Whether your car or light truck is gasoline or diesel we can often get it into compliance.
Referring to gasoline powered cars for a moment there is in Colorado currently two levels of test, one for vehicles made before 1981 and the rest. This question often comes up at our shop, and we get a lot of calls asking where do I take my vehicle for a test?
Simply put if your car is an older vehicle made before 1981 you can take it to several specially licensed places within the Metro area that can perform the test for $15. The big test stations you see in the area can test this type of car but it causes line/production flow problems as the test is slightly different. The mom ‘n pop places are often much quicker and you will be in ‘n out in no time at all. These test stations test the exhaust for two gas pollutants, Carbon Monoxide (%) and Hydrocarbons(ppm) measured as a percentage and parts per million respectively.
There is by the way a difference on the permitted gas pollutant levels depending upon the year of manufacture up to 1981 so it is important to know if the car will pass.
To take the worry out of will it pass, we advise a pre-test at our shop, we have equipment that will check the vehicle while you wait, explain what’s going on and advise you on the best course of action to obtain compliance. The certification has to be conducted annually on this category of vehicle. The best advise is don’t wait until the ;last minute because an unexpected failure will prevent you from getting license plate renewal—In short you are off the road!
For cars & light duty vehicle made after the 1981 cut off point the vehicle has to pass a more stringent test conducted only at one the Air Board recognized test stations placed all over the Metro area. The current fee is $25
More gas pollutants are tested for compliance and as well as carbon emissions/mile. For those not accustomed to this type of test the vehicle is subjected to a rolling road “dyno style” test where a more intrusive tail pipe test takes place to measure how the car is performing and whether or not it will conform to State and Federal limits. Additionally the fuel tank cap is tested for serviceability as this can be a source of ozone pollution.
Since 2008 there has been a drop in certain pollutant levels permitted and therefore don’t assume that since your car passed last time that it will pass this coming test! Again we have test equipment that allows us to measure exhaust gas while you drive so we can easily detect if the car will pass or fail.
Q: The check engine light is on—will my car automatically fail?
A: Not necessarily! Basically there are lots of reasons why a car flags up a check engine light. Many of them have nothing to do with how the engine is running or affect how the vehicle will pass its test.