Wisconsin Emissions Testing FAQs

emissions testing Oak Cree WI

You may already know that motor vehicles are a major contributor of air pollutants. But did you also know that Southeastern Wisconsin has ground-level pollution amounts that exceed federal air quality standards? Regular Emissions Testing helps target this problem and work towards reducing our vehicles’ impact on the environment.

Today we’re going to unpack the top 7 need-to-know questions and answers about emissions testing in Wisconsin. Buckle up because here we go…!


#1. Do I need an Emissions Test in Wisconsin?

Answer: That depends on where you keep your vehicle. If your vehicle is kept in the following counties, it is subject to emissions testing in order to renew your vehicle’s registration:

  • Kenosha
  • Milwaukee
  • Ozaukee
  • Racine
  • Sheboygan
  • Washington
  • Waukesha


#2. Can you pass a Wisconsin emissions Test with a Check Engine Light on?

Answer: No. The check engine light was specifically created to alert your car care team to emissions issues.

If your check engine light is on – whether you are due for an emissions test or not – stop by WJ Kuhn so that we can get your car in safe, low-pollutant working order ASAP!


#3. Where can I get an Emissions Test?

Answer: Currently, there are approximately 200 locations in Southeast Wisconsin that you can get an emissions test at. In fact, your favorite car care facility, WJ Kuhn, is a certified Emissions Testing center. Our Emissions Testing is done on a first-come, first serve basis Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM – NOON and from 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM. Check our emissions page for the most up-to-date schedule.

If you’re not in the Oak Creek or Franklin area, check out this link to find a certified emissions testing facility near you.


#4. How often are Tests required in WI?

Answer: Depending on the age of the vehicle, tests are required biannually in Wisconsin in order to renew your vehicle’s registration. You will be reminded of this at the same time as you receive the notice to renew your vehicle registration. In addition to the biannual requirement, vehicles more than 5 years old will be required to pass an Emissions Test upon change of ownership.


#5. How much does an Emission test cost in Wisconsin?

Answer: They are FREE!


#6. What happens if your car doesn’t pass?

Answer: If you fail the Emissions Test, you will be required to have the issue repaired.   This may cause a delay in your vehicle registration.  At the time of your failed test, your inspector will be able to explain the repair and retest process.

To learn more about this, check out our blog about what happens when your car doesn’t pass emissions.

If you’re looking for a reputable place to get those repairs done, WJ Kuhn has a proven track record of successful emission repairs.  Schedule your appointment today.


#7. Will I fail my Emissions Test if my TPMS light, ABS light or Maintenance Light is On?

Answer: No.  Surprisingly, this is a question that is asked very often.  The TPMS light, ABS light nor Maintenance Light do not have anything to do with your emissions.


Your Emissions Testing Center and More

We know that any kind of test can feel overwhelming, even if it’s just on your car. That’s why we do all we can to make emissions testing a quick and simple process. If you have any more questions (about Emissions Testing or anything else car-related) that didn’t get answered here, contact us for more information today.

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