Do you know that if you’re a car owner in the US, then at least once every two years you might need to get your vehicle’s smog checked? If not, or if you’ve forgotten when it was last time, there are some things worth knowing about this important procedure. For example, emissions tests cost anywhere from $30-$90 and may vary depending on where they are performed. How much more money could you be saving on gas each month with an efficient engine? Read more for three ways to save money on your next smog check!

  • Request For A “Pass Or Don’t Pay” Smog Check

Always request a pass or refuse to pay for a smog test. If none are available near you, look for one that provides a free retest.

Remember to inquire how much the smog test is out the door with the certificate cost when phoning around for the lowest pricing. Many businesses will charge a smog fee in addition to the certificate. Typical certification fees vary from $8 to $12.

  • Be Wary Of Shops That Provide Incorrect Diagnoses

You might be surprised to know that there’s a big difference between the opinions of an accredited and qualified mechanic. A lot of people don’t realize this, but if your vehicle fails smog tests at an unqualified shop it can have serious consequences for you- like fines or even jail time! So take their advice with a grain of salt; get another opinion from someone who knows what they’re doing before making any final decisions about whether or not these places are worth going back too. A well-credentialed automotive expert will always give much better feedback than somebody without proper training.

  • For Cars Made In The Year 2000 And Onward, Make Sure All Monitors Are Turned On

One tip for performing the test is to always ask a smog technician if they have double-checked that all of your monitors are turned on and another excellent idea would be to phone ahead. Some stores will do this for free, but others charge money in order to get checked out with their equipment so make sure you don’t go there! Stay away from those businesses as well.


Remember to always request a written estimate before having work done on your vehicle. Always request a written estimate before having work done on your vehicle so there’s no question about who’s responsible for smog check costs. Having a smog test is expensive enough without having to pay more than you should- especially if the shop doesn’t disclose all fees upfront or provides an estimate that turns out to be different from what they actually charge.

  • Save time on the estimate process- write one up before you do
  • Save money by getting it done right; know what you’re paying beforehand
  • Avoid double-charging for smog testing services
  • Protect yourself against dealerships that may not be upfront about authorization fees

Finding a smog business with highly skilled experts and an easy pass or don’t pay program is incredibly important. Get your car’s pre-test smell checked by one of these professionals, then make sure all monitors are turned on before the session begins to ensure it will pass! Some locations would go out of business if everyone did this but some businesses thrive because people take their time doing research first or risk having problems.

Are You Looking for a Smog Check Service You Can Trust?

If you’re a registered driver in the San Francisco Bay Area, California Emissions Program or SMOG Check is very strict compared to other states. Customers often ask us how they can get their car ready for a smog inspection. On our site, we cover some areas that we think will be useful and if necessary, we can help with getting the required parts installed at our shop before taking it in! Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.