5 Reasons Why You Might Fail an Emissions Test

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If you’re preparing to schedule an emissions test for your vehicle, it’s important to understand the reasons why it can potentially fail. Knowing how you can fail an emissions test can ensure that you address any underlying problems with your vehicle before its examination. To get your vehicle ready, let’s take a look at five different reasons why cars fail emissions tests.

A Dirty Air Filter

The air filter is an essential component of a vehicle’s exhaust system and is responsible for ensuring that clean air is mixed with the fuel in the combustion process. However, when the air filter becomes clogged with dirt and debris, it restricts the airflow into the engine — leading to an inefficient combustion process. This inefficiency can result in increased emissions of harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses.

A vehicle with a dirty air filter may produce higher levels of pollutants during emissions testing, causing it to fail. As a result, regularly replacing the air filter of your car is crucial for maintaining proper combustion, reducing air pollution, and ensuring the vehicle passes the emissions test.

An Overdue Oil Change

The oil in your vehicle plays a crucial role in lubricating its engine and ensuring its proper functioning. Over time, however, oil becomes contaminated with impurities and loses its effectiveness. This contamination can lead to increased emissions of harmful substances during the combustion process, resulting in a failed emissions test. 

Additionally, old and degraded oil can contribute to a rich air-fuel mixture, further exacerbating emissions problems. Car owners should prioritize regular oil changes as part of proper maintenance to keep the engine and exhaust system functioning optimally, reducing the likelihood of emissions test failure and ensuring the vehicle passes inspection.

A Sensor Problem

A faulty oxygen sensor or mass airflow sensor can also lead to emissions test failure. These sensors are essential components of the evaporative emission control system, monitoring the air-fuel mixture and adjusting it for optimal combustion. When these sensors malfunction, they can cause the engine to run with a rich air-fuel mixture, resulting in increased emissions of pollutants. 

The increased emissions can trigger the check engine light and lead to a failed emissions test. Car owners experiencing a failed test should consider checking and replacing these sensors to restore proper functioning, reduce emissions, and ensure their vehicle passes the emissions test.

A Damaged Spark Plug

Spark plugs play a critical role in igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine combustion chamber. Worn spark plugs can lead to incomplete combustion, causing the engine to run less efficiently and produce increased levels of pollutants. The combustion of raw fuel can result in elevated emissions of harmful substances during the emissions test, leading to a failed test result. 

Car owners should include regular inspection and replacement of spark plugs in their maintenance routine to prevent emissions problems, pass the emissions test, and maintain their vehicle’s exhaust system in optimal condition.

An Old Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a crucial component of the vehicle’s exhaust system, responsible for reducing harmful emissions by converting them into less harmful substances. Over time, catalytic converters can wear out, become clogged, or fail to function properly. 

A malfunctioning catalytic converter can lead to increased emissions of pollutants during the emissions test, resulting in a failed test. Car owners should be aware of the age and condition of their catalytic converter and replace it when necessary to ensure that their vehicle passes the emissions test and continues to contribute to lower levels of air pollution for the benefit of public health.

To Schedule a Vehicle Emissions Test for Your Car, Call LubeMaster Today

Anyone who needs an inspection or emissions test in Philadelphia is only a short drive away from LubeMaster. We can help you maintain other parts of your vehicle as well, as we offer both full-service oil changes and brake services. For more information and to schedule your vehicle emissions test, contact us today.

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