Understanding Smog Tests And Failures

If you need a vehicle inspection, then your mechanic will complete a variety of tests to make sure that your car is compliant with state regulations. Depending on the state you live in, a smog test may also need to be completed through a place like Smog King. If you are unfamiliar with the test, keep reading to learn about what it is and what happens if your vehicle fails the test.

What Is A Smog Test?

A smog test is essentially an emissions test that is completed to make sure that your car is not releasing excessive contaminants into the environment. The test will start off with a basic examination of the vehicle to make sure that all parts of the emissions system are present, intact, and in good working order. Afterward, testing equipment is used to test the amount of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other components that are released from the emissions. 

The emissions are tested while the car is idling and they are also examined while the vehicle is driving. During the smog tests, the vehicle may be placed in drive and various other gears to check the overall emissions. 

In some cases, your vehicle may not be tested while it is on. The onboard computer will be examined and data will be removed from the computer. Since emissions are stored in this data over a long period of time, a mechanic can check to see if the vehicle is running under the necessary requirements. If this sort of data analysis is completed, then something called a vehicle inspection report will be created for your car. 

What Happens If Your Car Fails?

The vast majority of vehicles pass the smog test. This is especially true with newer vehicles that have computer systems that constantly monitor emissions. However, failure does occur sometimes. If your vehicle fails the smog test, then your mechanic will tell you what needs to be fixed on your vehicle to ensure compliance with emissions standards. 

In some cases, your car will not need extensive repairs to the emissions system, but the sensors that help the onboard computer collect data will need to be replaced. These sensors do fail on occasion and will create a smog test failure. Oftentimes, the specific sensor will provide the failed data, so it is easy to pinpoint which of the sensors needs to be replaced.

If you want to know more about smog tests, speak with a qualified mechanic or a vehicle inspection specialist.