The Importance of Smog Testing

Are you new to California? Or have you recently realized that smog checks are not standard in other states? If so, you may wonder why smog testing is necessary for California.

Let’s learn why smog testing is necessary in California. We will begin our discussion by learning about why California seems to have a problem with smog. Then we will learn about the history of smog checks in the state.

Why is there so much smog in California?

Cars cause pollution all over the country. Why does California seem to be most susceptible to the effects of car emissions?

First, California is a state chock-full of highways, and Californians love cars. We can’t help it if we live in the prettiest state in the country, and we want to drive our cars to visit the desserts, mountains, and beaches that are scattered throughout our region.

Second, California enjoys a lot of sunny weather. While this sunshine puts everyone in a good mood, it can also have a detrimental effect as well. When the nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon gases are exposed to the sunlight, smog is created.

To top it all off, California has a unique topography and weather patterns that may cause air pollution to stick around the atmosphere for longer.

As a result, you get a toxin in the air that causes cancer, respiratory illnesses, heart problems, and asthma.

Smog check history

Way back in 1972, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) was started in California. This department was in charge of licensing and regulating the car repair industry. At the same time, the California Highway Patrol began ticketing drivers of cars that polluted excessively.

Clean air was on every American’s mind in 1977. It was then that the federal government passed the Clean Air Act. At this point, California became more determined to reduce the amount of harmful emissions from motor vehicles. The state government started a new program to inspect vehicles. At first, the state targeted their inspections on cars that were changing owners, but in 1984, California began a more encompassing smog check program.

In 1996, the smog check records began to be recorded electronically. The information was shared with the DMV and the BAR.

In 1997, individually-owned test only smog check centers opened, and citizens were asked to visit nearby smog check stations to receive their bi-annual check.

As guidelines became more stringent, more tests were required to make sure that the vehicle was not negatively affecting the air quality of Californians.

In 2000, a consumer assistance program was started to assist individuals in getting their car fixed if it didn’t pass inspections.

In 2007, vehicles were also required to pass the low-pressure fuel evaporative test.

The STAR program was introduced in 2013. This program was used to make sure that the smog check stations in San Jose and elsewhere in the state were operating as expected.

Even though the requirements have changed through the years, the newest standards implemented in 2019 say that vehicles eight-years and newer are not required to undergo smog checks.

This article was originally posted at San Jose Smog Check.