View Full Version : Smog Check In California

04-19-2012, 05:31 AM
Received my registration renewal for 2010 Sprinter and it requires a smog check. On line search of DMV rules say vehicle does not need smog check until it is 6 years old but has a note that the info doesn't apply to diesel, motorcycles or 2 cylinder cars. Can't find where these exceptions are explained. Any one know why 2 year old Sprinters are required to get smog inspection?

04-19-2012, 03:09 PM
CA now smogs diesels, as of 2010 or 2011 I think. I took in my 2003 for the first time last Fall. I'm not sure why your 2 y/o diesel needs to be smogged, I would send a note with the registration (use AAA instead of DMV office, the AAA workers know more than the DMV workfare drones) explaining that it is only 2 years old, thus exempt according to their rules. If not, you will get another letter asking you to smog it.

*if you go to DMV to register, ask for a manager or someone who can read; the desk drone will simply say that you need to do what the letter says, with a blank and hateful look in their eyes.

04-19-2012, 04:04 PM
It's a total joke.
I had to get mine smogged in december.
You have to find a "test only" spot that check diesels.
It took driving around to a couple spots to find a shop who would do it.

The technician looks around, doesn't hook it up to a computer or put on the treadmill, looks around on the computer...you pay $65.:crazy:

04-19-2012, 04:32 PM
esp. of CARB :.:crazy: department
collecting State revenue.


04-19-2012, 05:02 PM
Link to California Smog Check Manual...


04-20-2012, 03:55 PM
Go to Mexico and you will NEVER complain about the California Smog Check Program again. It has helped improve the air quality substantially.

Graphite Dave
04-20-2012, 04:00 PM
Do not have to go all the way to Mexico. Just move to a zip code in Ca. that does not require smog checks. I have never done a smog check since registering vehicles in 95465.

04-20-2012, 09:27 PM
Had to get the 2008 ckd in September.
Looked around and underneath.
OK you pass

04-20-2012, 10:04 PM
Same here. He opened the hood looked left, looked right closed the hood, collected $75.00.
What a scam.

04-21-2012, 12:00 AM
California Air Resource Board: CARB,

2011 Buget:6,527,715,000 BILLION, with 1,225 Good old boys, State Employee positions,


Thats 532,000 per position!
Yes, it is a big Scam.

04-21-2012, 02:11 AM
Yes, I did some research last year after I received my notice and found that California changed the law in 2010 and you can now expect the DMV to request a smog check every other year.

Apparently, the reason that diesels are not exempt for the first five years is that the requirement covers ALL diesel vehicles, including commercial trucks that might rack up as many as 50,000 in a single year.

As others have stated, the check itself (as outlined in the BAR manual) is fairly straightforward and quick since it doesn't actually require an emissions measurement - just a visual observation of smoke (steady-state and momentary throttle blip). Hand 'em a check for $65 and you're on your way.

In my case, the biggest problem is that the computer onto which they log the "results" and transmit the certificate to the DMV... didn't list either Roadtrek as a manufacturer or "Sprinter" (or 2500/3500 for that matter) under the Mercedes category. The mechanic and I drew straws and decided to list my motorhome as a C230. With all of the other issues I've had with this M/H relative to the :censored: DMV, I was half-expecting to get a rejection notice... but they gleefully accepted my check and sent me my 2012 registration.

05-19-2012, 02:26 PM
The smog test on diesels is supposed to apply only to vehicles with a GVW of less than 8500 lbs. I looked up the GVW of my 2006 Sprinter and it was listed at 8550. Hmm? Shouldn't this have exempted me from the smog check? Maybe my numbers are wrong? It sure was annoying having to test a vehicle that was less than six years old. One reason I bought a diesel was to not have to smog my vehicle any more. Now I will end up smogging my car MORE often than if I'd bought a gasoline vehicle! I feel tricked...

05-19-2012, 02:45 PM
Google for "smog check coupons" and you'll never pay $65 or more again. I took a new to me gas engine vehicle in for smog check the other day and paid $20 + the state certificate fee ($8.25). My Sprinter was $30 + the state fee last year. Both of these were done at locations on the San Francisco peninsula.

05-19-2012, 07:34 PM
better to have smog checks that are "jokes" than serious ones that you might not pass and cost a lot of money.

05-19-2012, 08:47 PM
Years ago I bought a new Toyota and received a notice at year 2 that it required a smog cert from California,then went further on to say that they knew it was not necessary and I could just mail the $45 directly to the state.

05-22-2012, 04:27 AM
Apparently the article I read about diesel vehicles with a GVWR of less than 8500 lbs. needing to be tested was incorrect.
The state literature I have read since says that all diesel vehicles under 14000 lbs. need to be tested. Slight difference there.