We are a STAR Certified Smog Check Test & Repair Station. That means we are authorized by the State of California to do regular smog inspections and test only smog checks along with emission test failure repairs. As a STAR Test & Repair Station we are the only type of smog check center which can inspect, repair and certify ANY and ALL vehicles and are participants of the State’s Consumer Assistance Program. The State of California uses the following three strategies to determine whether a vehicle is STAR station designated or not:

  • smog inspectionGross polluters (vehicles which have failed a previous smog inspection with very high emission readings)
  • High Emitter Profile vehicles. These are vehicle types designated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair as having high chances of failing the smog inspection.
  • A random sample of all vehicles registered in California and being driven on public roadways.

Below are some commonly asked questions:

  1. Why am I being sent to a STAR station?

State law requires that a percentage of vehicles have their Smog Check inspections performed at a STAR station. One reason may be that your vehicle was identified as being more likely than others to emit unhealthy levels of harmful pollutants. This may be true even though your vehicle may never have failed a Smog Check. Another possibility is that your vehicle was chosen as part of a random selection for Smog Check Program evaluation purposes.

  1. How often does my vehicle have to be tested?

Smog Check inspections are required every other year on vehicles more than six model -years old. Additionally, a Smog Check is required if you sell a vehicle that is more than four model-years old and when registering an out-of-state vehicle for the first time in California.

  1. How long does a Smog Check take?

The average Smog Check inspection takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

  1. How much does a Smog Check cost?

The cost of a Smog Check inspection varies. Prices for Smog Checks are not regulated by the State.

  1. How long is a Smog Check certificate valid?

An electronic certificate of compliance is issued and stored at DMV when a vehicle passes a Smog Check inspection. The certificate is valid for 90 days.

  1. smog testHow can I help my vehicle pass a Smog Check inspection?

Performing regular and proper vehicle maintenance according to your owner’s manual and not tampering with the emissions control equipment are keys to passing Smog Check. If the “Check Engine” light comes on, take your vehicle to a licensed repair station as soon as you can to have the problem diagnosed. Consult your owner’s manual for repairs that may be covered under your emissions warranty

  1. What happens if my vehicle fails a Smog Check Inspection?

In order to complete your registration, you will need to obtain the repairs necessary for the vehicle to pass a Smog Check retest. Before beginning repairs, you may want to find out if you are eligible for the Consumer Assistance Program.

  1. What is a Gross Polluter?

A Gross Polluter is a vehicle with excess hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide or oxides of nitrogen emissions as established by DCA and ARB. Gross Polluters can only be certified at a STAR station which will confirm the vehicle was repaired and brought into compliance with required emissions standards. BAR identifies these vehicles to encourage their immediate repair.

  1. What are the elements of a Smog Check?

In order for your vehicle to receive a certificate of compliance, it must pass all of the following elements of a Smog Check inspection:

Visual Inspection – Verifies that the required emission control components and systems are present and properly connected.

Functional Inspection – Verifies the functionality and/or integrity of certain emission control systems. As applicable to the vehicle, these may include the malfunction indicator light (“Check Engine,” etc.), gas cap, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, ignition timing, and fuel evaporative system. A functional check of a vehicle’s On-board Diagnostic (OBD) system is also performed on 1996 and newer vehicles.

Tailpipe Inspection – Measures exhaust emissions using a probe that is inserted into the vehicle’s tailpipe. Vehicles pass or fail this part of a Smog Check based on established emission standards, also known as “cut points.” Effective April 2014, tailpipe inspections are only required for 1999 and older model-year gas-powered vehicles. Some 2000 and newer model-year vehicles that are not equipped with OBD II systems or that have problematic OBD II systems will also require a tailpipe inspection.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *