Test Only Smog Station South Cirby 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 South Cirby Roseville, CA.
How to Find the Best Smog Station in South Cirby Roseville, CA?
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 South Cirby 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 South Cirby 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.
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 South Cirby 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.
How Do I Find the Best Smog Check Locations Near Me?
The smog in California is legendary. Jokes are often made about the brown air in Los Angeles. If you read, watch or listen to the news with any regularity, it is probable you have heard at least a dozen stories about global air quality and the growing problem of air pollution. In fact, you've likely heard that many stories about it just today. Air quality is a big concern to many people. After all, we all need to breathe. Most people know that motor vehicle emissions contribute greatly to pollution. Many states in the United States set standards that the vehicles in their area must maintain if they are to be permitted to drive on the roads. California has some of the strictest auto emissions laws in the nation. The majority of cars and trucks will need to have a smog check when initially registered in California, as well as every two years following. That can add up to a lot of time, money and inconvenience, especially if the vehicle fails and must be repaired and retested. Here are some helpful hints to keep this from happening to you.
Do These Things Before You Have Your Car Smogged
Change your oil and filter. Dirty engine oil can raise the levels of pollutants. Since regular oil and filter changes are part of general maintenance anyway, you may use this as a reminder to take care of this regular task.
Check your gas cap. Make sure it is the correct one for your particular vehicle and that it fits snugly. A gas cap that does not fit properly will cause the "check engine" light to come on, which is an instant failure. The technician inspecting your vehicle is required by law to inspect the vehicle as it is, and cannot tighten a loose gas cap "just to be nice." Once the problem is fixed, you may be permitted to have a free re-inspection, but the inspection station is not required to do so. It is certainly less trouble for everyone if it doesn't happen in the first place.
Make sure the "check engine" light is not lit. Speaking of the "check engine" light, confirm that it is not already lit when you go in for your smog inspection. If it is, find out the cause, and get that fixed first. Once a check engine light has been reset, the vehicle may have to be driven for a few miles to clear the fault from the auto computer. Mention the recent check engine light history to the smog check technician.
Check your tire air pressure. Use a quality tire pressure gauge to confirm that the pressure meets the manufacturer's specifications. Don't rely on the pressure gauge that is attached to the air pump at the gas station, as they are notoriously inaccurate. Incidentally, did you know that California requires all gas stations to provide motorists with air free of charge? If the only air pump available requires coins or tokens, ask the attendant to give you one or two. If there is a sign that says "out of order" ask the attendant if it truly is broken. It is amazing how often broken things begin to work magically if you just ask.
Inspect your air filter. Change it if it is visibly dirty or if it is due to be replaced. The owner's manual for the vehicle should have guidelines you can follow to determine replacement interval.
Bring your smog paperwork that was sent with the registration renewal information. If the state sent you a form, bring that along, too.
Check - how long it has been since you last replaced the spark plugs? Busy people know that time does have a way of slipping by. What you thought you had done just a few months ago can actually have happened years ago. Sometimes many years.
Fix any known problems with the engine. You may have squeaked by the last time you had your car smogged. You may not be so lucky this time.
Call ahead and ask your chosen smog test location what hours they perform inspections. Many gas stations that perform smog checks only have technicians available for limited hours. You may also want to make certain when the peak hours are, and make an appointment at a mutually agreeable time. Many times a technician with enough time will check things more carefully and help counsel you before the test begins. Once it has started, if anything is wrong it's out of his hands. He has to fail the vehicle first, then figure out the problems later. If it's too busy, you may have to come back on another day. And of course, if you have a registration deadline, the clock is ticking.
If you don't get the smog inspection done in time, go ahead and pay the registration fee before the deadline. Otherwise, the state will impose late charges. Filing may be done electronically at http://www.dmv.ca.gov or via snail mail using the U.S. Postal Service. The state will not send the license plate tags until everything is complete, but at least you won't have to pay a fine. Just be sure to carry the paperwork with you in the event that you start to get a little unwanted attention from law enforcement for driving with expired tags. Many law enforcement officers will allow a month or two of "grace" period, yet you can be cited with a ticket if your vehicle does not display current registration tags.
Drive for a few miles before your visit to the smog check station. A good 10 - 15 minute warmup at freeway speed should do the trick. A warmed up engine is more likely to pass inspection, especially if it's not a certainty that it will sail through.
Many cars that do not pass the first time might have avoided failure if the owner had simply performed all of the steps above prior to going to the smog inspection facility. Following these basic steps may have prevented the headache, extra time and added expense that comes along with failing and having to get a re-inspection done. Like any test, going in prepared usually leads to a better outcome, and a smog check is no different. Do these things, and with any luck, you'll have your paperwork complete to send in to the Department of Motor Vehicles and in no time at all you'll be on your way for another year as a registered California driver.
California Smog Prices - How Do I Find Affordable Rates For My Next Smog Check?
Reports indicate that nearly a third of older model vehicles checked for smog tests in SoCal failed even after being inspected within the first year alone so it important to choose a reputable station for your next star smog check. Smog laws in California apply to both new and used vehicles, where the former needs to be certified before registration and the latter manufactured after 1976 participate in a smog check every two years.
Smog diagnostic stations in California use a state of the art exhaust gas analyzer to identify the cars that are polluters. Its functionality is similar to a photo camera, except that it takes pictures of the vehicle's exhaust rather than the actual vehicle. A certified technician then analyzes and evaluates these photos to diagnose the vehicle's condition. If the vehicle fails the test, the owner will have to get the damaged parts replaced before getting it retested.
Price of the Smog Test in California
There are several businesses that offer smog checks, but it is cheaper to take your car into an exclusive San Jose star smog check station. Also referred to as smog check only shops, they are able to provide you with professional advice on your vehicle's condition and how to improve it. Some licensed smog star certified stations also offer additional discounts such as a free 90 day retest in case your vehicle doesn't meet the standards the first time around.
Most smog technicians are qualified to cater to limos, RV's, cars, trucks and vans. Although the costs of the start smog test vary from station to station, they start at $29.95 up to $69.95, but only a few stations offers a free retest provided it is done within 90 days of the first one. Adding to this is the cost of the star smog check certificate, which is $8.25 and seems to be the standard rate in California.
Apart from start smog checks, these businesses provide diesel emission testing, emissions testing and even smog certificates. A complete car inspection takes less than 30 minutes, but this depends on the number of people in queue. The actual test can be completed in 20 minutes or less and add another 5 minutes for 4-wheelers. It is best to call ahead and book an appointment to avoid any inconveniences.
A common misconception about a smog check is that it can be performed at home, but this is far from true and definitely not recommended. Evaluating a vehicles emission requires professional and fairly large equipment that is extremely expensive. In addition, there would be issues of credibility as there is no certificate for a home smog test. This would not only be impractical, but would raise eyebrows if the results of the smog tests were produced from home.
As a car owner, there are a few warning signs to watch for to determine the right time for a checkup. If your "check engine light" is turned on, it's a veritable sign that your vehicle is due for a smog check. A faulty oxygen sensor is the most common reason for the activation of the 'check engine light', and replacing it may cost anywhere from $150 to $1000 depending on the vehicle and its condition.
Even if your vehicle is in great condition, is best to get a smog check periodically to avoid any expensive future repairs.