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Driving a well-maintained, regularly serviced car is the best way to pass an emissions test. but what are you, a kind of square? Instead, use the tips below to try and squeeze your carbon-spewing jalopy under the smog-check wire. And if they don’t work, don’t try the less than ethical, probably illegal, smog test cheats I included for informational purposes only.

Ethical smog testing tips

These are completely normal, completely exuberant tips for passing an emissions test.

Test with a hot car

Running the engine before testing is probably the most useful way to maximize your chances of passing. A hotter engine means more fuel is burning, so less debris comes out of the exhaust pipe. Before entering the test center, drive around for about 20 minutes, ideally at motorway speed.

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Try a fuel additive

Fuel additives are designed to increase efficiency by removing carbon residues from your car’s engine and exhaust system. A more efficient engine means lower emissions and, hopefully, a passed smog test. A “general” gas additive like Techron chevrons should help, or you could go with something in particular, like Formula for CRC-guaranteed emissions.

Use low octane fuel

Do not fill up with super premium gas before your smog test. Go for the cheaper, low octane stuff the farmers put in their kias. It burns faster than fuel with a higher octane number and therefore causes fewer emissions.

Change your oil

If you’re a decent person who changes your car’s oil on a regular basis, it probably won’t matter much, but if you’re a shameful creep who doesn’t follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, change the oil. The fumes from your wickedly dirty oil container can infect your engine and be released in the emissions.

Bring some air into your tires

Low tire pressure or uneven tire pressure can have a negative effect on the running of your engine and thus on its emissions. Also, in some states, the smog inspection requires your car to run on a dynamometer to check stability. So make sure that all four tires have the recommended air level.

Turn off your “Check Engine” light

An engine service light is an automatic fault in most states, so don’t even drive into the test center when it’s on. Fortunately, turning off that annoying dashboard light is trivial. You can either stop at a car chain center and ask them to turn it off, or buy a cool one Code scanner for $ 20. Just make sure you turn off the engine light just before you enter the test center. Depending on the problem you’re being warned about, it might not turn back on right away and you can slip by with misfiring spark plugs or the like.

Unethical smog test hacks

If you’ve tried all of the tips above and your beloved 1998 Chrysler Sebring is still zero emissions, the tips below could get you over the edge. (But please don’t really try any of these things – they’re illegal, dangerous, and we don’t recommend them.)

Fill your tank with alcohol

Alcohol burns much more completely than gasoline. So, in theory, you could get cleaner test results by emptying your gas tank and adding a gallon of pure alcohol before your smog test. Opinions vary as to whether this is legal, but either way it’s a bad idea: alcohol kills the rubber seals your engine needs to function, and deteriorating them can lead to oil leaks and all kinds of headaches that undoubtedly need to be repaired costs more than whatever caused you to fail your smog test.

Find a criminal smog center

Unfortunately, the days are over when a seedy technician was awarded $ 100 for falsifying some numbers. Computers connected directly to the DMV made smog transplantation much more complicated – but it’s still possible.

Sheisty inspection centers can replace your car exhaust with a “clean” car exhaust before the data is sent to the state, or use a “speedometer simulator” to trick the smog machine into believing a vehicle is running at the correct speed.

(But really, you shouldn’t do business with unethical smog centers. It is undoubtedly more expensive than a regular smog center, and if caught it could result in a civil penalty of between $ 150 and $ 1,000. Found guilty smog Centers can receive fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 250,000 or even a stay in prison.)