The Smog Check Program is conducted by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) to identify vehicles with surplus emissions so they do not pose a threat to the environment.

Here’s what you need to know about smog checks in California:

What Vehicles Require a Smog Check?

All hybrid vehicles, gasoline-powered vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicles that are 1976 model or newer require a smog check. Diesel-powered vehicles that are 1998 model or newer with a gross weight of 14,000 pounds and less will need a smog check. Exceptions to this rule are:

  • If your vehicle is an eight-year model or newer, it won’t need every other year inspection.
  • Change-of-ownership for vehicles that are four-year models or newer.
  • Electric-powered vehicles and motorcycles.

What Are the Elements of a Smog Check?

The main elements of a smog check are:

  • Inspecting the emission control components of the vehicle visually.
  • Functional inspection of the vehicle’s ignition timing, engine light, exhaust gas recirculation system, gas cap, and fuel evaporative system.
  • Inspecting the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system of the vehicle functionally.
  • Inspection of the tailpipe emissions.

Also Read – 7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Car Running Forever

Is Smog Check Required in California?

In California, smog checks are mandatory every other year for vehicles that are more than eight years old. Apart from this, if you are selling a vehicle that is more than four years old or want to register an out-of-state vehicle for the first time in California, you will need a smog check.

How Often Do You Need a Smog Check in California?

Most vehicles in California need to pass a smog check biennially for registration renewal.

How Does a Smog Check Work in California?

During a smog check, a licensed technician will attach a measuring device to your vehicle, which can clear out the pollutants from your car’s exhaust pipe. The measurements taken are recorded and made available to your state’s agency responsible for monitoring vehicle emissions.

Also Read – A Car Tune-Up Checklist to Keep Your Vehicle Running Smoothly

What Happens If You Fail the Smog Test in California?

If your vehicle fails the smog test, your car will not be allowed to drive on the streets.

What Counties in CA Don’t Require Smog Check?

The countries in CA which do not require smog check are El Dorado, Riverside, Placer, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Sonoma.

Can You Sell a Car Without a Smog Check in CA?

If you want to sell a car without a smog check in CA, you will need explicit permission from the Department of Motor Vehicles, California. The only other option is to create an agreement between the seller and buyer stating that they both agree the vehicle may not be able to clear a smog test.

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How Can You Help Your Vehicle Pass a Smog Check?

The best way to ensure that your car will pass a smog check is to perform proper and regular maintenance. Do not tamper with the emissions-control equipment of the vehicle. Take your car to a licensed auto repair shop immediately if it flashes the “check engine” light.

If you are looking for a smog check of your vehicle, A-Z Tech Automotive is here to help. You can call us at (949) 472-8111 directly or book an appointment online and schedule your auto maintenance services.