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 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.

Tailpipe Test (Performed only at the 23 Full-Service Ohio E-Check Stations)

  1. Vehicles should be warmed up before testing. Until your vehicle reaches normal operating temperature, it emits excess pollutants. Run your vehicle for at least 15 minutes prior to undergoing an emissions test. Vehicles that are not driven often may experience carbon build-up which may cause them to fail. For those vehicles that are not driven on a regular basis, or are driven only short distances at low speeds, be sure to warm them up for 15 to 30 minutes at highway speeds.
  2. Vehicles with front-wheel drive should have the front suspension properly aligned. Poor front-end alignment will make the vehicle difficult to test on the dynamometer.
  3. Make certain tires are properly inflated. Unevenly inflated, under-inflated or mismatched tires make the vehicle difficult to test on the dynamometer.
  4. Make certain your brakes are in good condition. Poor brakes make the vehicle difficult to test on the dynamometer.
  5. Ensure the integrity of your exhaust system. Excessive exhaust leaks may cause your vehicle to be rejected from the emissions test and may be dangerous to the vehicle's occupants.
  6. IMPORTANT! Please notify the certified inspector prior to starting the emissions test if your vehicle has traction control or all-wheel drive.