What Happens If You Fail a Smog Test in California?

If you've been a long-time California resident, you know that this state does not take emissions tests lightly. There are strict laws that require your vehicle to pass in order to be legal to drive. To be specific, if your automobile is more than 6 years old, you need to pass a smog test every two years, or biannually. Not only does this rule protect older vehicles from falling apart, but smog tests help to keep our air quality clean.

If your vehicle didn't make the cut this time around with its annual emissions test, it can possibly be for the following reasons:

  • Check engine light on
  • Dirty air filter
  • Leaking gas cap
  • Old spark plugs, leading to an increase in hydrocarbon emissions
  • Malfunctioning evaporative emission control system (EVAP)
  • Problems with the catalytic converter

You shouldn't freak out after failing this test because the test center will give you an outlined list of why your car didn't pass. Some test centers, like Taylormade Automotive, can make those repairs and prepare you for a retest. When an automobile fails a smog test in California, it doesn't necessarily mean you can no longer drive it. Your car just won't be registered, meaning you run the chance of getting pulled over and fined. Therefore, it's wise to get those necessary repairs as soon as possible to avoid this inconvenience.

Additional Tips on How to Pass Your Next Smog Check

  • Get a tune-up in advance or pre-inspection
  • Engage in highway driving
  • Try a fuel additive
  • Fix your check engine light 

If you're looking for a smog check or exhaust system repairs, look no further than the experts at Taylormade Automotive. 

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