Common high HC, CO and NOx emission problems
- Your vehicle may have failed the emissions test portion of the smog check inspection for several different reasons. Three emissions test results are measured and required to determine whether a vehicle passes or fails the emissions test inspection. Learn about the top causes for high Hydrocarbon, Carbon Monoxide, and Nitrogen Oxide, emissions results. A passing emissions test ensures only completion of one portion of the three independent tests required to complete the entire smog inspection process. Download our FREE Illustrated Top 10 Smog Check Failures
poster in PDF.
Consumer Assistance Program
- The California smog check Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) provides financial assistance for qualified consumers whose vehicles fail their biennial smog check at certified California smog centers. Vehicle owners can receive up to $500 financial assistance toward smog check related repairs to help their failing vehicles pass the smog check inspection. Approved applicants must have their vehicles repaired by a STAR (CAP) certified smog repair station. STAR smog test stations are licensed smog check centers that are independently owned and under contract with the State of California to perform government assisted smog repair. There are two ways to qualify for smog repair assistance. Once approved the BAR will send you a list of California emissions test centers authorized to perform CAP repairs. Sponsored by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.
OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics II - Functional Inspection)
is a on-board self-diagnostic smog check computer; required for all California vehicles manufactured after 1996. OBDII vehicles have the capability to diagnose virtually every smog check component that can affect emission results. Smog check components such as the oxygen sensor (O2), catalytic converter (CAT), engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensors as well as several others are inspected by the smog technician during the visual inspection
and are checked by the OBDII computer for proper operation and to ensure fuel is being burned thoroughly. If a smog check problem or malfunction is detected, the OBD II computer will illuminate a warning light on the vehicle instrument panel known as the Check Engine light or Service Engine Soon light, and record an OBDII trouble code
. Very often you may not notice an engine problem. This is due to the OBDII computer operating under pre-programmed data rather then real time. The problem exists but the engine ignores the defective sensors input and provides its own manufacturer programmed data.
To avoid causing further damage to the smog check emission system/s the Check Engine light should be diagnosed as soon as possible by a repair certified smog check station, emission test center or smog service center. The OBDII system will store malfunction information so the smog check repair technician can find and fix the problem. Smog stations are required to have OBDII trouble code retrieval tools or scanners on hand.
Search Smog Check Stations By City
SmogTips.com™ certified smog tests station city list. Click the link above to find California cities and their zip codes. Cities in enhanced areas of the California smog check program will include regular smog check centers, also known as smog test & repair centers, STAR smog test only stations which are allowed to certify STAR directed and regular vehicles; A test only smog center is not allowed to repair vehicles however is allowed to perform smog inspections and certify any car, truck, van, suv, or RV, and STAR smog stations which are allowed to inspect, repair and certify all vehicles, smog test only station directed or not. Learn about the 3 types of emission test centers, smog service centers, auto repair shops.