Periodic Smog Checks

Periodic California Smog Checks

California requires all vehicles to undergo a smog inspection every other year, EXCEPT cars and trucks older than 1975.

When a vehicle is brought in to be smogged, it may be a quick and simple process, or, based on the results, it may turn out that there are repairs which must be performed to keep the smog equipment in proper operating condition. In the State of California there is no limit on these costs, although California has a program called a “Repair Cost Waiver” to help pay for major repairs in the interest of keeping the air quality standards as high as possible.

STAR Certified – Test & Repair
There are 4700 locations in california which perform smog inspections, however many of these locations are what’s called “test only”. That means that if your vehicle does not pass the inspection, you must take it somewhere else to get the vehicle into condition so you can renew the registration.

If your vehicle fails to pass the smog inspection, and needs repairs, be sure to KEEP THE RESULTS report which indicates the readings and why it failed the test.

If you go to a “test and repair” smog station and spend a minimum of $650 on emissions-related repair costs at a licensed smog repair station (you do not have to repair your vehicle at the same station it was originally tested) that will raise situation to the level where the government subsidies kick in. The $650 can be a combination of repairs and diagnostics, but regular smog tests do not count towards the amount required.  Note: CAP repairs and diagnostics qualify towards the $650.00. Sometimes repairs may be realtively cheap, so the Repair Cost Waiver program won’t be used.

Have your vehicle re-tested and, if it still fails the test, you may be eligible for the Repair Cost Waiver.

Make an appointment at a Referee station and bring documentation of two failed smog tests and receipts for money spent on repairs and diagnostics. If you meet the qualifications, you will be granted a waiver that allows you to pass the test without the repairs. Your vehicle must be able to pass smog when your next smog check is due.

If your vehicle is coming due for its bi-annual smog inspection, take it to Escondido Auto Tech. The guys at EAT are Star Certified and EAT is a Test and Repair station, so if there are problems found, they can be dealt with right on the spot. Schedule a thorough car inspection at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454. Our experienced technicians will make sure your vehicle passes its smog inspection.