|Adventures Under the Hood|
Every other year, depending on the model year of your vehicle, you must have an E-Check in order to get new license tags. The testing is carried out by privately contracted facilities.
- The procedure is this -
You drive to the testing facility and pull into the shortest line to wait your turn. It works just like the supermarket. Whichever line you get into is the one where someone ahead of you develops a time-consuming problem. When it's your turn, you pull into the lane, where a person wheels out a mirror and slides it under your car, looking for a catalytic converter. If you don't have one, you're out of the game. No cat, no test, no tags.
Then you are invited to leave your car and wait inside a glass-enclosed blockhouse while a person you've never seen before gets behind the wheel of your pride and joy. The drive wheels are pulled up onto a dynamometer roller, the other wheels are chocked, a large electric fan is wheeled in front of the radiator, and a hose is hooked onto the exhaust pipe.
If your car is less than two years old they give you what is called a "quick pass" and you are on your way.
According to the "State of Ohio Vehicle Inspection Report", a pre-1981 vehicle is tested for hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) levels at two speeds, idle and approximately 30 mph.
1981 and newer vehicles are tested for HC, CO, and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) while being run on a dynamometer for about five minutes at various speeds up to 55 mph, to simulate real-world driving conditions.
They then check the gas cap for pressure seal.
If nothing goes wrong they give you a paper which enables you to purchase new tags. If you fail, they give you a list of approved repair facilities to which you are expected to take your car for repairs. If you come back and fail again, it is possible to get a one-time-only waiver good for one year.