DRIVE AutoCare (Hwy 101 Solana Beach)
(858) 755-5015
DRIVE AutoCare (N. Cedros Solana Beach)
(858) 793-0560

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$10 off Your Next Smog Test
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EXP 8/2/2024

Smog Check in Solana Beach, CA

  • Smog Inspections
  • STAR Certified
  • Test Only Smog Inspection
  • Smog Test & Repair

Smog Services


STAR Certified Smog Check Stations provide a higher level of smog check and repair services. Smog Depot is a STAR Smog Test & Repair Station which means we are licensed by the State of California to test and perform emissions-related repairs. We have state-of-the-art equipment and we can usually complete your smog inspection in 20 minutes or less!




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Smog FAQ

Q- What vehicles need a smog inspection?

A- Any gas-powered vehicle made in 1976 or newer needs a bi-annual smog inspection in California. Vehicles under 6 years old are generally exempted if owned by the original purchaser.

Q- My check-engine light is on and I need a smog inspection. What should I do?

A- Be sure to inform our Service Writer of any dashboard lights that are on. In most cases that would be an automatic failure. We can “pull codes” out of your car’s computer and see where the problem lies.

Q- I just bought a car and the seller didn’t furnish me with a smog certificate. What should I do?

A- In California, the seller (private party or dealer) MUST furnish you with a smog certificate. If they didn’t give you one, they can:

Give you all your money back and take back the car.
Pay you to have it smog tested. (If it fails, that’s their problem.)
Have it smog tested themselves. You can mention Vehicle Code section 24007 (b)(2) if needed.
Q- How long is a smog inspection good for?

A- 2 years unless you’re selling the car, then it’s 90 days.

Q- I’m selling my car. Do I have to get it to smog inspected?

A- Unless you’re selling or trading it to a dealer or auction house you have to have a smog inspection done within the last 90 days.

Q- I just moved here from another state. Will my vehicle pass the California Smog Inspection?

A- As long as it has all of the originally installed emission equipment and can pass the emissions part of the test (if required) it should be fine.

Q- What is a Fuel Evap Test?

A- The Evaporative Emission test is a separate test required for model years 1976-1995. It is in addition to the regular smog test.

Q- My vehicle failed the smog check because the “Check Engine” light was illuminated. Why didn’t the smog technician inform me that I would fail the inspection BEFORE doing the test?

A- Emissions (Tail Pipe) the InspectionThe State of California requires smog technicians to perform the smog test in the following order:

Visual Inspection – Inspect for the presence of Emissions Components
Functional Inspection – Inspect Check Engine Light, Ignition Timing, EGR valve operation, Gas Cap pressure test)
It doesn’t seem right for a smog technician to smog test a vehicle which he/she knows will fail the test due to the Check Engine light being on, but the law does require shops to perform the test this way in order to gather accurate data about the condition of vehicles currently being driven in California. This information is used for studies and up-to-date surveys. Unfortunately, we are REQUIRED to test vehicles as they arrive at the test site or we could lose our license.

What Are the California Smog Check Requirements?

California smog check is required for all vehicles manufactured before 1998. Except for diesels or trucks with gross vehicle weights of more than 14,000 pounds, electric or natural gas-powered vehicles that weigh more than 14,000 pounds, as well as hybrids, motorcycles, and vehicles made before 1975. Of course, since they don't have engines, trailers are also exempt from the smog program. In those areas where the biennial smog check program applies, owners must submit evidence of smog compliance with every other renewal. If your car is six years old or newer, you are only required to pay an annual smog abatement fee. Your car won't be registered until the fee is paid.

Do I Need a Smog Check If My Check Engine Light Is On?

A smog check for a check engine light is not necessary. Smog checks are often required whenever you renew your license plate tabs. Smog check requirements vary by state, so check with your local DMV in regards to your state requirements. Some states do not even require smog checks. The ones that do have differing guidelines. If your vehicle is less than five years old, it will often be exempt from a smog check. In many states a car that has a check engine light on will be an automatic fail on a smog check, so it is best to have it fixed prior to taking the car in for a check.

DRIVE AutoCare is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call DRIVE AutoCare (Hwy 101 Solana Beach) (858) 755-5015, DRIVE AutoCare (N. Cedros Solana Beach) (858) 793-0560 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.