Failed Emission Tests – How Emissions Testing Is Done and How to Make Sure Your Car Takes the Test Successfully the Second Time Over

A failed emissions test may come as a surprise to many car owners who take their takes to a testing facility to get their registration renewed. However, the failure can be easily avoided – here are a few words about what these tests are and how to prepare your car to pass.


What is an Emissions Test?

The ultimate objective of emissions testing is to improve air quality by not allowing cars that emit too much noxious gas to be used. In case of failed emissions tests, vehicle owners are required to fix the issues found and then take the test again.

How Are Emissions Tests Done?

The actual test is preceded by a preliminary inspection to check whether any of the following issues is present:

  • Missing gas cap,
  • Missing catalytic unit,
  • Faults or problems of the vehicle’s on-board computer that might prevent accurate emissions testing,
  • Problems of the fuel filler.

If any of these problems are detected, you will be given a pre-test rejection form and you will be asked to come back for testing after the issues are corrected.

If none of the above issues are found, the emissions testing can start. If your car was made after 1996, the test is done by connecting a testing device to the on-board computer of your car to read and analyze the data stored in your computer and to determine whether your car’s emission levels meet the standards. If the car was made before 1996 or does not have an on-board computer, a tailpipe test is done to determine emissions levels.

What to Do in the Case of a Failed Emissions Test

There are several components in a car that can lead to failing the emissions test, the most frequent culprits being the exhaust, the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor. If your car fails the test, you should take it to a mechanic right away – he will check and test your car and he will also determine whether the fault can be remedied by repairing the faulty part or you need to buy a new part. Mechanics can also order and mount the replacement parts for you, so you will be able to take your car back to the testing facility for a re-sit within a few days.

How to Prevent Failing the Test

Proper maintenance and attention to how your car works are the best way to avoid failure. The parts that alter your car’s emissions values do not break down suddenly – they produce signs such as diminished performance, increased fuel consumption, difficult start that you should address instantly when you notice them. The sooner you take your car to a qualified mechanic, the easier to remedy the problem and the lower the repair costs, so listening to what your car wants to tell you is definitely worth it.

A Failed emissions test might be a nuisance, but it’s not the end of the world – the faults that lead to the failure can be easily fixed, all you need is a good mechanic.