What is a smog check?
It is a test a smog check station performs on your car to see what kind and how much of certain kinds of pollutants your car exhausts into the air.There are three parts to it. There is the Emission part, the visual, and the functional part of the inspection. You would have to pass all three to get a smog certificate. Depending on where you live and where your vehicle is registered, you would have to go through either a two speed idle smog test or an ASM test. ASM (acceleration simulation mode test) involves driving your vehicle on the dynamometer which puts a load on your vehicle as if your vehicle is being driven. By putting your vehicle through actual driving conditions, the smog machine is able to measure how much your vehicle emits oxides of nitrogen, Hydro Carbons, and Carbon Monoxide.The two speed idle test is usually used for vehicles that are all wheel drive / four wheel drive or vehicles that are registered in rural areas. No driving is involved. The vehicle is tested in high RPM and low RPM.
What is the star program?
Starting January 2013, the DMV has sent vehicles to STAR Certified Stations. Any vehicle directed to a star station can be tested at a Star Test Only or a Star Test and Repair station. The smog test only stations are prohibited from performing any repairs on your vehicle.
Why do I have to get a smog check if I got one last year?
You will have to get a smog check if you got one last year only if you bought your vehicle last year. Smog checks are performed biannually. This means every two years.
What if my check engine light is on?
Having the check engine light on is an automatic failure of your smog test. We always suggest getting a smog check even if your check engine light is on. The reason is that the smog check results would not only tell you why your check engine light is on and list the diagnostic trouble codes, but may tell you if there are any other issues with your car.
Can I just disconnect my battery and get rid of the check engine light?
No, you can’t just disconnect your battery, get rid of your check engine light temporarily, and come for a smog check. Your vehicle would fail regardless since its computer would say that it hasn’t finished completing all OBD diagnostic tests on itself.
Can you make my car pass?
No, but we have prepared a list of test and repair facilities where your vehicle can be repaired.