Taking your car in for a smog check can be a stressful experience. If your vehicle fails the inspection, it could result in costly repairs, late DMV registration fees, and the pressure that comes with unexpected expenses. Unless your vehicle is brand new, you may believe that passing is just a matter of luck. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of passing the California smog check.
Check the Check Engine Light
If your “Check Engine” light comes on, you’ve failed your smog test. Many auto repair shops now provide free “Check Engine light checks” using equipment that interprets the specific malfunction code. If your auto mechanic says something needs to be fixed, repair it before the smog check or the light will come back on.
Has the Battery Been Disconnected?
Wait at least a week before taking the smog test if your vehicle has recently needed a jump start or the car battery has been replaced. The internal self-test monitors, including the emission monitor required to pass a smog check, are erased whenever a car’s computer loses power. The emission monitor will be restored after driving 100-200 miles.
Routine Oil Changes
Because dirty oil contains a lot of hydrocarbons, pollutants that cause you to fail a smog test, make sure your car has new oil. Also, while you’re getting your oil changed, have the technician look over the engine for any cracked, broken, or disconnected hoses, as these could also cause a smog test failure.
Does Your Car Need a Tune-Up?
A fresh tune-up ensures that your engine is in tip-top shape. However, don’t get your car serviced right before the smog test for the same reason you wouldn’t get a new battery: during a tune-up, most mechanics disconnect the battery, which resets the car’s computer. So, before the smog check, you’ll need to put in another 100-200 miles of driving.
Make Sure Coolant and Gas Tanks are Filled
Running the engine at high speed while stationary is part of the smog test, which results in less air flowing through the radiator to cool it. Make sure your coolant tank and gas tank are both full before your smog check. A low gas level could expose the fuel pump and allow vapor into the fuel line, causing you to fail the smog test.
Go in for a Pre-Inspection
A pre-inspection is the best way to determine whether your vehicle will pass or fail a smog test. Many smog check stations offer less expensive pre-inspections that include all of the same tests as the official smog check but do not require the results to be filed with the DMV. You’ll have plenty of time to fix any necessary repairs before the “real” test if you complete the pre-inspection well before your registration expires.
Smog Check San Diego
You always need a reliable mechanic. Automobile Repair Shop San Diego has been providing high-quality auto repair in San Diego for many years. To learn more about how we can assist you with your auto maintenance, call (619) 330-0862 right now.