When it comes to vehicles and their annual emissions test, California doesn’t take failure lightly. Your vehicle has to pass the test in order to stay on the road. The idea is that not only does the strict emissions test help reduce smog, but it also keeps older vehicles that are in danger of falling apart off the road.
An emissions test isn’t a big deal right up to the moment when you’re told that your car didn’t make the cut. Now it’s time to make some big decisions.
What the State of California Does
When a vehicle fails the emission test, the state of California doesn’t straight up say you can no longer drive it...
Before you take your car in for a smog check, is there anything you can do to give it a better chance of passing? The obvious answer is to make sure your car is running well in the first place. A well-maintained car, with all its systems operating correctly, will probably pass the smog test.
If you think your car isn’t running at 100 percent but you want to avoid the expensive repairs that would be required if you fail, there are simple steps you can take to tilt the odds of passing a smog check in your favor.
Here are the top tips from our experts to prepare your car for a smog check:
1. Clear that “Check Engine” light.
If your car displays a “Check Engine” light, that’s an automatic smog check failure. You’ll need to get a diagnosis and fix before you test.
The most common reason for a C...
Yes, you will need to pass smog again. It is mandatory for all used vehicle transfers in California.
You can ignore the seller’s renewal notice because it doesn’t apply to you.
The seller was responsible to get it done prior to sale, but often they neglect to do it on very cheap vehicles.
When a car is sold, who is responsible for the inspection?
The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.
The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).
California exempts you as new owner ...
What is Smog Check?
The Smog Check Program is an important part of the State’s efforts to improve the air we breathe. Smog Check inspections are designed to identify vehicles with excess emissions so they can be properly repaired. The Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California.
Who oversees the Smog Check Program?
The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) administers the Smog Check Program. Vehicles are inspected each year by more than 7,000 State-licensed and independently owned stations located throughout the State.
Is my vehicle subject to a Smog Check?
Gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and alternative-fuel vehicles that are model year 1976 and newer require a Smog Check, with the following excepti...
“Smog Check Required”
There’s that pesky notice from the DMV again. We realize it’s a hassle to fit it into your busy life…but it has to be done! That is why our Palmdale Smog center strives to make your visit as easy, quick and pleasant as possible.
Palmdale Smog Check Station is clean, comfortable, and staffed with helpful and courteous employees. Even so, our quick and efficient service gets you in and out FAST!
Why is Test-Only significant?
We are licensed by the State of California to inspect & certify vehicles according to their emissions output. The “Test-Only” means…that’s all we do. We do not do any repair work...
Knowing how to handle a car breakdown is half the battle (the other half, getting your car fixed, comes later). Here we explain how to stay safe in 8 easy steps — especially when your car breaks down in a not-so-convenient location.
The first few minutes after a breakdown
Your first steps after a breakdown depend on where and when it happens. A quiet residential street is one thing — a busy highway during rush hour is quite another. But either way, your safety and the safety of your passengers always come first. These 8 steps can help:
1.) Turn on your hazard lights: This warns other drivers that something’s wrong. Keep your hazards on until the car’s safely towed.
2.) Pull over (if the car’s still moving):In an ideal situation, you’ll want to aim for the right shoulder of the road...
No one wants to fail a smog check test. The pain of going in once is enough, let alone having to repeat the test twice, simply for a small mistake. However, the fear of failing is always there. What if your car does not pass? What if it requires extra maintenance which means spending more money?
People have a lot of advice on how to pass a Palmdale smog check. Some of it is valid, and some is, well, not so valid. But it can be hard to determine what is a myth and what will actually help your car to pass. Let’s look at some of these common tips, and see how well they stand up on their own.
1) Fuel cleaners and Octane boosters are going to make me pass.
Some people think that because something contains the word ‘cleaner,’ it will automatically improve the health of their engine and help th...
When most people hear the word “pollution,” they think of big city buses letting out clouds of black air, or third world countries where the sky is thick with dust. Few people understand that even normal cars can be the cause of a great deal of pollution in everyday life. Whenever you drive your car, there is a good chance it is letting out some degree of pollution. However, the amount of pollution depends on the condition of the car.
A good way to understand pollution and smog check is by thinking of it as the healthiness of a car. When a car is healthy and well taken-care of, the release of pollution is much less. Naturally, on the other hand, an unhealthy car delivers a great deal of pollution to the air around us, the air we breathe in everyday.
How can the healthiness o...
The average smog inspection price will vary shop to shop. It will normally range anywhere between $29.95 to $89.95 depending on the county you live in and the type of smog inspection your vehicle requires. This price may or may not include the State’s Certificate Fee of $8.25, which is charged only and if your vehicle passes the test. There may also be an EFT (Electronic Transmission) fee which a station owner may charge to make up for the toll cost they pay as the smog machine is transmitting your vehicle’s information via a dedicated phone line. This fee is usually between $1-$3, and is charged regardless of whether your vehicle passes or fails the smog inspection.
The State of California does not regulate the actual cost of the inspection because it is a privately owned industry, howev...
Do Car Fuel Emissions Regulation Vary from State to State?
Car fuel emissions standards are established by the federal government and each state must adhere to them. However, the state of California, during 1967, established its own regulatory agency to fight against pollution generated by automobiles. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), along with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), work together to create and enforce emission regulations that vehicles driving within the United States must adhere to. Indeed, the state of California has always been on the forefront of automobile emissions standards, and they, along with 19 other states, have sued the federal government for the right to impose more stringent auto emission standards.
Where can I Look Up the Latest California Em...