Smog Check

Smog Check

Is it time for your Smog check?

It’s good to know that smog technicians are always on duty at Quality Car Care. And rest assured, all our Smog technicians are ASE certified — they’re trained experts.

Thankfully, most cars pass the smog test — but if your car fails, Quality Car Care is authorized by the State of California to make those adjustments or repairs at each location. These services are provided for most cars and light trucks.

And remember, there is never an appointment necessary at any Quality Car Care shop. Drop by any of our four locations in San Jose. We also have service centers in Fremont and Milpitas. 

What is a Smog Check?

In 1984, California initiated Smog tests as part of a statewide campaign to reduce air pollution, especially in the Los Angeles area. These tests determine the amounts and types of pollutants coming out of your vehicle’s tailpipe. The test involves connecting a hose to the vehicle tailpipe. Exhaust fumes are analyzed by computer and compared against limits set by the State Air Resources Board. 

The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires a Smog check every two years. It also requires a Smog check if you sell your vehicle and it is more than four years old.

Additionally, Smog Check results offer insights into your vehicle's overall health. 

What Are Reasons My Vehicle Might Fail a Smog Check?

There are a variety of reasons a vehicle may not pass inspection. It takes a trained expert to sleuth out the cause of the problem.  

Worn out parts could cause your vehicle to fail a Smog test. For example, loose or corroded distributor wires in older vehicles could be the reason for test failure. Fortunately, such issues are easy to spot and simple to replace during routine check-ups. 

A vehicle could fail also fail a Smog test simply because it does not have fresh oil and filters. Ask your service advisor how often you need to change the oil, oil filter and air filters to assure peak performance.

Malfunctioning injectors or a faulty oxygen sensor could also be the culprit. 

Of course, there are more complex reasons for a test failure. Rest assured, our certified technicians have what it takes to get your vehicle running smoothly again. 

How Do I Keep My Vehicle Healthy Between Smog Checks?

  • Complete any manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance between inspections. Regular maintenance addresses problems such as loose hoses, old spark plugs and engine tuning.
     
  • Use the grade of fuel recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. It helps the engine burn fuel more efficiently and cleaner.
     
  • Call your service advisor immediately if you see a “check engine” light. This may indicate a serious problem with the emissions control system or sensor that has worn out. In either case, don’t bother going to the SMOG station—your vehicle will not pass the test.

Any Other Advice?

Don't worry. We're here for you, whether you pass or fail. But remember, pretty much every well-maintained vehicle will pass a Smog check. In other words, staying on top of routine maintenance is the easiest way to avoid surprises come Smog test time.