We suggest you take your car in for a smog check as long as your check engine light is not on.
Make sure you drive it for about 15 minutes on the street before you go in and leave your vehicle running while you wait.
Smog checks are not only good for the environment; they are also good for your car. With your smog check you are able to detect some problems with your emission systems before they turn into bigger problems.
If your vehicle fails a smog check, usually it’s a sign that your vehicles emission systems is not running within specifications. Which usually leads to other problems, like your catalytic converter being damaged, cooling system problems, wasting too much gas, your oxygen sensor being damaged.
The typical catalytic converter for a 2003 Toyota Camry costs well above $500 dollars to replace.
Why your smog test may fail:
There are many reasons a smog check fails depending on the year, make, model, and mileage of your vehicle.
For 1996 and newer vehicles. The Onboard Diagnostic II is constantly monitoring your vehicle for faults in your emission related systems such as misfires.
If there is a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code), depending on the type, either a one trip or two trips, your vehicles computer will illuminate your check engine light.
If your check engine light is on, it’s an automatic ground for failing your smog check.
Many people disconnect their battery in order to turn off the check engine light so they can pass their smog test.
This strategy usually does not work because every time your vehicles battery is disconnected, the computer of your vehicle has to go through a certain amount of tests before its ready. These tests are called monitors. And monitor readiness.
OBD II monitors include:
1. Catalyst efficiency monitor
2. Engine misfire monitor
3. Fuel system monitor
4. Heated exhaust gas oxygen monitor (HO2S)
5. Evaporative systems monitor
6. EGR monitor
7. Secondary air-injection monitor
8. Comprehensive component monitor
9. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) monitor
Emission related failures
Tune ups, regular oil changes, clean air filters, all help in passing your vehicles smog.
Make sure you car is running right. No idling problems. It’s not shaking as if there might be a misfire.
If it’s an older vehicle, be sure to have your ignition timing within manufacturer specifications.
Make sure there are no sensors, wires, and etc,that relate to your emission control systems, disconnected. And your gas cap, dipstick and oil filler cap on your engine, is not missing.