What is a Smog Test? What is a Smog Test? How to Pass it

The smog test is a vital part of every car inspection. Based on your vehicle's emissions, these checks assess how much pollution you car has been putting into our atmosphere. Although each state may have different regulations, the fundamental concepts are the same. 

This article will explain the Smog Check, provide pricing information, and offer some helpful tips to help you pass your test. This guide will ensure that you follow the rules and help you to avoid failing the smog check.  

Índice de Contenido
  1. What's a Smog Test?
  2. What is the cost of a Smog Test?
  3. How to Pass the Smog Test
    1. 1. Get the car engine warm
    2. 2. Make sure to use a high-quality fuel additive
    3. 3. You can inflate your car tires
    4. 4. Make a change in your oil
    5. 5. Switch off the Check Engine Light
    6. 6. Select a station with free retests

What's a Smog Test?

Although the term "smog check" is popularized in California, there are many states that have similar laws.

A smog check or smog test is a basic vehicle inspection program that measures how many pollutants are coming from a car’s exhaust. Some cases require a physical inspection while others read the computer onboard for errors.

Emission tests often include the measurement of exhaust from the tailpipe.

What is the cost of a Smog Test?

California has smog stations that are owned by businesses authorized by the DMV. Prices in California can be very varied, with prices starting at $30 and ending at $80. Other states may have different pricing scales depending on the type of test and the requirements.

Some states offer a combination of the emissions test and regular inspection. This creates a bundle price. While you might spend more on the inspection, you must remember that the total price isn’t all for the emissions check. 

How to Pass the Smog Test

1. Get the car engine warm

Smog Test

Fuel is burned inside the car's engine. To ensure combustion works at its maximum, it must be warmed to full temperature. 

Hydrocarbons will be less likely to escape the tailpipe if the engine heat is high. You can make the car run even more efficiently by taking it in at night. Cool air will flow into the engine after the vehicle has been fully warmed up. This will make it run more efficiently. 

Your engine must run for at least 20 minutes before it can be properly warmed up. You might consider a station located this far away from you home. 

You also won’t want to wait long for your appointment or the engine could cool down. Look for stations with shorter lines. 

2. Make sure to use a high-quality fuel additive

You can make your engine more efficient by using fuel additives. Just add an additive to the tank each time you fill it up. 

This fuel additive removes carbon deposits, which makes the exhaust cleaner. A cleaner system allows air and fuel to flow more easily, which lowers emissions while increasing combustion efficiency. 

One brand, CRC, creates additives that pass emissions tests. If you don't get your money back, it will double. It does cost a little more, but it’s better than paying for multiple smog tests. 

RELATED: 8 Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners & Additives

3. You can inflate your car tires

The technician may drive your car using a dynamometer in certain areas. You should fill up your tires at the maximum level allowed by the test to encourage passing grades. 

If your tires recommend an inflation range between 32 and 44 PSI then you should pump them as high as possible to get to 44 PSI. Don’t exceed this amount, but take it as high as what is safe.

Higher tire pressure means that the engine must work less to rotate the wheels. If the engine isn’t working hard, the emissions should be cleaner. 

4. Make a change in your oil

Positive crank ventilation (PCV), is an engine-specific system. This is to help with further combustion by reusing the fumes from the engine compartment. 

However, if the motor oil becomes contaminated because you haven’t changed it, you could hinder the process, thereby leading to higher emissions. That’s why we always recommend changing the oil and filter right before a smog test. 

5. Switch off the Check Engine Light

The type of test that you're taking will determine if the Check Engine Light is on. To find out the cause of the warning light, use the OBDII scanner. A majority of auto parts shops will also offer a complimentary check. 

Fix the problem, and then have the codes reset so that the light switches on. Even if the light turns off briefly, you should get to the station for the smog test. 

6. Select a station with free retests

You should find a free station that offers retests if you have difficulty passing the vehicle smog exam. In some regions, the competition among these providers is fierce, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one. 

With this added insurance policy, you won’t have to worry about failing. You may try our steps, and you can retest the results without having to pay more. 

Hopefully, you won’t need to retest, especially if you follow our tips. Thankfully, once you pass, you don’t normally need another check for a year. 

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