Use a checklist to carry out a Smog Inspection and record violations via the mobile app.
This smog checklist can be used by smog technicians to report the measured vehicle emissions.Download template
A smog check is also called a vehicle emissions test or exhaust emission test. Since 2006, it has officially been called in Germany: engine management/exhaust gas cleaning system examination. At the same time as the UMA, the exhaust emission test for motorbikes was also introduced. Since 2010, it has been an integral part of the main inspection of motor vehicles.
A smog inspection is carried out by a state-certified organisation (e.g. TÜV Nord, TÜV Süd, Dekra, KÜS) to determine whether the emissions of a vehicle are within the values set by the state regulatory authority.
If an exhaust emissions test comes up negative, the workshop begins to investigate the cause. If the cause has been remedied, a follow-up test can be carried out. If the exhaust values remain above the permitted limits, this can lead to the withdrawal of the operating licence due to non-compliance with environmental requirements.
In addition to the main inspection for brakes or lights, a motor vehicle must undergo an optional emissions test as standard - regardless of the pollutant class. State regulations stipulate that a vehicle must undergo an exhaust emission test every two years. If a car is new, it has to undergo the main and exhaust emission test for the first time after three years.
Oldtimers are partially exempt from the obligation to undergo an exhaust emission test. Oldtimers with petrol engines do not have to undergo an emissions test if they were registered before 1 July 1969. Diesel vehicles do not have to undergo an exhaust emission test if they were first registered before 1 January 1977.
The exhaust emission test has been mandatory for 30 years - and not without reason. The Federal Environment Agency regulates vehicle emissions in Germany. It created the exhaust emissions test to keep vehicle emissions under control and to monitor their negative effects. Particularly, health, the environment, but also the economy suffers from exhaust emissions.
There are three procedures that the inspectors perform during every smog check:
Prior to each vehicle inspection, a pre-test shall be carried out by the examiners to ensure that the test equipment has been maintained and calibrated according to its specifications.
The responsible testers measure and record the levels of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from vehicle emissions. While testing equipment may vary by facility, technicians always use government-approved exhaust gas analysers.
The inspectors perform a visual and functional inspection of the vehicle to check for tampered, missing, disabled, modified or defective emission control systems. They also check whether other devices, such as the malfunction indicator light, are working.
For all three procedures, inspectors can use a checklist to assist with the emissions inspection. It helps to carry out all tests step by step in the correct order, to record findings and to document observations that indicate unsafe vehicle conditions or non-compliance with regulations.
During the smog check inspection test, the exhaust gases of the motor vehicle are checked when it is idling. The test centres receive the corresponding reference values from the legislator as target data. The target data depend on the vehicle type and model.
In addition, the car manufacturers have the possibility to undercut the values of the legislator by stricter specifications. In this case, the inspectors use the stricter values for the emissions test. For this purpose, they are given access to various databases.
All guideline values, whether from the legislator or the automotive industry, are adjusted at regular intervals.
During the test, the vehicle is started to measure the level of carbon monoxide and other chemical compounds. For this purpose, a probe is placed in the exhaust. Measurements are taken at idle and increased idle.
Since the smog check inspection is part of the general inspection, the values determined are first recorded in a checklist in order to compare them with the target values of the manufacturer or the legislator after all tests have been completed. The checklist also has the advantage that all important data about the vehicle, from the vehicle owner to the registration, are recorded in one document. This minimises the error rate.
For vehicles with on-board computers, the exhaust emission test can also be carried out as a so-called "On Board Diagnosis" (OBD). In this case, the memory is read out and the tester no longer has to insert a probe into the exhaust pipe.
Emission testing centres are responsible for an exhaust emission test. The use of paper-based emissions inspection checklists for regular registration renewals is inefficient and non-transparent. Lumiform, the mobile and powerful inspection app, helps inspectors with: