It’s not a secret that California is one of the strictest states when it comes to vehicle emission regulations. As such, every car in the state needs to get a smog check every 2 years, or else they will be ticketed and fined. But what if you’re new to driving? What are some facts about getting a smog check in California? Let’s take a look!  

What Is The California Smog Check Program?

The California Smog Check Program was created to reduce vehicle pollution by ensuring that smogged cars are fixed in compliance with federal and state regulations. For vehicles produced before 1976, they must go through this biannual inspection program which requires California counties to participate. The declared goal is decreasing air quality-related health risks for current citizens living near busy roadsides or around industrial zones where these older machines often ply their trade.

If you have a car built before 1975, it’s up to your own discretion if and when to get the chance for an emissions inspection. But regardless of their age, these vintage vehicles must be verified as complying with current regulations so they can pass smog tests without issue!

California is a haven for car lovers. Despite being home to just over thirty-four million people, 25 million cars are registered as residents of this state – which translates into one vehicle per adult aged 18 or older!

So Now Let’s Check 5 Facts About Getting A Smog Check In California

1. Smog Checks: What Do They Look For?

When you drive past a smog check station, 5 different gases are measured. These include:

  • Hydrogen Cyanide (HC)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Nitrogen Oxides(NOx)

These can lead to ground-level ozone and smog if not controlled with an appropriate catalytic converter or rear-filter combination; Hydrocarbons – these contain molecules that are mostly carbon dioxide but may also contain other elements such as hydrogen gas and methane in tiny quantities. They’re what we typically think about when someone says ‘smoke’. Finally, there’s Oxygen whose presence means everything should be fine!

2. A Smog Check Is Not Required For All Cars

Furthermore, when a vehicle is sold or registered in California after previously being registered in another state, it simply requires a passing smog check. The kind of vehicle, the model year, and the location where the car is registered all play a role in whether or not a vehicle requires a smog check.

The following situations need a smog check for your vehicle under California vehicle emissions control rules and regulations:

  • Smog Certification is necessary, according to your registration renewal letter.
  • You’re going to sell your automobile.
  • You’re importing an automobile from another state into California to register it.

3. Vehicles With A Model Year Of Six Or Fewer Are Exempt From The Biennial Smog Check Inspection Requirement

Change of ownership and transfer of title procedures with the Department of Motor Vehicles exempt vehicles with a model year of four or less from the smog check inspection obligation.

4. Smog checks can’t be done on diesel-powered cars.

This type of engine isn’t manufactured for use in this region so they don’t have any emissions standards yet.  In order for your car to pass its inspection, it must have no leaks from fuel injectors, gas lines, vacuum hoses, or air conditioning refrigerant lines. 

5. Smog Tests Are Not Required For Electric Or Diesel-powered Vehicles Produced Before 1998

Electric, diesel-powered cars built before 1998 and weighing more than 14,000 pounds, trailers, motorbikes, and gasoline-powered vehicles built in 1975 or older do not require a Smog Check. Hybrid vehicles were required to pass a smog test starting in April 2015. 

The whole process of getting a smog check in California can be confusing and daunting. We’re here to help you make sure that you know all the facts about car inspections, testing centers near you, and what happens if your vehicle fails its test. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help!

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.

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