The impact of vehicle use on the environment has been well established. Whether you are a true believer in manmade global warming or a skeptic, there is no doubt that driving has an impact on the world around us.
In an effort to mitigate and minimize this environmental impact, a thorough emissions test is now a part of the annual inspection process. This emission testing is different from the standard safety inspection, and if your vehicle does not pass, you could be facing a big repair bill. So what can you do to help ensure your vehicle passes the strict emissions test? Here are some things to consider.
Check the Dash Lights
The first thing you should do is check the dash lights. If your check engine light is on, your vehicle will almost surely not pass inspection, so take a quick look and call your mechanic if necessary.
A number of things can cause the check engine light to illuminate, and your mechanic will have the diagnostic equipment needed to find the problem and get it fixed. Turning off the check engine light will not guarantee your car will pass emissions testing, but it is always a good place to start.
Buy Fuel from Quality Sources
You do not necessarily need to buy premium fuel, but you should fuel up at a gas station you trust. The quality of the fuel you purchase will have a direct impact on how your car runs, and on the emissions it produces.
Buying fuel from quality sources will go a long way toward keeping your vehicle running well, so pay attention to the gas you buy and track how your car performs. Do not purchase your fuel based on price alone – seek out the best quality fuel for the money.
Use Fuel Injection Cleaner
These days the vast majority of cars, trucks and SUVs are fuel injected, and over time those fuel injectors can become clogged with dirt and debris. When that happens, the vehicle will not run as efficiently as it should, and that could have an impact on performance and emissions.
Using a quality fuel injection cleaner once or twice a year is a good way to remove that sludge, so you can enjoy good performance nad avoid emissions problems. Ask your mechanic for recommendations, and use your fuel injection cleaner as recommended.
Have Your Vehicle Checked
The best way to make sure your vehicle will pass its annual emissions testing is to have it checked out ahead of time. The next time you visit the mechanic, ask them to check your emission system for common problems.
From a clogged fuel filter to dirty spark plugs, a number of things can cause your emissions to be higher than they should be. Finding these problems now, before the annual inspection period, is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises.