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RECENT EMAILS: General Emissions Test Problems. Gross Polluter Vehicles. High Emitter Profiles. Engine Change Guidelines. Diesel Engine Conversion. DMV Emissions Test.

Question: What Do I have to have in order to get my vehicle into the Gross Polluter program? It needs a lot of work and I don't have money to but into it, since I am a retiree on a fixed income.
 
Answer: The State currently designates vehicles as Test Only required, based on 3 criteria. In the first case they take a random sample of vehicles from the vehicle pool. Currently this number is said to be 3%. Second, if your vehicle has failed the inspection as a "Gross Polluter" at any point of time in it's smog check history, you will be required to visit a Test Only station at that time and subsequent years. And third, if your vehicle falls under the HEP category, you will be asked to obtain a smog inspection at a Test only center. HEP stands for High Emitter Profile. This means, your type (make, model, year) of vehicle is known to have a high number of smog failures. Based on this data, the State automatically designates your specific vehicle as a HEP, regardless of whether your specific vehicle has passed or failed in the past. How it is that your vehicle qualified as Test-Only I'm not certain. The bright side of all this is that it sounds like your vehicle has been in good shape and kept up so far so hopefully, like in past years, your vehicle will pass the smog check without a problem.
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Question: What are the federal requirements for a 1979 chevy K10 4x4 from oregon? What components need to be installed? I have nothing on the truck right now. 350 Engine and 5700 Model.
 
Answer: What is the engine size and exact vehicle weight indicated on the door label? This vehicle must be equipped with the following components: PCV, ACL, EGR, EVAP, CAT, and SPARK CONTROL.
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Question: I am upgrading my 1988 Chevrolet G20 van from a 305 cid engine to a 454 to use to tow my travel trailer, if I use an older engine how do I find out what smog equipment I must have to pass in California? Is it just a smog pump?
 
Answer: Overview - Engine changes continue to present problems and challenges to car owners and technicians. Here are some tips to keep you and your customers on the straight and narrow. Our recommendation is to rebuild and reinstall the original engine, transmission, and emission control configuration. When rebuilding an engine, it must be rebuilt to the original equipment specifications. However, if you do decide to change the engine, these guidelines must be observed to ensure that the vehicle will be eligible for smog certification or registration. Remember, these are guidelines for performing engine changes -- not certification procedures. All exhaust emission controlled vehicles with engine changes must be inspected by an official referee station and must have a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Vehicle Identification Label affixed to the doorpost. Remember also, state and federal anti-tampering laws generally prohibit any modification to the vehicle's original emission control system configuration as certified by the manufacturer. And, Section 3362.1 of the California Code of Regulations prohibits any engine change that degrades the effectiveness of a vehicle's emission control system.
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Question: Do trucks converted to propane still need smog checks?
 
Answer: Yes, gasoline and propane vehicles require smog checks. Propane smog checks can be completed at State Referee Centers. You can contact them at (800) 622-7733.
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Question: Yesterday I received the registration documentation for my pick up truck.  I purchased, last year, a 1989 Toyota 4X4 pick up to use at our second home in Calaveras County.  It is seldom used off our property. We have an 8 acre property.  It is used to haul stuff from one end to the other on this property and maybe once a month to the dump 5 miles away. Last year I was required to provide a smog check for the transfer of ownership.  This year I was given another smog check, but this time at a "Test-Only" Smog Center.  The closest one to our property is in Lodi, over 30 miles away.  The cost will be over $60 for the smog check. Just last year, the cost in Oakland was just $40. I would like to know if this will be required every two years because of the age and that it is this type of vehicle.  It would help me make a decision whether or not I should keep this truck or not. I rarely use it at all.  It's just not worth spending $100 and all the time every 2 years to get it legally registered.
 
Answer: We completely understand your disappointment. The State currently designates vehicles as Test Only required, based on 3 criteria. In the first case they take a random sample of vehicles from the vehicle pool. Currently this number is said to be 3%. Second, if your vehicle has failed the inspection as a "Gross Polluter" at any point of time in it's smog check history, you will be required to visit a Test Only station at that time and subsequent years. And third, if your vehicle falls under the HEP category, you will be asked to obtain a smog inspection at a Test only center. HEP stands for High Emitter Profile. This means, your type (make, model, year) of vehicle is known to have a high number of smog failures. Based on this data, the State automatically designates your specific vehicle as a HEP, regardless of whether your specific vehicle has passed or failed in the past. How it is that your vehicle qualified as Test-Only I'm not certain. The bright side of all this is that it sounds like your vehicle has been in good shape and kept up so far... so hopefully, like in past years, your vehicle will pass the smog check without a problem.Vehicle normally require smog checks every two years,  unless your vehicle on a previous smog test failed as a gross polluter. In this case your vehicle will require a second inspection the following year, to insure the vehicle is not polluting. From this point the... the year following becomes the year in which the vehicle equires it's regular biennial inspection and you'll need one more smog test. So technically you end up smogging  our car three years in a row.
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Question: Is the Visual portion of the Smog Inspection included as part of a California inspection or is it considered a separate inspection only done on an as need basis?  The estimate I was quoted for my car was $45. for the smog inspection.  Later the service station called and said the visual portion would be an additional $195.
 
Answer: If this situation is exactly as you have described... no, it is not common. The California smog tests  consists of three portions. The visual, functional and emissions, all of which are included in the smog test. Now this is not to say your particular vehicle doesn't cost more to inspect. It is possible your vehicle's overall smog cost is higher due to extra labor which might be required in the process of smog checking your vehicle. This extra lobar is common with RVs/Motor homes, trucks , vans, and late model vehicles.
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Question: The certified smog repair station I took my car after it failed the smog test, has insisted I pay $80 to  replace the car's thermostat in addition to $108 for repairs. They said the state demanded the thermostat be replaced in order to approve the smog test and that I have to pay for this myself in addition to the $108.25.  I provided them with the original CAP letter, my drivers license and registration renewal notices from the DMV. They refused to make a copy of my driver's license, despite the explicit language in your letter that they do so, and demanded that I find a commercial copy center to copy my license and then bring this copy to them. When I questioned both the excess thermostat charge and their refusal to make a copy of my license  they refused to give me my car back and they still have it! I am incredibly upset and deeply inconvenienced by this. I had applied for and been granted CAP assistance and I gave them this form which they kept. The repair shop is M & R Automotive, 1281 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA . I am very upset and unable to get to work without my car.  My daughter needed to return to school in SF last night and was unable to get back without our car. In addition critical personal materials were in the car when they locked it up Friday afternoon and we have been unable to reach anyone to get our car and materials since then.
 
Answer: I recommend you contact the BAR's CAP department regarding this matter. You can reach them at (800) 952-5210. they will explain the repair procedure and why you may have to in fact pay for the thermostat repair yourself, including the $100.00 co-payment to begin the CAP repairs on your vehicle. A thermostat replacement is not considered an emissions related repair, which means CAP will not pay for it. And, if the CAP station has determined the thermostat must be replaced because its defective, and causing overheating, it will have to be changed.
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Question: Do motorcycles need smog checks on change of ownership?
 
Answer: No, motorcycles as of yet do not need smog checks.
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Question: I don't know what to do with my old truck. I'm in California. A few months ago, I bought an old 1975
Ford F350 4-wheel drive pickup from my tree-trimming guy, on his way out of the U.S. to Mexico. He said it
had passed the smog check in October (evidently true)and he didn't have time to get it smogged before leaving.
I paid him $1000 for the truck, but when I went to register it, I couldn't because they wanted a new smog check.
I took it in, and it failed, due to one cylinder's blow-by. This rattle-trap is certainly not worth a new engine, so
what are my options? Do I just run it off a cliff?
 
Answer: Since you’re the vehicle's new owner there aren't much options but to repair the vehicle. Non of the state consumer assistance programs are available to new vehicle owners so unfortunately it will be completely up to you to repair this truck. You may consider junking it.
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Question: I have a mid 80's 1 ton gas truck that the engine. I would like to have a 90's diesel engine install to replace the gas engine. I read on your site about diesel to gas engine change however I would like to know what do I need to do to get my truck register since it will run on diesel and smog checks are not done on them.

Answer: Diesel Engine conversion can be done. You must contact the Referee's Office at (800)622-7733. Once you complete the engine change your vehicle will have to be inspected by the State referee's office and an official decal placed on your vehicle's chassis, exempting it from further smog checks.

  
 

 

 

 

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