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Millions of Americans are well aware of emissions testing and have had their vehicle tested periodically for years. However, many have never needed to have a testing done on their car because their city or state doesn’t require it. As of writing this, thirty-one states and the District of Columbia all require emission testing in at least one county. This covers more than half of the country, yet large states such as Florida and Montana aren’t included on the list.

What is an Emissions Test?

An emissions test is a simple test where a technician will hook up a diagnostics device to the On-Board Diagnostic II port. This works for cars made in 1996 moving forward as car manufacturers have installed warning systems that send alerts to the driver of any system failures. The technician will read their diagnostic tool for certain monitors within a set of distinct parameters. Once the technician is satisfied with the results, your vehicle will receive a passing score.

Cars older than 1996 are typically exempt from emissions testing because they don’t have built-in capabilities for the tester. However, be sure to check with your local government to be positive.

Why Some States Test and Others Don’t

The federal Clean Air Act specifies the maximum acceptable levels of pollutants in the air. Contaminants such as carbon monoxide, lead, ozone, and sulfur dioxide are the most dangerous, so the EPA wants to ensure that states are doing their part to keep air quality high and pollution low.

If the state doesn’t stay within the acceptable range, it will be required to develop and finance a plan to reduce their pollutant levels. However, some states already have clean air and felt that emissions testing was an unnecessary cost for the taxpayer. For example, in the ‘90s Florida used to require emissions testing in large cities like Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa; however, the potential cost savings were too appealing, so they removed the requirement.

Why Are Emission Tests Important?

Passing an emission test will ensure that your vehicle doesn’t produce excess amounts of pollution in the air. In larger cities, it is vital that every car on the road isn’t spilling toxic amounts of emissions into the air people breathe. Many believe that emissions from vehicles are large components of rising global temperatures and see emissions tests as a way of ensuring pollution doesn’t exceed recommended levels.

What Could Cause Your Vehicle to Fail?

Several things ranging from a loose spark plug to complete engine misfire could cause your car to fail the emissions test. The emissions technician should be able to identify the monitors that set off the test and will point you in the right direction. If not, you can take your car to a local mechanic and have them diagnose and repair the problem.

You might be tempted to purchase your own vehicle diagnostics tool; however, these don’t accurately diagnose the problem on their own; they simply give the details of the sensors that were triggered, and it’s up to you to determine what the actual issue is.

A trained mechanic will be able to diagnose the problem accurately and swiftly repair it if it is a minor issue. Either way, if your vehicle fails the test, you must repair it quickly to ensure it passes the next test.

Emissions Problems?

Bring your car to the experts at Clutch Auto Repair, specializes in Hybrid Car like Toyota Repair and we’ll quickly diagnose the issue and will have your car up and running to pass the test in no time!

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