Easy-to-Follow Tips for Seattle’s Emissions Testing

emissionsIn the state of Washington, all non-hybrid and non-electric vehicles that are registered in Spokane, Snohomish, Pierce, King, and Clark counties are required to undergo an emissions test once every two years. If your car has failed an inspection in the past, then there are a few tips you can follow to up the odds of passing your next emissions test.

1. Take a Long Drive

Instead of proceeding straight to the emissions test station, take your car for a spin. Driving on the highway or freeway for about 20 minutes allows for optimal fuel combustion. This step is especially important if you typically only make short commuting trips. Constantly starting the car and driving short distances doesn’t give the engine enough time to warm up fully, which causes carbon buildup.

2. Have Your Car tested When It’s Cold and Humid

Luckily, the Seattle area is known to be a relatively humid area with mild temperatures. This provides the perfect environment for conducting an emissions check. Moisture in the air results in better combustion pressure and lesser emissions and pollutants. The air is usually the most humid during the morning, so consider having your car tested during the early hours of the day.

3. Inflate Your Tires

Part of the inspection involves running the car on a dynamometer. This allows the car and tires to run while remaining stationary. Properly inflated tires ensure the car will be able to run with better stability and improve emissions output. Dynamometer testing is typically employed on car models 1999 or older. Aside from deflated tires, worn wheel bearings are another problem that causes the tires to be out of alignment. This can also result in less stability and cause inaccurate emission readings.

4. Get an Oil Change if Needed

Dirty oil in the crankcase could release excess emissions. If your car is due for an oil change within a few more hundred miles, then go ahead and have it changed earlier if you have an impending emissions check.

Following these tips just might help you pass your next emissions test, especially if your car failed in the past or borderline passed. Call Chuck’s Auto Repair in Seattle if you need help getting your vehicle to pass the state emissions test.

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Edited by Justin Vorhees

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