When your car comes up for smog testing, sometimes you’re confident and other times you’re searching for the best Honda Accord catalytic converters. No matter what category you’re in, there are ways you can improve your odds of passing. Many of them are cheap or free, which is especially handy when you’re prepping your Accord for sale.
Make the Repairs
In some states, a check engine light is an automatic fail. This can be prevented by something as simple as tightening your gas cap. Even if it’s not, major car problems will prevent your car from passing. Obviously, unrelated issues such as your Honda Accord brakes don’t affect the test, but most engine problems do. Even minor ones typically cause more damage when left unrepaired, so take care of them early.
Change Your Oil
Especially if it’s been a while, dirty oil can add more pollutants to your exhaust. Insufficient lubricant also makes your engine work harder, which can affect your results. This is a cheap fix that you should get done a few weeks before the test date for best results.
Do a Tune-Up
Swap out your air filter if it’s dirty, then inspect your hoses and belts for any cracks or breaks. As with the oil change, this helps your Accord run cleaner to reduce your emissions. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the work yourself, take it in to the shop around the same time as the oil change.
Use a Fuel Additive
These products are generally poured directly into your fuel tank to clear out carbon deposits. Many of these additives are specifically designed to help with emissions tests. Some even offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass your test. This also needs to be done a week or more early depending on your mileage, so that the additive has time to work through your system.
Inflate Your Tires
Most states require the car be put on rollers to monitor the exhaust at highway speeds. Underinflated tires don’t just ruin your fuel mileage, they are also hard on your engine. When your powerplant is doing more work for the same speed, it can produce more pollutants during the test.
Warm Your Car Up
It needs to be driven around for a couple of weeks prior so that the catalytic converter gets hot enough to do its job. Specifically, driving at freeway speeds is the only way to get it to a high enough temperature. On the day of the test, drive your car for at least 20 minutes to get your car and emissions system in the best condition. When possible, try to get your Accord tested on a cold day, as that further reduces engine stress.
Find the Right Shop
Many mechanics offer a free retest if your car doesn’t pass the test. If your machine is borderline, it can be expensive to test it again and again.
If you need help getting your Accord ready for the big day, come to your local AutoZone or shop our online store. We have everything from fuel additives to high-quality oil and even offer free VIN lookup.