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Keeping Your Car Compliant With State Vehicle Emissions Requirements

by Konsta Latt

Depending on the state that you live in and the year that your automobile was manufactured, you may need to have your car inspected annually. With few exceptions, cars in the United States have to successfully go through and pass vehicle exhaust emission inspections in order to be registered for road use. Make certain that your car will pass inspection by making sure that its exhaust system is up to code and meets local emissions regulations.

Car Exhaust Systems And Emissions Tests

After the Environmental Protection Agency passed the Clean Air Act, both car manufacturers and state departments of motor vehicles began to check vehicle exhaust systems to ensure that they were in compliance. Each state and county has its own rules and tests to measure car emission levels, but guidelines are set by the EPA.

Checking Faulty Auto Exhausts

Many times vehicle emission levels can be checked via on-board diagnostics. Taking your car to a reputable mechanic will enable you to find out if it will pass a state level emissions test, usually just in a few minutes. If your car fails to pass emissions tests at a local mechanic, the next step will be diagnosing exactly what is wrong with your exhaust system. Sometimes a faulty exhaust pipe or even a bad reading can be the reason behind your car failing an emissions test. In other instances more intensive repairs will need to be made. As long as you find out that your car exhaust needs repair well ahead of going to your local department of motor vehicle, you should have more than enough time to have repairs made so that you can avoid being inconvenienced further.

Catalytic Converter Replacement

When a car's exhaust fails to perform properly, many times the catalytic converter needs to be replaced. Catalytic converters work to cut down on the emissions emitted from the exhaust pipe by literally converting pollutants into water and carbon dioxide. While catalytic converters don't completely eliminate harmful pollutants, they greatly reduce carbon footprints. Normally located on the underside of vehicles, catalytic converters can quickly and easily be replaced by licensed mechanics. It may actually take more time to source the right catalytic converter than it takes to replace it, particularly if you drive a late model or foreign vehicle. Once replaced, your mechanic will have the ability to run another diagnostic test to confirm that your vehicle is emitting a low level of emissions, allowing you to legally drive your car out on the open road.