How to Prepare for an Inspection


repair

Save the Headache: Test Early!

Did you know your vehicle’s emission and safety inspections could be performed early? Early testing provides benefits to you and your schedule, as well as to ensuring your vehicle passes its inspection before the registration expires.

You are allowed to have your vehicle inspected two months before your vehicle registration renewal comes due. For example, if your vehicle comes due in December, you may take your vehicle to a Certified Emissions Testing or Repair Facility and Safety Inspection Station as early as October 1st.

This two-month window permits a cushion for you to have any necessary repairs performed on your vehicle. This prevents the end of the month stress that occurs if your vehicle is tested at the last minute and fails. Suddenly you have repairs to make and to pay for, and to top it off -- your vehicle registration is about to expire. Avoid that end of the month rush and all the stress that accompanies it. Get your vehicle tested early!

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Basic Vehicle Preparation Tips (All Vehicles)

  • Have your vehicle registration document available
  • Have your driver’s license available
  • Make sure your vehicle’s odometer is working properly
  • Make sure there are no excessive fluid leaks
  • Make sure the gas cap is present and securely fastened (where applicable)
  • While waiting in line, do no turn your engine off
  • Prepare to exit your vehicle
  • Before exiting your vehicle, put the vehicle in park and engage the parking brake
  • Do not leave pets or passengers in the vehicle






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OBDII Vehicle Preparation Tips

To verify that your vehicle should receive an OBDII inspection, see “What We Test” and enter your vehicle information in the required fields. The most common reasons for a vehicle to fail an OBDII inspection are:
  • OBDII diagnostic connector is missing, damaged or inaccessible
  • OBDII communication fails
  • Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) remains illuminated while the engine is running
  • OBDII readiness monitors are unset/not ready


To prepare your vehicle for an OBDII inspection, perform the following:
  • Perform all tasks defined in Basic Vehicle Preparation Tips
  • Make sure your OBDII diagnostic port is present
  • Make sure your MIL is not illuminated (examples below)
  • If your MIL has been illuminated recently, make sure the vehicle has been driven regularly for a week without the MIL illuminating (readiness monitors)


MIL’s may be represented by one of these symbols or a variation of them:
For more information on OBDII, including MIL and readiness monitors, see “OBDII Explained”.

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TSI Vehicle Preparation Tips

To verify that your vehicle should receive a TSI inspection, see “What We Test” and enter your vehicle information in the required fields.

TSI inspections measure emission levels from exhaust pipes at two different RPM levels while the vehicle is in idle. A tailpipe probe is used to determine the amount of each pollutant being emitted and determines whether the level is compliant with the standard for that specific vehicle.

The most common reasons for a vehicle to fail a TSI inspection are:
  • Vehicle muffler is missing or damaged;
  • Excessive visible smoke emits from the exhaust pipe during the inspection;
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels exceed the allowable standard; or
  • Hydrocarbon (HC) levels exceed the allowable standard.


*TSI inspections require the engine and catalytic converter to be fully warmed-up before testing. Turning off the vehicle will require the technician to warm-up the vehicle and will extend the amount of time needed to test.

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Diesel Snap Opacity Preparation Tips

To verify that your vehicle should receive a Diesel Snap Opacity inspection, see “What We Test” and enter your vehicle information in the required fields. Diesel Snap Opacity inspections measure the opacity of exhaust pipe emissions by rapidly depressing and immediately releasing the throttle (“snapping”) from fully-open to fully-closed. The vehicle will undergo a series of “snaps” as a smoke meter measures the opacity of the exhaust to determine that the amount of exhaust emitted is compliant with the standards for that specific vehicle. If there are two exhaust pipes, then both pipes must pass the standards together.

The most common reasons for a vehicle to fail a Diesel Snap Opacity inspection are:
  • Vehicle muffler is missing or damaged;
  • Excessive visible smoke emits from the exhaust pipe during the inspection; or
  • Opacity levels exceed the allowable standard.

To prepare your vehicle for a TSI inspection, perform the following:
  • Perform all tasks defined in Basic Vehicle Preparation Tips
  • Make sure your muffler is present
  • Do not turn off your engine if you are waiting in line

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