2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Some 2003 Chrysler PT Cruisers (2.4 liter DOHC 16v turbocharged, sales code EDV, with 5- spd manual G288 trans, sales code DDD) are unable to complete the OBD II Catalyst monitor because of a firmware error.

Chrysler is aware of the problem, and a firmware update is required to correct the problem.

If you own an affected vehicle, please contact your Chrysler dealer for more information.  Reference technical service bulletin number 18-112-16.  Repair reimbursement may also be available.  Per waranty D-16-26, the warranty for reprogramming the PCM on affected vehicle has been extended to a lifetime warranty.

Diesel Smog Check in Huntington Beach (STAR Certified)

Give me forty acres and I’ll turn this rig around

Smoking ExhaustThere was a time when driving a diesel powered vehicle in the United States meant air horns, CB radios, and trucker songs.

The few diesel powered passenger vehicles made an awful racket and belched smoke.  Even luxury diesels may as well have come from the factory equipped with ear protection and a soot blackened rear bumper.

Much has changed

BMW 328d EngineToday’s diesel powered vehicles run so smooth that in many cases they make far less noise than their direct injected gasoline powered counterparts.

Thanks to low sulfur clean burning fuel and advanced emissions control systems that include urea injections designed to purify the exhaust stream, today’s diesels have little in common with yesterday’s rolling smog machines.

Diesel powered vehicles are no longer just for hauling boats, trailers and farm equipment.

Whether you’re looking for something sporty, luxurious, a sports utility vehicle or a blend of all of the above, manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, VW, and Land Rover are sure to have what you’re looking for.

Diesel Smog Inspections

Red Mercedes GLESince 2010, diesel powered vehicles have been required to undergo smog inspections in the State of California.

Although there is no tailpipe component to the diesel smog inspection (In other words, we don’t measure exhaust gasses coming out of the tailpipe), diesel vehicles are required to pass a comprehensive visual and functional inspection.

During the visual smog inspection an inspector will ensure that all diesel engine emissions related components are properly installed and in good repair. In addition, an inspector will ensure that aftermarket parts have are approved for sale and use in by the California Air Resource Board.

The vehicle’s On Board Diagnostic System (OBDII) will be checked for active diagnostic trouble codes (That would command the “check engine/service engine” light on, and will also be checked to ensure that on board diagnostic tests have been run to completion.

Where can I get a smog inspection for my diesel?

It doesn’t matter if you need a smog inspection for your Ram 3500, Mercedes Sprinter, Volkswagen TDI, or BMW 325d, the professionals at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach guarantee fast friendly service.  Click here to make an appointment, or call us at (714) 596-1019.





Hybrid Smog Check in Huntington Beach (STAR Certified)

Hybrids outsell all other passenger cars in California

“The Toyota Prius is the number one selling passenger car in California”. Those words, spoken by the instructor of a hybrid vehicle diagnostic course I took two years ago, made it clear that gasoline hybrid vehicles had arrived in a big way.

Toyota Prius on the beach near Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Hybrids at Just Smogs

Everybody is on board with hybrids

Just look around the next time you’re on the freeway.  Everybody is making a hybrid.  Toyota has the Prius and Camry.  Chevrolet has the Volt, and Ford offers hybrid Fusions and Escapes.

Californians love hybrid vehicles! They’re stylish, economical, and good for the environment, but did you know that even hybrids are required to pass smog inspections in the State of California?

That’s right, whether you drive a Nissan Altima, Honda CR-Z, Hyundai Sonata, or any other gasoline hybrid powered vehicle, chances are that you’ll eventually receive a notice from the DMV with the words “Smog Check Required” printed along the top.

Where can I get a hybrid smog check?

Nobody in Huntington Beach, or Fountain Valley, performs more hybrid vehicle smog inspections than your friendly neighborhood smog technicians at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach.

So what are you waiting for?  Click here or call (714) 596-1019 for a fast and easy hybrid smog inspection. Just Smogs® – We do Smog Checks Fast!


Uber & Lyft Vehicle Inspections In Huntington Beach

Are you thinking about driving for Uber, Lyft, or both? Are you having trouble getting on the road, and making money, because you can’t find a reputable shop that can inspect your car? The friendly professionals at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach are here to help.

Just Smogs® is a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) licensed automotive repair dealer (ARD) and Orange County’s premier Star Certified smog inspection and repair center.

Just Smogs® is proud to employ ASE certified technicians and consistently maintains a five star rating on Yelp and Angie’s List.

Just Smogs® has served Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Newport Beach, and the surrounding areas for seventeen years, and we’re ready to serve you.

Whether you’re new to Uber or Lyft or coming up for re-certification, trust the Just Smogs® team to get you on the road fast.

To schedule an appointment call (714) 596-1019.

Click here to download the Lyft 2016 California Vehicle Inspection Form

Click here to download the UBER California Vehicle Inspection Form

OBD II Monitor Drive Cycle Service

multiple-smog-check-fountain-valleyIn recent years the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) have increasingly shifted the emphasis of the California emissions program to on-board diagnostic trouble codes &  monitor readiness. This is especially true for 2000 and newer model year vehicles.

If you are having trouble completing OBD II readiness monitors on your 1996 or newer vehicle, the licensed professionals at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach can help.

OBD II Monitor Recap

What are OBD II readiness monitors?

just-smog-check-fountain-valley-front-800x480The short answer is that OBD II readiness monitors are usually something that average motorists never have to worry about until they have a reason to worry.

OBD II readiness monitors are self tests run by a vehicle’s on board diagnostic system.  OBD II monitors have two states: ‘ready’ and ‘not ready’.  Some scanners and code readers may display ‘complete’ , ‘incomplete’ , comp, inc, etc.  It all comes down to whether or not a test has been run to completion.

When one of these test fails, the check engine light is illuminated; otherwise, a driver normally has no indication that OBD II readiness monitors exist.

So what’s the problem?


It’s not uncommon for OBD II readiness monitors to be reset following repairs.  This is especially true if the check engine light was on.

If a vehicle’s power train control module (PCM – ‘The Computer’) loses power due to a dead or depleted battery, or if diagnostic trouble codes are cleared using a scan tool, all readiness monitors are automatically set to incomplete/not ready.

Incomplete readiness monitors aren’t  something that you have to worry about unless your vehicle is due for a smog inspection.

Readiness monitors are run in the background and by design do not affect driveability, safety, or fuel economy, but they are an important part of the California smog inspection program.

In order for a vehicle to pass a smog inspection in the state of California, most OBD 2 monitors must be run to completion.  For example, in order for most 2000 and newer gasoline powered vehicles to pass the smog inspection all monitors with the exception of the evap monitor must be complete.  If any monitor other than the evap monitor is incomplete the vehicle will fail the smog inspection.

If you’ve ever had an issue with OBD II readiness monitors, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Drive it fifty to one-hundred miles and you should be fine”.

I drove my car hundreds of miles, and it still isn’t ready!

Some cars are known to have issues that can make completing OBD II readiness monitors extremely difficult.star-smog-check-technician-licensed-800x480

BAR maintains a list of such vehicles and possible solutions (The Smog Check OBD II Reference).

Very often the solution involves following a very specific drive pattern that some motorists find difficult to complete during their normal driving routine.  That’s when Just Smogs® can help.

Just Smogs® OBD II Drive Cycle Service

huntington-beach-smog-store-frontIf your vehicle is otherwise in good repair, and you are having difficulties completing the OBD II drive cycle, the professionals at Just Smogs® can complete the drive cycle on most vehicles that do not require further repair or diagnosis.

This service offering does not include any diagnostics or repairs that may be necessary to enable the OBD II drive cycle, nor does it include diagnostics or repairs that may become necessary should the drive cycle trigger a diagnostic trouble code or check engine light.

Of course in most cases you should be able to complete the drive cycle yourself with no more effort than a Sunday drive, but in case you can’t, the professionals at Just Smogs® are here to help.

For more information about Just Smogs® OBD II drive cycle service, call (714) 596-1019.


Just Smogs 2016 Holiday Hours

This year our hours will be virtually unaffected by the holiday season, with the exception that we will be closed all day on Saturday, December 24, 2016.

Otherwise, Just Smogs is  open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 3:00 PM (With the exception of December 24, 2016).

All of us at Just Smogs® wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.

O2 Sensor Monitor Not Ready 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2008_09_09highlander_hy_33-prvIf your 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid fails to pass the California emissions test because of an incomplete oxygen sensor (air/fuel) monitor, your Toyota Highlander Hybrid may be subject to a recall.

Affected vehicles will require a software update to correct an issue that prevents the vehicle’s on board diagnostic computer from running the O2 sensor monitor to completion.  Per Toyota Special Service Campaign FOP and TSB #0042-15, this service will be performed on affected vehicles at no charge to the consumer.

Your Toyota dealer will identify affected vehicles based on manufacture date, software calibration, etc.  When contacting your Toyota dealer, please reference TSB #0042-15.

BMW OBD II Communication and Monitor Issues

As touched upon in a previous post (Smog Check OBD Reference Update) certain 1999 and 2000 model year BMW vehicles with 2.5 liter and 2.8 liter displacement engines that are having trouble passing the smog inspection due to incomplete monitors may be subject to a voluntary emissions recall (00E-A01: Fault Access/O2 Readiness Codes).

Model Manufactured
E39 528i, 528iA, 528iT, 528iAT 2/99-7/99
E46 328i, 328iA, 323i, 323iA 3/98-7/99
E46 328iC, 328iCA, 323iC, 323iCA 2/99-7/99
E36/7 Z3 coupe 2.8 4/99-7/99
E36/7 Z3 roadster 2.8 4/99-7/99
E36/7 Z3 roadster 2.3 9/98-7/99

bmw-logoBMW has determined that certain 1999 & 2000 model year BMW automobiles with 2.5 liter and 2.8 liter displacement engines may not fully meet Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  and California Air Resources Board on-board diagnostic requirements.

There are two issues:

  1. Due to an engine control module software error, a communication conflict exists between the engine control module (“The Computer”) and the transmission control module (“The other Computer”).  This may lead to difficulties or prevent communication and data transmission between the engine control module and and diagnostic equipment (Including the “Smog Machine”).
  2. The oxygen sensor readiness monitor may not run to completion on affected E36/7, E46 and E39 vehicles.

Owners of affected vehicles should have received a letter from BMW as early as November 2000; however if you own one of these affected vehicles and are having trouble receiving California smog certification due to incomplete monitors or communications issues (Or are due for a smog inspection) and have not completed the recall, you should contact your BMW dealer.  It may help to refer to Emissions Recall 00E-A01 and BMW Bulletin SI B 12 15 99.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Just Smogs® family to yours

We’ll be closed on thanksgiving so that we can celebrate with our families at home, but we’ll return to our normal schedule on Friday (8:00 to 5:30) and Saturday (8:00 to 3:00).  As always we’ll be closed Sunday when we’ll be spending more time with our families and leftovers.

Today we had a little Just Smogs® pre-celebration with a deep fried turkey.


We really are a family here and that includes you, our loyal customers.  So, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  We’ll see you Friday.