Following the manufacture's service schedule and regular oil changes is the best way to avoid problems. Depending on the year and make of your vehicle the answer to a failed test could range greatly.
〉 Answered on Nov 9th, 2009 by Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service
First of all their are NO shortcuts when it comes to emission testing. Every state has guidelines of what is acceptable in that state.
That being said, if I knew what State you were in I could answer more complete! A "cheap fix" may require you to make more trips to the emission station and your technician than you would like.
〉 Answered on Oct 12th, 2009 by Pat Fleischmann, Director of First Impressions at Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair