How to Pass Smog Check Tests with Classic Cars

January 27, 2012

In some states, classic cars still need to pass a smog check for it to be allowed on the streets. According to the Classic Car Club of America, a classic car is defined as a car that is 20 to 45 years old. However, a car that is over 45 years old is classified as “antique car.” 

Step 1. Check the Current Laws in Your Area

The fastest and easiest way to know if you need to have your classic car go through a smog check is to check the current guidelines regarding vehicle emissions test for classic cars. There are some states that have a classic car exemption law that exempts classic cars from undergoing a smog check. However, there are also states that still require classic cars to undergo a smog check.

Step 2. Register the Car

Registering your car as a classic can exempt you from undergoing a classic car emissions test. However, it is important to verify the regulations in your state to be sure. In Nevada, a vehicle that is registered as a classic car or classic rod is exempt from an emissions test. This is also true for Arizona Maricopa and Pima Counties.

Step 3. Drive Less

If you live in a state that does require classic cars to be tested, the less you drive your car the more likely it is you will pass a vehicle emissions test. There are a certain number of miles a classic car should be driven for it to pass an emissions test.

There are also some states that check if the classic car carries a classic car insurance policy since this type of policy limits the annual mileage and has restrictions regarding usage of the car.

Often times, an owner of a classic car rarely uses their car as a means of transportation so they are more likely to pass. However, there are some classic cars that do emit higher levels of dangerous gases. In this regard, driving the classic car less will increase ones chance of passing. 

Step 4. Have a Pre-Test

Before you actually go to a smog test, it is important that you have your car pre-tested for emission. This is to allow you time to repair any damages that will make you fail the smog test.

It is also important to remember that cars that fail a vehicle emissions test are requested to go to a smog check only station. In the event that you fail the test in a smog check only station, you then need to go to a test and repair station. This will cost you time and money.

Step 5. Having Regular Tune-Ups

Aside from having a pre-test on your classic car, you also need to have your car checked regularly. This is to prevent any potential damage or malfunction to parts that can affect the outcome of your smog check.

During the inspection, it is advisable to have your gas cap checked and to make sure you have the correct tire pressure.

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