30 Apr MD State Safety Inspection: Fuel & Emissions
Most pre-owned vehicles must obtain a Maryland Safety Inspection certificate before being sold or transferred. Our last blog focused on exhaust system issues that can result in your vehicle failing certification. This blog will focus on problems with the fuel system and emission system that may cause your vehicle to fail the MD State Safety Inspection. Common issues may include the fuel pump, gas cap, or fuel injectors. A certificate will be issued once the necessary repairs are made, and the vehicle passes the inspection. Keep reading to learn about automotive fuel & emissions components, common issues, and symptoms you should recognize.
#1 Tip To Pass The MD State Safety Inspection
Follow all of the factory-recommended service intervals found in your owner’s manual. That’s it. That’s the tip. Routine maintenance is the very best way to keep your vehicle efficient and running clean. Regular inspections, oil changes, and general service appointments can catch many small issues before they become big expenses. And, it’s never too late to start. Ask your service technician about creating a routine service schedule to fit your specific needs.
The Fuel System & Emission System
Fortunately, these days auto manufacturers design vehicles to have more fuel economy and less air pollution (or emissions). With the goal of zero emissions in the not-too-distant future, auto engineers are improving fuel & emission systems every year. Currently, most combustion engine vehicles have the following fuel & emission components:
You can find the vehicle’s fuel tank towards the automobile’s rear. Its main function is to store the fuel used for combustion safely.
The fuel pump moves gas from the fuel tank through the fuel lines and into the fuel injectors (or carburetor). There are two types of fuel pumps:
Mechanical Fuel Pump
Mechanical fuel pumps use belts or chains from the carburetor-run engine to operate.
Electronic Fuel Pumps
The electronic fuel injection system operates electronic fuel pumps. They tend to be more reliable than their mechanical counterparts.
Fuel Injectors & Pressure Regulators
Fuel injectors are basically nozzles that spray a fine mist of fuel mixed with air into the combustion chamber. Fuel pressure regulators maintain the proper amount of pressurization within the high-pressure fuel delivery system.
Your vehicle may have one or more fuel filters. The fuel filter keeps the fuel injectors (or carburetor) free of the contaminants found in gas and the fuel system.
The gas cap seals the fuel tank and is part of the pressurized fuel system.
Emission Vapor Controls
Emission vapor controls vary by vehicle brand, model, and year. They control the amount of fuel used for combustion while returning excess fuel into the fuel tank. Emission Vapor Controls ensure that dangerous vapors and fumes do not leak from the system into the cabin or engine compartment.
Common Issues & Symptoms
Just like everything else in life, auto parts wear down, get damaged, or break. Sometimes there are warning signs to tell you something is amiss, and sometimes parts can fail without any notice. Below are several common issues in your vehicle’s fuel & emission systems that may need service to pass the MD Safety Inspection.
Dirty Fuel Filter
Once a fuel filter is clogged, you may notice a loss of acceleration, reduced power, and/or increased fuel consumption. Your vehicle may also experience issues starting and idle roughly due to a lack of fuel.
Failing Fuel Pump
A failing fuel pump will result in low engine power and can trigger the Check Engine light in the dashboard. You may also notice that your automobile may buck, jerk, or even stall due to a lack of fuel. Working fuel pumps generate a gentle hum when the engine is running. If there is complete silence coming from the fuel pump, chances are it has failed and needs replacement.
Faulty Gas Cap
A faulty gas cap can create issues with proper fuel delivery when damaged or worn out. The fuel filler cap should click when it is on tight enough. When the cap wears out, it may no longer click when closing it. Smelling gas fumes around the cap before removing it, is a common sign of a faulty cap. A bad gas cap can also trigger the Check Engine light in your vehicle’s dash.
Emission Vapor Controls (EVAP)
The emission system works on chemical reactions, electronic sensors, and vacuum control solenoids. Over time, the devices lose their effectiveness, and rubber gaskets & hoses can deteriorate, causing leaks in the sealed EVAP system. When leaks occur in the EVAP system, the Check Engine or the Emissions light will turn on.
The EVAP Canister is just one component within the Evaporative Emissions Control System. A saturated or clogged EVAP canister can cause numerous issues, including:
- rough idling
- poor engine performance
- low gas mileage
- hard to start engine
- dashboard indicator lights: check engine or emissions
Fuel & Emissions Maintenance & Repairs
As you can see, the fuel & emission systems can be complex and require regular maintenance to perform safely. Eby’s Garage employs trained technicians that can handle all your automotive needs. When you need to obtain your MD State Safety Inspection, we will walk you through the process and get your vehicle ready.
Schedule Your MD State Safety Inspection
Contact Eby’s Garage by phone at (301) 432-5130 or online to schedule your vehicle’s fuel and emissions service.