Virginia Auto Service located in Phoenix is an Arizona Certified Emissions Specialist. Most people see emissions testing as something annoying that simply needs to be done every once in a while. Although this is accurate, it is always helpful to address a few questions most of us would like answered regarding the Emissions Standards Test in order to avoid the feared P0420 or PO420 codes generated by their check engine light.
Why is it important to have car emissions measured and adjusted?
Since the 1950’s, government agencies down to the state level have been monitoring the emission of noxious gases from automobiles. As time continued, tests regarding high vehicle emissions were conducted and proved that emissions had adverse effects not only on humans, but the environment as well. Medical tests have shown that high levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, soot, and smoke, even at microscopic size, can lead to illnesses. In high doses, these gases can lead to liver failure and in extreme cases, even death.
Since when is it a law that emissions should be checked and regulated?
Because it was highly ineffective to regulate emissions from a state and local level, control of the emissions standards nationwide were slowly put into the care of Federal systems. In the 1970’s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, better known as the EPA, was created. Since that time, the EPA imposed strict limitations to keep the emission of noxious gases maintained at a minimum.
What needs to be done in order to pass?
Honestly, the best way to make sure that you’ll pass the emissions test the first time around is preventative maintenance. An engine that is well taken care of has a much better chance of breezing through the emissions test. But in case you’ve neglected the engine a bit, here are a few things that Virginia Auto Service can do for you to better your odds.
Change the spark plugs – Changing out spark plugs is relatively quick and easy. With old or dirty spark plugs you run the risk of a misfire and this can easily fail your emissions test.
Replace the Fuel and Air Filters – You need both of these filters clear to ensure the proper mix of fuel and oxygen in your engine
Change your Oil – You guessed it. A simple oil change can get your tailpipe to stop coughing and spluttering black smoke
PCV Valve Replacement. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation is a system that recycles unburned fuel back into your engine for combustion. This valve can often become mucked up with sludge, replacing it can greatly affect your Emissions Test Score.
Adjust ignition timing –Your idle speed may be set just a few hundred RPM’s too high. This can easily contribute to a failing readout.
For older cars, ensuring the carburetor is in good working order can also greatly improve the odds of passing.
If you really want to ensure that you pass the emissions test and steer clear of P0420 or PO420, you can fill your tank with premium gasoline and take your car for a quick drive up the freeway. This brings your car to normal operating temperature and heats up the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter, which minimizes emissions. Catalytic converters are important and they contain some precious metals which are often stolen and sold for scrap. Regular check-ups can help ensure that these stay in top form and that they’re still where they need to be.
For exhaust or muffler repair and checking or catalytic converter repair, drive to Virginia Auto Service in Phoenix and let our technicians quickly and efficiently service your car.