Automotive Service Shops in Wisconsin Express Grievances With Emissions Testing Program

June 7, 2024
For some shops participating as an emissions testing station for the state, it's too much added work for insufficient profit.

Automotive service providers in Wisconsin have been struggling with the state’s emissions test program since they were allowed to perform tests on behalf of the state over a decade ago, reports TMJ4.

Southeastern Wisconsin closed all nine of its emissions testing centers in 2012, transitioning instead to having these tests done by auto shops and dealerships. Third-party contractor Opus Inspections is paid by the state to oversee this testing program.

Harrison Keyes, owner of Jerry's Automotive Service in Waukesha, Wisconsin, was one of the first to enroll his shop into the program, but as of this past December, has decided to opt out after seeing it negatively impact his business.

Living in an area of the state that requires emissions testing, Jerry’s Automotive Service was seeing an average of 80 cars needing a test each day.

“That was really cutting into meeting our deadlines for our customers,” Keyes said.

In addition, shops have no control over the price they charge for an emissions test. For the past 12 years, the testing fee has sat at $2.00, which for many businesses, doesn’t justify joining the program.

Mike Daury, a program manager with Opus Inspections, told TMJ4 that being part of the program was never meant to bring profit, but rather increased visibility to participating shops.

Drivers attempting to find existing testing sites may face obstacles, as TMJ4 reported discovering that Wisconsin’s online database of emissions testing sites had several businesses that either didn’t answer or said they weren’t offering testing anymore.

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