Failed Emissions Test? Here’s What to Do

September 1, 2022

First and foremost, don’t panic. A failed emissions test is a common occurrence and there are steps you can take to fix the issue and pass the test on your next try.


  • Don’t make any hasty repairs or modifications before consulting a professional mechanic.
  • Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away.
  • Do keep in mind that some states have different emissions standards, so make sure you are aware of the specific requirements in your state.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

  • Take your car to a professional mechanic for a diagnostic test.
  • Ask for a printout of the specific emissions-related codes that were triggered during the test.

Step 2: Research and Prioritize Repairs

  • Look up the specific codes online to understand what parts of your car’s emission control system may be causing the problem.
  • Prioritize the repairs based on the severity of the issue and the cost of the repair.

Step 3: Make Repairs and Retest

  • Make the necessary repairs to your car’s emission control system.
  • Schedule a re-test as soon as possible.

Step 4: Keep Records

  • Keep a copy of your failed emissions test and any repair receipts in case you need them for future reference.

If all goes well, you should pass the emissions test on your next try. Remember, a failed emissions test is not the end of the world, and with the right steps, you can get your car back on the road in no time.


  • Don’t forget to regularly maintain your vehicle. Regular check-ups can prevent emissions issues from arising in the first place.
  • Be aware of any emissions-related recalls for your car.
  • Make sure to use the recommended fuel and grade for your car, as using the wrong type of fuel can damage your car’s emission control system.

In conclusion

A failed emissions test is not something to be feared. By identifying the problem, researching and prioritizing repairs, making the necessary repairs and retesting, and keeping records, you can pass the emissions test and get back on the road. Remember to take precautions to prevent future emissions issues and always consult a professional mechanic when in doubt.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff is car enthusiasts who are part of the Everything Cars team. They write and manage the blog.

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