If it's time for a smog check. You want to make sure that your car passes the first time around. The last thing you want is to have your car fail the smog test. That can set you up for additional paperwork, costly delays, and even fines. Luckily, it is possible to take a few precautionary steps to ensure a first-time pass. Here are some tips to help get your car ready for its smog check.
Get Your Car Out of the City
If you do most of your driving on city streets, your engine could be paying the price. Driving on city streets prevents your catalytic converter from clearing out the pollutants the way that it should. That means your emission system could be clogged up with harmful residue. Before you take your car in for its smog check, get out on the highway a few times to heat up the catalytic converter and clear away the residue.
Make Sure the Oil is Clean
If it's been a while since you had your oil changed, now would be a good time to take care of that. Don't wait until after your smog check to schedule an oil change. Dirty oil can make your engine run hotter, which can cause your car to fail its emissions test. To help increase your chances of passing your smog check on the first attempt, have the oil changed before you schedule the test.
Start with a Full Tank of Gas
If you don't have a full tank of gas when you head into the shop, your car may fail its smog check. That's because there's more room in the tank for fumes to build up. Unfortunately, if you've got a high level of fumes in your gas tank, you could end up failing the smog check. To avoid that problem, be sure to fill the tank before your smog check. It's also a good idea to check the tire pressure on your car when you fill the tank. Under-inflated tires can also interfere with your smog check.
Pay for the Pre-Test
If you're worried that your car won't pass the smog check, start with a pre-test instead. Paying for a pre-test will allow you to identify potential issues before your car is subjected to the official test. One of the great things about the pre-test is that the findings aren't submitted to the state right away. Instead, they're provided to you so that you can take care of the issues before the state finds out about them. Once you have the issues taken care of, you can schedule the official smog check.
Use resources like http://www.lakesideradiatorandautorepair.com to learn more about smog tests and where to get them.