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Auto Repair To Prepare For Your Smog Check

Why wait until you’ve failed your smog check to get auto repair? There are several inexpensive ways to prepare your car for the test that may help you avoid more costly repairs in case of failure. It’s always best to get to the problem before than after when you’re under time pressure.

Failing a smog check often entails a scramble to find affordable auto repair so that you can register your vehicle. Many emissions-related problems are costly to fix and will likely require a mechanic with accurate diagnostic skills in order to get it fixed right the first time. Unfortunately, some technicians can sense desperation and will set their fees accordingly. To avoid getting scammed, it is important to take a look at your vehicle inspection report, or VIR, and shop around for prices. There are also several precautionary and inexpensive measures you can take to avoid failing in the first place.

Would you go for a jog without stretching first? Sometimes a car can fail the emissions test for a simple reason such as not being tuned or warned up properly. Before having your car tested, it is important to have it running for fifteen to twenty minutes beforehand to ensure the engine is running at optimal levels. Wait to take your car in after work or running errands around town so you’ll be in a good position for the test. If you haven’t had a simple tune-up or have neglected regular oil changes recently, it might be in your best interest to bring it in for some basic maintenance. A small expense can spare you from having to re-test in the future.

Another major culprit of a failed smog check is to bring in your car recently after having shut off the check engine light or while it is still on. You should wait at least a few weeks after any auto repair before submitting it for a smog check. This will ensure that the system has had time to readjust properly and is running at optimal levels. Don’t even think about bringing in your car with a check engine light on or if it has been flashing recently. One of the most common reasons for engine troubles is emissions-related, so save your money until you can get it fixed.

There are several reasons why a car can fail a smog check. As a small sample, the following are all possible causes on their own or combined with other problems: a faulty catalytic converter, air injection or ignition system problems, leaking power valve, low fuel pressure, and engine damage. When you bring your vehicle to be checked, five gasses will be observed, although only three (HC, NOx, and CO) will determine a pass or fail. Once the test is completed, you will be given the VIR, which will explicitly state the problem and codes. Study it before bringing your car in for auto repair.

A smog check doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Many testing centers offer coupons online or in the paper, and most include a complimentary second test if the first failed. Test-only centers are not allowed to perform auto repair, so avoid any that try to cut you a special “deal.” Additionally, there are government programs designed to financially assist those who require major auto repair in order to pass, so explore all of your options.

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