@jminer For the most part @sony1492 is correct. Except monitors. Anything 96 and older is not OBDII therefore we don't do an onboard check, only check engine light check ("key on, engine off" light should be on. "key on, engine on" light should be off.), also called the bulb check.

Underhood emissions label: if you replace the hood or the air cleaner just scrape the sticker off. We can't fail the vehicle for missing it, especially pre 96. We're required to have emission component books to look things up when the label is missing.

As for passing do make sure the car is nice and hot. Best practice also includes running a full tank with a fuel additive like BG 44K or a bottle of Techron and then getting it smogged.

Slighy misfires will generally cause it to fail. Exhaust leaks are generally ignored by most techs and most techs can tell the difference between valve train noise and an exhaust leak.

Any other questions @jminer let me know. I not only inspected cars but also diagnosed and fixed them.