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What is an EVAP control system and how can it affect my smog test

EVAP Control System Problem During Smog Test

Nearly all vehicles need to go through a smog test to be legally registered with the DMV in California. But while the test is painless and quick, a lot of cars still end up failing. If you have ever been in this situation, you know that it can be quite stressful, and nearly always requires a trip to your mechanic.

Luckily, a lot of times the reason why your car failed its smog test can be easily identified, and just as easily fixed and repaired. More often than not, the fault occurs because of either old and dirty air filters, broken sparkplugs, cold engines, or faulty check engine lights. The good news about all of these is that all of these can be quickly fixed, and quite cheaply too.

However, you do not even need to be worried about taking your car to the mechanic and getting all these components checked out.
Just come on down to San Jose Smog check and get your car inspected. There is only a 10 percent chance of it failing the test, and in case it does, our experienced technicians will tell you exactly what the problem is.

You can simply fix that, and come back within the month for a free retest and drive a legally registered car.

Unfortunately, there is one reason for a failed smog test which is quite difficult to diagnose and can be quite costly to repair as well. This is none other than a defective EVAP control system, which we will be discussing in detail below.

What is an EVAP control system?

The EVAP control system, or the Evaporative Emissions control system has a very specific purpose. It stops the fuel vapors in your gas tank and fuel system from escaping out of your car, and into the atmosphere.
Why? Because these gasoline vapors contain a lot of hydrocarbons, which are bad for health, and can cause a lot of smog. Thus, if you have a damaged or leaking EVAP system, there is a very high chance that you will fail your smog check.

How can the EVAP system get damaged?

There are a lot of reasons why your EVAP system may get damaged. The system itself consists of a charcoal canister which stores all evaporated gas vapors until they are required by the engine to run your car. It also contains a large number of hoses, vents, and valves which control the flow of fuel vapors into your engine.

Many of these hoses and vents are brittle, and can easily develop leaks and small cracks over a long period of time. It is also possible that one of these vacuum hoses has become loose, or even disconnected, which is releasing gas vapors into and out of your car.

Similarly, it is also completely possible that the charcoal cannister itself has gotten cracked, which will only worsen every time you drive over a pothole or bump your car in something. However, the most common and the most overlooked cause of a faulty EVAP is a leaky or loose gas cap.

How do I Identify an EVAP leak?

Luckily, there are a few ways of identifying whether or not you need your EVAP control system looked over before you come for your smog test. The most basic measure is to look at your check engine light. If it is blinking, there is a chance that your car’s computer has detected a change in pressure in the EVAP system, which could indicate a leak.

A second way to identify a leak in your EVAP system is to take a good long sniff in your car. If your nose can detect a faint smell of gasoline, it is likely that there may be a small leak in there somewhere. But if you can definitely smell gasoline, and your check engine light is blinking, you should definitely get your car checked out.

The last method to identify a potential problem with your EVAP system is to look at your gas mileage. If you can see a sudden decrease, it unfortunately means that your car may be wasting gas vapors due to leaks. And while any single indicator does not mean a faulty EVAP system, all of them together is bad news.


If your car is due for a smog check, be sure to check for any indications of a faulty EVAP control system. If you think that your EVAP system needs looking over, make sure that you visit your mechanic before coming down to San Jose Smog Check to get your car tested by some of the best, star certified technicians in California.


5 Benefits Of On-Time Smog Test

Getting your car Smog Check on Time

If you want to successfully renew your car’s registration and continue driving it on the streets of California, you need to pass a star smog test. And if you own a model which is older than 2012, you need to do this every other year. While this may seem like a painfully long, drawn-out process, this is not the case. In fact, down at San Jose Smog Check, we pride ourselves on making your Star certified test as quick and painless as possible.

Even though smog tests aren’t anything new, and have been around for quite some time, a lot of people still don’t believe that they are actually beneficial for them and their cars.

As one of the top smog test centers in California, we get this complaint a lot and assure you that this is not the case. In fact, here are the top 5 ways of getting a smog test done that can be beneficial for both you and your car!

Smog Checks help the environment

Who doesn’t like fresh air? But sadly, air quality has been a hot issue in California for quite some time now, and it is a well-known fact that we have some of the strictest emissions-related regulations.

This is why nearly all cars are required to clear the test before they can hit the road. Passing the smog test means that your car is in good shape and that it complies with all laws and regulations.

Most importantly, it makes sure that your car is not harming the environment with its emissions. By performing just one little check, you are helping to make this world a better, greener place for yourself and future generations.

Clearing a smog test makes your car legal

In the state of California, if you want to legally register your car with the Department of Motor Vehicles, you need to successfully clear a smog test first. For vehicles more than 8 years old, this needs to be done once after every two years.

If you don’t get the test done, the DMV will register your car, and you will be allowed to drive it around legally. And if you think that’s okay, it really is not.

Getting caught driving in an illegal car means a very long, bad day with a heavy fine and an impounded car. If you don’t want your ride to gather dust in the impound lot, it’s important to get the test done on time.

A Smog Test can help you take care of your car

Despite what many people think, the smog test does not only check the fumes coming out of the exhaust. Instead, the test consists of many checks and takes into consideration a lot of factors before passing or failing your vehicle.

The best smog test technicians will always begin your test by not only visually inspecting the exhaust output of your car, but also the check engine light, the time it takes you to start your car, your gas cap, as well as some basic things like tire inflation, oil, and engine temperature.

At the end of the test, you can expect a detailed report on how your car did in all these categories, and also a reason why if it failed the test. This is also why the best technicians will always have a lot of helpful advice for you, and can really help you take better care of your beloved car.

A Smog Test can improve your gas mileage

Believe it or not, correctly performed smog tests are extremely useful in this regard. When you get your car tested by us down at San Jose Smog Check, we take a look at your fuel EVAP system, which basically prevents the fuel vapors from your tank escaping out into the environment.

If we do suspect a cracked or loose valve or a hose, we will let you know right away, so you can get that fixed, and increase the mileage you get out of your car.
While this, unfortunately, means that you will fail the test, rest assured that we do not benefit financially from such events. Instead, you can get your EVAP system fixed, and come back within 30 days for a free retest on any car model as late as 2000.

Now that you know that getting a smog test is actually worth it, come on down to San Jose Smog Check for the best service in town- we’re open all week!


5 Important Factors that could Affect your Smog Test

Do These 5 Tips To Pass The Smog Test

We all love our cars, and the smog test is one of the most important evaluations our beloved vehicles have to go through. Not only does the smog test ensure that your car conforms to all vehicle laws and standards and confirms it’s running in top shape, but it also helps protect the environment from dangerous exhaust fumes.

This is why it is absolutely necessary to keep your vehicle in top shape and to pass the smog test when you are required to take it. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, a lot of people end up failing their smog tests.

Of course, in some cases there’s either an obvious fault with the vehicle or the car is simply an older model that’s been left sitting for quite some time.

However, in a majority of failed smog tests, this is not the case. Not only is this a major inconvenience, but also quite confusing for drivers and vehicle owners.

So what should you look out for? You need not worry because we have got your back. As your top STAR certified smog test station in San Jose, California, San Jose Star Smog has seen it all!

These are the top 5 factors that can affect your smog test:

1. Pending Repairs

Keeping your car in perfect shape is the key to getting a perfect score on your smog test. You should never get your smog test done if your car needs repairs or you have some pending.

You see, the smog test is not only designed to test the emissions of your car. In fact, a lot of factors account towards the final score. Make sure you have completed all immediate repairs that were needed before coming in for your test.

In case you are not able to complete them all, you should get your major engine repairs finished at any cost. Otherwise, you risk falling drastically.

2. Engine Temperature

Never, ever get a smog inspection done with a cold engine. It is not a good idea to simply start an engine that’s been sitting all night – or worse, all week – in a garage.

Always make sure to drive at least 20-30 minutes before making your way towards the smog test. What this does is that it ensures that your engine has plenty of time and running to warm up.

This means when you finally reach your smog test station, your fuel mixture and combustion readings will have reach optimum levels.

3 Battery Status

If you’ve recently replaced, or disconnected your battery, there’s a decent chance that the memory on your onboard sensors and test monitors has been erased.

You shouldn’t ever go for a smog test after a recent battery replacement or reconnection. The smog test facility requires these readings in order to complete your vehicle’s smog test.

Don’t worry; this is not a cause for alarm. All you have to do is drive around for a few days (ideally a week) so that your sensors have enough data logged again.

4 Dirty Oil

If you haven’t changed your engine oil in a long time, make sure you replace it all and top your vehicle off with fresh lubricant before going for your smog test.

Cars are almost alive. They are built to breathe and dirty oil can cause a lot of harmful fumes to build up in the engine bay. These fumes get into your intake and end up in your combustion system.

Always make sure your oil is fresh and clean before a smog inspection.

5 Tire Inflation

A smog test requires your car to be run on a dynamometer in order to take various readings.

A technician will drive your car for a set amount of time on the Dyno. The correct tire pressure is required for your car to run smoothly, efficiently, and in a stable manner.

If your tires are not properly inflated, this can affect the way your car behaves on the machine and as a result, negatively affect your results.

Bonus – Your smog test station

Not all smog stations are the same. When you have to bring your vehicle in for a smog inspection, make sure you bring it to a STAR certified testing station.

At San Jose Star Smog Check not only are we STAR certified by the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs we also actively look out for you.

We are a test-only facility and we don’t benefit financially if your vehicle fails the test. On top of that, we also offer FREE 30-day retests for cars made in 2000 or newer!

So what are you waiting for? San Jose Star Smog is open 7 days a week – just drop by whenever you need a smog test!

Cheap Smog Check

Smog Check Near Me

Smog Check In San Jose


Things Affecting Your Smog Check Results

Smog Testing Tips For Older Vehicles

People are sometimes surprised to discover that a few simple acts may help them pass their smog test. This is especially true if you are testing an older vehicle.

Keep in mind, if your car has a failing emissions system, there is little you can do to pass a smog check. But if your vehicle is borderline between passing or not passing, one of these tips may push you over enough to recertify your vehicle.

Here are some tips to consider:

Warm-up your engine.

A smog check should always be performed on a vehicle with a warm engine. Ideally, the car should have been driven at least 20 minutes before arriving at our facility. This will help ensure that your car’s engine will reach the proper fuel mixture and combustion levels. So run a few errands before you get your smog check. The pizza you picked up on the way will still be hot enough to eat when you get home.

Don’t replace your car battery right before the test.

Your car’s internal test monitors may be erased if your car battery is disconnected. We need access to this monitored information in order to complete your smog test. If you recently disconnected or replaced your car battery, wait a week until getting your smog check completed. Make sure you drive at least 100 to 200 miles before bringing it into our San Jose location.

Get your oil changed before you smog check.

Some people don’t realize that dirty engine oil can negatively affect a smog check. Dirty fumes that come from dirty oil may become part of the engine’s combustion. This means that dirty oil can lead to a bad emissions report. Plus, dirty oil is terrible for your car.

Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Tire pressure? What does that have anything to do with a smog test? Surprisingly, it does. During a smog test, a technician may drive your car on a dynamometer to obtain the necessary readings. Proper tire pressure is required to make sure your car remains stable during the test. As surprising as it may sound, a car’s tire pressure can be a critical factor in passing a smog check, especially for borderline cases.

Understand why your check engine light is on before your smog test.

It should not be a surprise that cars displaying their check engine lights are less likely to pass a smog check. In fact, if your check engine light is on, it may result in an automatic failure.
Now that you know these tips on passing your smog, visit San Jose Smog Check. We are a star-certified, test-only agency. We have a clean, comfortable waiting room, an accommodating staff, and complimentary reviews.

Although we can’t promise that your car will pass the smog test, we can guarantee that we will do all we can to make your experience as positive as possible.

This article was originally posted at San Jose Smog Check.

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smog check station near me

smog check near me


What To Do If You Fail Your Smog Check

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.


Easy To Remember Car Care Tips This Summer

Car Care Tips For You This Summer

No one likes getting stranded on the freeway. We want to say that getting your car looked at by technicians at the premier San Jose smog check station would keep that from happening, but that is not entirely accurate.

While San Jose Smog Check can promise you a fast and cheap smog check, you still have to take responsibility for performing routine maintenance on your vehicle. Special care must also be taken during the high temperatures of summer.

Here’s what you need to do:

Check your battery

People associate battery problems with colder months, but the summer heat can also wreak havoc on your car battery. If you find yourself visiting more natural areas and parks with unpaved roads, make sure your battery is securely mounted. Vibration caused by driving over rough roads may decrease the battery’s function.

Besides making sure the battery mount is secure, take a look at your battery terminals. Make sure the clamps are tight and free of corrosion. And before heading out on a road trip, have your battery tested, especially if it is close to three years old.

Check your engine coolant

Consult your car’s owner’s manual to see how often the cooling system should be flushed. At each oil change, make sure your technician is filling the coolant to the proper level. Of course, this job can be easily done yourself, but caution should be taken when removing the radiator cap. If the engine is too hot, this act could cause severe burns.

Before heading off on your road trip, make sure to inspect the hoses and belts for cracks.

Check all your car’s fluid levels

While we are on the subject of fluids, make sure that you check the car’s other fluid levels as well — not just the coolant. Learn how to check your car’s oil level, as well as the levels of your brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.

Check your tires

More tires blow out during the summer. This tends to occur when road temperatures are extremely high. One way to reduce the chance of a blowout is to check your tire pressure at least once a month. Underinflated tires are especially dangerous.

Does your car’s owner’s manual recommend one tire pressure, but your tires have a different number stamped on the side? Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to make sure you are driving in the safest conditions.

Make sure you can legally drive your vehicle

One thing that San Jose Smog Check CAN help you do is to make sure your car meets the smog check requirements of the State of California. The state will inform you if it is time for you to get your car checked, and our STAR station can give you a state-required smog check.

Check out our customer reviews. People love our fast service, clean atmosphere, and our smog check coupons. Even though we can’t assist you with your routine car maintenance, San Jose Smog Check will do what they can to make sure you are legal to drive on California freeways.

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smog check station near me

smog check near me


When To Do a Smog Check in San Jose?

How do you know that you need a smog check?

Since it’s hard to keep up with government regulations these days, we thought it would be beneficial to go through the California rules regarding smog checks. We will tell you under what conditions you are required to get one, under what circumstances you do not need one, and where you can get a “smog check near me.”

You need a smog check when . . .

Because smog checks are based on government regulations, we will give you the general rule and then go into the detail by looking at the “fine print.”

You need to get a smog check when you register a new vehicle in California.

The fine print: The government regulations state that if your new car is less than four models year old, you can choose to get a smog check, or you can pay a smog abatement fee. The fee is dependent upon the type of vehicle you are registering. You can continue this practice for the first eight years that your car is registered.

To find out how much the smog abatement fee is for your vehicle, fill in the details on this website.

You need a smog inspection when you renew your vehicle registration.

The fine print: You may not have to get a smog inspection when you renew your vehicle if you live in a county in California where it is not required.

Sorry, residents of Santa Clara County! You still need to check online for a smog check in San Jose.

You need to get a smog check before selling your car.

The fine print: You need to provide the new owner of the car a valid smog certificate when you transfer ownership of the vehicle unless the vehicle is four years old. In that case, the new owner will need to pay a smog transfer fee.

You don’t need a smog check if . . .

We hate to be the bearer of bad news all the time. Here are some instances when you do not need a smog check.

You do not need a smog check if you drive an electric vehicle.

You do not need a smog check if your car is powered by natural gas and weighs more than 14,000 pounds.

You do not need a smog check if you drive a diesel-powered vehicle that is older than 1997.

You do not need a smog check if you drive a vehicle that is from 1975 or older.

Where to get a smog check

If you live in Santa Clara County, go to San Jose Smog Check. They are a STAR-certified facility, which means they are a check-only station that has been certified by the great state of California. They are highly-rated, conveniently located, and will have you in and out in minutes.

San Jose Smog Check provides friendly, quality service. And there’s no fine print on that promise.


California Smog Check Consumer Assistance Program

Consumer Assitance Program

Of course, we are all aware that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rampant unemployment, and no one can guess what this will do to the U.S. economy. Now, more than ever before, it is important to be aware of what resources are available if you find yourself unemployed.

Since more people are competing for fewer jobs, you need to make sure you are as “hirable” as possible. Some workplaces ask if you can drive and whether or not you have access to your own vehicle. If you have a valid license and a working, registered vehicle, you can confidently check that box with an “X.”

The problem is that many people cannot afford the necessary repairs to pass a California smog test to get their vehicle registered. The result of this problem is an unfortunate, endless cycle. 1. You can’t afford to fix your car. 2. Your vehicle is illegal to drive. 3. Since you don’t have a vehicle, you can’t get to a job. 4 Repeat.

Fortunately, even before the coronavirus outbreak, the State of California started the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).
This program assists low-income California residents in getting a working vehicle. It does it in one of two ways.

First, low-income individuals may qualify to receive $500 to spend on diagnosing and repairing their vehicles. The repairs must be emissions-related and completed to help the car pass the smog test. Vehicles eight years and older must pass this test in order to be registered in the state.

While $500 may cover the bulk of the emission repair bill, there may be other problems with the car that cause it to be undrivable. That’s why the state also enacted the Vehicle Retirement program.
If you can’t afford to make the additional repairs on the car, the state may purchase it from you for $1,000 or $1,500. You can put those funds toward a reliable vehicle that would pass the smog test with ease.

You must read the fine print on the entire program before assuming that you qualify for the assistance. For one thing, it is important to note that the diagnosis and repairs to the emission system need to be completed at a STAR certified location. Also, the Vehicle Retirement program may or may not be fully funded, so even if you qualify based on your financial situation, there may not be enough money in the fund to give you access to the money.

We kindly ask that you consider San Jose Smog Test for all your smog testing needs. We are a STAR certified station, and we offer one free retest within 90 days of the first failed test. Our facility not only offers a cheap smog check, but we also offer excellent customer service. Check out our reviews. Our customers love us and describe us as being fast and friendly.
Call 408-885-9885 for our current shop hours. We are all in this together. Stay home and stay well California!


How to help your car pass a smog test

Tips on Passing Car Smog Test

If you live in California, you know the importance of passing your biennial smog test. After all, if your car fails to pass the test at your San Jose smog check station, it won’t be able to be registered through the California DMV. If your vehicle has an expired registration, it is illegal to operate. You could risk it and drive anyway, but that may cause you to get pulled over and suffer the additional consequences that this may entail.

Many Californians even check a car’s smog test history before purchasing a used car.

Since you know how important it is to pass the smog test, what can you do to make sure that this happens? Here are some tips that will help you keep your car on the road.

1. Know when you are due for a smog test.

According to California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair, gas-powered vehicles and hybrid vehicles that are model year 1976 and newer require a smog, with the following exceptions:
Eight model-years and newer do not need a biennial inspection.
Four model-years and newer do not need a change-of-ownership inspection.
This means that if you drive a vehicle that is six years old, you will be required to have a smog test two years from now.
You probably know what month your car registration comes due. Pay attention to the year of your vehicle, so you know whether you will have to pass a smog test the next time you register your car or not. This will allow you to be prepared and possibly spread out some of the repair expenses over several months.

2. Perform routine maintenance.

One of the best ways to make sure your car is ready for a smog inspection is to complete the maintenance that your car’s manufacturer recommends. This routine maintenance includes changing the oil, but it does not end with that. You also may need to change filters and replace hoses and belts periodically.

The more knowledge you have on such things, the better. While we would love to think that all car service shop owners can be trusted, some technicians may recommend services that may or may not be needed.

Look at the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website to see if what the service tech recommends is needed or not.

3. Don’t ignore the check engine light.

Before you search for a “smog check near me,” make sure your car’s check engine light is not illuminated. Otherwise, you could be wasting your time and money by preemptively paying for a smog check. (It’s worth noting that if you go to San Jose Smog Check, you can have your 1997 and newer vehicle retested within 30 days if it fails the test.)

Take care of small repairs quickly before they turn into much more significant issues.

When you feel that your car is ready to pass the smog test, bring it to San Jose Smog Check. Not only do we offer a cheap smog check, but we provide fast service as well.


Customer Service Is Important at San Jose Smog Check

San Jose Smog Check Provides Quality Service

We know you have many options to choose from when you Google “smog check near me.” In fact, dozens of businesses may appear on your search, all claiming to offer a cheap smog check in San Jose.

How do you pick a smog check station when you have so many from which to choose?

First, the California DMV may require that you have a STAR station complete your smog check. If that is the case for you, this limits the number of businesses that you can choose. (It is worth noting that San Jose Smog Check is a STAR certified station.)

Second, you may also want to find a smog check station that offers a sale or coupon. For example, San Jose Smog Check currently has a coupon on their website for $20 off smogs on vehicles from the year 2000 and newer.

Finally, besides looking at the hours, smog check price, and location, you may also want to take a look at the online reviews. We at San Jose Smog Check are proud of what our customers have to say. We would like to share some of those reviews that some of our real-life customers were kind enough to share.

Our most recent review says:

“Great, fast, and friendly service. Extremely kind and fair owner working hard daily at the shop. 100% recommend this shop and will continue to go back when my vehicles need to be smogged.”

Another reviewer had this to say about the service she received at San Jose Smog Check:

“Service: the guy was super friendly. I had originally planned to drop off the car, and go somewhere nearby for some food (because I’ve had to wait when I’ve done smog checks before at other locations). But these guys took care of the smog test really quickly. I definitely recommend coming here for your smog check.”

One colorful reviewer described San Jose Smog Check in this way:

“Got me in n out in 40 mins…prob would’ve been even faster if I didn’t chat w the mechanic. Zero line/wait time, when I went. No nonsense, no wasting your entire time of day, I like that!”

We also like hearing from repeat customers.

“This place is very fast and reasonable price for smog check, this is my 2nd time it took my car there and both times I had a good experience!”

What can you learn from these reviews of San Jose Smog Check?

San Jose Smog Check offers fast service. In fact, all the reviews we shared say that the smog was completed quickly.
The staff at San Jose Smog Check is friendly. One of our reviewers admitted that he would have gotten out earlier if he hadn’t chatted so long with one of the technicians.
The customers of San Jose Smog Check recommend that you visit this business. We love it when our customers recommend us to their friends and family.

See why so many drivers choose San Jose Smog Check. Visit us today.