So, Your Car Failed A Smog Check?
Diagnose the Issues
In California, failing a smog check means your vehicle is releasing too many destructive chemical compounds into the air. Bummer, right? A licensed professional can help you diagnose and rectify the issue, but sometimes knowing what you’re up against can help with the anxiety of the situation. Smog checks are no joke; California law states that vehicles that do not qualify for an exemption have to pass one every two years in order to operate legally. Below are five reasons why vehicles fail a smog check test.
Failed EVAP System
Your Evaporative Emission Control System, or EVAP System, helps detect whether gasoline is evaporating out of the filler hose and polluting the atmosphere. If this begins to happen, your fuel efficiency greatly decreases and triggers a possible “check engine” light that requires professional attention.
Dirty Air Filter
One of the easiest fixes on this list, a dirty air filter, can trigger a smog test failure. Why? Because when airflow is reduced, the combustion chamber of your vehicle doesn’t get the air it needs. This means that excess levels of carbon are being released into your exhaust, which escapes into the atmosphere. Replacing the air filter solves this issue.
Leaking Gas Cap
Similar to the issue above, a damaged gas cap can lead to an increased release of harmful emissions into the air. That’s a big no-no in the State of California, so a replacement is necessary to rectify the situation.
Contaminated Engine Oil
When oil becomes oil and dirty, an excess of hydrocarbons collect. This can trigger a failure in a smog check emissions test because those excess fumes from the hydrocarbons infiltrate the engine area and become part of the engine’s combustion. This means too much carbon is being released into your exhaust and escaping through the tailpipe. Yikes!
Improper Tire Inflation
Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, underinflated tires can cause failed smog checks. Typically during these checks, a technician will place your car on test rollers in order to engage your car’s engine without driving your car out of the shop. Making sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications (located on the sticker decal inside the driver’s side door) gives your car the best possible chance at peak vehicle efficiency.
How Do You Know What’s Wrong?
Chances are, you lack the diagnostic equipment to properly navigate something such as a failed smog check. That’s where West Automotive Group in West Escondido, CA, comes in. Their certified technicians not only have the equipment to diagnose your vehicle’s problem, but they have the expertise to fix it on the spot. Give them a call today at (760) 741-0071, and have your car on the road by tomorrow!