Do I need to Smog Check ?

California DMV requires a smog check for the following reasons:

  • Biennial Inspection
    The most common reasons a vehicle is required to be smog certified is simply to comply with California biennial (every other year) smog check regulations. Once a gasoline vehicle is older that 8 years, the DMV requires a passing smog check every other year. So for example in 2021, vehicle model years 2013 and older will require a smog check. Vehicle model years 1975 and older are exempt from inspection.
    Diesel vehicles do not get the 8 year waiver. All 1998 and newer diesel vehicles under 14,000 GVWR are required to be inspected every other year.
  • Transfer of Ownership
    A smog check certification is required when a vehicle is 6 model years or older gets sold in California. The seller of the vehicle is required to provide a passing smog check certificate (within 90 days) upon time of sale.
  • Out of State Transfer
    When a vehicle is brought into California from another state, a smog check is required regardless of how new the vehicle is. 1975 and older gasoline vehicles and 1997 and older diesel vehicles are exempt.
  • Salvage Title
    California can require a smog check and brake-and-lamp inspection if a vehicle becomes titled salvaged.
    

What is the difference between a smog check and a STAR smog check?

That actual “smog inspection” is the same between a STAR station and a “regular” station. The difference comes down to equipment requirements and the licensing requirements for the smog check station.

So to reiterate, if you bring your 2000 Toyota Camry to a “regular” smog check station and then to a “STAR” smog check station, you theoretically should be getting the exact same inspection.

The California BAR created the STAR program to combat improper/illegal smog testing in California. STAR stations and STAR station technicians are required to maintain a certain level of “accuracy” via a report card in order to remain in the STAR program.

So if you open your DMV registration renewal letter and it states “Required at a STAR Station”, don’t worry, you aren’t getting punished with a harder inspection. It’s the same exact test.

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – P1416 – MIL / Check Engine Light

This 2001 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3L with a check engine light on failed a California smog check for the functional portion of the smog check. The vehicle originally failed at another smog shop for “Not Ready”. Apparently a mechanic cleared the MIL and sent the customer on her way. After attempting to complete the drive cycle, the check engine light appeared with P1416 DTC.

Although we diagnosed the problem associated with the P1416 DTC, the Air injection monitor still would not complete. During the drive cycle, P0141 & P0161 pending DTCs appeared in the system. Upon testing oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 2, our technician found high resistance within the heater circuit of the sensor.

Nextdoor 2019 Neighborhood Favorite

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Permanent Diagnostic Trouble Codes

What are Permanent Diagnostic Trouble Codes?

Permanent Diagnostic Trouble Codes (PDTCs) are very similar to regular Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). However, unlike regular DTCs, they cannot be reset by disconnecting the vehicle’s battery or cleared using an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) scan tool. The only way to clear a PDTC is to fix the underlying problem with the vehicle that originally caused the PDTC and its corresponding DTC to set, and then allow the vehicle sufficient drive time to re-run the monitor that identified the problem in the first place. When the monitor runs without identifying a problem, the PDTC will clear itself.

When will PDTCs be included as part of the Smog Check inspection failure criteria?

Starting July 1, 2019, the presence of PDTCs will be considered in determining the vehicle’s Smog Check inspection result.

Why are PDTCs being included in the Smog Check Program?

Unplugging the vehicle’s battery or using a scan tool are techniques sometimes used to clear OBD information for a vehicle that has an illuminated malfunction indicator light in an attempt to hide the fact that the vehicle is malfunctioning. Some of these vehicles can pass a Smog Check inspection before the vehicle can re-identify the underlying problem that set the malfunction indicator light and DTC(s). This can have a dramatic impact on air quality and decrease the effectiveness of the Smog Check Program. Although the use of readiness monitors reduces the chances of passing a Smog Check inspection with an active DTC, PDTCs can further ensure emission control systems are working correctly.

How are PDTCs going to be used as part of a Smog Check inspection?

Upon implementation, vehicles that have a PDTC stored in the OBD system will fail the Smog Check inspection regardless of whether the malfunction indicator light is illuminated. If a PDTC is stored, it indicates that the OBD system has not yet successfully verified that a previously detected emissions-related malfunction is no longer active.

Which model-year vehicles will include PDTCs as part of the Smog Check inspection?

The new criteria will apply to model-year 2010 and newer vehicles that support PDTCs.

What if the vehicle does not properly support PDTC functionality?

BAR is working with the Air Resources Board (ARB) to ensure that known problematic vehicles are addressed by the vehicle manufacturers. In the meantime, BAR will control application of such vehicles through the Smog Check database, and list them in the Smog Check OBD Reference. Vehicles that do not support PDTC storage will not be subject to this part of the Smog Check inspection.

What is the estimated increase in Smog Check inspection failure rate for the inclusion of PDTCs?

BAR analysis indicates the new requirement could initially increase Smog Check inspection failure rates by less than half a percent (0.2 to 0.3%).

Are there circumstances under which a PDTC will not cause a vehicle to fail a Smog Check inspection?

Yes. PDTCs will be ignored if the vehicle has completed at least 15 warm-up cycles and been driven at least 200 miles since its OBD information was last cleared.

Why will PDTCs be ignored when the vehicle has completed 15 warm-up cycles and been driven 200 miles since the codes were cleared?

The time to complete 15 warm-up cycles and drive 200 miles is reasonable for vehicles to complete the self-diagnostic tests. In fact, most vehicles will complete the self-diagnostic tests well before this maximum limit is reached. The 15/200 limit is being established to prevent undue inconvenience to motorists who are trying to comply with the Smog Check Program requirements but are having trouble getting specific monitors to run to completion and ready for testing.

Is there financial help available to consumers whose vehicles fail Smog Check for a PDTC?

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers both repair assistance and vehicle retirement options to eligible consumers. Income-eligible consumers may receive financial assistance with emissions-related repairs if their vehicle fails a biennial Smog Check inspection. Consumers who meet eligibility requirements may receive up to $1,500 to retire their vehicle.

Above information is courtesy of bar.ca.gov

Toyota 4Runner – A Brief History

Today we’re learning about the Toyota 4Runner. It all started in 1980 when a Toyota dealership owner in Wisconsin named Jack Safro wanted the 4wd capabilities of a Toyota pickup but with an enclosed cab for the cold climate. Safro contacted @winnebagorvs to make a Fiberglass rear cab for the Toyota Hilux. Toyota agreed to the partnership and they unveiled the Trekker in 1981. They built 1500 and they all sold fast. Toyota realized there was a market for this style of vehicle so they released the Toyota 4Runner in 1984. In Japan they were sold as the Hilux Surf.

Pictured here is a 1989 N60. The last year of the first generation. The 4Runner was the first to coin the term SUV and has been a staple in the class ever since. Iseecars.com named it #5 in their most reliable cars in the US list. With its versatility and longevity it’s easy to see why the 4Runner is one of the best cars on the market to this day.

BMW M3 – A Brief History

Today we’re talking about the BMW E30M3.
Pictured here is a first generation M3. They were first produced in 1986 with a 4 cylinder motor named the S14B23 producing 192bhp. The M3 differed from the base model 3 series in many ways. Although sharing the same basic shell it had 12 different and unique body panels for the purpose of improving aerodynamics. The “Box Flares on the wheel arches in the front and rear were to help accommodate a wider track with wider and taller wheels and tires. It came with 5×120 wheel bolt pattern as opposed to the base model 4×100. Special front and rear brake calipers as well as plenty of suspension related upgrades.

The E30 M3 competed in many disciples of racing competing in both road and rally style races. In full race spec the “Evo” 2.5L motor produced 380hp.  In 2007 @automobilemag included the E30 M3 in their “5 Greatest drivers cars of all time” BMW is currently on the F80 version of the M3 powered by a Twin Turbo 3.0L making 444hp in their competition package.

Failed Smog “Not Ready” – Drive Cycle Service Available

If your vehicle failed a smog check for Not Ready and you are unable to complete the drive cycle, we can help. Our ASE certified technicians can set your monitors to pass a smog check. Sometimes a vehicle needs to be driven in just the right pattern. Other times there are sensors or parts that require replacement. Either way, our team can get to the bottom of it.

OBD Readiness Monitors Test Standard

Gasoline Vehicles
• Number of incomplete monitors allowed to pass on gasoline powered vehicles:
– Any one for 1996 to 1999 (BAR-97 test)
– Only evap. for 2000 & newer (BAR-OIS test)

Diesel Vehicles
• Number of incomplete monitors allowed to pass on diesel powered vehicles:
– Zero for 1998 to 2006 (BAR-OIS test)
– Any two for 2007 and newer (BAR-OIS test)