Have you ever wondered what mechanics check during a Pennsylvania State Emissions Inspection? This is what you should expect when you take your car in for Pennsylvania State Emissions Inspection.

 

 Who Is Required To Get Their Car Emissions Inspected?

Pennsylvania requires yearly Emissions Inspections on vehicles registered in certain areas of the state. Pennsylvania has divided the state into five different regions. The different regions have different rules on Emissions testing. Let’s break them down.

The Pittsburgh Region

The Pittsburgh region contains 4 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, and Westmoreland. The requirements for these counties are all vehicles with a GVW of 9000 and under and 1975 or newer require emissions testing. The emissions testing for vehicles from 1975 to 1995 will be a visual anti-tampering check of emissions equipment and a gas cap check. For all vehicles 1996 and newer there will be a computer diagnostic check and gas cap test of the vehicle.

 

The Philadelphia Region

The Philadelphia region contains 5 counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia . The requirements for these counties are all vehicles with a GVW of 9000 and under and 1975 or newer require emissions testing. The emissions testing for vehicles from 1975 to 1995 will be a visual anti-tampering check of emissions equipment and a gas cap check. For all vehicles 1996 and newer there will be a computer diagnostic check and gas cap test of the vehicle.

 

The South Central Region

The South Central region contains 8 counties: Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and York. The requirements for these counties are all vehicles with a GVW of 9000 and under and 1975 or newer require emissions testing. The emissions testing for vehicles from 1975 to 1995 will be a visual anti-tampering check of emissions equipment and a gas cap check. For all vehicles 1996 and newer there will be a computer diagnostic check and gas cap test of the vehicle.

 

The Northern Region

The Northern region contains 8 counties: Blair, Cambria, Centre, Erie, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, and Mercer. The requirements for these counties are all vehicles with a GVW of 9000 and under and 1975 or newer require emissions testing. Vehicles registered in these counties have a visual anti-tampering check and a gas cap test.

 

Other Counties

This is the group that makes up the other 42 counties in Pennsylvania that do not require emissions testing. This group does have an emissions anti-tampering check that is done during the required State Safety Inspection. Vehicles registered as classic or collectible are exempt from the anti-tampering portion of the safety inspection.

 

Do I Need To Bring Anything with Me?

Before the state certified inspector can start to perform an inspection they need two things. They need a valid registration card and valid insurance card for the car. Once the inspector has the cards they can start the inspection process by verifying the VIN number on the car matches the registration card. They will also verify you have current insurance on the vehicle being inspected.
 

What is a visual Anti-Tampering Check?

The Visual Anti-Tampering Check is an examination of the vehicle to see if the emissions components have been tampered with or removed. A certified Inspector will look for the following emission control devices: Catalytic Converter, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve, Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve, Fuel Inlet Restrictor, Air pump, and Evaporative Emissions components such as vapor canisters and lines. These items, if originally equipped, must be present, connected, and appear to work.

What Is A Gas Cap Check?

A gas cap check is preformed by state approved testing equipment. It checks the integrity of the vehicles gas cap. The test equipment pulls a vacuum on the gas cap and puts it under pressure to verify that the pressure relief valve is operating correctly.

 

What Ia A OBD Computer check?

This is a check done by the state approved testing equipment. During this check the test equipment is connected to the car and the cars computer is checked for readiness monitors. These readiness monitors indicate if the cars computer has checked certain emissions components. The readiness monitors are part of the checks done by the cars computer to indicate if the check engine light should be on. If all the monitors are “set” your car should pass this portion of the testing.

What Happens If My Car Doesn’t Pass Emissions Inspection?

If your car does not pass Emissions Inspection you have 30 days to make the needed repairs and bring it back to the station that originally inspected the car for ONE FREE retest. After 30 days, by law, you will be charged for another emissions test. There is another way to get an emissions sticker on you car. There is a Waiver process that the Inspector can go through that will allow him to legally put an emissions sticker on your vehicle. The vehicle must have failed testing 2 times and you must have spent $150 or more to correct the emissions issue. A special license is required to issue Waivers and most Inspection Stations don not have the licensing to preform the Waiver Process.