Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How Do I Prepare for My Car's Emissions Test?

asked by on

How do I prepare for my car's emissions test?

A: The purpose of emissions test is to assist ...

The purpose of emissions test is to assist in keeping the air breathable and clean by requiring that vehicle emissions systems are working properly. When the emissions system is working properly, the amount of harmful pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere is significantly reduced.

The type of test that will be required for your vehicle will vary depending on the vehicle model, year, and the area that you live in. Find out if emissions testing is required in your area. These are some of the types of emission tests that are used to check your vehicle’s emissions:

  • Gap Cap Pressure Test
  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) Test
  • Visual Inspection Test
  • Tailpipe Testing

Learn more about how your car is tested for emissions.

The way in which you should prepare for an emissions test varies based on the type of test you will be receiving and the particular state that you live in. The following list includes things to do to prepare for an emissions test and may or may not be entirely inclusive depending on your circumstances.

  • Make sure your gas cap is sealed tightly to make sure that it has been properly secured to the fuel inlet

  • Make sure you have a clean air filter in your vehicle. This helps to keep the emission system operating properly

  • Make sure that your brakes and brake pads are good

  • Make sure the front wheel drive has proper alignment

  • Make sure your vehicle does not having any fluid leaks

  • Some types of tests will require that the shift indicator works properly

  • Some types of tests will require that the driver’s side door is operational

  • Make sure that your Check Engine Light is not on. If your Check Engine Light is on, your car or truck will not pass emissions testing. It will be necessary to make repairs in order to clear the Check Engine Light from your dashboard prior to arriving for emissions testing.

  • Once necessary repairs have been completed, you will need to drive your vehicle for over 20 miles so that it is able to go through the proper drive cycles. Doing so will allow the diagnostic trouble code to be cleared from the powertrain control module (PCM) history and memory.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Failed emissions after P0505 code... Considering options

The mechanic that checked your vehicle is giving you a possible fix by cleaning the throttle body of built up carbon. This may help with the idle and P0505 code, and for passing the emissions test. The throttle body is...

Q: Does an Aftermarket Exhaust System Benefit My Car?

An aftermarket exhaust system MAY be of some benefit to your vehicle. One of the most restrictive and power-robbing systems on cars today is the exhaust system. Having a free-flowing exhaust system and being able to get all of the...

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...

Related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.