Even if you drive a classic car, government agencies are requiring Utah residents to take some measures to lower pollutant emissions. There are certain standards that vehicles need to clear in order to get that required certificate—and get your DMV sticker renewed. Whether or not your car passes is largely in your hands. Sometimes all it takes is a quick tune-up to get a car up to snuff. Other times, you might be facing a major overhaul.
Knowing the most common causes for emissions failure is critical. A common issue is your fuel metering not matching specifications. It might be a faulty fuel injection unit, problems with the carburetor or an issue with a computerized engine control system. These fixes might be fast and cheap, so don’t get frustrated if your vehicle doesn’t pass the first time. Instead, focus on getting it repaired.
A bad oxygen sensor can also lead to an automatic failure. This device measures how much oxygen is in the exhaust gas, but if it’s not working correctly it will make your vehicle fail emissions. This is a relatively common problem that can be caused by high toxic emissions or even routine overheating. A mechanic can get to the core of the problem and find that it might be something as minor as needing new antifreeze to get the oxygen sensor back on track.
You might also be facing a faulty ignition system. An analyzer during emissions testing can pick up on high levels of hydrocarbons. This can happen if a car isn’t regularly maintained. Spark plugs that have gone bad or are worn out, ignition timing that’s too high or an outdated distributor cap can all lead to faulty ignition systems, but they’re all cheap, quick fixes.
If you have a leak in the car’s vacuum, that’s another automatic failure. This often happens when the MAP sensor isn’t working, which measures internal combustion load in the engine’s electronic system. Leaks are often found in the vacuum lines or in the gaskets. A patch can get you a passing grade and back on the road.
Other times, it might be (too) rich fuel mixture that’s giving you problems. If there are high levels of CO2 from a weak ignition or a rich fuel mixture, that’s certainly not environmentally friendly. You may be dealing with leaky injectors, a contaminated oxygen sensor or a fuel pressure that’s a bit too high.
Luckily for Utah residents, there are shops that offer auto maintenance and repairs along with emissions testing. It’s like one stop shopping for your biggest DMV needs. Not all fixes are going to be available here, but it’s a great place to start and may provide you with peace of mind by telling you exactly what’s wrong. Maybe you won’t have to sell that old collector car after all. A little TLC can make a world of difference and help you pass with flying colors.