Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What vehicles require Smog Checks?
I am being directed to a “STAR Station”… what is that?
The State of California sometimes directs vehicles to STAR-certified stations (that’s us!) – which are smog inspection centers that are a cut above the rest. We had to undergo stricter qualifications and continuous monitoring by the State to ensure that what we do is accurate, and done with the utmost integrity. Plus, as a Test Only STAR Station (that’s us!) we can be completely fair, we do not have the incentives to ask to you to pay for unnecessary and fraudulent repairs.
What is an “EVAP” Test?
The Low-Pressure Evaporation (“EVAP”) test checks for leaks between your engine and the gas tank. Started in December 2007, it is required by the State of California for vehicles 1995 and prior (some models are exempt).
How about Diesel vehicles?
As of January 1, 2010, diesel vehicles 1998 and newer, and weighing under 14,500 GVW will need a smog check. The procedures will be different, but we have been trained to perform diesel smog checks.
What is a fair smog test price?
It depends on the vehicle, model, and year. But let us put it this way: it is far more important to work with a reputable Smog Check business with honest and all-inclusive “out the door” pricing. Reputable stations will ALWAYS give your fair prices. People Love Us on Yelp and Google, check out Testimonials from happy customers here. Integrity is our foremost Core Value, check it out here.
My car is perfect. Why do I need a FREE retest?
While your engine emissions may seem fine, a California smog inspection covers more than what is coming out of your tailpipe. The computer on board of your vehicle, hoses, and wiring under the hood, are all part of a smog inspection as required by the State. If any of these components fail, you will be required to repair them and go through another full smog inspection (State law prohibits partial retests). We want to give you the peace of mind that you can always return to us without being double-charged. Check out our other “secrets” to passing a smog test here.
What are the environmental benefits of the Smog Check Program?
The Smog Check Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California. According to the California Air Resources Board, the program removes about 400 tons of smog-forming pollutants from California’s air every day.
What happens if my vehicle fails a Smog Check?
In order to complete your registration, you will need to obtain the repairs necessary for it to pass its Smog Check retest. Here at SmogQueen, your retest is FREE of charge, for all 2000 and newer vehicles within 30 days.
How often does my vehicle have to be tested?
In most cases, your vehicle must be tested every other year. A Smog Check is also required if you sell your vehicle and it is more than four model years old.
What changed under the new program?
The new program uses newer equipment to test for more pollutants and newer test procedures to help identify vehicles that need repair.
How can I help my vehicle pass a Smog Check?
Performing proper and regular vehicle maintenance according to your owner’s manual, and not tampering with the emissions control equipment are keys to passing Smog Check. Check out our Secrets to Passing a Smog Check page here.
What is “CAP” and how do I qualify?
The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) provides financial assistance to repair or retire a vehicle that fails a Smog Check. You can check out the details of the program from the State website here.
If your DMV renewal notice requires a Smog Check at a STAR station, you may qualify for up to $500 in repair assistance once you pay the first $100 in repair costs. You may also qualify if your income is within certain levels, regardless of where you got your Smog Check. If you qualify based on income, a $20 co-pay is all that you need.
If you feel your car is not worth repairing, the State may buy the car from you for $1,000 and have it scrapped at a local dismantler.