How To Pass the Emissions Test

What You Can Do

The state of Washington requires drivers to undergo emissions testing to ensure no single vehicle is over polluting. If your next inspection is coming up, then you want to make sure you pass the first time. What you do leading up to your smog check may save yourself a lot of time and hassle that comes with retesting. Follow these tips from the pros at Jeff’s Auto Repair in Seattle, Washington to pass the first time.

Take Your Car to a Mechanic

In the weeks leading up to the emissions test, you want to make sure everything feels right in your car. If anything feels off, then you don’t want to waste your time paying for a smog check. It is possible you will fail the test, and you will not get your inspection fee back. It is more prudent to take your car to a mechanic to see what is going on and if you need repairs to restore optimal performance before going through a smog check.

Properly Inflate the Tires

Anyone preparing for an emissions check should make careful considerations about tire pressure. When was the last time you checked their air pressure? Proper tire pressure gives the driver of the vehicle greater control and stability. It also increases fuel efficiency, making it a vital part of emissions testing. Checking pressure ahead of time and properly inflating your tires can greatly enhance your chances of passing the test.

Swap Out Engine Oil

You should get your oil chance once every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If your car has gone longer than that, then you definitely need to do it before your emissions test. It is possible to fail the test if the oil in the engine has too many contaminants, as that can lead to decreased engine performance and efficiency. Handle your vehicle’s routine maintenance services in advance for emissions testing and give your car time to settle in to the adjustments.

Be sure to schedule your next smog check with the experts at Jeff’s Auto Repair in Seattle, Washington. Our shop on Sand Point Way is a convenient spot to get the test done quickly and get back on the road.

Your Car’s Emission Control System

Three Sources & Systems

Do you understand your car’s emission control system? It’s okay if you don’t! The system is complex, but vitally important to reducing emissions from vehicles on the road today. Jeff’s Auto Repair in Seattle, Washington explains the key parts of emissions control systems and how they work. With this information, you can better understand car emissions and any repairs the system might need throughout your vehicle’s lifespan. Be sure to handle emissions repairs promptly to ensure your car doesn’t over pollute!

What it Does

Emission control systems limit the release of harmful gases from cars into the atmosphere. This includes hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Engines, crankcases, fuel tanks, and carburetors are all sources of these harmful gases. Emission control systems were developed to prevent pollution from these sources and keep the atmosphere cleaner for everyone! Without these systems, pollution from cars would be a much greater threat to human and environmental health.

3 Sources

1. Crankcase

The crankcase is a source of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Today, leaked combustion gases from the crankcase are combined with ventilated air and recirculated. The process lowers the temperature of combustion and burns pollutants that would otherwise be emitted.

2. Catalytic Converter

Additional combustion to prevent pollution also occurs in the catalytic converter. Gases pass through packed beads of metals in this component, which act as catalysts to turn harmful gases into water vapor.

3. Fuel Tank & Carburetor

Fuel tanks and carburetors contain hydrocarbons that continuously evaporate from gasoline, especially in older vehicles. Previously, these fumes were emitted directly into the atmosphere. Today, sealed fuel-tank caps and evaporative control systems reduce those emissions. The vapors flow from a sealed tank to a separator. It returns raw fuel to be used again and transports fuel vapor to the combustion chamber where it is burned.

Emissions Repair

As you can tell, the emissions control system is complex and full of various components that work together to reduce pollution from cars in Seattle, Washington. When it needs repair, you need an expert who understands how it works! Jeff’s Auto Repair is your go-to emissions repair team and can help you pass your next smog check.

Why We Do Emissions Tests

It’s Not Just Another Hurdle to Jump Through

Have you ever wondered why you have to get emissions tests done regularly in Windermere, Washington? You might think it’s just another hurdle drivers have to jump through to spend money before renewing registration. Maybe you’ve been told, “we do them because they are required,” and that just isn’t a great answer. In fact, emissions tests serve a great purpose in our community!

Maintain Optimal Efficiency

When you visit Jeff’s Auto Repair year after year for your vehicle’s emissions test prior to renewing registration, our technicians are tracking your vehicle’s efficiency over time. If we see any alarming changes, we know that something isn’t working the way it should. Poor results on an emissions test mean your vehicle isn’t running at its best and that you aren’t getting everything out of it that you put in. Unburned fuel may be passing through the exhaust or more fuel than normal might be getting used up to travel around town. Either way, we can identify inefficiencies and look for a correction after routine emissions testing. You could see savings on repair and fuel costs with prompt emissions repairs because you are avoiding further damages and problems!

Protect the Environment

When all vehicles on the road pursue optimal efficiency, we minimize waste and pollution in our community. Believe it or not, simply bringing your vehicle in for an emissions inspection at Jeff’s Auto Repair in Windermere, Washington greatly impacts our local air quality and environment. Your single actions make a difference in the long-term health and beauty of our environment! When everyone takes care of their vehicles to achieve optimal efficiency, we all get the most out of our resources and limit the pollution that’s inevitable with driving around town. It isn’t being overly dramatic to say that if you care about the air you breathe, you should keep up with emissions testing! Certified stations like Jeff’s Auto Repair ensure no single car is emitting more than its fair share of harmful gases into the atmosphere. If we find something that doesn’t meet standards, we’ll send it in for repairs!

Emissions testing is more than just another hurdle in vehicle ownership. It protects our vehicles’ optimal function and our environment! Schedule yours with our experts today!

What Is Emissions Testing?

Everything You Need to Know About Smog Checks

If you are new to Renton, WA, you might be unfamiliar with state-mandated emissions testing. The state of Washington requires drivers to complete smog checks before renewing registration to ensure all vehicles comply with the minimum standards for emissions. Enforcing checks promotes healthy air quality and reduces pollution for all residents of Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties.

  1. Who Needs An Emissions Test?

  2. Most gasoline-powered engines need emissions tests, except for motorcycles, models year 2009 and newer, the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight.

  3. Where Can I Get My Vehicle Tested?

  4. You must find an authorized testing station or Washington Applus Test Station. For drivers in Renton, WA, Jeff’s Auto Repair is your local emissions testing station. For more information and locations, visit the DMV’s website.[1]

  5. When Do I Need a Smog Check?

  6. When transferring vehicle and registration ownership, a retest is required unless the last test was within one year. Drivers must complete emission testing prior to tab renewal.

  7. What Can I Do To Help My Vehicle Pass?

  8. Well, maybe not all drivers ask this question before arriving for their emissions test, but Jeff’s Auto Repair wants our customers to avoid failure and retesting. We recommend that you warm your vehicle up before the test with 10-15 minutes of highway driving and run the vehicle until the moment of the test to potentially improve results.

  9. What If I Fail the Test?

  10. If your vehicle fails the emission test, your tester will provide the cause for failure so you can make repairs. You can return to an Applus station within one year for a free retest. Vehicles with missing or tampered emission control equipment will not pass or receive waivers for multiple failures.

If you need more information about emissions testing in the state of Washington, feel free to contact Jeff’s Auto Repair in Renton, WA or the DMV. We are happy to answer any of your questions and concerns about checks and repairs.

Endnotes:
  1. DMV’s website.: https://local.dmv.org/washington/king-county/renton/emissions-and-smog-testing.php

Emissions Testing in Washington State

The Clean Car Law in Washington State is set to expire in 2019. Until that occurs, certain vehicles must be tested to determine if they can pass the current emissions standards. Washington State currently follows the published California emissions standards when testing vehicles locally. If you have recently moved to Washington State, then you have 30 days to register your vehicle. Owners with a vehicle that is model year 2008 or older must generally have their vehicle tested by an authorized party to complete the registration process.

Exempted Vehicles in WA from Emissions Testing

Certain vehicles are exempt from the emissions testing process in Washington State. Hybrid vehicles are the most common vehicle type to receive an exemption. Here is a list of common exemptions:

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer in Washington State, then it may not require emissions testing. Farm vehicles, motorcycles, and certain collectible vehicles are also usually exempt from these inspection requirements.

Emissions Testing Requirements for Military Personnel

Washington State has a proud history of serving our veterans and active-duty military personnel. Emissions testing may be required for some vehicles, based on the requirements that are in Federal law, but not state law. Vehicles that operate on military bases may have separate emissions testing requirements that differ from Federal and State laws to consider as well.

If you live or drive your vehicle in Washington 60 days or more each year, then emissions testing may be required. You may also be required to have the vehicle tested if you are stationed or live in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, or Spokane county.

If your vehicle fails the inspection for some reason, you may be eligible for a free retest within 12 months of the failed test. You may also be able to apply for a waiver under certain conditions.

If you have more questions about emissions testing, be sure to visit the WA Vehicle Emission Check Program[1] help page. You can also call or visit one of the five Jeff’s Auto Repair shops in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metropolitan area to speak with one of our knowledgeable service advisors!

Endnotes:
  1. WA Vehicle Emission Check Program: http://www.emissiontestwa.com/e/faq.aspx

Emissions Testing in Seattle, WA

The State of Washington operates a vehicle emissions check program that requires the testing of vehicles within certain areas, including Seattle, WA. Residents have up to 30 days to register their vehicle when moving to the area. Their vehicle must pass the emissions test before registration will be allowed. Renewing your tabs will also require a renewal of your emissions inspection certification unless your vehicle has been classified as being exempt.

Where Are Emissions Tests Required in WA?

There are 5 counties in the State of Washington which require emissions inspections on all new and renewal registrations for non-exempt vehicles: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane. That means if you live in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Area, there is a good chance your vehicle may require an emissions test. These tests are required every two years. You will be notified that your vehicle is due for the test through your renewal notice. Within these 5 counties, however, there are certain ZIP codes that are exempt from the emissions testing. You can reference the updated emission check area to determine if your vehicle is registered within an exempt ZIP code.

What Is the Emissions Standard in WA?

In the State of Washington, all vehicles within a designated area, without a waiver, must meet current California emissions standards. This is because of the Clean Car Law in the state. It is set to expire in 2019, though vehicles must still meet the expectations of the law until it fully expires. Certain vehicles receive an automatic waiver from the inspection. Hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles under 6,001 pounds or with a model year 2007 or newer, as well as vehicles built in 2009 or newer, do not require emissions testing. If you purchased your brand-new vehicle from a Washington dealer, you may not be required to have the vehicle tested either.

Vehicles that are over 25 years old are exempt from the emissions testing laws as well, including in the Seattle metro area. If you own a vehicle that has been designated a “collectible,” you may need to apply for certification of that status for the vehicle to be exempt from emissions testing.

If your vehicle is due for emission testing, be sure to bring it to Jeff’s Auto Repair for quick and convenient testing. In the event your vehicle needs a repair to pass, we are a fully equipped repair shop that can tackle any and all automotive repair services.