Vehicle emissions testing is required annually in the 13 metro Atlanta counties in Georgia (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale County) in order for motorists to complete their vehicle registration.
Georgia’s Clean Air Force (GCAF) recommends testing your vehicle four to six weeks prior to the registration renewal date (the vehicle owner’s birthday).
What Can I Do to Prepare for Emissions Testing?
- If the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light is on, your vehicle should be checked by a repair technician as soon as possible. This light notifies motorists when something in the emissions control system fails or begins to deteriorate. Early diagnosis and repair can prevent more costly repairs in the future.
- Keep in mind the most common reasons for emissions test failures include: a malfunction in the components of the vehicle that regulate the fuel/air ratio such as the oxygen sensor and the EGR valve; a dirty air filter; misfiring spark plugs; leaks in the vacuum system; or a poor-fitting fuel cap. Many of these components can be checked and repaired during routine tune-ups.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and tune-up schedule.
- Have the vehicle’s oil changed regularly.
- Replace the fuel cap securely after filling up. A loose fuel cap allows water and foreign material to collect, causing rust and a poor seal.
- Keep the sealing surfaces of the fuel cap clean and in good condition. When necessary, clean them with water and a damp cloth.
- Keep the vehicle’s tires properly inflated.
- Check belts and hoses for wear.
- On 1996 and newer model year vehicles, the “Check Engine” light may illuminate as a result of a loose fuel cap. If the “Check Engine” light is illuminated, try tightening the fuel cap until it clicks, then drive the vehicle until the light turns itself off.