Things to Do Before Taking Your Car for a Smog Check

by | Apr 13, 2016 | Business

The Department of Motor Vehicles has implemented strict guidelines when it comes to smog emissions. Smog is a type of air pollutant that is most commonly generated by internal combustion engines (found in most cars today). If your vehicle fails the smog test, your car will not be registered. You will need an approval certificate from your local smog station before you can apply to get your vehicle registered. Most people are often confused about taking their vehicle for a smog check. What if your car fails the smog test?

What will you do in case the vehicle fails the emissions test in the first attempt? You will probably have to go for an inspection again until the attendant testing the vehicle gives you a clean chit. Without the approval certificate, the DMV won’t register your vehicle. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can significantly increase your chances of passing the smog check in the first attempt. Here are just a few tips to help you prepare for a smog test:

Check Coolant and Gas Levels

When you take your car for a smog test, the attendant is going to run your vehicle at high speeds while it is in a stationary position. This means that the amount of air flowing through the radiator is comparatively less, which reduces the engine cooling times. Therefore, it is essential that you fill up the coolant tank to the proper level before you take your car for an emissions test. Also, you should remember that many smog tests are carried out with the help of a dynamometer, which means that the car will be parked at an angle. If the amount of gas in your car is low, it could end up exposing the fuel pump and allowing vapor to enter into the fuel line. If that happens, you’ll fail the test immediately.


One of the best things that you can do is submit your car for a pre-inspection. In certain states, you can take your car in for a pre-inspection. This is comparatively less expensive, and will give you an idea of whether you will pass the test or fail it. A pre-inspection is like a safety net before you take your car for an official smog check. The attendant will give you an idea about the vehicle’s chances of passing the inspection. In case there are problems with the car, the attendant will point out these issues to you. You can get them fixed before you take the car for a proper smog test later on. These are just some of the things that you can do before a smog check.

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