Having Older Cars Pass a Car Emissions Test

January 27, 2012

Since it is vital that everyone help the environment in any way they can, it is important your car be able to pass its car emissions test. There are several different things you can do to help get your car to pass your emissions test, even if the vehicle is old. Consider the tips below so you can legally drive on the roads.

Schedule the Appointment Wisely
When you make an appointment for your emissions test, make it for a time when you know is going to be a nice day. The colder it is outside, the longer the tech will have to run your engine. Because of the coldness or dampness, the oil in the engine, the coolant, and the catalytic converter are going to need extra time to warm up. This will hurt your chances for passing.

Check the Battery
Make sure that your battery is in good working condition. If the battery is weak, it can actually have an effect on the performance of your fuel injector, which could change the outcome of your test.

Change the Oil
Do not take your car in without having performed an oil change on it. If the oil is dirty, your car is going to be emitting more harmful emissions during the test.

Use Good Gas
Make sure you fill up your car with top quality of gas. Although the gas does cost more money, it is more than likely that your car will come out as running cleaner when you take your test.

Drive before the Test
Drive around about twenty to thirty minutes before you take the car in to be tested. This will help your car burn off the emissions prior to being tested.

Changing a Knock Sensor to Pass a Car Emission Test

If you have discovered you need to replace your knock sensor to pass your car emission test, you need to have a pretty good working knowledge of how to work on cars to do this. Otherwise the money you think you might save doing it yourself may turn out to be a lot more than if you had just taken it into the mechanic.

It will cost you about $2,000 to have a mechanic do it and will probably cost a little over $300 to do it yourself, but it is going to take a lot of your personal time to get the job completed correctly. You need a code scanner, which will cost about $100 and then the knock sensor which should cost about $200.

  • Remove the manifold and radiator. First you need to take off the manifold, which will take about four hours to do. Once you have removed the manifold, remove the radiator, along with the radiator intake and outtake housings
  • Remove additional parts. Next remove the fan, power steering belt, alternator belt and air conditioner if you have air conditioning. You will need to remove the harmonic balancer and all the timing belt covers, along with your timing belt
  • Find the knock sensor. Once you have removed all of these parts, your engine is going to look pretty naked, and you will finally be able to get to the knock sensor, which is located in what is called the engine valley. You will be pleased to know that after all of that hassle, the knock sensor itself is relatively easy to remove
  • Replace the sensor. After you have removed the small knock sensor, place the new one in the spot where the old one was
  • Put everything back. You now have to replace all of the parts that you removed so you could get to this small part. You will of course need to replace everything in the reverse order in which you took them out

Related Questions and Answers

Do Car Fuel Emissions Regulation Vary from State to State?

Car fuel emissions standards are established by the federal government and each state must adhere to them. However, the state of California, during 1967, established its own regulatory agency to fight against pollution generated by automobiles. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), along with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), work together to create and enforce emission regulations that vehicles driving within the United States must adhere to. Indeed, the state of California has always been on the forefront of automobile emissions standards, and they, along with 19 other states, have sued the federal government for the right to impose more stringent auto emission standards.

Where can I Look Up the Latest California Emissions Laws?

California emissions laws are established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB or ARB), which is a cabinet of the California Environmental Protection Agency. As such, the latest emissions laws can be found on the California ARB web site, under the "Laws & Regulations" tab. This agency started in 1967, and was the only regulatory agency within the United States until 1970 when the United States formed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Moreover, because it was started before the inception of the federal EPA, California is the only state that is allowed its own state-operated EPA.

Which States Require a NOX Emission Test?

The NOX emission test is part of the total emissions test that all vehicles operating within the United States must have completed. NOX is a reading of the amount of nitrogen oxides present in the exhaust gas of an automobile. Because our air contains approximately 75% nitrogen, the air that is pulled into an engine reacts with oxygen under the high temperatures and pressures of combustion to form NOX compounds. As engine heat increases, so do the amounts of NOX being produced. NOX is a precursor to acid rain and smog. Additionally, nitrogen compounds (NO2) lower the body's defenses to respiratory infections.

Are there any Cars that are Exempt from a Vehicle Smog Check?

Generally speaking, all vehicles driving on roads within the United States require a vehicle smog check. However, because of the more stringent emission regulations placed on new vehicles, some states have abandoned tailpipe exhaust testing on newer model vehicles. The computer controls placed in new vehicles monitor emission components and tailpipe emissions. Inspection stations "plug into" the vehicle's computer port, and emission information is obtained via the computer. Moreover, state regulations will allow vehicles classified and registered as historic vehicles to bypass emission testing, providing they are not the owner's primary vehicle.

How Many Different Types of Gas Emissions Come from Cars?

Gas emissions from cars make up five of the six tests performed at emission inspection stations. The non-gaseous test is a test that measures the amount of soot (smoke) expelled from the tailpipe. The five gases that are measured are hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOHs). Hydrocarbons are created when fuel is burned or partially burned. Carbon monoxide is generated during incomplete combustion of the vehicle's fuel. Nitrogen oxides (NOX) are formed in the combustion chamber under high heat and pressure conditions. Sulfur oxide is emitted by burning high sulphur content fuel. VOHs are organic compounds like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and formaldehyde.

Privacy Policy|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com