We all have to get our cars registered - it’s how we ensure ownership, insurance, and other vital details about owning and operating our motor vehicles. But do you live somewhere that also requires emissions testing? Many states require that while you do your regular registration you also need to have your car tested for proper emissions.
Emissions testing is legally required and set on a state-by-state basis. Even within some states there are particular cities which require or encourage emissions testing for vehicles. Emissions testing can be required at various intervals - as frequently as yearly or infrequently as several years apart. Auto body shops can perform the emissions tests and provide renewal stickers in their businesses when they receive state clearance. If you live in an area that requires emissions testing you simply have to take your car to an approved auto body shop for the full range of emissions tests. If you pass you get new decal signaling approval. If your car doesn’t pass the emissions test, you simply have to fix any issues and return for a passed emissions test.
The emission test itself is not complicated. It’s actually a very simple test to ensure that your engine runs as designed, and that the chemicals leaving your car are under control. All cars emit gases and chemicals, of course, but if your engine is not running cleanly it can emit more chemicals and gases than are intended. Excess emissions are harmful to the environment.
That’s why some areas require emissions testing in the first place! If cars are required to pass emissions for operation, it cuts down on the amount of chemicals being transferred into the atmosphere. It will decrease pollution and give us cleaner air. Most states have adopted some type of emissions requirement in an effort to decrease pollution. Urban areas that suffer from more driving and pollution are much more likely to pass stringent emissions requirements, because anything they can do to cut down on pollution is helpful.
The added benefit of emissions testing is that it helps car owners monitor the health of their vehicle. Healthy engines run more cleanly, use less gas, are more fuel efficient, and last much longer than a gunky, high-emission engine. So while it may be a bit of a pain to take your car in for regular emission tests, it actually keeps you safe and helps your car last even longer. If you get regular oil changes, pay attention to your car’s operation, and follow through with safety & emissions testing you can enjoy your car for decades to come - all with a clean engine and less pollution in your life.