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  • Most Common Repairs Needed To Pass Emissions Tests


    When your car fails an emissions test, it can wreck your life until you get the necessary repairs completed. Not being able to drive can leave you stuck in the house or dependent upon others, neither of which is fun when you’re used to the independence of having your own vehicle. While you should get a printout of the reasons you’ve failed the test so you know what to address, Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service has compiled a list of five of the most common repairs we see that are needed to get your car running clean and back on the road.

    1. Oxygen sensor

    If your oxygen sensor goes out, it can cause a host of problems, including a rich air-fuel mixture. This is a fairly common problem that can lead to a myriad of other problems, including a burned-out catalytic converter and higher toxic emissions. Getting this fixed can cost a couple hundred dollars or even more, depending on your car and the mechanic you take it to.

    2. Spark plugs

    Faulty, worn, or otherwise ineffective spark plugs can lead to increased emissions of gases, easily causing you to fail the emissions test. To replace a spark plug, the part can cost up to $100, and the labor can be another $100 to $200, depending on the shop and the make of your car.

    3. Air filter

    Clogged, missing, or deteriorating air filters can mean the emissions from your car aren’t being filtered the way they should be. This can lead you to fail the emissions test due to high levels of hydrocarbons. This is a relatively simple issue that can be resolved by replacing the air filter, which generally runs no more than $100 for both part and labor.

    4. Catalytic converter

    Your car’s catalytic converter is what changes toxic gases like carbon monoxide into better ones like carbon dioxide, a substance that is easier on the environment and healthier for the general public. If your catalytic converter goes out, so does your chance of passing an emissions test. The average cost for repairing a catalytic converter can be over $1,000 with labor and parts, but the fix is essential to passing the test—and it doesn’t compare to the lost wages and freedom of not being able to drive again.

    5. EVAP system

    The final common repair that is needed is the EVAP system, or Evaporative Emission Control System. This system works to keep gas vapors from leaving your fuel and engine system and going into the environment, and if it stops working, it will definitely make you fail an emissions test. The cost to fix it depends on the problem, as it can be caused by purge valves, vacuum hoses and vents, or faulty gas caps.

    Fix, don’t fail

    While these repairs can all be costly and stressful, they’ll be worth it in the freedom you’ll get back from being able to drive your car. They’ll also help the environment and the health of the public, including your friends and family. Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service handles repairs for failed emissions tests regularly, and we want to make sure you’re prepared to get the necessary fixes done.

    Diagnose and fix your emissions issues at Leale’s.

  • My Check Engine Light Is On; Can I Still Drive My Car?


    We’ve all been there before: You’re driving down the road, just trying to get where you’re going, when you hear a ding and look down: the dreaded check engine light has come on. You pull over to the shoulder, put on your flashers, and try to figure out what to do next. Can you make it where you’re going? Should you call for a tow, or is it safe to keep driving?

    While a check engine light is definitely not a good sign and needs attention as soon as possible, it doesn’t always mean the car is undrivable until it’s fixed. Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service has the facts on what commonly causes the light to come on—and if it’s still safe to drive your car.

    Common causes of check engine light

    The check engine light coming on can be something as simple as a loose gas cap or something as serious as the engine misfiring. One of the most common causes of the check engine light coming on is simply that your gas tank cap isn’t tightened all the way, especially if you’ve just refueled recently and have a car model that doesn’t have a light specifically to let you know the cap isn’t on. The easiest way to check this, of course, is to get out and check the lid on your gas tank. If it’s loose, tighten it securely, then hop back in and see if the light has gone out.

    If it’s still on, it could be a sensor going out. Oxygen sensors or mass airflow sensors can go out and cause the check engine light to come on. The oxygen sensors measure the amount of unburned O2 in your engine system, and the airflow sensor measures the airflow coming into your engine to gauge how much fuel is needed to run your car.

    Another common reason for the check engine light to ding is if your catalytic converter goes out. This is usually accompanied by a smell, like sulfur or rotten eggs. Your catalytic converter transforms carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, which is better for the environment.

    The final common cause for your check engine light’s appearance is faulty spark plugs or plug wiring. Spark plugs are what ignite the air and fuel in your engine’s combustion chamber.

    The only sure way to check for these issues, besides the gas cap, is to take your car to a qualified technician who can scan the codes and diagnose the problem.

    So…Can I still drive it or not?

    If your check engine light is steady and not flashing and your car is running smoothly without a noticeable change in performance, you should be able to drive it for a short time, but you still need to get it to the shop as soon as possible. Even if the issue is as minor as a sensor going out, leaving the problem unresolved will lead to further damages, more costly repairs, reduced fuel economy, and strain on your car’s engine system—or worse. If your check engine light is flashing, however, this indicates a more serious problem, and you shouldn’t risk driving the car if you don’t absolutely have to. A mechanic shop like Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service can diagnose the issue and get your car back in working order—and the sooner you take it in, the less expensive the repair is likely to be.

    Let Leale’s scan your check engine light.