If you live in the U.S. and own a car, there is a good chance that you will be required to have your vehicle inspected at some point. Although inspections are not required in every state or jurisdiction, they are required in many places throughout the country. Unfortunately, the type of inspection required varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it can sometimes be confusing to determine exactly what will be required of you or whether an inspection is even necessary for your specific vehicle.
Why Are Inspections Necessary?
In many U.S. jurisdictions, vehicle inspections were federally mandated where air quality did not meet federal guidelines. These inspections test vehicles for emissions levels to ensure that mechanical issues or other problems are not creating excessive amounts of pollution. These inspections are not necessarily testing the mechanical condition of the vehicle except where it may result in the emission of harmful exhaust gases. Other jurisdictions may require periodic safety inspections either in addition to emissions inspections or in lieu of them.
Preparing for an Emissions Inspection
The details of emissions inspections vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so the first step you should take is to visit your state motor vehicle department's website to determine if there are any special requirements you must meet. Depending on the age of your vehicle, you may not even be required to submit for emissions testing. In many states, vehicles that are either very new or very old are exempt from testing.
Aside from this, one of the most basic steps you can take to help guarantee that your vehicle will pass testing is to simply keep up on regular maintenance. Many vehicles fail emissions tests due to common maintenance problems. Staying on top of regular maintenance can save you the headache and cost of failing an emissions inspection and being forced to retake it later. You will also want to deal with any issues that are causing a check engine light to be lit, as the presence of a check engine light will result in an automatic failure regardless of the cause. In many cases, check engine lights are simply caused by faulty sensors, which are usually relatively cheap to replace.
Finally, you will want to spend some time driving your car on the day of the inspection. Spend at least fifteen or twenty minutes driving to ensure that the exhaust system is properly warmed up. Make sure that no lights appear on your dash during this time, and double check your tire pressure as well. Since the car will be run in place on a dynamometer, improperly inflated tires can potentially create difficulty keeping the engine at a stable speed. Although this is unlikely to affect your emissions results, it is a simple step to take to potentially save some frustration later.
For more information, reach out to companies such as Oak Hollow Tire Car Care Center Inc.