As the proud owner of a Volkswagen, you expect your German-made vehicle to showcase its reliability, functionality, high performance, and stylish design. However, even cars with such exceptional reputations as VWs are not perfect. Over the past decade, Volkswagen has experienced several issues with their emissions systems, some of which have caused scandal while others have resulted in the recall of hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Because the emissions system is an important part of your VW, it’s important to diagnose and repair the issue as soon as possible.

In this article, we will discuss the purpose of the emissions system, the symptoms of a failed emissions system, and what you can do to fix it.


The emissions system plays a vital role in your VW, as it is responsible for both your car’s overall performance and the prevention of air pollution. It has three distinct jobs:

  • Regulate the amount of harmful pollutants, such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen created by your engine
  • Stop noxious fumes from exiting the crankcase and tailpipe
  • Notify you when your car is producing alarmingly-high amounts of emissions

When your emissions system is functioning properly and fulfilling these three roles, then your vehicle will have better fuel economy, will drive smoother, and will discharge limited amounts of pollutants.


As with any other part of your vehicle, it’s important to be able to notice the warning signs that tell you something is wrong with your emissions system. If your emissions system fails, not only will your VW put out excessive amounts of poisonous pollutants into the air, but your vehicle’s performance will drop significantly, and your VW will fail the emissions test, making it illegal to drive the vehicle until the problem is fixed. If you are able to recognize the symptoms of a failed emissions system, you’ll be able to have the issue diagnosed and repaired before any further damage is caused.


When the check engine light comes on, this is usually a good indicator that you should really take a look at what’s going on underneath your VW’s hood. If the emissions control light comes on along with the check engine light, then your emissions system is more than likely experiencing some type of malfunction, and your car could be dispelling unhealthy amounts of toxins.


Because your car’s functionality is directly linked to the emissions system, when you experience any signs of poor performance, the emissions system could be the culprit. If you notice that your VW has a rough idle or doesn’t drive as smoothly as it used to, these are possible signs of a failed emissions system.


Since the emissions system is responsible for regulating the use of fuel and its consequent fumes, a significant drop in fuel economy may be indicative that something is wrong.


After reading this article, we’re sure you recognize the vital role that the emissions system plays in your VW’s overall functionality and performance. Not only does it work to give you a more enjoyable ride, but it also regulates your car’s emittance of pollutants. If the emissions system fails, not only will your ride be rougher, but your car will be discharging an excessive amount of pollutants that can be harmful to both you and others. This is why it’s especially important to have the issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.

At Autobahn Automotive Services, we pride ourselves on offering valued, trustworthy, and high-quality service to owners of European-made vehicles. Whether it’s a VWMercedesJaguar, or another popular luxury car brand, our technicians recognize the importance of providing the proper care, maintenance, and repair that’s required of a luxury vehicle. We are conveniently located for those in and around San Antonio and Longhorn, TX and are dedicated to helping you with all your car’s needs. If your VW has a failed emissions system or is experiencing any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment today. Autobahn Automotive looks forward to doing business with you.

Call Now