What Is a Smog and Emissions Test?

Smog
pavahgkanan, Flickr

It goes by many names, depending on where you are and who you’re talking to: smog checks, emissions tests, dirty-polluter threshold exams. Okay, we made that last one up – but it sounds pretty legitimate, doesn’t it? Whatever you call it – a smog and emissions test is a requirement in almost every state. But do you even know what the test does and why it’s so important?

Qualifying for a Smog and Emissions Test

For vehicles older that 1983 and new vehicles less than two years old having only one owner, you are not required to bring your vehicle in for a smog and emissions test. For the rest of us, Massachusetts requires vehicles be inspected annually for safety and bi-annually for smog and emissions.

Why Do I Have to Have a Smog Test?

A smog and emissions test is performed on your car to make sure that you’re not spewing out all sorts of harmful chemicals every time you drive around. Believe it or not, there are many, many cars that appear to be doing their job just fine – but that are sending up so much gunk that if something weren’t done to regulate it, the air we breathe would be thick with dangerous and unhealthy pollution. Getting your car smog checked in accordance with the law in your state helps cut back on this.

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 What Happens In a Smog Test?

During your smog and emissions test, the exhaust pipe of your vehicle is connected to a machine that reads the amounts of pollutants that your car is putting out while it’s idling and while the gas pedal is pressed down. The testing device is calibrated to match up with precise specifications as laid out by the clean air laws in your state. If your car is found to be putting out too many emissions, it’s given a failing grade and you won’t be able to register your car until the issue has been fixed. In addition to this test, the mechanic will check on the condition of your exhaust system to include muffler, catalytic converter and other connections under your hood to ensure that everything’s in proper working condition.

Smog and emissions checks can be performed by most auto mechanics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to take it to just any local shop. To find and book an appointment with the most trustworthy auto mechanic in your area, start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.

Source: DMV