You are now in California, or in any other state that requires you to have a smog certificate every one to two years in order for your registration renewal. Your car is not eligible to pass the smog test. However, the “check engine lamp” on the dashboard lights up. What now?
This could lead to costly repairs if you don’t have a trustworthy family member who can clear the light for your car so it is ready to pass the smog test.
First, determine which code or combination of codes are stored in your car’s computer. Either borrow or purchase an On Board Diagnostics (odbii) code reader. Plug it into the serial port interface of your car and then download the error codes.
You might consider going to an auto parts shop to borrow their code reader, as they can charge between $99 to $400. Pepboys and Autozone both allow you to borrow one, provided you provide collateral.
After plugging in the code reader, hit the “link” button and the code reader will return with a list of error codes stored on your car’s computer. These codes should be written down for later reference or to help you find the correct part at the store.
The code reader returns P0136, which is the error code in your car’s database. This code can be entered into Google, odbcodes.com or another odbii trouble code site. This would indicate that your exhaust system has a problem with oxygen sensors. It is even easy to identify which one it might be. Bank 1, Sensor 2, which is the oxygen sensor located on the passenger’s side, after the catalytic convert.
The part can be picked up at the parts store where the code reader was borrowed for between $30 and $99. It is easy to fix this problem by simply unscrewing the defective o2 sensor, and then installing the new one. You have two options: either clear the code using a code reader, or drive the car until it turns off. This indicates that the car can plug into the smog computer to take the Cronograma De Pagos.
You must drive your car for at least 60 miles to enable the computer to cycle through the vehicle and clear the error code.
You are now ready to go for your smog test.
You can save as much as $20 to $30 by using a coupon for smog checks. Good luck!