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California Emissions Test Centers and Testing Information

California emissions standards are set by the California Air Resources Board. CARB sets requirements which limit the amount of pollutants that are allowed to be released into the atmosphere. The emissions standards focus on pollutants produced by automobiles and other gasoline powered emission producing vehicles. CARB also regulates emissions from power plants, small equipment such as lawn mowers, and industrial businesses.

The California Air Resources Board generally regulates the emissions of NOx, Sulfur Oxides, Particulate Matter such as soot, Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Hydrocarbons. These three harmful pollutants cause the formation of smog.

What are emission test standards and how are emissions measured during the emissions test?

The California Air Resources Board and the Bureau of Automotive Repairs have evaluated and researched vehicle emission pollutions for the past 25 years and determined emission test standards used which promote clean air and deter vehicle owners from driving harmful emissions producing cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and motorhomes on California highways and roadways. Emissions test standards are limits that set thresholds for vehicle exhaust emissions. Emission performance standards have been used to limit emission pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen, Carbon Monoxides and Hydrocarbons via emissions test metering devices also known as "smog machine"/s.

California utilizes private industry in the form of emission test centers commonly known as smog stations to test and evaluate California vehicle emissions. Used California vehicles 6 years and older are required to undergo an emissions test during their initial California registration, once every two years thereafter, and during a title transfer. The emissions test will sample the vehicle's exhaust emissions and measure them against a digital Emissions Cut Score Chart established by the Air Resource Board. Based on the vehicle's year, weight and engine size the smog machine will determine whether the vehicle passed or failed the emissions test.

The state of California has more stringent vehicle emissions standards then other states due to the fact it has one of the largest automotive markets in the world. The California Air Resource Board has great influence over the emissions requirements that automakers must meet if they wish to sell their new vehicles in California. CARB lists 16 other states which will be adopting CARB rules and emissions test standards by mid 2009.

Federal emission II level standards have begun phasing in since 2004, and are planned on continuing until 2009. Automobiles and light trucks including SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans will be treated differently under certain standards based on vehicle weight and engine size.

California Emission Test Limits: California Emission Cut Score Lookup

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