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A Few Things You Should Know About Maryland VEIP and Emission Repairs


The Maryland "Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program" VEIP requires that our vehicles be checked every two years. A notice is mailed about a month in advance so there is plenty of time to have your vehicle checked. If you wait past your notice time then the cost doubles from $14 to $29. (Plus, a new $15 penalty fee is assessed every four weeks.)  The emissions test takes only take a few minutes. You are likely to spend more time waiting for the test. Try going mid-month and in the middle of the morning or afternoon to cut down your wait time. Another option is to check out the lines before you go.  The Maryland VEIP website has a page that feeds in a picture of the lines, so that you can avoid going if there is a long wait.  The photo below is from the Columbia, MD vehicle inspection station.howard county VEIP line

You should be aware that there are several parts to an emissions test; the inspector checks for: leaking fluids, excessive smoke, any sign that there has been tampering with the exhaust system, a properly fitting gas cap, badly worn tires, and any dashboard warning lights.  So if your car's “check engine light” is on, do not take your car to be emissions tested because it will fail!  Instead, visit an authorized emissions repair facility, and have them check out why your car’s check engine is on.

The check engine light is a visual signal from your car's computer testing system or On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system.  If there is a problem in the operation of your car’s emissions control system then the “check engine light” will come on.  A certified emissions repair shop can hook up a computer and download the emissions data. The data will contain one or several trouble codes depending on the extent of the problem.  The codes can tell a skilled auto mechanic the area of the problem(s).  

If your check engine light is on, you can stop by British American Auto Care for a free scan, but this is only the first step in properly diagnosing the problem.


Get a Free Check Engine Light Computer Scan


After downloading the codes, the next step is to look at the data related to the code or codes.  This can be in the form of a data snap shot or it can involve watching various information streams related to input and output sensors. This can take anywhere from half and hour to, in some cases, up to three hours!  There is a charge to complete the diagnosis. It depends on the complexity of the program causing the “check engine light” to come on.

After this diagnosis has been performed the service writer can then provide the cost of the repair(s).

Once the repairs have been performed and the system has been retested the “Check Engine Light” will be off and should remain off if all of the systems are working correctly. The computer runs many monitors, and these have to pass a number of tests before the vehicle is ready to be taken in for an emissions test. With some cars we can reset the monitors so that you can take your car back right away for the emissions test. In other cases we will ask you to wait a couple of weeks, and then, if the “Check Engine Light” stays off, you can return for the test.

Checking the emissions computer system should be a part of the regular maintenance on your vehicle. When performing scheduled maintenance, your auto technician will connect a computer to your OBD system to see if there are any pending codes. These codes show the technician where a problem is likely going to happen so corrective action can be taken.

The VEIP is only one of the inspections Maryland requires.  The other is the Vehicle Safety Inspection which is performed when you are just moving into the state or when you are selling a car.  If you are in need of a safety inspection versus an emissions inspection, you can find information about that here.

Download our e-bookletMD Vehicle Safety


Copy of e-mail I set to elected officials questioning the VEIP program: 
State and County Representatives: 
I am not sure who is responsible for authorizing the Maryland Vehicle Administration's Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) , therefore I am addressing this to all my Maryland State and County representatives, or at least those whose e-mail addresses I have as listed at the end of this e-mail. 
It is time to enter the 21st century and revamp the VEIP, and eliminate unnecessary visits to the testing centers. 
I say this for many reasons. 
First and foremost: Seeing that this is 2010, I would venture to say that a vast majority of the vehicles registered in Maryland today (1996 and newer passenger vehicles) fall under the "On-Board Diognostics (OBD) Test" guidelines--a test that amounts to nothing more than hooking up a scan tool to the vehicle's on-board computer to check for any problems with emissions control components.  
This can be done at any reputable service department when the vehicle is being serviced. Just like with the certified vehicle safety inspections, service departments should be allowed to certify that a scan of a vehicle's emissions control components shows no failures, and therefore eliminate an unnecessary trip--wasting time, gas, and money--to a "official" testing station. 
Secondly: In all the years I have lived in Maryland (since 1984), of all the vehicles I have owned or have been in my household (74 Audi, 80 Ford, 83 Honda, 85 Ford, 90 Volkswagen, 92 Ford, 86 Ford, 93 Honda, 92 Ford, 97 Ford, 85 Dodge, 03 Dodge) only two had ever failed the test: the 85 Ford Tempo, which was a piece of junk and had engine problems from the time we bought it new; and the 85 Dodge Aspen, which I got from my father-in-law who had had a stroke and the car sat in his driveway for at least 4 years, being started only every couple months before I got it (it passed the re-test afer a basic tuneup). Even my 1986 Ford Ranger with 140,000 miles that I bought at least thirdhand has passed every time since I bought it in 1994. Therefore I would like how many vehicles pass each year compared to how many fail, and what Maryland has set as a limit for "diminishing returns" regarding the feasibility of the VEIP; are we going to test 4 million vehicles to catch 100 that fail? 
Thirdly: As stated earlier, passenger vehicles newer that 1996 are only required to have the OBD--something I can have done at my service department. What my service department cannot do, is give me an readout of the actual emissions as indicated by the tailpipe test. The last several times (for the 97 Ford and 03 Dodge) I requested that the VEIP testing offical perform a tailpipe test so that I could have something to show for my $14, 1 hour, 25 mile visit that actually gives me something of diagnostic value, I was told no because my vehicle was newer than 1996.  
IF one has to go through this unnecessary trouble of going to the official testing station, one should at least be allowed to have the tailpipe test if desired.  
Fourthly: Going along with reason three, OBD readouts can be incorrect. In May this year, I went to my service department because my "check engine" light was on in my 03 Dodge. They told me that I needed to have two vacumn hoses replaced, they gave me an estimate (because of the inaccessible location of one of the hoses) for something close to $250! Luckily, they did not have the hoses in stock and gave me the option of waiting several hours while they had the hoses delivered, or coming back the next day. I couldn't wait around all day, so I opted to go back the next day.  
When I got back into my truck, the check engine light was no longer lit. I didn't go back the next day, and, after a few days, I called the service department and explained that I hadn't come back because the check engine light had not come back on. They didn't seem at all surprised and, when I offered to come in and pay the $55 diagnostic fee for telling me that I needed to have the two hoses replaced (almost as if they admitted that maybe the computer had had a "hickup") they told me not to worry about it. It is now the end of September, almost 4 months and a few thousand miles later, and the light has not come on again. Futhermore, my gas mileage (which I record in detail as a diagnostic device) has not changed or indicated any problems. Therefore I can only conclude that the OBD was incorrect or had a slight glitch, something that could as easily happen (or not happen) during the VEIP.  
It only makes me wonder if the $135 I paid over a year ago, to replace another hose when the check engine light was on, was really needed.  
Additionally, I had a similar episode with my 93 Honda where first the dealer's service department told me they fixed the problem (very poor acceleration) by clearing the error code, then (after I got a mile away from the dealer and it was still poor acceleration and brought it back) they told me the on-board computer was "bad" and needed to be replaced, and then, (after I got a mile away from the dealer and it was still poor and brought it back a third time), the replaced an actual mechanical part (distributor rotor shaft which had corrosion on it) the problem was fixed; but they still insisted that the computer (which I paid $500 for a used one) had been bad as well. 
Posted @ Saturday, June 11, 2011 12:21 PM by David Schlegel
I too am interested in the stated items above. I see hundreds of vehicles on that road the spew the very things that VEIP profess to test for. While the majority of us DO everything required of us the few either get a pass or something else unknown to us. How does this happen? If someone does not have their seat belt on there is a fine. Is there a fine for those vehicles that spew out smoke on a continual basis? Curiosity will hopefully cause action by our legal system, maybe.
Posted @ Monday, October 10, 2011 10:42 AM by Theresa L. Sayles
Maryland gets too much revenue from Unnecessary VEIP tests. It will never change, only increase in price. The real joke is testing my collector cars with barely 100 miles on them. Ha!!!
Posted @ Sunday, September 01, 2013 3:43 PM by Zorro
Automobile repair is very necessary to keep the vehicle performance good and efficient. For good Auto repair service, We have to consult with best Automotive repair and service centers nearby.
Posted @ Thursday, December 19, 2013 7:47 AM by Cartel
Car engine repair is very necessary whenever your car needs its repairing. Repairing of the car engine will definitely good for the car and also for the environment. Car performs well after the repairing of its engine and also emits less smoke which is not that much harmful for the atmosphere.
Posted @ Monday, January 06, 2014 7:55 AM by Robin
Repair and service in proper interval increase the efficiency and performance of the car so priority should be given on routine repair and service in reputed BMW repair shop for better service.Vehicle emissions inspection program requires that vehicles should checked every two years.The emissions test takes only few minutes so every vehicle owner should give importance on emission test because more emission affects environment.
Posted @ Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:29 AM by Gorden
I would agree that the environment is very important. That is why I purchased a hybrid vehicle. The hybrid battery light is now on, though performance in terms of gas mileage is not degraded. This is an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, and just failed emissions because the battery might be bad. Not because it is emitting any pollutants, nor going to emit any pollutants, nor because the battery *is* bad. The battery is functioning, the car is functioning, and I am faced with a $3000 repair bill to replace the battery which might or might not malfunction someday. I don't see this as helping the environment, just lining someone's pockets.
Posted @ Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:47 PM by Cheryl
Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program or VEIP is a program to test the emission of any vehicle. The program was 1st started in Maryland where pollution was too much at that time. Cars emit poisonous gas from the silencer which is added in environment directly. It's a case of safety to the nature as we are living within it. In Maryland the VEIP system was launched to track the emission of cars. The process takes less time & less cost. Car users spend few minutes for this testing. 
Volvo Repair Medfield, MA
Posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 5:41 AM by marian75
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