Tag Archives: emissions

Tips to Pass Safety Inspection and Emissions Testing on the First Try

It’s the most “wonderful†time of the year. . . time, that is, for your car’s safety inspection and emissions testing. Depending on where you live, the procedure may be quick and simple, or it may be onerous. Either way, passing a vehicle safety inspection doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.

The Importance of Regular MaintenanceA clock with the words fast service on it.

For those states with a high degree of rigor in their safety inspection process, having regular maintenance on your car is the one way you can expect to pass each year. With regard to emissions testing, passing the tests is getting harder each year as environmental standards tighten. Newer vehicles are manufactured with a high degree of emission control equipment, but even cars that are just a few years old require maintenance to ensure they stay within accepted levels of emission. Besides, it’s not just your safety inspection at stake here. The ongoing health of the environment and each other depends on all of us keeping your cars in good working order to lower the level of dangerous emissions we produce.

How to Prepare For the Test

The most important step you can take to prepare to pass your safety inspection is to understand exactly what your state will be testing when you take your vehicle in. Your state’s public safety or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will generally offer a checklist of items to be inspected as well as the minimum standards your car will have to demonstrate to receive your registration sticker. And, just like freshman algebra, once you know what’s on the test, you’ll know what to study for. Check with a certified auto emissions testing professional like Emission Time to verify that your car will pass every segment of the inspection. A repair professional can quickly and accurately correct any potential problems, meaning you should only have to go through the inspection process once.

If You Fail Emissions, Do This Next

Chances are, if you have failed your safety inspection or emissions test, you did not seek out the services of an automotive safety inspection specialist before taking the test. Find a good one now. Most states allow you a free re-take within a reasonable amount of time, but you will get just one chance, so don’t blow it. Obtaining your emissions thumbs up doesn’t have to be a headache. Find a professional to help make the process easier and you will save time, money, and headaches.

Is it Time for New Brakes?

Experts estimate that the average set of car brake padsA clock with the words fast service on it. will last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, depending on the car itself and the braking habits of the driver. Brake rotors should last much longer than this, possibly longer than you will own your vehicle. So, when we talk about putting new brakes on your car, we generally mean replacing the brake pads and possibly resurfacing (“turningâ€) the rotors to ensure even wear. Most modern cars have disc brakes on the front wheels and probably the rear, although drum brakes are used on the rear in some vehicles. Brake pads are composed of all kinds of materials, including ceramic compounds, steel, mineral fibers, and copper fibers.

When to Replace Brake Pads

Whenever you brake, the pads squeeze together against the rotor, creating friction that slows, then stops your vehicle. Each time you apply the brakes, a microscopic layer of the pad’s material wears off. Replacing brake pads becomes necessary when they wear down to a certain thickness. Most brake pads come with a built-in warning system to alert you when it’s time to change them. Yours may trip a dash warning light or they may begin to make a high-pitched chirp as you drive, or… they may give you no warning at all.

How to Check Brake Pads

Brakes are obviously critical for your safety behind the wheel, so never leave anything to chance. You should have your mechanic inspect your brake pads when having an oil change or other service, but you can also check them yourself. Check every three months if you are an active driver. Listen for the squeaking noise described above. Check your wheels for brake dust, as the level of dust will decrease as the pads begin to wear out. Depending on your wheels, you should be able to see your brake pads from outside the car. Visually check the thickness of the pads, which should be more than ¼†thick. Many brake pads have a groove running vertically down the center of the pad. As the pad wears, that grove begins to disappear. If it is mostly gone, it’s time for new pads.

Where to Get Brake Pads Replaced

Unless you really know how to replace disc brake pads, you are much better served by having a professional do the work. Look for a local auto repair shop like Emission Time that offers free inspections and that will show you your old parts as a part of the service process. Be wary of any brake repair shop that offers a lifetime warranty, as that usually signals a gimmick that can actually damage your rotors or brake system. Be wary also of shops that advertise prices for brake service, because the cost of brake pad replacement should vary literally from vehicle to vehicle.