Smog Test Requirements

Clearing The Air About California Smog Test Requirements — Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog

Registering and keeping a vehicle in California requires that it pass stringent smog (emissions) requirements. For car owners, this means the testing itself and the preventive maintenance that can help keep autos in great shape. It also means having repairs to bring them back into compliance. For all things related to smog testing, count on Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog in Santa Clarita, California.

The Reason for the Rules

Smog–a tiny word indicating a big problem that can result from combined fog, smoke, and other pollutants hanging in the air–became a noticeable significant issue for the nation’s largest cities as population and traffic increased. Because of the unique geographical position of Los Angeles, where it gets an incoming sea breeze that hits an “air dam” formed by mountains on three sides, the city presented itself early on as the unfortunate poster child for smog. Therefore, California stepped up as the leader in vehicle smog testing. In fact, when the federal government tightened regulations, California was granted the flexibility to continue its own stricter rules. Other states grabbed onto the so-called CARB rules, too, with 16 others adopting regulations that mirror California’s.

California Regulation Overview

California’s emissions and smog rules apply to year model vehicles 1976 or newer. This is true no matter the power source–diesel, gas, methanol/ethanol, propane, natural gas, or hybrid. Cars must pass the smog inspection before title is transferred. After that, smog testing is required once every two years as long as the car is registered in California. There are, however, a few exemptions.

The registration inspection is waived for some newer vehicles if they’re purchased in-state. The state determines any potential exemption based on the power source and year model. (Unless manufactured before 1976, an auto transferring from out of state must pass the test.) Other potential exemptions include title transfer between immediate family members, motorcycles, diesel passenger cars made before 1997, large diesel-powered trucks (over 14,500 pounds gross vehicle weight), and cars that received a passing certificate within the 90 days before the title transfer.

Help Navigating Smog Testing and Repair

Clearly, you have an interest in making sure your vehicle can pass the state’s smog testing requirements so that the car you’ve paid for can stay on the road. The best way to give yourself a competitive edge on your next required smog test is to keep your auto in great shape through preventive maintenance services. At Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog in Santa Clarita, California, our certified technicians can help you with those services that will help your car run better. We’re also here for the testing itself and any related necessary repairs.

Written by Valencia Auto Performance

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