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CheckEngine_225x225 60 percent.jpgThere are some significant changes headed our way in 2015 for the auto emissions inspection program in the Denver-metro area and North Front Range!

Collectively, the January 2015 changes should improve customer convenience for the greatest number of Coloradans in the program area while also protecting air quality.

Among the changes is the extension of the initial model year exemption for newer vehicles from four to seven years. This change reflects improvements in vehicle technology 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 a driving test 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, your vehicle will not pass the inspection. Don’t ignore it, get it checked!

Older gasoline hybrid vehicles (beginning in the eighth model year) will require inspection for the first time, also using the OBD "plug-in" test.

Other improvements to make the inspection process easier include adding more all-wheel drive lanes, offering more inspection options for vehicles that previously could not be inspected on the dynamometer, like vehicles with larger or smaller tires, and finally, we're taking credit cards!

For a good overview of what's on the horizon, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s webpage at for a good overview of what’s on the horizon.