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The Scoop On Smog: Benefits of Smog Checks and Vehicle Emissions Testing

Date posted: 04/25/2012

by Kat Saks on
in Register Car

164 The Scoop On Smog: Benefits of Smog Checks and Vehicle Emissions TestingHave you ever caught sight of smog? If you’ve spent any time in a city, chances are, you have. Get the scoop on what smog is and how you can help combat it with regular vehicle emissions testing.

What Is Smog?

Modern day smog is a visible type of air pollution that appears as a thick, foggy haze in the air. Smog can come from many sources: vehicle emissions, industrial fumes, and even consumer goods like paint and hairspray. In many cities, though, vehicle emissions are the main culprit behind smog pollution.

Smog pollution is a serious problem. Beyond its unsightly appearance, smog has detrimental effects on the environment and the public. Smog can impede the growth and reproduction of plants and crops, and can cause harm to animals, fish, and other aquatic life. These effects impact the overall health of the environment and agriculture.

Furthermore, smog pollution has a direct impact on humans. Smog exposure can lead to a number of respiratory issues such as asthma attacks, coughs, and throat irritation, and can also cause headaches and irritated eyes.

So, it’s no wonder that many states are doing their best to send smog packing.

Combating Smog With Smog Checks

Many states enforce regular smog checks and emissions testing on vehicles to help curb air pollution.

A smog test measures a vehicle’s emissions levels and ensures that the vehicle is burning fuel efficiently, and these inspections really pay off: According to the California Air Resources Board, smog testing helps remove over 360 tons of air pollutants each day in California alone.

No doubt, smog checks have the potential to make a big impact on the environment and human health.

Doing Your Part: When Is it Time for a Smog Check?

Smog inspection regulations vary on a state-by-state basis. Some states require smog checks at every other registration renewal; some states don’t require smog checks at all. Certain vehicles such as hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and motorcycles might be exempt from state smog tests.

Consult your state’s emission testing guidelines to get the full scoop on smog checks.

What Happens if I Fail a Smog Check?

In states that require smog tests, you cannot register a vehicle without passing an emissions inspection.

So, if your vehicle fails an emissions check, you’ll need to make any necessary repairs to improve the vehicle’s emissions rating. Keeping your vehicle up-to-speed with routine tune ups, and regular spark plug, filter and oil changes might help your vehicle pass a smog test.

Talk to your automotive maintenance provider to determine the best steps to pass your next emissions inspection.

Smog checks might seem like a hassle at times, but remember that you’re doing something important for the environment and for public health. You can breathe easier knowing you’ve done your part to help reduce air pollution.

What’s your experience with smog? Leave a comment about why smog tests matter to you.

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About Kat Saks

Kat Saks is a Denver-based writer and yoga teacher. She is also Firefly Partners' Client Solutions Manager. She blogs for DMV.org and shouts safe-driving tips to teens while driving the city streets. More articles by Kat Saks

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