Your 3 Options After Failing Your Smog Check

We don’t want to play the role of Debbie Downer, but there is a possibility that your car won’t pass your smog check in San Jose.

Unfortunately, our staff at San Jose Smog Check sees this happen every once in a while. When you bring your car to San Jose Smog Check, you will receive a fast, cheap smog check, but you will not receive advice on how to fix your vehicle if it doesn’t pass. We are a STAR-certified, check-only station. We leave the fixing to the other guys.

Today we would like to walk you through the decisions you will face if your vehicle doesn’t pass the smog test.

The great state of California takes smog tests seriously. The state wants to reduce the amount of smog in the air we breathe, but they also want to make sure that only safe vehicles are allowed on the congested roads.

If your vehicle fails the smog test, the state will refuse to register it. This means that as soon as your registration expires, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle.

This leads you to make one of three choices.

1. You can drive the vehicle illegally.

It is illegal to drive a vehicle with expired tags, but some people take this risk. Please know that this is incredibly risky behavior, as the California Highway Patrol is trained to watch for those pesky expired tags. They can and will pull you over for driving with them.

If you get caught, you will not only have to pay a fine, but your vehicle will also be impounded. The longer your car is impounded, the more expensive it will be to get it back. Once you retrieve your vehicle from the impound lot, you still won’t be able to drive it.

If you can’t afford to fix your vehicle to pass a smog test, you surely can’t afford to pay for a ticket and impound fees.

2. Fix your car.

You have another option if your car doesn’t pass the smog test. You could get it fixed. This may be an expensive prospect, but it won’t be as nearly as expensive as the previous scenario.
Once the exhaust is fixed, you can return to San Jose Smog Check within 90 days to receive a free re-test. When it passes, you can go to the DMV and pay to get the registration up to date.

3. You could sell the car.

While California has specific smog check requirements for transferring the title of a car to another person, you may be able to sell your vehicle without a smog check to a buy center. You may not get a ton for the car, but perhaps you will get enough to make a down payment on a different vehicle.

We know getting a smog check is not your favorite thing to do, but San Jose Smog Check has worked hard to make the process as painless as possible. Drop in at our location on West San Carlos Street today.

This article was originally posted at San Jose Star Smog Check.