Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Why Is it Important to Be Able to Pass an Emissions Test?

emissions check

Emissions testing is done for one simple reason – to reduce the amount of pollution created by automobiles on the road today. Most states have at least some counties where testing is mandatory, but it’s more common in areas with higher populations and less common in rural areas. If your state has mandatory emissions testing, your car must pass – this isn’t optional.

Why is testing important?

Testing is important to ensure that your car is not producing excess pollution. This can happen for a number of reasons, including a deteriorating exhaust system, problems with engine components, and more. A tailpipe test is usually performed to determine the amount of specific gases vented in your car’s exhaust. An on-board diagnostics (OBD) test will be performed to determine the condition of emissions system components.

If your car fails either of these tests, you will be required to have the problems repaired and then have the car re-tested. Rules and regulations in this area vary greatly from one state to the other. Generally, you’re given a specific timeframe for repairs to be made and to retake the test at no charge (for instance, Connecticut gives you 60 days to complete the repairs and have the test retaken at the original testing facility).

If you’re not able to complete the repairs during that time, you can incur fees and other consequences, up to and including being unable to drive your car legally on the road. If you’re not able to afford the repairs, some states offer hardship waivers, but you’ll need to apply for that with your specific state government.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...


Related questions

Q: What Are California's Emissions Standards?

California emissions standards are the highest in the nation, and exceed the EPA’s regulations. You’ll find that many vehicles sold in different parts of the country are rated for California’s emissions standards because automakers are required to manufacture a certain...

Q: What Emissions Tests Are Performed on My Car?

The actual emissions testing process varies considerably from one state to another, as well as with different vehicles. However, your OBD system will definitely be checked. You may also need a tailpipe test, a gas cap test, and a visual...

Q: Where do I find the emissions control label?

The emissions control label gives you important information about the emissions system in the car, and what regulations it meets. This information may be necessary during emissions testing. You’ll find the label on the underside of the hood, on the...