What a “Reject” Test Result Means in Emissions and What to Do Next

March 17, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

In order to keep your car on the road, you need to take it in for an emissions test from time to time. Any vehicle manufactured after 1976 is required to be tested every two years. If your car was manufactured in an even-numbered year, you must take it in during even-numbered years, and the same goes for cars manufactured in odd-numbered years.

Most cars either pass or fail. What happens if you get a REJECT result and therefore a failed emissions test in Northwest Indiana? Read on to find out.

What does a reject test result mean?

If your Indiana Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) comes back marked “REJECT,” that means you’ve taken your car in too early after a failed test. Cars manufactured after 1995 use an onboard diagnostics system (OBD). If your OBD recognizes emissions issues, it will register a “trouble code” in its memory. Depending on how severe the problem is, the check engine light may come on. That indicates that an emissions problem exists (in fact, federal law dictates that the check engine light can only come on if there’s an emissions problem).

If your car has one or more trouble codes in the memory, it will fail the emissions test. You can deal with this by taking your car in to have it repaired and tested. Your repair technician will fix the problem and reset your OBD’s memory codes. However, you’ll need to drive your car around for three to five days before getting retested.

If you don’t drive your car around—using both highways and city streets—your vehicle may come back with a REJECT test result. That means you didn’t drive around enough for the test to fully determine your emissions levels.

What to do if your car gets a REJECT result

Because you only get a REJECT result when you fail to drive your car sufficiently, the only thing you can do is to drive around more and get retested. Similarly, if your vehicle fails the emissions test for another reason, you’ll need to have your car repaired and then retested shortly afterwards.

In some cases, emissions repairs will automatically clear the OBD memory. If you take the car in to be tested immediately, it won’t generate the REJECT result. If your mechanic manually reset the car, that’s when you’ll need to drive it for a few days first.

The best way to avoid this problem is to ask your mechanic whether they manually reset the OBD or if it’s automatically reset. They should be able to tell you what they did and how it will affect your vehicle emissions testing. They’ll also tell you how to pass emissions testing in Northwest Indiana.

Bring your car in for emissions repair

When your car needs emissions repair or maintenance, Glen Park Autoworks can help. We’ll check over your engine and ensure that your car is compliant with all Indiana state regulations. Get in touch with us today to book your appointment or learn more about the process.

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