Basic Smog Test
- Counties in
California with low smog pollution require the "Basic"
smog test. If your county has been added to the "Enhanced"
smog test requirement list, the smog stations in your local
area will have the neccessary equipment to test your vehicle. No specific action will be required by the vehicle owner.
Change of Ownership - Counties with even less smog pollution are designated as "Change of Ownership" areas. In Change of Ownership parts of the state, smog checks are only required when a vehicle is bought or sold, and when a used vehicle is imported into the state of California. New vehicles imported into California by the vehicle manufacturer do not need smog checks. These vehicles are California certified during production.
OBDII Smog Machine Link - The
State of California now requires all vehicles 1996 and up, to communicate directly with the smog machine during the smog test. This is achieved
via your vehicle's OBDII Data Link Connecter.
As part of the
smog inspection process, the smog technician will connect a
Data Cable from the smog machine to your vehicle's OBDII Data
Link Plug. This cable will deliver important "Check Engine"
codes and "Readiness Flags" from the engine's computer system
to the state's smog machine.
Emissions related failure codes
will cause your vehicle to fail the smog inspection. The
failure codes will be printed on the Vehicle Inspection Report
(VIR) which will be given to you by the smog station.
Out-of-State Vehicles - It's true, there is a difference between California and Federal emissions equipped vehicles. And, for the most part California is much stricter when it comes to requiring vehicle manufacturers to equip their vehicles with smog reducing components. However, a used federal vehicle which has all (or only) its federal required emission components, can pass the California smog inspection process and be legally registered in this state. In other words, California will not restrict consumers from purchasing and bringing into the state a used vehicle which is equipped with federal emissions components only, so long as the vehicle was designed that way by the manufacturer. It will however not allow new federal vehicles into the state. New car dealers who wish to sell their products in California must import California emissions equipped vehicles only.