Smog Check Program Information and Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Smog Program?

Are you confused about the California Smog Check Program?  Allow us to help you understand why it's important to keep your vehicle in smog compliance.  If you grew up in California, then you probably remember daily smog forecasts and 1st stage smog alerts! 

We haven't had a 1st stage smog alert since the late 1980’s and our strict smog program is partially to thank!  California's smog program is so strict, many states have adopted the smog rules and regulations.  Just because California has a strict smog program, you don't need to worry, our state licensed smog technicians are here to help guide you through the emissions process.

Unsure if your vehicle will pass its regular emission test?  Below you'll find some useful information about the pass / fail criteria.

What is a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL)?  A check engine light, service engine soon is referred to in the industry as a MIL.  This lamp is located within the driver information center.  If this light is illuminated your vehicle will fail the emission test.  It is a common myth that this light illuminates when it's time for an oil change or a tire is low.  The MIL is strictly related emission control systems and is there to alert the driver there is a problem within the emission system.  To ensure your vehicle will pass its emission test, you should see your state certified smog repair center, to help you diagnose and repair your vehicle correctly.  See some examples below of the MIL system. 


Modified Vehicles

When an automobile manufacture designs and builds a vehicle, the emission system design has to undergo strict testing from the Environmental Protection Agency and they have to comply with the federal test procedure that was set in place for that model year vehicle.  There are many different emission control devices that are in use in every manufactured vehicle today.  When a consumer purchases the vehicle, it is the hope of the EPA that they will not alter or modify the emission control system.  However, there are approved modifications that can be performed as long as they meet the guidelines set in place by The Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board (CARB).  Just because you have decided to modify some of the emission components, that doesn't automatically mark your vehicle as non compliant.  As a general rule of thumb, make sure that what ever you decide to change has the appropriate executive order number or EO number.  Your licensed smog technician will verify that the modification you installed on your vehicle meets the executive order requirement at the time of inspection.  If you would like to see if your vehicle modification requirements, follow the link provided below to enter your EO number into the database of after-market parts guide.

California Air Resources Board - Aftermarket Parts


Smog Facts