Emissions Test Repair in Lakewood & Arvada / Westminster, CO

Pickering's Auto Service


Emissions Test Failure Repair Service in Lakewood, Arvada & Westminster

At Pickering’s Auto Service, we have been servicing vehicles for Denver Area Residents for over 40 years. We keep up with state of the art vehicles built today, and never let go of our strong knowledge in older models. Our immaculate shop is clean, professional and ready to safely service your automobile. 

Keep Your Vehicle Reliable & Avoid Costly Repeat Emissions Testing Failure, Schedule Your Emissions Repair Service Or Contact Us TODAY!

Lakewood & South Denver Location - 720.636.9110

Arvada, Westminster & North Denver Location - 720.636.8777

Extending the Life of Your Vehicle

Avoid costly, repeat  trips to the emissions testing facility with quality emissions repairs today.

Repeated test failure is the last thing you want when you take the time to get an emissions test. To prevent multiple visits & testing expenses, allow the expert technicians at Pickering's Auto to handle your emission repairs today.

Emissions Testing & Repair Service

In Lakewood, Arvada and Westminster, a decentralized emissions testing program is utilized. What that means is the state has selected one company that performs emissions testing and only testing. They cannot repair failed vehicles. If the vehicle fails and needs repairs to pass, consumers can repair it themselves or have it repaired at any auto repair facility. This keeps both the testing and the repair separate and honest with no complicity.

  • Emissions Testing: If you are in need of an Emissions Test, visit Air Care Colorado to find the nearest emissions testing facility locations to you or more information
  • Emissions Repair: In the event of a failure, as a certified Emissions Repair Facility, we have certified technicians that can fix your vehicles issues so that it will pass. 

In the state of Colorado, some vehicles don't require an emissions test, so be aware of the following, or contact us directly to determine if you're in need of a test. 

  • Vehicles between 1-7 years old: Usually do not need emissions testing
  • Vehicles between 7-12 years old: A Check Engine Light (CEL) scan is performed 
  • Vehicles 12-year-old & older: An IM240 dynamometer exhaust test is conducted
  • An inspection is required for registration renewal when indicated on your registration renewal card

Air Care Colorado Statement on Change of Ownership

  • Used vehicles that are for sale are required to have a new emissions inspection, even if the current inspection report still has time on it. It is the seller's responsibility to obtain the inspection. This is a consumer protection for the buyer. The seller must provide the emissions inspection paperwork to the buyer for vehicle registration purposes. The buyer must use this paperwork to register the vehicle within one year. 
  • A vehicle dealer may offer customers a voucher enabling the buyer to obtain an inspection for free. The customer has the right to refuse the arrangement. If you purchased a vehicle from a dealer and used a dealer voucher to obtain an inspection, and the vehicle failed the test, take the vehicle and test results back to the dealership for instructions. 

Air Care Colorado Logo | Pickering's Auto Service

Air Care Colorado 2018 Program Changes

Air Care Colorado will now send certain failing vehicles to a state Emissions Technical Center for diagnosis BEFORE making any repairs. If a customer's Vehicle Inspection Report states that, "Retests must be done at a state Emissions Technical Center," it means that the vehicle can no longer be tested at an Air Care Colorado inspection station. Since December 2016, owners of vehicles that received an, "Issues with OBD system," message on their Incomplete Inspection Report were required to have the vehicle repaired, the OBD computer set to "Ready" and then reinspected at an Air Care Colorado station.  As of January 2018, however, these vehicles will be given a failed Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) and be referred directly to a state Emissions Technical Center (ETC) for diagnosis BEFORE being cleared for repairs. The emissions reinspection also must be completed at the ETC. The ETC will provide a detailed diagnosis, and the vehicle owner will then be able to pass that information on to their chosen repair technician. 

Remember Vehicles MUST be 'READY' for Testing

When the OBD (On Board Diagnostics) codes (Check Engine Light (CEL) or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL)) are reset or cleared, the monitors must be set to 'Ready' before the vehicle can be emissions inspected. This generally requires at least one vehicle drive cycle. As you drive your vehicle, the vehicles computer is running “monitors” or series of tests. This is how the vehicle makes sure it is driving properly. If one of these tests detect a fault in any particular vehicle system, it may turn on the Check Engine Light (CEL) or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL). When this happens, it means that the monitor caught something that is undesirable or not normal within one of the vehicles systems. In order to verify what has caused this light to come on, a Technician must begin by “pulling the codes”.

Most parts stores and repair facilities can easily “pull the codes” and will do so for free. A scan tool is required in order to plug into the OBD II (On Board Diagnostics) port. This is how we access the vehicle’s computer. From here, we can access the CEL or MIL codes. The code will indicate what test or “monitor” found the undesirable event. It will give a very basic and generic explanation of what the light is on for. It is a common misconception however that this code tells a Technician what is wrong with the vehicle. In actuality this code only reports the general area or system that flagged the problem. From there, the Technician must perform a series of tests in order to verify what the cause of the problem is. This is where most certified repair shops will have a charge for Diagnostics or Testing. The charge is for the time that it takes for the Technician to perform the necessary tests in order to verify the cause of the system fault.

With access to the computer, it is possible to “clear the codes” without making any necessary repairs. Once the codes have been cleared, sometimes the CEL or MIL will not be illuminated on the dash for a period of time, however, as the vehicle is driven, the computer starts to run its “monitors” once again. If that same fault is still present or has not been repaired, then the CEL or MIL will most likely come back on. These “monitors” are called Readiness Monitors. If a computer has had the CEL or MIL code(s) cleared, it may take multiple drive cycles for all of the readiness monitors to be performed and completed.

Example: Let’s say that we pull a system code P0300 Random Misfire. This means that the computer detected that there was a misfire present. We now know that there is a misfire, however, what is causing the misfire? This is where the qualified Technician will perform testing to verify what is causing the misfire. It could be issues with spark plugs, spark plug wires, ignition coils, fuel injectors, carbon build up, distributors, vacuum leaks, internal engine failures or a multitude of other possible issues. By just “clearing” the code, it will not fix the problem. It is necessary to perform testing to verify what has caused the misfire, repair that problem, and verify that the readiness monitor is not detecting a fault any longer.

Air Care Colorado checks to make sure that all readiness monitors have been performed prior to testing the vehicles that fall into the OBD II testing bracket (vehicles between 7-12 years old). If the readiness monitors have not been completed, Air Care Colorado cannot run the necessary testing.

Below are scenarios that Air Care Colorado wants consumers to be made aware of:

If no repairs are attempted or completed but the check engine light is turned off or the codes are cleared:

Just turning off the check engine light will not fix the problem. The light will probably come back on while being driven because these problems don't usually just go away and Air Care Colorado will not test the vehicle until the readiness monitors have been run which will most likely set the check engine light back on when the vehicle fault is detected by the vehicle’s computer. The best solution is always to properly diagnose the problem and fix it.

Scenario 1 - After repairs have been completed (and verified), the check light is turned off. The customer is informed that for their assurance the check engine light was turned off. Because turning off the MIL resets ALL of the diagnostic monitors that will be required to be completed and set to "READY" by the PCM prior to any emissions retest. Tell the customer, "After completing repairs, a vehicle's computer needs time to confirm that the repairs were effective. This happens on its own as you drive, and it helps to drive the vehicle for a few days both in town and on the highway, before getting another inspection." Most well-trained repair technicians can verify that that the vehicle is "Ready" with a quick check of the vehicle's On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system. The vehicle should be driven under normal low-speed (in-town) and high-speed (on-highway) conditions prior to returning for the retest.

Scenario 2 - After repairs have been completed (and verified) the check engine light is NOT turned off. The customer is informed that, "For your convenience, the check engine light remains on because turning off the MIL M(Maintenance Indicator Light) resets ALL of the diagnostic monitors that will be required to be completed and set to "READY" by the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) prior to any emissions retest. Not resetting code(s) and monitors will require only the monitor(s) that turned on the MIL be run to completion three times to verify that repairs were effective prior to testing as opposed to all monitors having to run to completion. The vehicle should be driven until the MIL goes out and is then ready for the retest."


Emissions Test Failure Repair Service

Emissions Test Failure Repair: Pickering's Auto - Lakewood & Arvada / Westminster image 1

Pickering's Auto Service is a certified Emissions Repair Facility with expert Technicians who are continually trained in emission repair services to help ensure your vehicle is in the best possible condition for passing Colorado State Emissions Inspection Tests.

To provide the most effective emission test failure repair service, this service may include:

  • A visual inspection for: Fluid leaks, Worn tires, broken gas cap etc.
  • Gas cap pressure test
  • Check engine light check
  • Opacity (Smoke) Inspection
  • On-board diagnostic (OBD) testing
  • Evaporative System Testing

Importance of Emissions Repair Service

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Correctly operating vehicle emissions is necessary to ensure a safe and dependable vehicle. Keeping up with emissions testing will help with the following:

  • Increase emission testing passing probability saving additional testing expense 
  • Meet registration renewal standard compliance more efficiently 
  • Improve the air quality in and around Denver, Boulder and the Northern Front Range
  • Minimize harmful air pollution that leads to adverse health effects
  • Reduce pollutants including harmful ozone precursor emissions

Frequency of Emissions Repair Service

To avoid costly testing and retesting, Pickering's recommends having your vehicle inspected directly following any emissions testing failure concerns. To ensure the safety of your vehicle, we recommend you have your vehicle checked immediately if you're experiencing any of the following:

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  • Check Engine Light dashboard illumination which directly effects emission control
  • A significant lack of fuel economy or vehicle performance
  • Smoke expelling from the exhaust upon start up or while driving
  • Fluid leaks under the engine area after it's been sitting 

Keep Your Vehicle Reliable & Avoid Costly Repeat Emissions Testing Failure, Schedule Your Emissions Repair Service Or Contact Us TODAY!

Lakewood & South Denver Location - 720.636.9110

Arvada, Westminster & North Denver Location - 720.636.8777

Pickering's Auto Service is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Arvada/Westminster Service Center (303) 426-1545, Lakewood Service Center (303) 237-7717 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.