Boise Emissions Test Tips FAQs

These emissions test tips are designed to help you understand how to comply with requirements of Ada and Canyon County regarding emissions testing. The format will be a series of questions and answers, hopefully addressing questions you may have about local Treasure Valley emissions programs. Additional emissions FAQs and our article on emissions testing will give you more detailed information.

Emissions Test MachineWhen searching for emissions test tips that pertain to your vehicle, keep in mind that 1996 and newer vehicles use an onboard diagnostic (OBD) system to identify when the vehicle is exceeding emissions standards and notify drivers with the check engine light warning. Computer diagnostic capabilities for emissions related issues on most vehicles manufactured before 1996 are limited. For this reason these vehicles have emissions tested at the tailpipe instead of by accessing data from the car’s OBD computer port.

Does my hybrid or electric car need to be tested?
No, but you still need to take the postcard to a test station to receive an exemption.

Can my car pass the emissions test if its check engine light is on?
As explained in the introductory paragraphs, the answer to this varies depending on the year your vehicle was made. Vehicles with a manufacture date of 1996 and newer will most likely NOT pass the test. Older vehicles that have a light on, whose emissions are tested at the tailpipe, may pass or fail the tailpipe testing. Passing or failing is not dependent on the check engine light for these vehicles.

Why did my vehicle not pass the emissions test because of a “readiness test”?
When a diagnostician clears codes from a car’s computer data referred to as readiness test values are also cleared. This generally means the vehicle must be driven under certain (time and speed) conditions without setting a fault code for the computer to check and complete the “readiness test”. After following a specific drive cycle with no codes fault codes, all readiness test monitors set or reset, and the vehicle will pass the test in the absence of an actual emission problem.

If my vehicle doesn’t pass the test, what are my options?
If your vehicle still fails to pass a repeat emissions test after you can show $300 or more has been spent on emissions related repairs to correct the fault, your car may qualify for an emissions waiver for the current emissions period.

Does my diesel powered vehicle need to be tested?
Yes. One test method is used for diesel vehicles made between the years of 1981 – 1997. Similar to gas vehicles and light trucks, 1998 and newer diesel vehicles will be tested with the OBDII method.

If your emissions related question is not found among these emissions test tips, the previously mentioned link on our website should help. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for after searching both locations, feel free to call us (208) 336-5315. For your convenience, no appointment is required for an emissions test at Tune Tech Downtown. Just stop by and we can test your vehicle’s emissions quickly while you wait.

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