[ba] someone explain this smog thing please

Mike Veglia msvphoto at pacbell.net
Tue Sep 26 19:37:37 EDT 2006

Welcome to California Dan! 

First off, there are different tests required depending on the region in which you live. Walnut Creek most likely requires the dyno test (except AWD) which are typically more expensive. In our county we don't have the most stringent requirements (since all our smog gets blown into the Central Valley by the sea breeze our air remains pretty clean ;)...). 

Smog tests here (Santa Cruz County) typically run around $40-50. $99 is a tad high. The $29.99 test almost certainly has an asterisk someplace (and in almost all cases they don't include the "certificate" which is now electronic, but charged for anyway). The worst part is you'll have to keep doing this every two years (but that is the only state inspection you'll need to do). "Test Only" stations are actually pretty good since they are not allowed to do any work and thus avoid a perception of conflict of interest. Since that is their only business they tend to be a bit more expensive, at least here in Santa Cruz. OTOH, when I brought my Ur-Q in to CA after purchasing it in WA I took it to the smog guy I always use and he tweeked the mixture adjustment to get it to pass and didn't charge anything extra--something a test only station is forbidden from doing. (And he got it spot on too.)

Hope you have found BART to get to the city to work...

Mike Veglia

----- Original Message ----
From: Dan Simoes <dans at audifans.com>
To: ba-group at audifans.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:40:44 PM
Subject: [ba] someone explain this smog thing please

I went to register my wife's Suzuki (no snickers please).
I was told I had to get it smogged first.
So, I went next door, and was told the fee is $99.  I asked "is this a 
standard DMV fee, like in NY?"  Oh yes sir, but we are the only ones who 
allow a free retest.

The next day, I opened the paper, and saw an ad for smog test, $29.99, 
with free retest.  Grrr.

Some places say "test only".  What does that mean?  What do they do 
besides test?

My Suzuki passed fine and my TDI doesn't need smog, but I'd like to know 
for future reference.

By the way, I've settled in Walnut Creek and am working in SF.

| Dan |
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