There is no actual measurement of tailpipe emissions, nor is the vehicle placed on a dyno. Instead, a computer is plugged into the vehicle's diagnostic connector to see 1 if the OBD II sysem is functioning properly, 2 that there are no stored fault codes and 3 that the Malfunction Indicator Lamp MIL is not on. If the OBD II system has run all its self-checks and the vehicle is in emissions compliance, it passes the plug-in test.
History of Smog Check in California
But if the MIL lamp is on, the vehicle fails the test and may be subjected to a repeat plug-in test or some type of loaded mode emissions test on a dyno. January , Illinois January and Missouri. Pennsylvania has used ASM testing in the Philadelphia area, and other areas.
Though some states still use a simple idle test to check emissions, the ones that do not meet air quality standards mostly use some type of enhanced loaded mode dyno emissions testing or the new OBD II plug-in test. One trend that is helping to minimize the inconvenience of having to take an emissions test is extending the time period between tests for newer, low mileage vehicles.
County of San Diego
In some states, testing is only required every other year and may not be required at all until a vehicle is four years old. Changes in California's Smog Check II program are a good indication of the direction that other states forced to adopt enhanced emissions testing may follow.
When the federal Clean Air Act was amended in , the U. California negotiated an alternative plan with the EPA that would achieve the same reductions in vehicle emissions without such draconian measures. The new emissions testing program enhancements were enacted into law in and approved by the EPA on September 26, Subsequent legislation has further refined the Smog Check II program to include the following elements:. In less smoggy "basic areas" enhanced emissions testing is not required and the existing biennial two-speed idle test at licensed test-and-repair stations remains the same as before.
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Basic emissions testing is required for vehicles that are being sold or are being registered in California for the first time. The dyno is used primarily for checking NOx emissions. To get accurate NOx readings, the engine must be under load to produce the high combustion temperatures that form NOx.
California smog check
The only problem with using a dyno is that some all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles cannot be driven on a two-wheel dyno, nor can some vehicles with traction control systems. These vehicles will be exempt from the enhanced emissions test but must still pass a two-speed idle test. Test results are transmitted electronically to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This information is used to determine which vehicles are most likely to fail their smog checks, especially at Gross Polluter levels — at least two times the emissions level allowed for a particular vehicle.
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No single factor identifies a vehicle for a smog check to be done at a STAR station. The data is weighted, and the vehicles selected using this computer profiling of vehicles are most likely to fail their smog check.
The SIP is a blueprint outlining the methods California will use to meet federal air quality standards. As required by state law, two percent of the vehicles in the Enhanced Areas are also directed to STAR stations for their smog checks.
San Mateo County Smog Check Stations | Diamond Certified
These vehicles are selected randomly to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Smog Check Program. You can reach us today today at Hayward or Colma or at Fremont - for more information about vehicle emissions testing. On the Peninsula you can find us in Sunnyvale.