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THE CALIFORNIA “STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK INSPECTION EXPLAINED

DMV “STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK INSPECTION HOME PAGE

INSTANTLY FIND DMV “STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK AND/OR BRAKE-LAMP-LIGHT INSPECTION STATIONS LOCATED RIGHT NEXT DOOR OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THAT MATTER!

THE REAL PURPOSE OF DMV BRAKE-LAMP-LIGHT INSPECTIONS REVEALED!

THE SPECIFIC DMV BRAKE-LAMP-LIGHT INSPECTION PROCEDURES YOU ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT BEFORE YOU DROP OFF YOUR VEHICLE!

WHAT A DMV SALVAGE CERTIFICATE TITLE IS AND HOW I CAN GET ONE REALLY FAST!

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“STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK FAQs

 

LET’S SPEND A MINUTE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE EXACT NATURE OF THE CALIFORNIA SMOG CHECK INSPECTION PROGRAM

THE BUREAU OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR DESIGNED AND ADMINISTERS THE TWO SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT SMOG CHECK INSPECTION PROCEDURES THAT ARE EMPLOYED IN THE VARIOUS AREAS OF CALIFORNIA

THE TYPE OF TEST UTILIZED IS MOSTLY DEPENDENT UPON THE  CLEANLINESS OF THE AIR QUALITY IN THE AREA WHERE THE TESTING TAKES PLACE AS DETERMINED BY THE CALIFORNIA AQMD

IN AREAS OF CALIFORNIA DESIGNATED AS “BASIC AREAS,” A RELATIVELY SIMPLE INSPECTION IS PERFORMED. IT IS REFERRED TO AS A

2-SPEED IDLE TEST OR BY IT’S ACRONYM “TSI”

THE INSPECTION BEGINS BY ENTERING THE VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION INTO THE COMPUTER SIDE OF THE SMOG CHECK MACHINE  KNOWN BY IT’S ACRONYM “EIS” WHICH STANDS FOR “EMISSIONS INSPECTION SYSTEM”

THE VISUAL PORTION OF THE INSPECTION IS  PERFORMED NEXT IN ORDER TO VERIFY THAT ALL MANUFACTURER INSTALLED EMISSION SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT IS PRESENT AND CONNECTED PROPERLY

AT THIS POINT, ANY MINOR DEFECTS, SUCH AS DISCONNECTED VACUUM HOSES CAN BE REATTACHED BY THE TECHNICIAN, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CUSTOMER OF COURSE

THE VEHICLE IS NOW READY FOR TESTING

THE VEHICLE IS TESTED IN PARKING GEAR WITH THE EMERGENCY BRAKE SET

A PROBE PLACED INTO THE VEHICLES’ TAILPIPE, THEN THE VEHICLES’ ACCELERATOR PEDAL IS DEPRESSED UNTIL AN ENGINE SPEED OF 2500 RPM IS ACHIEVED

AFTER A PREDETERMINED PERIOD OF TIME, THE ENGINE IS ALLOWED TO RETURN TO AN IDLE SPEED

ALL THE WHILE THE SMOG CHECK ANALYZER IS CREATING A VACUUM TO “INHALE” THESE EXHAUST GASSES INTO AN INTERNAL ANALYZER “BENCH,” THE BRAINS OF THE MACHINE

THE PURPOSE OF THE “BENCH” IS TO ANALYZE THE PERCENTAGE OF HYDROCARBONS, CARBON MONOXIDE, OXIDES OF NITROGEN AND OXYGEN PRESENT IN THE EXHAUST

THE CALIFORNIA “ENHANCED SMOG CHECK INSPECTION” IS RESERVED FOR THE MOST POLLUTED AREAS OF THE STATE

THESE TEND TO BE AREAS OF DENSE POPULATION OR AREAS WHICH ARE GEOGRAPHICALLY PRONE TO THE RETENTION OF AIRBORNE POLLUTANTS, SUCH AS THE LOS ANGELES BASIN FOR EXAMPLE

THE “STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK IS CONDUCTED IN 3 DISTINCT PARTS FOR 1976-1999 OBD 1 CERTIFIED VEHICLES. OBD1 REFERS TO THE ENGINEERING STANDARDS FOR LIGHT-DUTY VEHICLES MANUFACTURED PRIOR TO 1996

VEHICLES MANUFACTURED AFTER THE 1996 MODEL YEAR WERE EQUIPPED WITH A NEW SET OF STANDARDS AND REFERRED TO AS BEING OBD 2 CERTIFIED

AS STATED EARLIER, THE FIRST ELEMENT OF THE ACTUAL VEHICLE INSPECTION TO BE PERFORMED IS THE VISUAL INSPECTION. ITS PURPOSE IS TO CONFIRM THAT THE EMISSION CONTROL DEVICES ARE ALL PRESENT, INSTALLED CORRECTLY AND PROPERLY CONNECTED

THE OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT DISCONNECTED DEVICES THAT, WERE THEY CONNECTED, MIGHT GIVE A “MARGINAL VEHICLE” A BETTER CHANCE TO PASS THE INSPECTION WITHOUT FURTHER REPAIR

THE SECOND ELEMENT OF A SMOG CHECK PROCEDURE IS A FUNCTIONAL TEST WHICH CHECKS TO SEE IF THE DASH MOUNTED “CHECK ENGINE OR SERVICE ENGINE SOON” WARNING LIGHT IS WORKING PROPERLY

ALSO TESTED FUNCTIONALLY IS THE VEHICLE’S GAS CAP. IT’S RUBBER SEALING RING, AND VALVE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTAIN THE FUEL VAPORS WITHIN THE GAS TANK

VAPORS ACCUMULATE IN THE VOID SPACE AT THE TOP OF THE FUEL TANK AND IN OTHER AREAS WHERE THE FUEL TRAVELS

 THESE RAW HYDROCARBON VAPORS MUST BE STORED AND THEN ROUTED BACK INTO THE ENGINE TO BE BURNED ALONG WITH THE LIQUID FUEL

 IN ORDER TO MEASURE THE INTEGRITY OF THE SYSTEM, A PRESSURE TEST OF THE EVAPORATIVE EMISSION SYSTEM AKA, THE EVAP SYSTEM IS PERFORMED USING LOW-PRESSURE NITROGEN GAS

FINALLY, THE RUNNING VEHICLE IS PLACED ON A SPECIAL TESTING DEVICE CALLED A DYNAMOMETER. THE DYNAMOMETER PLACES A RESISTANCE LOAD ON THE ROAD WHEELS

AS IN THE 2 SPEED IDLE TEST, AN EMISSION SAMPLE READING IS OBTAINED VIA A PROBE PLACED IN THE EXHAUST SYSTEM AT THE TAILPIPE OF THE VEHICLE

THE EXHAUST GASSES ARE DIRECTED (INHALED) INTO A GAS ANALYSIS DEVICE INSIDE THE ANALYZER

ALL THE INFORMATION GATHERED DURING THE INSPECTION IS GATHERED UP

THE FINAL RESULTS OF THE VISUAL, FUNCTIONAL AND GAS COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS ELEMENTS OF THE INSPECTION ARE THEN TRANSMITTED TO THE BUREAU OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR SMOG CHECK DATABASE IN SACRAMENTO, AND THEN THE RESULTS ARE SHARED WITH THE CALIFORNIA DMV

IF PASSING, AN ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AND WHETHER THE VEHICLE PASSES OR FAILS THE INSPECTION, A PRINTED PAPER RESULTS FORM CALLED A “VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORT” OR “VIR” FOR THAT VEHICLE IS PRODUCED AND A COPY GIVEN TO THE CONSUMER AND A COPY RETAINED BY THE STATION, USUALLY STAPLED TO THE INVOICE

 IF THE VEHICLE FAILS THE INSPECTION, THE TECHNICIAN OR ANOTHER PERSON WILL USUALLY ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO THE OWNER AND INFORM AS TO THE VARIOUS OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO REMEDY THE FAILURE

THE PROCESS IS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT FOR MODEL YEARS 2000 AND UP MODEL YEAR LIGHT-DUTY VEHICLES

VEHICLES IN THIS CLASS ARE EQUIPPED WITH ADVANCED EMISSION CONTROLS AND SOPHISTICATED COMPUTER CONTROL SYSTEMS. THEY ARE STILL SUBJECT TO THE SAME VISUAL INSPECTION AS EARLIER YEAR MODEL VEHICLES

 THE FUNCTIONAL TESTING OF THE OBD2 SYSTEM IS ACCOMPLISHED BY ATTACHING A TESTING DEVICE TO AN OBD 2 CONNECTOR LOCATED UNDER THE DASH, NEAR THE DRIVER’S RIGHT KNEE

  THE OBD 2 SYSTEM CHECKS THAT ALMOST ALL OF THE ON BOARD COMPUTER’S SELF-CHECKS OF THE VEHICLE’S EMISSION COMPONENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED

THE SELF-CHECKS NEED TO BE COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY, AND A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF ERROR CODES MAY BE PRESENT, LIMITED TO THE EVAP SYSTEM MENTIONED BEFORE, IN ORDER TO PASS THE OBD 2 TEST COMPONENT

DIESEL VEHICLES ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE CALIFORNIA SMOG CHECK PROGRAM. THE TESTING OF THESE VEHICLES VARIES SLIGHTLY FROM THE TESTING DESCRIBED EARLIER.

SOME HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO TESTING IN CALIFORNIA

 HERE IS SOME ADVICE FROM A LICENSED CALIFORNIA SMOG CHECK INSPECTION AND REPAIR TECHNICIAN WITH OVER 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE TESTING AND REPAIRING THOUSANDS OF VEHICLES

 IF YOU PASS WITHOUT DOING ANY OF OUR SUGGESTIONS BELOW, THAT’S WONDERFUL

 HOWEVER, IF YOUR VEHICLE DOES NOT PASS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH  CALIFORNIA’S “CAP” PROGRAM WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO RECYCLE THAT VEHICLE FOR UP TO $1500 OR RECEIVE UP TO $500 IN A REPAIR SUBSIDY FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

QUICK TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE PROPERLY FOR THE SMOG TEST

  • CHECK YOUR FILTERS, FUEL, AND AIR SHOULD BE SERVICED OR REPLACED AS NECESSARY
  • CHANGE YOUR OIL IF IT’S DIRTY
  • GET A “TUNE UP” IF THE SPARK PLUGS ARE WORN
  • TRY TO GO FOR THE TEST ON A RAINY DAY
  • DRIVE THE VEHICLE FOR AT LEAST 5 MILES BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT THE SMOG CHECK STATION. THEN DON’T ALLOW THE ENGINE TO BE TURNED OFF, LET IT IDLE

1976-1999 VEHICLES: GET TESTED WITH JUST ENOUGH PREMIUM FUEL IN THE GAS TANK FOR THE TESTING PROCEDURE

IF YOU ARE A CALIFORNIA “STAR CERTIFIED” SMOG CHECK STATION AND/OR  A BRAKE-LAMP-LIGHT INSPECTION STATION THAT WOULD LIKE TO BE DOING A COUPLE MORE INSPECTIONS DAILY,  CONTACT US HERE  AND LET US SHARE A SIMPLE, VERY LOW-COST SOLUTION TO PUT MORE INSPECTIONS IN YOUR BAY STARTING TOMORROW!

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