2 Ways To Get Your Car Or Truck Ready For The Smog Test

Many states have laws that require vehicles to pass a smog test. As is the case with all tests, there are ways to prepare for this test. If you're car or truck is due for another emissions test, here are two ways to increase the likelihood that your vehicle passes the test.

Drive on the Highway

Whether your car or truck passes the smog test will largely depend on the vehicle's catalytic converter. The catalytic converter's purpose is to reduce how many harmful emissions your vehicle puts out. It reduces the number of emissions by using metal particles to extract pollutants from your vehicle's exhaust.

The metal particles in your vehicle's catalytic converter are most effective only after a minimum temperature has been reached, as Science Daily details. Until your engine is warmed up to this minimum temperature, the metal particles inside your vehicle's catalytic converter won't be able to do their job -- and pollutants that could cause your car or truck to fail the smog test could get through the catalytic converter.

Thus, you'll want to make sure your car's or truck's engine is warmed up when you take your vehicle in for a smog test. You can warm up your car or truck by driving it down the highway before going to the testing site. A few minutes at highway speeds will quickly warm up your vehicle, even on cold days.

Check the Tire Pressure

Right before you give your car or truck to a mechanic for the emissions test, check your the air pressure in each of your vehicle's tires. If any is soft, inflate it to your auto manufacturer's specified pressure. You can find your vehicle's proper tire pressure in the owner's manual.

Making sure all your vehicle's tires are properly inflated will help it pass the dynamometer test, which is part of the smog test in many states. For the dynamometer test, your car or truck will be put on rollers. The rollers let your vehicle's tires spin around at high speeds while the vehicle actually remains in the same place. The exhaust is checked for pollutants by a mechanic as the tires are spinning on the rollers.

If your vehicle's tires are underinflated, the engine will have to work more to get the tires up to the required RPMs. As the engine works more, it'll produce more exhaust -- and more pollutants. Keeping your tires inflated will ensure your vehicle's engine doesn't have to work harder than it should for this test -- and that it doesn't produce more exhaust and pollutants than necessary for the test.

When you go to take your car or truck in for the smog test (from professionals such as West Coast Smog), prepare your vehicle for the exam. Take it on the highway and check its tire pressure, so you can give it the best chance of passing possible.