Cincinnati Car Dealer: What Do You Do If Your Car Fails An Emissions Test

Just about everyone in Cincinnati is familiar with emissions tests for vehicles.  Each county has different regulations on acceptable levels for the amount of emissions allowed by a vehicle, but the one common theme among all counties/states is that they all require emissions tests to renew a vehicle’s registration.  This is the case unless your vehicle meets certain criteria to receive a waiver for this testing.   Therefore, since this is mandatory every couple of years or sooner, it is important to make sure your vehicle can receive a passing certificate for this test.  Of course, not every vehicle will pass on the first try however.  If your vehicle doesn’t pass, what should you do?  The answer is simple; take the test again as most counties allow the emissions test to be taken a second time (and often third time if necessary) if you don’t pass on the first go around.  However, prior to retaking the test, you’ll want to take a few steps to ensure that you do pass this next time so as to limit your costs.  The worst case scenario is that you spend a lot of money on repairs in hopes of fixing the problem, to then find out that you still did not pass the test even after working on, and fixing, the suspected problem.  Another option is to take your vehicle to any Superior Automotive Group location to see what’s going on and to get it fixed.

Here are some tips to try and help pass the second time around:

  • Look at the vehicle inspection report from the first test to see why the vehicle failed.  This will be indicated right on the report.
  • There should also be a repair data form showing what repairs are suggested to fix the problem as well as list of mechanical shops which are certified to fix these kinds of repairs.
  • Maintaining your vehicle will also help you pass.  Prior to taking the second test, you may look to do any of the following easy maintenance tasks to improve your odds:
    • Change spark plugs
    • Change air filter,  fuel filter, and PCV valve
    • Change your oil
    • Adjust the carburetor on older vehicles
    • Drive your vehicle for at least 10-15 minutes prior to taking the test to warm the engine up, allowing it to reach normal operating temperature.  This also heats up the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor, improving the amount of emissions released by your vehicle.
    • You can also fill up with gas containing 10% ethanol alcohol which can be found in the premium grades of gasoline as this too reduces the carbon monoxide output of your vehicle.

Hopefully your vehicle will pass its emissions test the first time, but if you don’t pass immediately don’t worry as you still have other options to receive a passing certificate.  Just understand what your options are in order to determine the best steps to take to receive a passing grade on your next test.  And should you suspect any problems, bring your vehicle to any Superior Automotive Group location and we’ll help you out!

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