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Smog Inspections

Sacramento Smog Checks

A smog inspection is required by the state of California when you register or renew a vehicle. Like an emissions test, a smog inspection will test the amount of smog your vehicle produces. While older vehicles predictably produce more smog and other pollutants, newer cars may not require an inspection.

Failing A Smog Inspection

Should your car fail a standard smog inspection, we’ll help you figure out what needs to be repaired to successfully pass the test.

Check with a local Sacramento DMV to know if your vehicle requires a smog check. You may not be required to perform a smog check depending on your vehicle’s age and fuel type.

SmogMart is the preferred smog
inspection shop in Sacramento.

Frequently Asked Questions About Smog Inspections

 

How much does a smog check cost in Sacramento?

The normal price range of the average smog test is between $29.95 and $69.95 depending on the county you live in, the type of vehicle you own… car, truck, van, SUV, or motorhome, and the type of smog inspection your vehicle requires.

How long does a smog test take?

To accurately determine the state of your car emissions system, it takes a bit of time. The tester has to plug in a diagnostic computer and check for codes related to emissions failures. They need to use a sniffer tester to check vehicles for safe levels of hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, and other pollutants. All in all, you can expect your smog check to take around 20 to 30 minutes.

What is the difference between a smog check station and a star station?

STAR stations are Smog Check stations that meet higher performance standards established by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Some STAR stations are licensed to perform only tests, while others are licensed to perform both tests and repairs. The station is required to post a sign on the services it performs.

What happens if you fail a smog test?

If your vehicle fails to pass, the DMV will not register your vehicle, meaning you can’t get a license plate to legally drive the car. The question is, what do you need to do in order to repair your vehicle and make it smog-compliant? The answer can vary.

Do you need smog to transfer title?

No smog check is required if you are buying or receiving a vehicle which is already registered in California from a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild. These title transfers are exempt from a smog inspection and do not require a smog certificate when transferring title.

Does premium gas help pass emissions test?

The biggest mistake people make is buying more expensive fuel. People often have the misconception that how to pass a smog test is to use premium 91 octane fuel. It seems to make sense, right? More expensive fuel is probably purer, which means it probably burns cleaner and gives off fewer emissions right? Wrong. 91 Octane fuel contains higher amounts of combustible chemicals, which means it’s formulated to burn longer, in higher performance engines. If you put it in an engine that’s not meant for high performance, the fuel won’t completely burn up inside the chamber, meaning that every time a piston fires, a little bit of unburnt fuel will be pushed out of the exhaust, causing much MORE emissions to come out of the engine.

Do Classic Cars Qualify for a Smog Exemption in California?

Classic cars do qualify for a smog exemption in California. By definition, a classic or antique car is any vehicle that is 25 years or more old. Since cars built before 1975 are exempt from the California smog certification program, owners are not required to have their vehicles checked for smog-producing emissions. This include oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbon emissions and carbon monoxide emissions. Pre-1975 cars have rudimentary emission control systems that usually consist of exhaust gas recirculation valves, as well as early manifold air pressure sensors. However, this is about the limit of any emissions add-on hardware. The other cure used was leaning out the fuel-air mixture as much as possible.
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