailpipe. In other words, this decreases the amount of tailpipe emissions.

If you want your vehicle to perform even better, try to schedule your test on a cold day. A hot engine taking in denser, cold air will run more efficiently. Get in a few 20 or 30-minute drives before you take your emissions test, and on the day of the test, be sure to drive for at least 20 minutes before going into your test. If it takes about 20 minutes to travel to the testing station, then that should be enough.

When scheduling a smog check, see if you can time it so that you don’t have to turn your engine off and let it sit for a long time. Otherwise, you will risk your vehicle’s engine cooling down before you take the emissions test.

Check the Tire Pressure:

Make sure that the cold pressure readings for all of your tires are even and within the recommended inflation before taking your vehicle in for the smog test. If your vehicle or tire manufacturer offers a range for inflation, then it is recommended that you inflate your tires to the highest point of the given range. Air pressure in the tires at a slightly higher rate makes it so that the tires spin more easily. This puts less strain on the engine, which allows it to burn more cleanly.

Get an Oil Change:

Carbon builds up in the oil as it ages, which can lead to your vehicle letting off more emissions. Getting a fresh oil change to help the engine operate more cleanly. In addition, take care to top off other fluids, including your gas tank, to help with general operational efficiency.

Utilize a Specialized Fuel Additive:

A fuel additive can be useful in helping clean the carbon deposits out of your engine’s exhaust and intake passages, and combustion chamber. You can even find fuel additives meant to help you pass a smog check, so make sure to use a well-trusted brand. Getting rid of the carbon deposits in your engine will help air flow through easily, improve combustion, and reduce carbon emissions.

Make Sure Your “Check Engine” Light Is Off:

In most cases, if your “check engine” light happens to be on during a smog test, you will receive an automatic failure. If your “check engine” light indicator lamp is malfunctioning, you will need to take your vehicle to a repair technician to see why the “check engine” indicator is lit up and get the problem fixed.

Pick the Best Smog Check Station For You:

If you have options, then look for an auto repair shop in Utah that offers pre-inspections, or places that offer a free emissions inspection retest. That way you can have a better idea of what you need to get fixed before you take your test. If you don’t pass the first time, you can spend less on the retest after you get your vehicle up to standard.