Painless smog checks (96-newer)
Why only vehicles only 96 and newer?
Most 1996 and newer cars and light trucks included the "OBD II" system.
Most 1996 and newer cars and light trucks included the “OBD II” system.
The primary reason OBD II was invented is to reduce smog emissions caused by malfunctions, but it is also valuable as an alert to the driver that something is wrong…something that can affect gas mileage and drivability, or actually cause further damage to the vehicle.
While you are driving your vehicle, its computer is constantly monitoring and running tests on the various sensors, actuators and electrical parts that make the car run properly. If a problem is detected, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is set, and the computer turns on the “Check Engine” light. (The light may say “CHECK ENGINE”, “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” or merely be an icon that looks like an engine.)
I need a smog check, what's the next step?
The process is simple.
Call us to schedule a date and time for the test. Sorry, due to the amount of time needed, we usually can’t accept walk-ins for a smog check. You are free to wait while we perform the test which usually takes 25-30 minutes.
You can also drop off your vehicle and return later.
How much does it cost? See below
You'll be in and out in no time!
Why are smog checks required?
Anyone who owns a car should know that a smog check should be done regularly to ensure that the car is functioning properly and that the emissions do not exceed the maximum rate. This check is so important, that by law, it is a requirement for car owners.
This is beneficial to both the car and the environment because the test checks if the car needs repair and makes sure damage done to the air quality, is minimal. Getting a regular smog check if you don’t own a hybrid, electric, or natural gas-powered car* is one way to be responsible for managing one’s carbon footprint while avoiding any accidents that come with defective cars.
A smog test is done by a technician who attaches a device to the tailpipe while the car is on neutral gear and when revved up. A measurement is captured by the device which indicates if the car is emitting less than the required maximum. When a car fails a smog check, repairs should be made accordingly until the emissions reach a reasonable rate.
Other tests are done during the smog check. The technician will even make sure that all connections (pipes, computer, muffler, et al) are secure for the car and in order.
Different states have varied requirements when it comes to smog check requirements. Usually annual or biannual checks are done. It is best to find out when exactly to have the smog test done in your state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Although it may be a big hassle to car owners, it is an easy trade-off when you have the convenience of owning a car.