Test Only Smog Station Enwood Roseville, CA

Posted in Smog Test Station California on July 7, 2017
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The STAR program, which is California's most recent attempt to satisfy expectations put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency is sharpening it's focus on vehicles that have been identified as likely high smog emitters. The majority of these vehicles are from model years 1999 and older. There was much speculation prior to the new program's start date concerning just how many of these older vehicles would be required to visit a STAR certified smog check station in Enwood Roseville, CA.

How to Find the Best Smog Station in Enwood Roseville, CA?

Smog Stop

The history of the California smog check program has been fairly active over the last 15 years or so. The state has been at odds with the federal government in an attempt to keep smog testing privatized and to avoid centralized testing. The first attempt at trying to control the problem of high smog emitting vehicles was to establish Test Only Stations. Test only locations in Enwood Roseville, CA were allowed to perform smog inspections on these vehicles, but not repairs. This was supposed to be a safeguard against improper testing procedures. If the testing facility had no possibility of performing any repairs on the vehicle in question, it would be less inclined to engage in any dishonest testing procedures.

This program lasted for nearly a decade until 2007 when the "Gold Shield" program was introduced. Certification for this program was hard to obtain as smog check station testing records were scrutinized and graded on a quarterly basis. Having this certification meant that a smog station in Enwood Roseville, CA could test, repair, and certify directed vehicles. This made it easier for the consumer because they could take care of everything at one location. Smog Stations with a Gold Shield certification were also required to honor the Consumer Assistance Program (C.A.P.), financial assistance offered by the state of California to help low income motorists pay for smog related repairs.

California Smog Repair

The breakdown of the Gold Shield program began in 2009 after a study revealed that dishonest and inadequate testing procedures had been taking place across the state. A large number of high polluting vehicles which had failed their initial inspections were improperly repaired and/or certified. When these vehicles were tested again by state officials just 6 months later, they were unable to pass a smog inspection. Once again, California had failed to reduce smog to the level required by the EPA and would need to overhaul the smog check program once again.

January 2013 marked the beginning of the brand new STAR program which will attempt to lower emissions and unethical testing procedures. So far, we have only seen a handful of directed vehicles which have been required by the DMV to visit a STAR certified location. There has also been talk of eliminating the tailpipe portion of the smog test in Enwood Roseville, CA for newer vehicles and taking emissions data from the vehicle's onboard computer instead. This would likely make the test much quicker for model years 2000 and newer.

California Smog Check and Its Importance

Auto Shop

I was born and raised in California. I have seen it go through many changes. But one thing that has actually been ever present in California is smog. As a result California has the most aggressive laws restricting air pollution of any state in the union.

Why the Smog Test Program Exists

There are lots of reasons why California has pursued a course of regulation to lower air pollution such as:

Reducing the health impacts of smog on residents; Improving the quality of life in California; Protecting the environment for current and future generations; Reducing our consumption of oil by ensuring combustion engines work efficiently; Reducing the carbon output of motor vehicles that is linked to climate change.

The California Environmental Protection Agency has information on the health impacts of air borne pollution and the bureau of automotive repair (BAR) has additional information on the smog check program overall.

What is a Smog Test?

The primary way in which California limitations air pollution is through the smog check program. Based on your world view this is an advantage, bad thing, or something in-between. California is or at least was an automobile culture. Believe it or not there are more cars than people in Los Angeles. So unlike other states which can limit emissions by regulating particles from smoke stacks and other stationary point sources, California has a completely different problem. The solution is the smog check program which requires vehicle owners to check their cars and trucks emissions and ensure they do not exceed established requirements. This program is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).

How Often Do You Need a Smog Check?

If you register a vehicle in California you should get your vehicle tested. How often you have to get it tested depends mainly on where you live and what type of car you drive. You can find detailed information about how often a smog check is need at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, or the smog check program website run by the BAR.

The bottom line is that if you reside in a city and have a car that is more than a couple of years old more than likely you will need to have your automobile smog tested every 2 years. So, where can you discover a "great" smog test? That depends, because one persons' "excellent" can be another person's not so "excellent". Nevertheless research studies have actually been conducted on this question and most people value "convenience", "speed", and finally "price".

How Can I Find a Smog Check Station?

There are a couple of ways to find a smog check station. First you need to identify if you have been directed to a STAR smog check location. Each year a random selection of vehicles are required to go to a STAR station. You may also be directed to a STAR station based on your type of vehicle or your vehicle's test history.

The BAR has a website that you can find a smog check location by searching a number of different ways, like the station name or a city. A list of smog check locations is displayed based on your search criteria. This list works, but it does not provide a good display for mobile phones or tablets, and it does not provide a map of the stations in the list.

What is the STAR Program?

The STAR program is a new licensing program administered by the BAR. Its' purpose is to improve the general quality of emissions testing in California. The BAR gathers statistics about vehicles, smog check stations and technicians. In short it uses these statistics to grade the quality of a technician or a smog check location by comparing technician's and smog check locations test results for similar vehicles against each other. If a vehicles' smog test result fall outside the average test results of similar vehicles then the smog check locations' STAR rating can over time be affected. If issues continue, the location can lose its' STAR certification. The BAR also evaluates technicians by looking for behavior during testing that matches patterns used to improve the chances of a vehicle passing a test. If a technician is found to be improperly testing vehicles the technician's STAR rating can be affected. Only those stations that test vehicles as expected can maintain their STAR certification. Only STAR locations get vehicles directed to them by the DMV. So maintaining a good STAR rating by testing vehicles correctly is very important for smog test locations.

How Do I Find A Good Mechanic To Fix My Smog Problem in California?

Green Smog Check

Nine out of ten Californian's have not heard about this yet, but the smog check program as we know it is about to get a makeover. This year the State of California will be introducing a new testing procedure that will finally bring San Diegans a sigh of relief.

Last year, many drivers were caught off guard with their DMV registration renewal notification telling them they were required to go to a STAR smog check station. Since there was not much of a push to inform drivers about that program change, we are making our own push to inform drivers about the updates planned for this year.

What is an OBD II based smog check?

For vehicles 2000 and newer, the new on-board diagnostic (OBD) computer check, slated for deployment mid-2014, simplifies the smog check process by eliminating the tailpipe test altogether. This leaves the OBD computer test and a visual inspection to be completed. For drivers in San Diego, this means greater convenience, as inspection times and costs will be lessened.

The new device that is going to check the OBD computer is called the Data Acquisition Device, a.k.a. DAD. This device plugs into these newer vehicles usually through a port located underneath the steering wheel, and will give the smog technician all the data they need to identify the vehicle and check the readiness status of all the emissions components.

For vehicles between years 1976 -1999, the smog check remains relatively the same with an acceleration simulation mode (ASM) test, OBD computer check (1996 and newer), and a visual inspection.

What does the visual inspection consist of?

One of the more difficult, but critically important portions of the smog check inspection is the visual inspection. The visual inspection consists of identifying each component of the vehicle's emissions systems. If there are changes to these components, if they are not there or if the part is worn, it is the smog technician's responsibility to determine if the change is California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved, if the component missing is legal, or if the worn part needs to be replaced.

What can I do to help my vehicle pass the smog check?

The answer to this question is not a secret. Following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule listed in the owner's manual is the best preventative measure one can take to keep the vehicle in good operating condition. Also, not tampering with any of the vehicles emissions components is a good fail safe. For car enthusiasts who wish to make changes to these components, holding onto the vehicle's factory components to change back later or purchasing CARB approved replacements is the best advice to pass smog.


Star Certified Smog Test Station California

 

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