A smog test checks the exhaust system of your vehicle to see how many contaminants your car emits, as well as the kind of pollutants that are emitted. The tailpipe of your car will have a system attached to it that will calculate the emissions of the car both when the vehicle is idle and when the engine is revived. For your vehicle model, the outcomes are then compared to the state norm. Your car’s muffler will also be tested to ensure that it works correctly, and the technician will usually look under the hood of the car to test the hoses and tubing, as well as the internal computer of the vehicle.
Smog Test Exceptions
When you register or renew your vehicle registration in California, smog inspections are required, although there are some exceptions.
- A 1975 or older model of a gasoline-powered vehicle is (This includes motorcycles and trailers.)
- A diesel-powered vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of more than 14,000 pounds is a 1997 and older model OR.
- Driven by natural gas and weighing over 14,000 kilograms.
- An electric car.
- Driven by gasoline and less than eight model years old.
How much do I need to get a check on smog?
It’s dependent. There are places in the state that are part of the biennial smog certification scheme, and if your car is registered in one, any other cycle of registration renewal must have proof of a smog certification (every two years).
Other circumstances that adjust the frequency of smog inspections required include:
- Your vehicle is six or less model years old: You can pay an additional smog mitigation charge for the first six registration years instead of getting smog inspections.
- You transfer a vehicle that is four or less model years old: in this case, a smog certification would not be mandatory. However, the car’s new owner must pay a smog transfer fee.
(This is not true for diesel-powered vehicles.)
What Do I Do After My Smog Check?
Your next move will depend on whether or not your vehicle has passed the test once you finish your smog search. You can complete your vehicle registration if your car has passed the smog review. The checking reports of your car will be submitted electronically to the DMV.
If the smog check fails in your car, you can do one of a variety of things:
- Get your car diagnosed and repaired: This must be done at a licensed smog control repair station by a licensed smog control repair technician. Take your vehicle to be re-tested at a smog check station until repairs are completed.
- To get a second opinion, use the Smog Check Referee Software: This program will help you if you have any disagreements over a smog check.
- Apply for financial assistance for your repairs: If you fulfill certain income eligibility requirements, the Consumer Assistance Program will award you up to $500 for emission-related repairs.
- Get a Maintenance Cost Waiver: You can use this option if you have already had some repairs made to minimize pollution and are unable to afford further repairs to pass your smog test.
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