Do I need a smog check?
Registered vehicles are required to obtain smog certification every other renewal period or when ownership is transferred unless the vehicle is exempt. Check your DMV renewal notice to determine if you need a smog check.
What to expect
Smog checks usually take less than 30 minutes. Walk ins are welcome but we suggest booking an appointment to prevent any unnecessary delays. There are three sections to the smog check:
- Emissions Inspection - We first inspect the emissions which requires your vehicle to be driven on a dynamometer while the smog machine collects emissions samples from the tailpipe.
- Visual Inspection - We then conduct a visual inspection where our certified smog technician will look for the presence and proper connection of required emissions components. Our smog technician must locate and verify that all emissions components are present and properly connected. Along with emissions components, our smog technician will also look for any defective or disconnected electrical connections, vacuum hoses and/or any pipe or plumbing which would effect engine performance and ultimately increase harmful smog emissions.
- Functional Inspection - We will finally conclude the test by conducting a functional inspection. Our smog technician must ensure proper operation of several emissions components and systems including the engine ignition timing, check engine light, gas cap and filler neck, exhaust re-circulation valve (EGR), and fuel EVAP test.
Certified STAR test and repair facility
STAR Test and Repair stations are monitored closely and must conform to high standards established by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). Our station is authorized by the BAR to perform, along with smog check repairs, regular smog checks and test only smog checks. Our station is the only type of smog check center that can inspect, repair and certify any and all vehicles. Our station participates in the State's Consumer Assistance Program and is inspected by the State of California regularly.
Will my vehicle fail the smog check if check engine light is on?
Yes. Simply resetting the check engine light will not resolve the problem or ensure your vehicle will pass. The engine computer readiness flags must be set before a vehicle can pass even if the check engine light is off. The readiness flags are only set when the computer runs a complete check of the system without detecting any trouble codes. The computer will illuminate the check engine light if any trouble code is detected. The chances of the engine computer setting the required readiness flags before detecting the trouble code and illuminating the check engine light are slim to none. Time is better spent having a certified smog station diagnose the check engine or service engine soon light, then time spent trying to avoid detection and/or repairs. Give us a call or stop by our shop to get our expert opinion. We will properly diagnose and repair your vehicle without trying to sell you unwarranted or unneeded repairs.
The need for smog checks
Most vehicles out on California roads today are powered by gasoline or diesel fuels. Gasoline and diesel powered engines produce harmful emissions such as Hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Particulate Matter (PM), and lesser known emissions such as Ozone (O3), Sulfur Dioxide (SO3), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These emissions, among other things, have been known to cause heart disease, nervous system damage, respiratory system damage, cancer, and birth defects. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to understand the seriousness of these harmful emissions and their effects to us and our environment, more and more stringent requirements have been placed on manufacturers of automobiles to create emission controlling systems. Over the years, manufacturers have installed a number of emission control systems to minimize emission pollution levels emitted from automobiles to acceptable levels. However, these systems can fail at any time. Therefore, the need for periodic smog checks are required to ensure vehicles continue to conform to the required standards and repaired when one or more of the emission control systems fail prior to passing its next scheduled smog check. With over 13 million registered automobiles in California, and over 25 million when including trucks and buses, the need for smog checks and smog check related repairs is crucial to ensure the air you breathe is not causing serious health concerns now and for future generations. For further information regarding smog check requirements, please visit the following link.
Smog Check Requirements