Pennsylvania Emissions Inspection Program Changes for 2017
In 2017, Pennsylvania’s Emissions Inspection Program is slated for a major update. Every emissions inspection machine in Pennsylvania will require both hardware and software upgrades. Some of the current manufacturers have elected not to participate and most will not be able to update your current machine. New operating systems and software will contain security updates and enhanced calibration requirements. The hardware will transition from a dial up connection to a broadband internet connection, in addition a wireless OBD device and wireless gas cap tester will be offered by some manufacturers.
In 2016 PennDOT hosted a series of OBD Information Sessions across Pennsylvania in October and November to provide Station Owners and Certified Inspectors with information about changes in the program. The meetings explained the state of the current systems and the reasons for making significant changes.
Why Are The Specifications Changing?
Updates to the specifications are required to keep the OBD and Visual Inspection Equipment current and to enable transmission of data as federally required. Technology has changed dramatically since 2003, when the specifications were last modified. New equipment will meet today’s technology standards and ensure continued security of the inspection network. The changes also take advantage of advances in vehicle OBD technology.
Here is the list from PennDOT of the Enhancements/Changes that are being made to the equipment:
- Move to internet-based network communication to provide a faster, reliable and more secure transmission of data.
- Inspector Password Enhancements including the ability to assign individual inspector passwords and manage passwords at the station level.
- Increased inspection history on analyzer. New equipment will be able to store a minimum of 240 days of inspection records and sticker history.
- Data backup on USB drive instead of floppy disk.
- Data restoration from backup in event of hard drive failure or replacement. Equipment will allow retention of inspection history and sticker history.
- More reliable vehicle communications. The new system is not dependent on power from vehicle DLC. OBD communication enhancements to increase accuracy.
- OBD Module Self-Check communication enhancements to increase accuracy. This will allow verification of OBD Module performance and aid in troubleshooting OBD communication issues.
What Is The Timeline For The Transition?
PennDOT will determine which equipment manufacturers have passed the certification process and are authorized to participate in the program. You will be notified as to which equipment solutions have successfully passed the certification process. At that time, you can review the offerings from all the certified Equipment Manufacturers and decide what to purchase. Some manufacturers are currently sending test scripts and are getting closer to being approved for beta testing. After beta, the systems that are available will be listed on the DriveClean website. The general guideline is to replace all existing systems with new technology by the end of 2017.
Which Equipment Manufacturers Will Be Offering New Equipment?
To date, the manufacturers listed below have indicated to PennDOT that they will be participating in the equipment certification process.
- WorldWide Environmental Products
PA Authorized distributor is “Emission Supply of West Chester/NewAutoSolutions”
Things To Consider Before The New Equipment Is Available
- Prepare your service location with the required high speed internet cable. The new system requires a Cat5 cable connected to the station. The internet service itself does not need to be exclusively dedicated to the emission equipment. You can use your existing high-speed internet service provided you have an open network port on your router that will allow you to connect a network cable directly to your equipment.
- Don’t invest money in existing equipment when repairs are needed. Unless your I/M system has been installed in the last couple of years and is from one of the suppliers listed above it will need to be replaced. One option is to replace your old unit with a WorldWide unit that can be used today and is guaranteed to meet the new specs and can be upgraded later this year.
Please watch the www.padrivecleanportal.com website for the current status of the certification process and a list of the equipment certified under the new specifications.