Preparing for an Inspection

Following these simple tips will help you breeze through the E-Check process.

General (All Tests)

  1. The emissions control equipment for your vehicle must be intact and functioning. Vehicles missing a catalytic converter will be rejected from the emissions test if that model vehicle was originally equipped with a catalytic converter. Removing or tampering with emissions equipment may cause your vehicle to fail the test.
  2. Follow the recommended maintenance schedules for your vehicle. Read the owner's manual and follow maintenance guidelines. Your vehicle will perform more efficiently, increasing its chances of passing the emissions test. Regular maintenance includes periodic oil and filter changes and tune-ups.
  3. A gas cap is required equipment. It must be the correct type for your vehicle and be in place.
  4. Do not overfill the gas tank. When you fill your tank, resist the impulse to get just a "little bit more" into the tank after the nozzle clicks off. The excess gasoline has nowhere to expand and may saturate a part of the emissions system.
  5. Safety for E-Check inspectors and customers is of the utmost importance; therefore vehicles demonstrating any of the following will be turned away:
     
    • Brake light illumination issues
    • Drivability problems
    • Drive train noise
    • Fluid leaks
    • Inoperable doors or windows

On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Test

  1. If the "Check Engine" light is illuminated, your vehicle will fail the test. Check our list of Licensed E-Check Repair Facilities and have your vehicle repaired before having it tested.
  2. BMW Series 7 owners must provide accessibility to the OBD II computer by removing the cover plate prior to inspection. BMW dealers can provide this service. Ohio EPA regrets any inconvenience this may cause.

Can I check if my vehicle's monitors are "ready"?

If for some reason the check engine light is turned off by disconnecting the battery or the technician cleared the codes, the following may be helpful to determine whether your monitors are reading ready and the vehicle is ready for a retest. Some vehicle owner's manuals provide information on how a vehicle owner can determine if the OBD system is ready for emissions checking by performing a certain procedure. Based on these owner's manuals, to check for readiness, turn the ignition switch to the ON position, but do not crank or start the engine. The check engine light may light solidly then either turn off, remain illuminated or blink multiple times. If the check engine light blinks mulitple times, the readiness codes are not likely set. If the light stays on or turns off, the readiness codes are likely set. Note that when the engine is started, the check engine light should turn off unless there are emissions control problems. 

How can I get my vehicle's monitors to become "ready"?

If your vehicle has recently been repairsed or the battery was recently replaced or disconnected, the vehicle's monitors are not likely ready. Ask your technician if they can make sure that your vehicle's monitors are ready before bringing the vehicle to E-Check. The technician may be able to complete the drive cycle to ensure the monitors are ready. Note, the mechanic may charge an additional fee for this service. 

Automobile manufacturers have various strategies for readying the vehicle's monitors. For this reason, we cannot give you a simple list of instructions. Drive cylces are a combination of highway driving, stop and go driving, idling and for some vehicles an overnight cool-down period. 

In most cases, it is possible for the vehicle owner to complete the drive cycle. 

  • Drive the vehicle for approximately one week under normal driving conditions including highway and city driving. The newer the vehicle the less time it should take. 
  • Check your vehicle's owner's manual, contact your local dealership or visit www.ohioecheck.org for more information on drive cycles.

Failing to complete the drive cycle can cause the vehicle to be rejected during the restest if monitors are not set to ready. If the monitors are not ready, they have not run their diagnostic check of the vehicle's system and the OBD test cannot be completed.