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I just celebrated my Volt's 5 year birthday, which means, in the state of Arizona, it now needs an emissions test to renew my registration. I really thought nothing of it; the novelty having worn off a bit from what it was like getting stopped in parking lots and the double-takes as I plug in. But the poor emissions tech was totally baffled by the fact that the engine didn't come on when he hit the power button. Of course, I thought to myself, my car was the first Volt in Arizona, so it would naturally be the first Volt here needing to be tested for emissions 5 years later. Ha! I explained how the car worked and showed him that I had plenty of battery left, so it wouldn't need the engine. He was skeptical, but performed the test anyways. I acknowledged that this was probably the first one he'd seen, and he laughed. Of course, it passed all the tests. As we wrapped up, he chuckled and said, "So we're going to start seeing these now, huh?"

I was so tickled by his frustration at the engine not coming on, that I wanted to share it here. But I also wanted to share because I know others will start having to test their Volts for emissions soon, if not already, and to remind everyone that this is a unique and somewhat puzzling vehicle in this situation.

Almost 94000 miles, and going strong in my 2011 Volt, Li'l Red!
 

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So did you show him how it turns on the engine when you open the hood while the car is turned on?
 

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VW may cause the rules to change but I believe newer cars typically aren't tested by throwing an analyzer on the tailpipe. They just check using the OBD and if your engine light is off, you should be good.
 

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My 4.5 old Volt is due for emissions in CT next month. Should be interesting. I expect it to fail as the engine only comes on for 90 seconds when its cold...it must be polluting since the engine rarely runs long enough to get warm...
 

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In CA the Volt isn't tested because there isn't really a test for PHEVs. However, I know that in some places people have had trouble because the engine hadn't come on so there wasn't enough data to allow the test to continue.
 

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My 4.5 old Volt is due for emissions in CT next month. Should be interesting. I expect it to fail as the engine only comes on for 90 seconds when its cold...it must be polluting since the engine rarely runs long enough to get warm...
They're just going to plug into the diagnostic port and read data. Bet the car passes with no drama.
 

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My 4.5 old Volt is due for emissions in CT next month. Should be interesting. I expect it to fail as the engine only comes on for 90 seconds when its cold...it must be polluting since the engine rarely runs long enough to get warm...
If the actually do an emissions test, you could drive it in hold mode for awhile before you arrive at the test facility
 

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That's a good idea. My understanding for NC emissions is the car is supposed to be fully warmed up for the tailpipe test. That might take a while just popping the hood and letting it idle.
 

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Just took my Volt to first inspection & emission test (mandatory). Tail pipe gas analyser was used and the OBD was used for getting the revs up to specified value. Had to tell the inspector on how to get the engine running (open the hood).

Only "issue" in the car was rear brakes. Due to low usage the braking force was low and unevenly distibuted. 2 minutes of braking in the device and the rear disks were clean again and brake force was good enough with less than 20% force difference.
 

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Just leave a $50 bill rolled up and inserted in the tailpipe. It'll pass.
 

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in CO it looks like all they'll do for the hybrids is an OBD plug in and check, no dyno run
Same in TX. ODBII for emissions check on all vehicles. Not just hybrids. If anything is not in 'ready' it needs to be retested after driving around.

They do a safety-check drive in the vehicle as well to test lights, brakes, horn, wipers etc. and measure the tire tread depth. They also visually inspect gas cap and other emission equipment for tampering.
 

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In CA the Volt isn't tested because there isn't really a test for PHEVs. However, I know that in some places people have had trouble because the engine hadn't come on so there wasn't enough data to allow the test to continue.
It's coming soon. They already changed the emissions test to omit the rollers and tail pipe sniffer on vehicles made on and after the year 2000. It's only an OBD2 scan and a visual inspection for the year 2000+ cars. Once our Volts are old enough, we'll be included in the smog test crap. I believe even pure EV's are not exempt from this, so Leaf and Tesla owners can look forward to this as well, lol.
 

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I just applied for and received an "Exemption Certificate - Outside Non-Attainment Area" for my 2011 Volt in AZ. Since I live outside the Phoenix (or Tucson) metro areas, my Volt doesn't have to be tested.

BTW mine crossed the border 5 years ago today - sort of an anniversary rather that it's true birthday.

VIN # B0985
 

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Once our Volts are old enough, we'll be included in the smog test crap. I believe even pure EV's are not exempt from this, so Leaf and Tesla owners can look forward to this as well, lol.
I can see it now, "you say you want to stick that probe up my exhaust?... well where is the nearest power plant stack?"
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Correct, as many have said, he just plugged it into the OBD to test it, so I didn't actually have to get the engine to start. He was just confused that it didn't appear to come on because there was no engine noise and whatnot.
 
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