Some states are eliminating emissions testing

Tennessee politicians apparently have eliminated emissions testing in 5 counties, Idaho politicos want to exempt the entire state. Is this actually a good idea, the time has come to end all vehicle emissions testing everywhere in the USA?

“Emissions testing has been an unfair burden not only on Tennessee taxpayers, but particularly our poorest residents who are forced to remedy auto issues they can’t afford,” Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said. “The testing no longer served a purpose as most modern vehicles are aligned with emissions standards. “Emission testing is … time-consuming for taxpayers” Etc etc.

A elderly friend of mine living in another part of Calif sure agrees. His 12 year old car needed a new battery, he tries to keep it well maintained, so he replaced the battery just prior to his car’s state required emissions test. Test failed of course; computer said the battery had been disconnected. He was told by the testing technician he had to drive the car, then come back.
As you might expect, he did drive the car, then he came back.
Still didn’t pass b/c of the same reason.

Elderly man: “What do I need to do now?”
Technicians: “Drive some more”,
Elderly man: “but how much more”?
Technicians: “We don’t know”.

Meanwhile his registration is about to expire.

What do you think? Has this man has been put into an untenable position? Is this the reason vehicle emissions testing seems to be losing favor in the USA? Any ideas for common sense solutions?


Maybe all the smog and particulate matter will decrease global warming! In fairness cars are not the elephant in the room.


I’d agree with that theory for modern OBD II cars as long as they have all their emissions stuff installed and working. The population of pre OBD II cars seems a pretty low % of vehicles on the road, seems hard to believe pre-1995 cars are important smog contributors. Just not enough of them.


I already stated that Tennessee NO LONGER had Marta (emissions testing), they stopped it in the beginning of 2022… WOO-HOOOO!!!
ONLY Davidson County and all surrounding county’s (county’s touching Davidson county only) had to go through Marta… It also is saving us a lot of money every year…

It never checked for tail pipe emissions only if your check engine light was on… So lets say you had a check engine light on for your abs, trac control or any non engine/emission related problem, you failed and could not drive your vehicle legally…
BUT YOU COULD drive through the Marta with no check engine light on and all the readiness monitors reset (unhooking the battery or clearing the codes failed you also) and al long at you had a cat converter and pass with steal cords showing on all 4 tires, locked up brake caliper that had broken the the rotor from the hat so the wheel still turned no head lights or brake lights, ball joints falling apart etc etc etc and you would pass Marta… It was a complete waste of money, oh yeah your gas cap had to pass also… lol
Now if you had an OBD1 vehicle then they did the 4 gas analyzer test… But run a bottle of Marvel mystery oil through it 1st and you would probably pass anyway…

So all the peps that would have to install there cats once a year no longer has that hassle…
I put lifetime antique tags on my hot rod and 2 years later they did away with Marta… ugg…
Now I can run reg tags with out the restrictions but I will leave the antiques alone for now…

They were going to get ride of Marta a few years earlier but the idiots signed leases for the Marta businesses and had to honor those deals…

Every gas vehicle from 1975 and up had to go through Marta unless a 1 ton chassis…

They should at least allow the owner to opt for tailpipe only testing regardless of vehicle age or OBD II compliance. Those readiness monitors can sure be a pain. EVAP leaks are often the result of road salt use. The State should pay to have that fixed as they caused it.

Exempt all tests after vehicle is over 25 years old like Texas does.

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You can get antique tag at the 25 year mark, but Marta was from 1975 and up if gas and under a 1 ton…
But after 26ish years of worthless Marta, we no longer have to worry about it…Again it was only like 7 counties out of 95 that even had to go through Marta…

That’s poor planning on your friend’s part

You plan on getting your car smogged as soon as the notice arrives, not 1 or 2 weeks before the deadline

The notice arrives well over a month in advance

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The buddy system: you drive his car for fifteen minutes to pass the emission monitors, he drives your car to the covid 19 death chamber for a bi-annual emission test.

Or the two of you could move to a place with clean air making vehicle emission testing is unnecessary.

I agree. However, the yearly inspection in most places no longer includes testing. Instead, it is a compliance check to ensure the car’s computer has not detected a problem and the required equipment to remain compliant is still installed and functioning.

If you eliminate the compliance check, surely there will be lots of people ignoring the light and/or not repairing/replacing expensive to replace equipment necessary to remain compliant.

I am tiring of the exceptions being allowed on the premise it is too burdensome on poor people. Should they be allowed to dump oil in the sewer because it costs money to drive to a recycling center? Operating a vehicle has certain necessary costs. If you can’t afford it, seek alternate solutions…

Of course not. He’s been given poor advice. He is capable of driving. What he needs are more clear instructions on how to reset the readiness monitors in order to pass the compliance check.


Agree completely. It’s costly to own a car and it’s the owners responsibility to keep the vehicle safe for the safety of everyone else.


Good points made + & -, all around. Thanks for offering your perspectives.

My own perspective, changes I’d recommend:

  • Pre-1996 models (OBD I & prior) exempt.
  • OBD II cars pass if check engine light isn’t on for emissions related problems , & readiness monitors are complete; i.e. car computer has determined car is emissions compliant.
  • No treadmill or exhaust pipe testing.
  • Future OBD II designs must provide the owner a clear, unambiguous set of instructions to complete the readiness monitors. No more “who knows?” when asked how much more driving is required.

For those who are adamant to continue the current course, no change to current policies is needed, one worry w/that philosophy I have is if the federal gov’t ever becomes in total control of the anti-smog-test folks, emissions testing may become illegal in all 50 states. I don’t see that as a good future.


George’s clean air policies, vote for George.

Good idea, George should run for Governor.
Remember when Clint Eastwood could not get permission to open an ice cream store?
Eastwood made a successful foray into elected politics. He won election as mayor in April 1986 of Carmel-by-the-Sea,


I think Clint Eastwood was a pretty popular mayor down in Carmel. Seems to displays a lot of common sense. I wonder what his opinion would be on a state requiring treadmill tail-pipe exhaust gas testing for 30 year old cars? He seems to be concerned about the environment more than most folk, but would he think there’s enough bang for the buck, given these cars are such a low % of the car population? I’d guess he would say “end that treadmill testing”, we can more than make up for it clean-air-wise by not allowing wood-burning fireplaces. Seems like a better compromise.

In California, new cars do not require emission testing for the first 8 years. Why should a 30-year-old daily driven vehicle be exempt? Aren’t those cars responsible for most of the pollution?

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Doubtful, first b/c while 30 years old, they are still modern design, electronic fuel injected. And second, they are a very small % of the cars on the road. I’d guess most of passenger car air pollution is cars in the 10-20 year old range. Anybody here have the actual stats?

For older passenger cars, I’d guess there’s more air pollution from the assortment of pre-1980’s on the road than the 1985-1995’s.

How can someone who talks to an enpty chair be called sensible ?


Back in the day, you would hardly notice. But what happens today if you’re at a party with 100 people and just one person lights up a cigarette?

30 other people go over and ask “Hey can I bum one of those off you?”


Transportation is the main source of CO and NOx pollution. Page down to the first bar graph and add highway vehicles and no highway mobile together to get the full effect of transportation.

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