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Emissions test time and your check engine light is on? Come to Auto Lab first

Question: I need to take my car in for an emissions test, but the Service Engine light has been on for some time. I’ve been told my car won’t pass. Is that true? What happens if my car fails the test?

Answer: Yes, you are correct: Your car cannot pass the emissions test when the Check Engine light is on. In fact, it’s likely they’ll just turn you away.

Save yourself the time and schedule an appointment at Auto Lab. We’ll conduct comprehensive diagnostics to determine which emissions part or parts have failed, and once we replace it, we’ll run your vehicle through an extensive test drive to be sure it’s ready for the emissions test lane.

This test drive is necessary because once we reset the Service Engine Soon light, all of your computerized emissions monitors are reset as well. (You could accomplish the same by disconnecting the battery for a length of time, but the test lane wants to make sure you’ve repaired the problem and aren’t just masking it.) Before the car can be tested for emissions, all of those monitor have to run through complete test cycles to ensure they’re working properly. This involves running the car at different speeds and various driving conditions.

A lot of people wonder why these tests are important. It’s because motor vehicle emissions are a significant source of pollution, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. And in a study being published this fall, MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment found that ground-level emissions from combustion engines like those in, cars, ships, trains and more cause about 200,000 premature deaths each year. The data also indicated that the biggest killers were cars and trucks, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to tailpipe emissions.

Keeping your car or truck’s emissions system running right is good for everyone!

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