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FAQs on Emissions Testing

Are you a new resident of Texas or a new car-owner in Texas? If so, you should probably familiarize yourself with the basics of vehicle inspections and testing laws. Before a vehicle can become registered in the state of TX, it must pass inspection and may require an emissions test as well.

  1. What is an emissions test? Emissions tests (also known as smog checks) measure the level of pollutants, such as hydrocarbons, oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen, that are present in the vehicle's exhaust system.
  2. Do I need an emissions test? Yes. Currently, more than 33 states require some level of testing on registered vehicles, including Texas
  3. How long does emissions testing take? Emissions testing typically takes anywhere between 15-30 minutes. Since there's no standard national test — each state sets its own requirements on what needs to be done. It also depends on where you choose to have it done.
  4. How much are emissions testing fees? Depending on your locality, the emissions testing fee is combined with the safety inspection fee. Usually, the additional cost is no higher than $40. 
  5. What happens if I fail the test? If you fail the emissions test, it simply means that your vehicle will need to get the necessary repairs. It will then have to go through a re-testing process before becoming an approved, registered vehicle.

Emissions Testing in Houston, TX

All vehicles registered in Texas are obligated to obtain an annual inspection, including a comprehensive safety inspection. Gas-powered cars between the ages of 2-24 years require an emissions test in addition to the yearly state inspection. However, motorcycles, diesel-powered vehicles, and those living in certain counties are excluded from the emissions rule. There are also two types of emissions that you can take. Vehicles produced in 1995 and prior will receive a Two Speed Idle Test, while cars made in or after 1996 will be tested using the On-Board Diagnostic test.

As a responsible driver, you should care about aiding the effort to reduce vehicle emissions. During a smog check at Carport Automotive, our technicians will connect a device to your vehicle's tailpipe while the engine is on to measure emissions while it is idle and while it is revving. Our team will also inspect your muffler, hoses, and pipes to ensure they are all working correctly and free of damage. For a smog check, please give us a call or visit today!