Smog tests are designed to help keep the air cleaner and lower pollutant levels. In California, cars are required to take a smog test, and your vehicle must pass one in order to be legally driven in Los Angeles.
What Are Smog Tests?
In the state of California, smog tests are required for most cars unless they’re electric, diesel-powered 1997 model year and older, or gasoline-powered 1975 and older.
In January 2019, California changed its smog inspection program. Vehicles registered in areas that require a biennial smog certification are still required to be tested every other year. Owners of cars registered in all other areas are required to pay an annual smog abatement fee for the first eight registration years after a vehicle has received its initial smog certification.
Your car must pass a smog test in Los Angeles in order to be legally driven. If you’re new to LA, or this is your first time buying a vehicle here, read on for some tips on how to pass a smog test.
What to Do to Pass a Smog Test in Los Angeles
Are there really any tricks to passing a smog test in Los Angeles? Truly, as long as you keep up with regular, routine maintenance, passing a smog test should be a breeze. Make sure you change the oil when needed to avoid contaminants – the fresher the oil, the easier it is to pass a smog test.
If you had work done where the battery needed to be disconnected or replaced, you should put some miles on your car before you take it in for a smog test. The reason why is your vehicle’s memory chip could have been temporarily erased if its battery was disconnected. It needs some time to reread information, and if you don’t let it, you could fail the smog test.
The last thing you need to do is to check the tires. Some places have cars drive on a dynamometer (a device that measures the power output of an engine) as part of the smog inspection. They need to be at the proper inflation level in order to pass this part. You can check your tires’ inflation levels on your own, or have a mechanic do it for you.
Where to Get a Smog Test Done
In Los Angeles and the state of California, you can usually get a smog test done at your local dealership, smog check station, or other types of automotive service centers. It depends on where you live, and what’s most convenient for you.
If you want a smog pretest, only official smog test centers offer this. Keep in mind that it’s an unofficial test, you pay a fee, and your vehicle is still required to pass the actual smog test in order to receive certification in California.
The cost of a smog test itself varies depending on where you go to have it done, the type of car you drive, and where you live. Generally, a smog test in California costs between $25 and $70. If you’re on a tight budget, you can call the location where you plan to have the test performed, give them your vehicle information, and ask for an estimate.
If your car fails a smog test, make sure you ask why it failed, what must be done to correct any issues, and schedule another test.
Need a Car Loan in LA?
The bottom line is this: make sure your vehicle is up to date on routine maintenance, and take the smog tests when needed, according to where you live in Los Angeles or any other part of California.
Smog tests aside, if you’re in the market for a car but worry your bad credit is holding you back, Auto Credit Express wants to help. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that have lending resources available to assist people in all kinds of credit situations.
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