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As of June 5th 2002 the State of Louisiana has mandatory emissions testing (State inspection sticker) in the Greater Baton Rouge area. Many people are understandably concerned when their vehicle fails the inspection. Following are a few items that might help clear up some mis-understandings.

  1. Emissions testing applies to car models 1996 and newer.

  2. Vehicles registered in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes are affected.

  3. The vehicle must be inspected in the parish where it is registered.

  4. The vehicle must meet the emissions standards applicable at the time of manufacture (i.e., no check engine light and all I/M (inspection and maintenance) test must be completed in memory.)

The last item seems to cause the most confusion. For instance, when the check engine light comes on, a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is set in memory. Even if the check engine light goes off, until the condition is corrected, the code remains. Emissions codes that remain in memory will cause the vehicle to be rejected.

When codes are cleared from memory, after repair or accidentally, the I/M (inspection and maintenance) test are also cleared. These test indicate that the computer has checked the indicated systems and they are working. Once cleared the engine computer will go to work to re-test every system.

Since each test has specific requirements, it can take up to a week and sometimes longer to execute all test. If a fault is found the test will fail and the DTC will again be set in memory. For this reason, it is wise to allow time after having emission repairs performed. Until the I/M (AKA readiness) test complete, the vehicle will not pass inspection.

  • A weak or dead battery can cause the I/M test to clear. When battery power is lost the engine computer’s memory may be lost.

  • A light that does not operate will cause the vehicle to fail. The check engine light should come on when the key is cycled, stay on a few moments and then go out.

  • A blown fuse in the cigarette lighter can cause a failure. The tool used by the state to communicate with the vehicle is powered by the cigarette lighter.

  • Simply clearing the codes will not allow the vehicle to pass, as long as the problem remains. The problem must be repaired in order to pass inspection.

The proper way to deal with a check engine light is also the easiest and least expensive way. Take the vehicle to a qualified repair shop and have the problem corrected. AGCO is expert in the field of engine diagnostics. Don’t wait until you fail the State inspection. Have AGCO keep your vehicle running properly year round. AGCO, it’s the place to go.

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