Visual Inspection of Emission Control Systems as part of PA Safety Inspection

Feb 28, 2018 | Member News

For purposes of PA Safety Inspection, there are six subsections within the Passenger Cars, Light and Medium Trucks Inspection Procedure Section (175.80) of the PA. Equipment and Inspection Procedure Manual. These subsections included:

·                     External Inspection

·                     Internal Inspection

·                     Under the Hood Inspection

·                     Visual Inspection of Emission Control Systems

·                     Beneath the Vehicle Inspection

·                     Road test

 There is often some confusion regarding the Visual Inspection of Emission Control Systems/Emission Control Systems Check as it pertains to Safety Inspection.

 All passenger cars and light trucks which are not registered in an emission regulated county up to and including 11,000 GVWR that have emission components as original equipment are regulated by this safety inspection subsection. Only vehicles registered as Classics and Collectables are excluded. The subsection includes vehicles, diesel as well as gasoline powered, up to and including 11,000 GVWR (not 9,000 GVWR as in Emission Regulated Counties).

 There are 67 counties  in PA. 42 are non-emission regulated, 25 are emission regulated. Out of the 25 emission counties, 8 are considered visual and gas cap while 17 counties use 1 of 4 different tests.

 These tests include:

1.       Two Speed Idle using a 4 gas tailpipe test;

2.       The ASM dynamometer 5 gas tailpipe test;

3.       The Visual component and gas cap test; and

4.       The OBDII and gas cap test.

 The following are frequently asked questions regarding these emission tests:

 Are diesel vehicles subject to emission testing in an emission regulated county?

No. Diesel vehicles do not get emission tested in the 25 emission regulated counties.

 

Are diesel vehicles subject to emission component checks as part of Safety Inspection if registered in the 25 emission regulated counties?

No. Diesel powered vehicles are not emission inspected in an emission regulated county.

 

Do diesel and gasoline powered vehicles receive a visual emission control system check as part of PA Safety Inspection?

Yes. Diesel vehicles as well as gasoline powered vehicles with a GVWR up to and including 11,000 lbs. receive a visual emission control systems check if registered in one of the 42 non- emission regulated counties.

 

In the 42 non-emission regulated counties, what year vehicles are required to be inspected using the visual inspection of emission control systems?

In the 42 non-emission regulated counties all vehicles that have emission components as original equipment are regulated with the exception of classic and collectible vehicles.

 

In the 42 non-emission regulated counties, what components are safety inspected as part of the visual inspection of emission control systems?

A vehicle would be rejected if:

1. The catalytic converter has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

2. The EGR valve has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

3. The PCV valve has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified engine configuration.

4. The Fuel Inlet Restrictor has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified engine configuration.

5. The Air Pump has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified engine configuration.

6. The Evaporative Control System has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified engine configuration.

 

What is the procedure to check the components highligted in bold and underlined above as part of the visual inspection of emission control  systems?

The visual inspection shall be performed through direct observation or through indirect observation by using a mirror or other visual aids.

 

Is a diesel vehicle registered in a non-emission county but safety inspected in one of the 25 emission tested counties still required to receive a visual emission control inspection?

Yes. All vehicles registered in one of the 42 non-emission counties that have emission components as OEM are required to receive the visual test as part of PA safety inspection.

 

For vehicles in one of the 42 non-emission regulated counties, what if, during the visual inspection of emission control systems, any of the components have been removed and/or discarded?

In the 42 non-emssion regulated counties, the vehicle needs to equipped with all emissions components as originally manufactured in order to receive a PA safety inspection sticker.

 

May a diesel vehicle registered in one of the 25 emission regulated counties with some or all of the emission components removed receive a safety inspection sticker?

Yes. A diesel vehicle with removed emission components may receive a safety inspection sticker.

 

Are there any State or Federal regulation that address vehicles with removed emission components?

Yes. Under PA. 75 Paragaph 4531 (B), No person shall disable, change or alter the emission control system of a vehicle.

 

Under the same paragraph but in subparagraph (C), No person shall knowingly sell or operate a vehicle whose emission control system has been disabled, changed or altered from its original design specifications, except for in-kind replacement of system components and added components which are designed to improve emissions.

 

If a vehicle with removed emission components is traded-in for another vehicle, can the trade-in be resold?

According to both State and Federal regulations, a vehicle with removed or tampered components may not be resold without first restoring the vehicle to OEM status. The statute states, no person shall knowingly sell or operate a vehicle whose emission control system has been disabled, changed or altered from its original design specifications. Except for in kind replacement of system components and added components which are designed to improve emissions.

 

Courtesy of PAA Service Bulletin No. 2,  2/22/2018