Towards the end and beginning of every month we get customers coming in for for New York State Inspections. Getting cars inspected is a routine part of our business except when customers brings us their BMW with the check engine light on and an inspection that is about to expire. This complicates things as cars made after 1996 conduct their own emissions testing as they are driven. Aside from the visual and safety checks to pass inspection we have to connect your BMW to computers run by New York State DMV. They then scan your vehicle’s computer and will pass it or fail it depending on what is found.
Once the cause of the check engine light is remedied your BMW’s onboard engine computer needs to be reset to turn the light off as a car with a check engine light will automatically fail inspection. Once the computer is reset your emissions monitors will also be reset. The car will now start collecting data for three main emissions parameters. They are catalytic efficiency, oxygen sensors, and evaporative emissions. Until your car has collected enough data through driving your car will not pass inspection. The car must be driven in a mix of city and highway cruising for 30 to 60 miles to allow the computer to collect enough data to get it ready for inspection. As data is collected if anything is out of tolerance your check engine light will come back on and the whole process has to be repeated again.
That is why we recommend you get your European automobile inspected early on the month its due as many unforeseen circumstances can make it a hassle to pass inspection. If there are issues that keep you from passing inspection you are also vulnerable to being ticketed for an expired inspection sticker while parked out in the street.