VEHICLE TEST TYPES
1-7 years old
8 - 11 years old
OBD PLUG-IN TEST
(including hybrid vehicles)
12 years old to
model year 1982
Vehicles equipped with OBD,
that are too large or too small
or are otherwise incompatible
with the dynamometer ,
will be given an OBD test
1981 and older
TWO SPEED IDLE
Be sure your vehicle
is READY for its
If your vehicle
fails its first
BEFORE the retest,
AFTER a repair or
DRIVE and RESET
computer to READY
Then, within 10 days
of the failed test,
return to an Air Care
station for a
Sure your vehicle
Vehicles LESS THAN
7 model years old
do not require
Find out WHY your
vehicle received an
was not tested
because it was
you were given an
UNABLE TO TEST
Check out the
If it's lit,
don't ignore it!
Make sure you need a test before you present your vehicle for testing! State regulation (D.O.R. Air Program Regulation 2,200-E) requires testing centers to test all vehicles that are presented for testing.
Look up a vehicle's recent emission testing history.Vehicle Test History
Vehicle emissions testing is part of the state of Colorado's overall strategy to improve air quality in and around Denver, Boulder and the North Front Range. Vehicles are one of the largest contributors to harmful air pollution that leads to adverse health effects. The inspection program is designed to reduce those pollutants including harmful ozone emissions. To find the answers to specific questions choose from the menus above, or visit our search our site.
HOURS: Mon. to Fri. 8 am to 5:30 pm & Sat. 8 am to 1 pm
PAYMENT: 1982 & newer: $25 1981 & older: $15 VIN Verfications: $20
(Please, NO temporary checks or checks with address different from ID.)
**Hybrid vehicles eight (8) years and older require an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) test every two years.
** All-Electric vehicles are exempt from testing.
Nothing says 'vehicle maintenance' like falling leaves and jack-o-lanterns, right?!
It's October, National Car Care Month, not just the month for candy love, but a time for a little car love too. Get ready for those cold, snowy days ahead with some basic vehicle maintenance. Simple checks and service can ensure your safety and keep your car running and you out of the cold.
The not-for-profit Car Care Council recommends the following basic fall maintenance:
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
- Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
- Check engine performance to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and producing the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
- Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council's popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
Imagine your surprise, and frustration, when you take your vehicle for its periodic emissions inspection and the inspector tells you she can't test your vehicle because it's "not ready." Or, you already had an inspection but your vehicle failed. You had repairs done and have now returned to the inspection station for the retest but the inspector tells you he can't test it because it's "not ready."
What?! The engine starts, the vehicle is drivable, what does "not ready" mean?
It basically means that the computer in the vehicle that monitors the emissions control systems is "not ready" to be tested because it has been recently disconnected or reset.
Newer vehicles - less than 12 years old - now require an OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) inspection. The OBD inspection is a "plug-in" computer test rather than the road simulation test that is given to vehicles that are 12 years and older.
Vehicles equipped with OBD systems continuously self-test their emissions control systems using various monitors. These tests are commonly referred to as "readiness monitors." These monitors identify whether a vehicle's computer has completed the required "self-tests" while the vehicle is being driven. Basically a continuous on-road inspection.
If a self-test has been completed, the system will be reported as "ready." An incomplete self-test will be reported as "not ready." A vehicle with "not ready" status cannot be inspected until all of the self-tests are completed and the monitors are set to "ready." This generally means driving for a while to complete at least one full drive cycle, sometimes more, and then returning to an Air Care station for an reinspection.
WHAT CAUSES A "NOT READY" DESIGNATION?
- Recent vehicle repairs in which diagnostic trouble codes have been cleared with an OBD scan tool
- The battery was recently disconnected or replaced
- The vehicle's computer requires a software upgrade
- A pending problem has not yet illuminated the "check engine" light
To allow the vehicle's monitors to become "ready" it must be driven so that the self-tests can be completed and the monitors can be reset to "ready." To do this, the vehicle must run through its specific drive cycle, which depends on the vehicle make and model and which monitor(s) need to be reset. In most cases, two drive cycles are required to reset the monitors.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW LONG TO DRIVE TO RESET THE MONITORS TO "READY?"
A drive cycle generally requires combined city and highway driving and includes cool periods. You can drive the vehicle as directed in the owner's manual (look under OBD), or consult with your repair technician who should be able to tell you to complete a vehicle or monitor specific drive cycle.
If your vehicle failed the inspection, be sure to complete the drive cycle and return within 10 days to get a free reinspection.
Some significant changes to the vehicle emissions inspection program took effect in January 2015. For all of those folks whose vehicles didn't require an inspection in 2015, but will in 2016, here are reminders of those changes.
Collectively, the January 2015 changes improved customer convenience for a large number of Coloradans in the program area while continuing to protect air quality.
Among the changes:
- Extension of the initial model year exemption for newer vehicles from four to seven years. This change reflects improvements in vehicles that allow gasoline-powered engines to start out cleaner and stay cleaner longer.
- Beginning in the eighth model year and extending through the eleventh model year, the vehicle inspection process will include an inspection of the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD and OBDII) systems. Instead of being tested on the dynamometer (the “treadmill” test), vehicles will be “plugged in” to read the codes in their on-board computers.
This means if your “Check Engine” light is on, you will not pass the inspection. Don’t ignore it, get it checked!
- Hybrid vehicles, beginning in the eighth model year, require an OBD inspection.
- Two all-wheel drive lanes at every station (except tiny Castle Rock).
- Testing to accomodate over and under-sized tires at three emissions inspection stations, Sheridan, Ken Caryl and Ft. Collins.
- Credit cards are now accepted at all stations!
Find out about all of the changes at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/emissions-testing-changes-2015.