Owners of almost 5.7 million vehicles that drive in the megalopolis will have three options to verify their vehicles, in order to guarantee that their emissions are under the limits established in new environmental regulations.
Undersecretary of Environmental Planning and Policy Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo explained the new emergency environmental regulations that will take effect July 1 and remain in effect for six months.
The new regulations classify automobiles in three groups: those manufactured before 1994, that do not have catalytic convertors; those made between 1994 and 2005, which have catalytic convertors; and those manufactured after 2006, which have both catalytic convertors and on-board diagnostics systems (OBD).
An official from the Natural Resources and Environmental Secretariat (Semarnat) said that the new regulations allow three options to verify your vehicle: a static evaluation, a dynamic evaluation and evaluation with OBD, which is now available in all “verificentros” (emissions testing centers).
Vehicle verification is using OBD for the first time. OBD monitors 11 subsystems within vehicles that are related to controlling polluting emissions.
About 64 percent of vehicles that circulate in the megalopolis have OBD, which will allow convenient, accurate emissions tests. Vehicles with OBD must be retested every six months.
Lacy Tamayo pointed to the benefits of OBD, including that it allows vehicle owners to test emissions levels themselves with tablets or smartphones. Five systems can be tested this way this way: combustion, fuel, integral components, oxygen sensors and catalytic convertors.
If vehicles do well on these emissions tests, they will be given a “zero” sticker, and, if a test shows that the vehicle is malfunctioning, the owner can take it to a mechanic.
The tests are performed with the SAE J1962 connectors, which are in the lower part of the dashboard on most cars, and which can be accessed with bluetooth for IOS and Android, or by a wired connection, which the verification centers’ use.
Cars equipped with catalytic convertors, need to replace the converters. This is the case for most models made between 1994 and 2005, which make up 1.2 million vehicles, or 22 percent of vehicles that circulate in the city.
Not all vehicles have OBD. OBD began to be installed on some new vehicles in 2000, and on all vehicles starting in 2006.
Vehicles that don’t have OBD will be subject to traditional emissions tests, which consists of putting the vehicle on rollers to measure emissions at low speeds.
Older vehicles that do not have catalytic convertors and have carburetor combustion systems can be subject to static emissions tests.
In static emissions tests, the vehicle idles and emissions of polluting gases are measured compared to the acceleration of the motor. All vehicles older than 1994, which make up 760,000 vehicles, or 14 percent of vehicles in the megalopolis, will be tested this way.
All diesel vehicles will be tested with an opacity method, which consists of inspecting the spectrum of gases that it emits.
Lacy Tamayo explained that hologram stickers, which can be “zero,” “one” or “two,” will be distributed to vehicles based on their pollution levels and not their age.
Getting a “zero” hologram sticker will be an incentive for vehicle owners to take care of their vehicles.