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Benefits of Getting a Smog Check in California

In today’s polluted environment, a smog check becomes an essential part of vehicle maintenance. The laws and regulations for vehicles producing high smog levels were strengthened to lower pollution and smog levels in America.

Smog check services are an excellent way to control air quality and helps keep your vehicle performing without causing a high level of pollution.

There are 3 options you can choose from as recommended by the Bureau of Automotive Repair in California.

The first option features test stations that are only for smog testing and not for repairs or diagnostics.

The second option gives you test and repair stations that can help you with checks and repairs to keep your vehicle meet the smog guidelines.

Lastly, we have smog stations that work on authorized emission-related checks. 

When you bring your car to an authorized smog station it will be inspected thoroughly. 

Technicians will work on engine lights, emission systems, fuel systems, tailpipe emissions, and onboard diagnostics. Your car should pass all the visual checks and inspections to get certified for smog limits.

You pay an $8.25 state service certificate charge while inspections can range from $29.95 to $59.95 depending on your location and type of vehicle.

How to Prepare Your Car For a Smog Check

California wants to improve the air quality of the State by implementing the Smog Check Program. Air pollution has been reduced dramatically, even with millions of cars on the road.

Smog inspections are required during a vehicle’s initial registration in California and once every two years after the initial examination. This cycle will continue for as long as the car is registered in the State.

Auto mechanics recommend the following steps so that you can finally get your smog certificate.

Prepare Early

Once you get your registration renewal notice, you know that a smog check is at hand. Mark your calendar and start preparing your vehicle for what’s ahead.

You can pay your registration fee early to avoid late charges, but you must pass your smog test to complete your registration requirements.

Here in California, emission tests are done every two years which gives you ample time to prepare your vehicle for the smog check.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Following your car’s manual on required maintenance is necessary if you want to pass the smog test. Perform needed tasks like oil changes, tuneups, and proper inflation of tires.

Cleaning your fuel injectors can help remove carbon deposits inside your engine and reduce emissions. 

Failure can occur due to worn out spark plugs. A new set of spark plugs should be a part of your routine maintenance tasks, so make sure you don’t miss out on this step when your vehicle registration comes up.

Fix Check Engine Light

If your check engine light is on, you should go to your auto repair shop to fix it. 

You need an accurate diagnosis of what triggered the light, which could require simple fixes like a loose or damaged gas cap. There is also a possibility that you may need more serious repairs.

After repairs are done, and your light doesn’t illuminate any longer, you should drive around until your car’s computer verifies that all operating systems are in good working order.

Pretest Your Car

There are auto shops that offer a free diagnostic analysis you can use to pretest your car for smog check worthiness. These tests not only prepare you for a smog check, but they will alert you of any issues you may have overlooked.

This is beneficial if you have just had repairs done or you have an older car that you feel may fail the smog test.

Tips on Testing Day

On the day of the test, you should warm up your car by driving around for 15 to 20 minutes so that your catalytic converter will be up to optimal operating temperature.

You should also remove any excess baggage from your trunk. The added weight makes it harder for your car to pass the test, so remove golf sets and bowling balls before testing.

A test should be done on a warm and sunny day. Wet tires can slip on a dynamometer test and cause your car to fail.

What to Do if Your Car Fails a Smog Test

Not all vehicles pass California’s smog test, and you may be wondering what you should do once you fail.

Ask the smog technician for the form that shows the reasons why you failed the test. Bring this to your auto shop to find out how you can fix the problems.

You can try a smoke test that determines if you have any leaks in your engine’s rubber hoses. A cracked hose can cause a smog test failure and is not that expensive to fix.

For car owners who fail the test and are having trouble with repair money, you may be eligible for financial assistance via the Consumer Assistance Program. In California, you can get up to $1,200 for emissions-related repairs.

Smog Check from a Certified Auto Shop Doing Test and Repair

California requires that you pass a smog test every other time you register your vehicle. The smog certificate proves that your car’s emission levels are below the required level.

If your car failed for the first time, you should bring it to a test and repair station rather than a testing station only shop.

Technicians at test and repair stations are experts in emission system repairs and can help you address your vehicle’s problems.

This saves you the hassle of going to and fro your testing station and repair station.

At Water Star Motors, we perform smog checks and provide the DMV a certificate that your car passed the smog test. If your vehicle fails, we can perform repairs to that you can pass the test. Our auto shop is a licensed inspection and repair station in California.

For convenient, competent, and compliant smog checks in California, visit our auto shop today.


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