All car owners in the United States are aware that, in many states, a smog and safety test has to get carried out on their vehicles. Similar tests occur in other nations around the world. For instance, across the pond, the United Kingdom has an annual MOT test.
In this blog post, I will offer you some practical information on how you can pass the smog test in your state. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your car passes with flying colors! Here is what you need to know:
The “Check Engine Light”
In all modern cars, various engine functions get controlled by an electronic brain called the ECU. Short for “engine control unit,” the ECU’s job is to make sure that everything is running as expected.
It does that by gathering data from various sensors in and around the engine. If your car’s CEL is always lit up, it means that one or more of your sensors has detected a problem. You need to find out why your car’s CEL is lit up, because if you present it like that for the smog check, it’s an automatic fail!
There are several ways you could determine the cause of your CEL problems. Many people like to self-diagnose the problems by using a plug-in diagnostic reader. It’s a gadget that can read the “fault codes” stored by the ECU.
Another option is to get your local auto shop to diagnose the problems for you. Although, that’s more expensive that self-diagnosing them.
Drive your car on the highway
Before you submit your car for its smog test, consider going on a road trip that involves a nice long drive down the highway!
Running your car’s engine at high revs will help to “clear” some carbon buildup from your engine. Your car’s catalytic converter will also take care of burning away any carbon. That’s a good thing, because it does so before the carbon has enough time to escape into the atmosphere.
Give your car an oil change
RRG Group Lexus recommends giving your car an oil change before it goes in for its smog test. Adding some engine flush to your motor before you change the oil will break down any sludge inside of your engine.
The fresh oil will do a better job of lubricating your engine. And won’t cause any essential oil galleries (passageways) to get clogged up.
If your motor has oil sludge inside of it, the pressure can cause oil seals to leak. Once that happens, unburnt oil escapes through your exhaust pipe. Your car will then fail the smog test!
Give your car a tune-up
Apart from the engine flush and oil change, you should make sure that your car is in a good mechanical state.
Ensure that your car’s ignition system is in tip-top condition. Check the ignition leads, spark plugs and distributor system for wear. And replace any parts where necessary. One part that can cause a smog test failure is the oxygen sensor.
Some cars might have two or three oxygen sensors, and you can find them at various points of your car’s exhaust system.
I hope these tips are useful for you. Good luck with your car’s smog test!