My Car Failed Its Smog Check, What Can I Do?

If you own a vehicle, it must satisfy certain conditions to obtain driving certification. This has been established in most states for the safety of the environment. If your car fails the emission test, it will emit gases that cause hazardous air pollution.  Here is a brief overview brought to you by

So what is smog check?

It’s a type of test conducted on the exhaust system of your vehicle to measure the type and amount of pollutant it emits every time it runs. Additionally, this check also assesses other parts of your vehicle to ensure that it’s functioning properly giving attention to emissions control.

How long does it take for complete smog test check?

It takes a couple minutes to accurately determine the state of your vehicle emission system. The tester must plug in a diagnostic computer to check for any codes related to common emission failures. Sniffer tester plays a significant role in checking the safe levels of nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons in your vehicle. The test will take about 20 to 30 minutes for a complete check.

What happens if my car doesn’t pass a smog check?

A smog check is a mandatory requirement for most of the country. Department of motor vehicle works to ensure all vehicles on roads are duly inspected. So if your car smog check doesn’t pass, there will be two choices for you: it’s either you repair the faulty components or else, you stop driving. You can’t renew your DMV registration if the smog check fails.

Age Exception

If your car is over 30 years old it becomes exempt from the smog check laws.

My car failed its smog check, what can I do?

Your failed smog test will cost you in repairs that might come as a surprise. The cost of repair is quite pricey. For example, replacing a catalytic converter will cost about $1,000 to $2,000 for the part and the labor.

If you don’t understand smog test results, inquire explanation from smog inspector. You’ll get to know the reason for your car failure. Test failure may happen as a result of the gas cap or exhaust pipe that isn’t functioning properly. So be sure to take a printout verifying the test and pointing out the need of repair from your smog inspector.

Under the rare circumstance, you might be lucky enough as sometimes fuel filler cap can be the only replacement repair that can be necessary. Thus, chances are you can get away with the bill under $200, although it’s not always the norm.

Check with your local agencies to see if they have any buy back conditions, California has a vehicle retirement program that helps owners get into more fuel efficient cars.