The Often Misunderstood Crane Fly

The Crane Fly, also known as, Daddy Long Legs, Skeeter Eater, Mosquito Hawk, Giant Mosquito, or, as my wife likes to call them, “I don’t care if you kill it, but just get that thing out of the house!”

I can’t think of a more misunderstood bug than the simple Crane fly.

Crane Fly Baby Boom

Have you noticed that these little critters seem to have taken over the world this spring?

The wet weather we’ve been having lately has provided the perfect breeding ground for Crane flies and other bugs.

But no worries, unlike their nasty little lookalikes, Crane flies won’t suck your blood or spread disease.

Crane Flies Are Not Mosquitoes!

No matter what my mother seems to think Crane flies are not mosquitoes.

Some adult Crane flies have adapted to drink water, nectar, and even honey, but most rarely eat.

“There has yet to be found a predatory adult crane fly,” said Matthew Bertone, PhD, a crane fly specialist and extension associate with the North Carolina State University Department of Entomology. “They just don’t have the mouth parts for it. So no, none are blood-feeding, and none of them attack people.”

entomology.org

Crane Flies Aren’t Really Skeeter Eaters

Despite the colloquial name “Skeeter Eater”, and what many of us thought when we were kids, Crane flies do not eat mosquitoes.

They just fly around your house, bank into the occasional wall, or light fixture, and die in about a day, so will somebody tell my wife that I don’t need to hunt these things? I guess that I should just repair that torn screen.

February 2017 California Smog Check FAQ

Smog Check Frequently Asked Questions for February 2017

How do I submit my smog test?

How do I determine what year a car needs a smog check?

Does my RV require a smog check in California?

Smog Check Frequently Asked Questions for January 2017

Why did my car fail for incomplete OBD II readiness monitors? I Thought the rule was that my 1996-2001 car could pass with two incomplete readiness monitors.

How do I submit my smog test?

You don’t need to “submit” your smog test. The results of your smog inspection were electronically transmitted and submitted to the State of California at the conclusion of the smog inspection.


How do I determine what year a car needs a smog check?

Gasoline, Flex, CNG, LNG, LPG Powered Vehicles

1976 to current model year vehicles are subject to smog inspection.

All 1976 and newer model year vehicles entering the State of California require a smog certification prior to initial registration

Change of ownership smog inspections are required after the fourth model year

For example:

A 2016 model year gasoline powered vehicle would be subject to change of ownership smog inspections beginning in 2020 (2016 + 4 = 2020).

Biennial (Every two years) smog inspections begin after the sixth model year.

For example:

A 2016 model year gasoline powered vehicle would be subject to biennial smog inspections beginning in 2022 (2016 + 6 = 2022).

A good rule of thumb is that even number model years are due for smog inspections on even numbered years. Odd numbered model years are due on odd number years.

For example:

This year (2017) we started performing biennial smog inspections 2011 model year vehicles.  We’re also inspecting 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999, etc.

Hybrid

The only difference between hybrid/gasoline powered vehicles is that hybrids become subject to smog inspections beginning with model year 2000 instead of 1976.

Diesel

Diesel powered vehicles under 14,000 pounds GVWR become subject to biennial smog inspections beginning with the 1998 model year.

Unlike the vehicles described above, diesels do not have a four year change of ownership exemption, nor do diesels have a six year new vehicle exemption.

Fleetwood Jamboree Smog CheckDoes my RV require a smog check in California?

In most cases, the answer is yes.

If your your 1976 or newer motor home (RV) is gasoline powered, and more than four years old, it is subject to smog inspections in the state of California.

If your 1998 or newer motor home (RV) is diesel powered and has a GVWR of 14,000 pounds or less it is subject to smog inspections in the state of California.

Click here for more information about smog requirements by vehicle type.


Why did my car fail for incomplete OBD II readiness monitors. I Thought the rule was that my 1996-2001 car could pass with two incomplete readiness monitors.

check engine lightEmission test rules previously allowed for a car to pass the smog inspection with two incomplete readiness monitors; however the rules changed effective May 4, 2015.

Most 1996 – 1999 model year gasoline powered vehicles will fail the California smog inspection if two or more OBD II monitors are incomplete. Any one OBD 2 readiness monitor can be incomplete and a gasoline powered car will pass the smog inspection.

Most 2000 and newer gasoline powered vehicles are subject to stricter rules.  A 2000 or newer model year vehicle will fail the smog inspection if any monitor other than the EVAP monitor is incomplete.

Most 1998 – 2006 OBD II certified diesel powered vehicles will fail the smog inspection if any monitors are incomplete.  All OBD II monitors must be complete in order for a 1998 – 2006 model year OBD II certified diesel powered vehicle to pass the California state smog inspection.

Most 2007 and newer model year OBD II diesel powered vehicles can pass with two incomplete monitors.  If more than two monitors are incomplete the vehicle will fail the smog inspection.

Some vehicles are known to have difficulties completing OBD II monitors and may be subject to different rules. For more information see the Smog Check OBD Reference.

Smog Check Frequently Asked Questions for January 2017

How many readiness monitors have to be complete to pass smog?

What if I cannot get my smog test in California before it is due?

Can I go to another smog check station after failing?

The shop that failed my car also does repairs, can I go someplace else for repairs?

A relative gave me a car, do I need a smog inspection?

If my check engine light doesn’t turn on at all will I pass smog?

If you fail OBD II on a smog check, should your overall smog fail?

Smog, check before you buy

To quote one of my instructors in smog school, “There’s no such thing as an as-is sale on a car that wont pass smog”.

When a car is sold, who is responsible for the inspection?

The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.

 

dmv.ca.gov

Unless a car is being sold to:

  • A licensed dismantler (Junk yard)
  • A spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.
    or
  • A biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).

porsche star smog checkThe California Department of Motor Vehicles will not complete the transfer of ownership until the vehicle passes a smog inspection.

Why?

The short answer is that the State of California is looking out for your interests.  The idea is to prevent someone from dumping their problem car on you.

But I got such a great deal!

We recently had a BMW in the shop.  The customer bought the car without a smog.  He thought he got a great deal until he learned that the vehicle would require several thousand dollars worth of repairs before it would pass a smog inspection. Needless to say, our customer no longer believes that he got such a great deal.

Smog check sign

Just Smogs Star Certified Test and Repair

Protect yourself

The state will allow a transfer to occur if a vehicle has received an emissions certification within the last 90 days, but a lot can happen in 90 days.

Maybe the car squeaked  through its last inspection.  Maybe something that was getting ready to go went. Perhaps fraud was involved.

California Vehicle Emissions Statement

The Vehicle Emissions System Statement is a DMV form that even most smog inspectors don’t know about.

The seller is required to furnish the purchaser this statement if a transfer application is submitted to the department within 90 days of the submission of a valid smog certification that was not obtained specifically for the transfer…

… You may have this vehicle tested at a licensed smog check station prior to completion of this transaction to verify compliance. If the vehicle passes the test, you shall be responsible for the costs of the test.  If the vehicle fails the test, the seller is obligated to reimburse you the cost of having the vehicle tested and, without expense to you, must have the vehicle repaired to comply with specified emissions standards prior to completion of this transaction.

Excerpt from :
DMV REG 139 (REV.5/2007)
Vehicle Emissions System Statement

While having a current smog certificate can be a selling point, it can be in the interest of the buyer to have the results of the last smog inspection independently verified.

In today’s vehicles emissions problems are often related to issues that affect fuel economy and driveability. You might be out the price of a smog inspection, or you could save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.

Check the History

I always recommend checking a vehicles smog check history.

What?

The smog check history of every vehicle that has been inspected under the modern smog check program in the State of California is available at:

https://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/pubwebquery/Vehicle/PubTstQry.aspx

You can search for a vehicle’s smog check history by license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN).  I always recommend searching by VIN, especially if that old car you’re thinking about just happens to have a brand spanking new license plate.

If you spot a repeating pattern of several failed smog inspection followed by a single pass, the car in question might not be the car you’re looking for.

We can’t all afford to buy or lease new cars

Just Smogs® 7722 Talbert Ave, Huntington Beach, CA

I hear you.  Some of us can’t afford a new car, while others don’t want a new car.  Either way, it’s important to protect yourself.

When buying a used car, always remember to:

And most important of all, to ensure peace of mind, have the vehicle inspected by the dedicated STAR certified professionals at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach. Click here to make an appointment.

January 2017 California Smog Check FAQ

Smog Check Frequently Asked Questions for January 2017

How many readiness monitors have to be complete to pass smog?

What if I cannot get my smog test in California before it is due?

Can I go to another smog check station after failing?

The shop that failed my car also does repairs, can I go someplace else for repairs?

A relative gave me a car, do I need a smog inspection?

If my check engine light doesn’t turn on at all will I pass smog?

If you fail OBD II on a smog check, should your overall smog fail?

Where can I get a STAR Smog Inspection in Huntington Beach?

How many readiness monitors have to be complete to pass smog?

check engine lightThis continues to be number one on the hit parade.  Nobody wants to hear the dreaded words, OBD II not ready.

1996 to 1999 Gasoline powered vehicles: Any one monitor can be incomplete.

2000 and newer Gasoline powered vehicles: All monitors, with the exception of the EVAP monitor must be complete.

1998 to 2006 OBD II certified diesel powered vehicles: All monitors must be complete.

2007 and newer OBD II certified diesel powered vehicles: Any two monitors can be incomplete.

For more information about OBD II Monitors:

OBD II, “CHECK-ENGINE” LIGHTS, and READINESS MONITORS..WHAT ARE THEY?

OBD Monitors and Testability Issues

What if I cannot get my smog test in California before it is due?

 

Pay your fees!

Even if you do not pass smog, you can avoid paying late fees by paying all registration fees on time.  While the DMV will not issue a registration renewal until all requirements, including the smog certification, are complete, the DMV will stop assessing further late fees upon receipt of your payment.

You may also be eligible for a temporary moving permit.  Contact the California DMV for more information.

Can I go to another smog station after failing?


Absolutely! Many people are under the mistaken impression that they have to return to the original smog shop to finish the smog inspection after failing. Not true.  Pass or fail, that smog inspection ended when you received the results. It’s done. You are free to have the vehicle inspected at any shop.

Of course, if the vehicle requires an inspection at a STAR certified shop, you must take it to a STAR station.

Also, it important to note that if the shop that inspected your vehicle promised you a free retest, or any other discounts, those promises only apply at the shop that made the offer

The shop that failed my car also does repairs, can I go someplace else for repairs?

Again, absolutely.  Shops performing emissions repairs in the State of California are required to be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs; however, you are not obligated to have your vehicle repaired by the shop that performed the smog inspection.

A relative gave me a car, do I need a smog inspection?

 

If you acquire a vehicle that is currently registered in California from a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild, you are entitled to an exemption from the smog inspection. Other family members or relations are not exempt and are required to obtain a smog inspection certification.

For more information read “Transfer a Vehicle Between Family Members.

www.dmv.ca.gov

If my car check engine light doesn’t turn on at all will I pass smog?

No, if the check engine light (Service Engine Soon, MIL, etc), is burned out, missing, disconnected, or not functioning normally for any reason, the vehicle will not pass the California smog inspection.

If you fail OBD II on a smog check, should your overall smog fail?

If a vehicle fails any part of a smog inspection the state’s software will not certify the vehicle. In other words, the vehicle will fail.

As a matter of fact, if the check engine light isn’t on, the technician inspecting your car won’t know your car failed until the test is over.

Where can I get a STAR smog inspection in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Fountain Valley, and beyond, the choice is simple!  For any and all smog inspections, booking an appointment at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach will be the best smog inspection decision you’ll ever make.

Click here, or call (714) 596-1019 to make an appointment.

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.

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?

smog-check-lamborginijpg

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.