Best Smog Check Stations In 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 Roseville, CA.
How to Find the Best Smog Station in 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 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 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 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.
What Are Ways To Prepare For A Smog Test In California?
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.
5 Steps to Passing Your California Smog Check, Without Wasting Time
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.