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You also definitely want the catalytic converter at full operational temperature. What with the car being stationary during the test and thus being cooled with less efficiency, be sure the radiator is full and has the recommended percentage of coolant. Most people use their car only for short trips most of the time. This does not provide sufficient time for the battery to fully recharge after starting. When the battery is not fully charged, a weak ignition spark can occur. A weak ignition spark will result in poorer mileage and much higher smog pollutants.

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Many people trickle-charge their battery overnight every once in a while. This can add years to the life of a battery. Beware of overcharging. A Sears DieHard battery can last over 10 years when properly cared for. Avoid Walmart batteries like the plague. This is just my opinion based on experience. While we are at it, also avoid Firestone shops. Again, just my experience-based opinion. If your car is mostly used for short trips, that is not good.

Over time, carbon and all sorts of other gunk have built up in your engine, on your spark plugs, in your crankcase, and in your catalytic converter. All of these will emit noxious chemicals and cause other problems during a smog test. This scenario has caused many a smog test failure. Like it or not, you have to burn out and blow out all that junk.

In other words, there is a freeway or highway trip in your future; the longer, the better. At minimum, you should take a 2-hour round trip. And rush hour traffic doesn't count; the car needs to be driven at the freeway speed limit.

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Hopefully, there is some errand, trip, or short planned vacation which can come into play on this. As a side note, it is absolutely the best time to change the oil and filter after the car has been driven a couple of hours at high speed. All the gunk on the sides and bottom of your crankcase are now temporarily dissolved in the oil. It is the perfect time to get rid of it. Chilton and Haynes publish manuals for most every year, make, and model of car.

These manuals will give you the information you need to do everything described in this article and a whole lot more. The instruction level starts at rank beginner and proceeds to as advanced as you care to go. These manuals will save you many hours of grief and a lot of money. If you plan to keep your car for any length of time, then these books are a good investment. Drop by.

If they don't have your particular manual, they can usually order it for you. If your car is due for an oil and filter change, now is the time. Dirty crankcase oil can indeed cause a smog test failure due to the hydrocarbons HC part of the test.

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This is one of the few maintenance items that it is best to give to a shop to do. Whatever you decide to do, make absolutely certain the oil level does not exceed the full-mark. How are the radiator coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid doing? How about the differential, battery water, and tire pressure? Important note: Many shyster places will try and tell you they have discovered your car needs several hundred dollars worth of additional work. This is particularly applicable to certain national chains. Do an advanced Google search for the place you intend to visit.

Side note: The days of changing your oil every 3, miles are long gone. Naturally the lube shops will advise you otherwise.

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What does your manual or Chilton say? No manual? Edmunds will tell you. Don't want to mess with Edmunds? Every 8, to 10, miles seems to be the consensus these days. Does your car need a new air filter? Now is the time.

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Failure to do this one thing alone could cause a smog test failure. To apply, look at our list of positions below, then download and fill out our employment application form. Any other additives just prior to taking the test is also a bad idea for the same reasons. Newport Aquarium Coupons. Visit a 7- Eleven near you for food, snacks, drinks, fuel, coffee and more. Chilton and Haynes publish manuals for most every year, make, and model of car.

Wipe away all the dust in the canister when you replace it. Both inside and outside. A dirty air filter will cause incomplete combustion, which will cause high carbon monoxide CO emissions, which will cause a flunked smog test. It is the filter where the oil vapors from the valve covers are circulated into the combustion cycle. Remove and clean it with Gumout. Likewise clean the area where it is located. The gunk has been building up there for years and when it comes to parts-per-million test measurements, it is not doing you any favors.

Failure to do this one thing alone could cause a smog test failure. It's an easy, simple thing to do. Don't take the chance. And if there is no above-described side-pad in the air canister, check all connecting air hoses. There may very well be an inline filter you need to deal with. If you clean the inside part of the air filter canister where the gunk has built up, the Gumout will remove the paint.

Personally, that didn't bother me much. The area was small and would quickly be protected from rust with a new coating of oil anyway. It is an inexpensive and easy part to clean or replace. Make sure yours is OK. If the thing doesn't rattle when you shake it, it is clogged. Gumout time again.

A fouled spark plug causes a lot of flunked smog tests. If your vehicle is mostly used for short trips, fouled spark plugs can result. Doing the aforementioned two-hour round trip at normal freeway speeds for some useful endeavor before the test might clean out the carbon and other junk in the engine and plugs. Do your spark plugs need to be replaced? There are a lot of mistakes you can make when changing plugs.

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It is imperative to know all the traps before proceeding. If you are not already knowledgeable, a how-to manual, online research, a quick trip to the library, or a knowledgeable friend will save the day. Depending on how the plugs are positioned, changing them can be a lot of work and frustration.

Does your car have a mechanical distributor and rotor?

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Is it original equipment? Does the car have over 80, miles?

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If you replace the distributor cap and rotor, the improvement in performance will amaze you. The distributor cap and rotor are easy and inexpensive parts to replace. However, you need to read the manual first, otherwise traps await.

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If not replacing the distributor cap, be sure and check it for cracks and other defects. Cracks in the distributor cap can cause the engine to fail the test. For all procedures described in this article, the transmission should be in "park" and emergency brake should be on. Are the spark plug wires original equipment and several years old?

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If so, there may be cross-sparking. If so inclined, observe the engine running in near-total darkness flashlight anyone?