Whether the Ford diesel truck you are considering buying will require a smog check now or an engine change in 2023 depends on a few criteria.
California has required all diesel trucks and diesel passenger cars which are 1998 model year or newer and weight 14,000 GVWR or under, undergo a biennial smog inspection similar to their gasoline counterparts since 2010. The question is, what is the GVWR of the Ford diesel truck/flatbed you intend on buying?
If it's 14,000 GVWR or under, it will require a smog inspection biennially just like a standard gasoline powered or hybrid vehicle. If the truck weighs over 14,000 lbs then there is no smog check requirement but it may fall under the engine change requirements starting 2020 (with completion by 2023). In terms of rules enforcement for heavy-duty diesel smog emissions, CARB has its own enforcement division, in coordination with the California Highway Patrol, to check trucks at border crossings, weigh stations, truck stops and ports and issue citations for non-compliance.
The rules for heavy-duty diesel fleet trucks, as drafted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), are in place to reduce emissions by bringing older fleets up to cleaner engine standards. We will discuss the diesel truck requirements which fall in the 14,000 lbs to 26,000 lbs range.
California fleets must comply with a schedule that requires replacement of engines 20 years and older, starting January 1, 2020. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in commercial fleets will need to replace their engines with 2010 model-year engines (or newer) or equivalent emissions by 2023. Heavy-duty trucks can comply with retrofit diesel particulate filters (DPFs). Lighter trucks are not eligible for DPF upgrades because their upgrade requirements have been delayed. Lighter diesel trucks must effectively undergo an entire engine replacement.
Diesel Smog Test Exemption
The DMV does not require a California emission inspection (smog check) for the following types of vehicles:
- Any diesel car or diesel pickup truck which is 1997 model year or older.
- Any diesel truck which weights over 14,000 GVWR.