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Why Your Car May Have Failed Emissions

Last updated 6 years ago

As part of Georgia’s vehicle inspection program, certain vehicles registered in certain counties between the 1987-2008 model years must receive an annual automotive emissions test. If you haven’t tested your car yet, know that you will better your chances of passing the test if you prepare in advance by seeking a few inexpensive automotive repairs. If you have failed your emissions test, then it is usually one of two common reasons:

 1.      Your Vehicle Wasn’t Ready

OBD II, the most recent automotive on-board diagnostic system, is the mainstream way of testing vehicles that are newer than 1996. OBD testing equipment is connected to your vehicle’s on-board computer to verify that your car is running clean. If you failed an emissions test because your OBD automotive computer was “not ready,” it could be a result of recent maintenance where your battery was disconnected.

  • Solution: Complete a Drive Cycle

Provided that you have enough time before registration, you will need to drive your vehicle around 1-2 weeks, including some highway driving, to complete a drive cycle. This allows your OBD computer to perform self-tests that will be reported to the emissions testers. If you don’t have enough time to do this, you can go to an automotive repair shop and they can complete the drive cycle for you by driving your vehicle on a dynamometer (an automotive treadmill).

 2.      Check Engine Light is On

There are a variety of reasons that your light could be on. Malfunctions in your vehicle’s transmission, oxygen sensor, gas cap, EGR valve, air filter, or spark plugs are common causes for failing.

  • Solution: See an Automotive Repair Specialist

Since there are many different things that could be causing your check engine light to come on, it makes sense to visit an automotive repair shop so that they can have a look at your vehicle.

 At Dekalb Tire, we believe that essential car maintenance should be affordable. Our family-owned, neighborhood tire store and automotive repair garage will make sure you pass your emissions test. Call us at (404) 252-9895 to make a service appointment today!


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