It is not magic to pass the smog exam, it is science. To pass, as determined by the government, you need to make sure that what comes out of your tailpipe is within the “normal range” of pollution.
There are many ways in which you can change the chemical composition of what comes out of your tailpipe to compensate for the pollution equipment limitations in your car. Below, we’ll explore those processes.
Tips to Pass Emission Tests
- Warm up the engine of your car as much as possible. The engine of your car burns fuel to ensure that there is full combustion (i.e. the engine is running as clean as possible) to warm up your engine. The hotter the engine of your vehicle, the less hydrocarbons the tailpipe can emit. Test your car on a reasonably cool day if you want to do even better, while still ensuring your engine is as hot as possible. Cars that use relatively cool air operate more effectively, and this can be seen on the equipment for smog monitoring.
- Using an additive for fuel. When you are refueling, a fuel additive is normally poured into the gas tank of your vehicle. The aim of the advanced fuel additive is to help clean up any carbon deposits that are in the exhaust and intake paths of your engine. This allows for air and fuel to flow easily through these passages. This decreases the rate of emissions and increases the overall efficiency of your engines and combustion.
- Be sure that your tires are inflated to the high end of the spectrum. The technician may have to drive your vehicle on what is called a ‘dynamometer’ during the smog inspection as part of the testing process. Before the smog inspection, fill your tires at the right pressure. If your tire manufacturer specifies that your tires can be comfortably inflated to any pressure within a given range (for example, anywhere between 35 and 45 PSI), then inflate them to the top of that safe range. The slightly higher tire pressure would allow the wheels to be turned with less effort by your engine. In other words, at 25 MPH with tires inflated to 45 PSI vs tires inflated to 35 PSI, the car would run slightly cleaner.
- Changing your oil before testing your smog. Your car’s positive crank ventilation (PCV) system has been specially built to allow your engine to breathe the fumes found in the oil compartments. During the combustion process, these gases are burned. If the oil in your engine is polluted due to insufficient oil changes, higher emissions and a failed smog test may be triggered.
- If the engine light is switched on, find a way to turn it off. You would immediately fail the smog test with a control engine light/malfunction indicator lamp that is illuminated. If you take your car to a qualified repair technician, he should be able to diagnose why the light/MIL of your control engine is illuminated and provide you with an estimate to fix the problem. Normally, this is done for free.
- Look for the Retest for Free. Put in a little extra effort if you are at all worried and find a smog station that provides a free re-test if your smog check fails the first time. In recent years, smog testing stations have become even more competitive with each other, and this is a very common deal that they propose to draw more clients. It could save you a bit of cash for a re-test.
Get as many cards stacked in your favor as possible when you go to get your vehicle smog tested. I can only guarantee that you would have no trouble passing your pollution test if you use any of these tips.
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