What is a smog check inspection?
A smog check is an inspection of a vehicle and its key emission components to ensure the vehicle is running clean, and not excessively polluting the air while in operation.
What is inspected during a smog check?
A smog check inspection varies for year, make, and model. However it can include but not limited to: an emissions check, visual inspection of key components, timing check, EVAP system check, and malfunction indicator light (check engine light) check.
What vehicles are required to have a smog check inspection?
All gasoline powered vehicles from 1976 to present, and all diesel powered vehicles from 1998 to present weighing under 14000 lbs (GVWR) are in the smog check program. A smog check is required if you're changing ownership, bringing the vehicle in from another state, or for the biennial registration renewal process.
What is a Test Only Station?
A Test Only Station performs only the inspection necessary to obtain a smog check certificate required by the DMV. It does not perform any adjustments or repairs if a vehicle were to unfortunately fail. However when a vehicle passes, an electronic certificate will automatically be sent to the DMV, you will be given a hard copy of the report for your own records, and you're done! Pretty simple.
What can I do to get my vehicle ready for inspection?
Regular maintenance (oil change, spark plugs, air filter, etc.) is key, not only to help prevent future problems, but to help the vehicle run as efficiently and as clean as possible which is the primary reason for smog inspections. If unfortunately you have a malfunction indicator light (check engine light) that is ON, we strongly encourage you to resolve that issue before performing a smog check inspection. Also if you've had any other issues, please let us know before starting, regardless if the problem was minor. Our goal is for your vehicle to pass the inspection on its first attempt, and most importantly for the customer to leave happy and content.
What do I need to bring for a smog check inspection?
All that is really needed is the vehicle. However if you have either a vehicle registration (new or old), the registration renewal notice from the DMV, or any other DMV paperwork, you are more than welcome to bring that in as well; it helps entering the vehicle information easier.
What happens if my vehicle unfortunately fails?
If the vehicle were to fail we will calmly sit down with you to discuss the results of the inspection and guide you in the right direction to get your vehicle to pass. If the vehicle needs repairs you can take the inspection report we'll give you to any certified repair shop of your choosing. However keep in mind that financial assistance may also be available through the Consumer Assistance Program. This is an excellent program where the state may be able to help with up to $500 in smog related repairs, or even offer you up to $1500 to retire a vehicle. For more information just ask or visit smogcheck.ca.gov for requirements and to apply.