The Importance of Emissions Tests During Your Next Car Inspection

One important component of a state car inspection is an emissions test. If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you will not be able to pass the overall inspection, and therefore, will not be able to legally drive you vehicle on the road. Driving with a failed inspection may result in a hefty fine or even vehicle impoundment. Read below to learn on how this test works and why it is important.

Why It Is Important

Gasoline and diesel both contain hydrocarbon compounds. In an ideal car engine, oxygen would combine with hydrogen to create water and carbon to create carbon dioxide. However, the process of combustion is far from perfect. As a result, engines have emission control systems designed to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants released into the air.

There are certain pollutants that not only damage the environment, but can also cause serious health problems. For instance, nitrogen oxide creates smog when exposed to sunlight. Smog can do substantial damage to lungs, irritate eyes, and aggravate any existing respiratory issues. Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and can be extremely dangerous for people with heart disease. In addition, diesel engines often produce a large amount of soot that can also lead to health issues. Soot is comprised largely of tiny particles that can travel long distances, damaging animals, plants, and property.

Climate Change

Combustion engines can produce a great deal of carbon dioxide, which has been linked to climate change. This and other greenhouse gases combine to trap the earth’s heat instead of allowing it to escape through the atmosphere. As a result, many experts believe droughts, floods, severe storms, heat waves, and other weather-related disasters have increased.

More than one-third of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide are produced in the United States, and more than 60 percent of those emissions come from gasoline-powered automobiles, trucks, and SUVs. The remaining emissions come from diesel-powered vehicles, airplanes, ships, and construction equipment.

How it Affects You

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets the national standards regarding the maximum allowable levels of pollutants. If a state does not meet these standards, it is required to implement programs to reduce pollution levels. Many states have thus implemented car inspection emissions tests to ensure that vehicles run as cleanly as possible. Annual car inspections identify automobiles that pollute the air due to malfunctioning emissions control systems, allowing drivers to repair their cars and help the environment.

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