What Is A Smog Test?

July 28th, 2016

It's common knowledge that California emissions standards for vehicles are pretty strict. These are a few of the questions we hear regularly at Auto Express Smog Test in Sacramento CA Sacramento:

Does every vehicle have to have a smog test?

Yes, every vehicle registered in the state of California is required to have a state-authorized smog test. This is emissions testing, and all vehicles must comply. All vehicles are required to have a state mandated smog test.  This is emission related and must be in compliance to operate on the highway.

Does my Check Engine light have something to do with a smog test? 

Part of the engine control computer's job is to regulate engine emissions, and it illuminates the Check Engine light if there's a problem. If the Check Engine light comes on and goes off again intermittently, or even if you reset the computer and the light comes back on, there could be an emission problem. Smog testing involves scanning your vehicle's computer for trouble codes, for a true depiction of what is going on inside your vehicle's engine.  Even if you have the Check Engine light reset, the computer will still indicate a problem.. You can’t fool the system, which is why it should be maintained by a professional. 

What's involved in a smog test? 

During a Smog test the vehicle is tested for compliance; if tailpipe readings and the computer show no problems, your vehicle passes. If the vehicle fails, then the problem must be corrected and inspected again.  The vehicle is non-compliant until it passes.

What do I do if I fail a Smog test?

If you the vehicle fails a smog test, we need to track down the problem that caused the failure and address it in order to become compliant.  If the vehicle was tested at our facility, we will diagnose the problem and determine what's needed to correct it.  If the vehicle was tested elsewhere, we will look to see why it was failed and  take care of the problem.  An inspection will be done to ensure no other issues are going on at the same time. Often a  vehicle may code or fail emissions, but the actual problem might be more complex.  For instance, the computer might indicate  a bad O2 sensor; however, the problem could be a broken wire or something more.  The code just gives us a place to start and we go from there. Smog testing facilities must have a license to test, however, the state mandates a special, separate license to perform the repair work. We are ASE certified with a specialty in emissions-related issues.

At Auto Express Sacramento we have been repairing emission for over 26 years in the same location.  All work is backed by our guarantee. Diagnostic price on the site. Let us make smog testing and compliance easy for you. We will walk you through every step to keep you on the road longer. Check Engine light on? Emissions test coming up? Make an appointment with us! 

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101