Car Inspection in Iowa
Smog might look like fog or haze, but rather than being merely water or dust in the air, it's actually airborne pollution. Smog consists primarily of pollutants produced by the burning of gasoline and other petroleum-based fuels. However, paints, solvents, and other volatile organic compounds can contribute to the problem.
In addition to harming the environment, smog can cause poor visibility. Worse, it can create health problems such as coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. These problems are especially significant in children, the elderly, and people with asthma or other respiratory disorders.
While many people advocate using public transportation, cycling, or walking to reduce the effects of smog, that's not always a practical solution for rural Iowa communities. However, even residents of these isolated areas can help reduce smog by keeping their cars well-tuned and having the emission control systems checked regularly.
Did you know that one poorly maintained vehicle creates more pollution than 30 properly functioning cars or trucks? In addition, poorly maintained cars also create problems for drivers by increasing fuel expenses.
Because Iowa fortunately lacks the population necessary for a huge smog problem, there are no formal guidelines in place for vehicle emission checks. However, Iowa Department of Transportation officials encourage drivers to care for their vehicles by replacing clogged air filters and seeking professional maintenance when appropriate.
If it's time to purchase a new motor vehicle, you may also wish to consider a model designed for fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) does not require smog and emissions checks, but you can find more on other perks specific to eco-friendly driving—such as tax breaks and auto insurance discounts—on our page on green driver incentives.
Because personal vehicles aren't the only sources of smog and air pollution, Iowa is home to a unique initiative known as the Bus Emissions Education Program (BEEP). This program is designed to help school bus fleets improve performance, cut costs, reduce harmful emissions, and make Iowa's 5,000 diesel school buses the cleanest in the nation.