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General Smog Check

1985 Mercedes Benz 280SL will not pass Enhanced smog test

Greetings. My father-in-law has a 1985 Mercedes Benz 280SL. He has to sell it to pay down debt. I took it to Marin County to try to sell it and it would not pass smog in Marin. It has passed smog every two years for the past 27 years in El Dorado County. I’ve had a mechanical do a full tune up and other repairs and it now is at the threshold but still may not pass [enhanced] smog. The bottom line is I want to do the right thing: smog it properly and sell it. Why the double standard? Is there anything I can do with a low usage “classic” car that will meet the smog laws? Seem unethical to get it smoged in a county with lower standard, sell it, then let the byer deal with it down the road.


With the enhanced test your MBZ is being driven on a dynomometer during the smog check with 50% load being applied during the 15 mph portion and 25% during the 25 mph. The Enhanced smog inspection has been proven to retrieve a more accurate sample of your vehicle's emissions production. To sell your vehicle all you are entitled to do is get a smog check were your Mercedes is registered (or any other county for that matter). You are correct, it does seem unethical to have it smogged in a county that requires a smog test which your Mercedes will (might) pass, however that is all the DMV and BAR requires. There is a California vehicle code which requires your vehicle be properly maintained and not polluting. You have the option of repairing your MBZ to pass the Enhanced smog test should you wish to comply with this law.

posted by SmogTips Support

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