All modern vehicles have an emissions control system that is designed to reduce the amount of toxins that your vehicle releases into the environment. Most vehicles are equipped with an emissions light, much like the check engine light, that will come on to notify you that there is a problem with your system. If you live in an area where you are required to have an emissions test of your vehicle, if there are problems with your emissions system, you will fail this test. There are signs of vehicle emissions issues that you can watch for, to signal that you have a problem before it gets to be much larger.
What is the Emissions System in my Vehicle?
Your vehicle’s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in different types of operating conditions. If the system is out of sync, running poorly, and/or needing service, and the emissions light is on, it is a good indication that there’s something out of tolerance in the emissions system.
The vehicle’s emission system controls the emissions, exhaust and pollutants (including gasoline vapors escaping from the fuel tank), using an array of sensors, computerized engine controls and the exhaust components. The emission system substantially reduces harmful gases from being released into the air, such as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen.
In many areas of the country there are laws around vehicles’ emissions and emissions and smog tests are required.
What are Signs of Vehicle Emissions Issues?
Having an emissions issue is not only bad for the environment and makes it hard to breath, it can also decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and cause other issues. It’s important to pay attention to signs of vehicle emissions issues, even when you don’t have an emissions test coming up.
Some of those signs include:
- Emissions Light or Check Engine Light On: While some vehicles may have a separate light to indicate if there are emissions issues, any time that your check engine light is on, you should visit a automotive repair shop to have your vehicle checked. In some vehicle’s, if there is an emissions issue, the check engine light will flash to signal the issue. All vehicles are different, so read your owner’s manual to help you determine what light on your dash will give you the first clue that you have emissions issues. If you find yourself with a light indicating emissions troubles, this typically means that the car’s emissions control systems is faulty, and the vehicle is polluting the air beyond allowable federal standards.
- Poor Gas Mileage and Fuel Efficiency: Exhaust and emissions system problems will also often lead to loss of fuel efficiency. No one likes to have to buy more gas, more frequently, so pay attention to your gas mileage. If you notice a reduction in gas mileage for more than one tank of gas, this could be a sign of an emissions issue. If you have this problem, take your vehicle in to get it serviced. It may be a quick and easy fix; however, if it goes on too long, it could turn into a bigger issue.
- Unpleasant Funky Smells: Many of the emissions components involve either fuel or the exhaust of your vehicle. When your vehicle starts to smell like sulfur, rotten eggs, or raw fuel, there is a good probability there is an issue with your emissions system. Not only is this unpleasant, it can be harmful to your health, so you should have it resolved as soon as possible.
- Weak Acceleration: If you notice a general loss of performance in your vehicle, it could be a sign of emissions issues. Your car may feel weak and sluggish when you try to accelerate. You can usually tell when something just doesn’t feel right while you are driving. If you notice a sudden decrease in acceleration, jerking, loss of power, or stalling, there could be a very serious problem with your emission system that needs to be addressed. Oftentimes, continuing to drive your vehicle can cause significant and expensive damage.
When you have signs of vehicle emissions issues, whether you are due for an emissions test or not, you should have the problems inspected and resolved. Emissions issues can lead to poor vehicle performance, bad fuel efficiency, and be harmful for your health and the environment.
At Advanced Transmissions & Emissions, you can count on us to fix the emission system in your vehicle and get it running properly. We fix emissions issues when you have them, but do not offer general emissions testing. Sometimes, the solution can be as easy as replacing the gas cap, other times, not. We have the experience needed to work on all emissions components from canisters, caps, sensors valves, hoses, lines, or tubes.