June 24, 2018

California Vehicle Retirement Program?

What’s New?

California’s updated voluntary vehicle retirement program is now available. The program is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines. For more information, visitBAR’s website. You can also obtain a copy of the application, or call BAR at (866) 272-9642      .


Voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement or “car scrap” programs provide monetary incentives to vehicle owners to retire older, more polluting vehicles.  The purpose of these programs is to reduce fleet emissions by accelerating the turnover of the existing fleet and subsequent replacement with newer, cleaner vehicles.  Reducing emissions from the existing fleet is a component of California’s State Implementation Plan, which outlines the State’s strategy for meeting health-based ambient air quality standards.

Both State and local vehicle retirement programs are available.  The State’s recently enhanced Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) was developed by the ARB in consultation with BAR and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test.  For information on the development of the new program, visit ARB’s Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program website.  For information on CAP, visitBAR’s website or call BAR at (866) 272-9642.  You can also obtain a copy of the application.

Local voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement (VAVR) programs are also available for vehicles that have PASSED their most recent Smog Check or are not subject to the Smog Check requirement.  Administration of a VAVR program is entirely optional.  As such, check ARB’s VAVR website for more information related to district programs and to see if your district offers one.

ARB Contact Information

The ARB does not administer car scappage programs. The ARB is responsible for developing the regulations that provide guidelines to BAR and the local air districts that choose to administer VAVR programs.  However, if you need assistance or have general questions, contact John Ellis at (626) 350-6516      . Source: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/avrp/avrp.htm

Diesel is worse than gas when comes to Smog

BERKELY, Calif., Oct. 23 (UPI) — Diesel exhaust contributes more to a component of smog pollution than exhaust from gasoline-fueled cars, a California study found.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say diesel-powered vehicles are a bigger source of secondary organic aerosol, a major component of smog.

Diesel exhaust is responsible for 65 percent to 90 percent of a region’s vehicular-derived SOA, depending upon the relative amounts of gasoline and diesel used in the area, a UC Berkeley release said Monday.

“We can now say that, while both motor vehicle sources are important for these ‘secondary’ particles, diesel is responsible for a larger portion, especially in regions such as the San Joaquin Valley with a lot of diesel use,” study principal investigator Allen Goldstein said.

SOA leads to poor air quality and can cause respiratory problems, the researchers said.

“The data from our study contains the most comprehensive chemical detail to date on diesel and gasoline emissions,” study lead author Drew Gentner, a Berkeley doctoral graduate in civil and environmental engineering, said.

“We expect that these findings will help policymakers improve air pollution control measures in the state, and also other parts of the world.”

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sources: UPI

Diesel Smog Check


What is a Gross Polluter vehicle?

The Smog Check program has identified Gross Polluter (GP) vehicles as a significant source of smog emissions. Gross Polluter vehicles are chosen through these strategies:

  • Vehicles tested at licensed stations which exceed at least one of the gross polluter standards (twice the maximum emission limits)
  • Vehicles selected from the High Emitter Profile (HEP) database which have a high probability of failing the Smog Check inspection.

Once a vehicle is classified or designated as a Gross Polluter it has to initially be tested at a Test Only inspection station. If the vehicle fails this inspection it must undergo repairs and return to a Test only center, State Referee station or a Gold Shield CAP (Consumer Assistance Program) repair center for certification.

Vehicles, which are not classified, as gross polluters, do not have to seek a Test Only inspection and can visit any local smog station. Your DMV paperwork or documents will indicate which type of test your car or vehicle requires.

It is estimated that 50% of the smog in the state of California is produced by motor vehicles. Gross Polluters represent only approximately 10 to 15 percent of all these vehicles, however they are estimated to be responsible for more than half of all vehicle smog emissions.

Gross Polluters pollute much more than a the typical vehicle that fails a Smog Check inspection. The emission level at which a vehicle fails as a Gross Polluter varies according the vehicle type and year. Typically they exceed at least one of the gross polluter standards (twice the maximum emission limits).

Older vehicles are not held to the same emissions standards as newer vehicles. Older vehicles were built to less stringent standards when originally manufactured and thus the smog inspection process is developed with this in mind. The vehicle owner of an older vehicle is given a slight handicap or advantage. They must however up keep their vehicle’s maintenance to at least par.

Excessive Smoke: Gross Polluting vehicles will often produce excessive white or black smoke from the tailpipe. This should be a clear indication that your vehicle’s engine is in trouble.

Typically a vehicle emitting excessive white or black smoke will be designated as a gross polluter after the smog inspection. It is highly recommend you seek repair assistance prior to getting a smog check or emission test.

Black Smoke: Excessive black smoke from the muffler is almost always due to a rich fuel mixture and will produce high CO, and consequently high HC during the smog check or inspection.

White Smoke: A vehicle emitting excessive white smoke from the tailpipe may have a burned or blown head gasket. A blown head gasket may cause overheating and high NOx emissions. Most often the level of NOx produced will be twice the allowed limit, rendering your vehicle as a gross polluter or HEP.

How can I help my vehicle pass a Smog Check?

Q.How can I help my vehicle pass a Smog Check?

Performing proper and regular vehicle maintenance according to your owner’s manual, and not tampering with the emissions control equipment are keys to passing Smog Check.

Q. What happens if my vehicle fails a Smog Check?

In order to complete your registration, you will need to obtain the repairs necessary for it to pass its Smog Check retest. Before beginning repairs, find out if you are eligible for our Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).

Q. What are the environmental benefits of the Smog Check Program?

The Smog Check Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California. According to the California Air Resources Board, the program removes about 400 tons of smog-forming pollutants from California’s air every day.

California Smog Check Program

California Smog Check Program: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill to revamp California’s smog-check program. No earlier than January 1, 2013, smog check stations will be required to measure the emissions of model-year ’00 and newer vehicles using onboard diagnostic testing. The new law also directs that a procedure be developed for testing vehicles that are not able to be tested through an onboard diagnostic computer system.

California Greenhouse Gases: California voters rejected Proposition 23 with a resounding 61% “no” vote. Many proponents of the failed measure jumped ship to support its less controversial cousin: Proposition 26. Proposition 23 would have suspended implementation of California’s “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.” The state would not have been able to pursue regulations intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as cap-and-trade. Proposition 26 serves the function of delaying or preventing any new or increased fees including, but not limited to, fees associated with the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act. New fees will now require approval by two-thirds of the state legislature or two-thirds of registered voters. Prior to the passage of Proposition 26, lawmakers were able to balance the state budget and introduce laws that were revenue neutral with a simple majority. Under Proposition 26, a new super-majority of voters will be necessary for these measures.

What is a Test Only station?

Q.What is a Test-Only station?

Test-Only stations are licensed Smog Check stations that are only allowed to test cars. State law prohibits them from making repairs.

Q.How will I know if I need to take my car to a Test-Only or Gold Shield station?

You will be notified on the registration renewal notice sent by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if your vehicle must be inspected at a Test-Only or Gold Shield station.

What is California Smog Check?

The Smog Check Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California. According to the California Air Resources Board, the program removes about 400 tons of smog-forming pollutants from California’s air every day. With no surprise, the California Smog Check Test is known to be among the toughest smog tests in the U.S. Although greatly reducing pollution created from cars, the California Smog Check Program did not meet its expectations. Studies have shown that the program managed to only reduce the two main polluting emissions by only 12.3% and 9.8%. (hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide )This is a great letdown since it was predicted to have lowered the polluting rate by 25%. The program is inevitably quite unsuccessful, but is still actively running in the state of California. In addition, inefficiency in this program is how the people in California only have to have their car smog checked every 2 years, so they only prepare their car before the day of inspection. Since people don’t find the need to be aware of their high use of fuel emissions, they are subconsciously polluting far more than they really have to.

California’s automobile emission standards are among the highest in the world. In 1996, California’s government sought to enforce stricter Smog Check tests because the more populated areas of the state were heavily polluting. The state [by whom?] figured that if they zeroed in on the very populated areas of the state, there would be a significant reduction in car emissions air polluting. The government also decided that since some areas needed more attention than others in relation to smog checks, those areas were to have stricter test/ smog laws then others. While inspecting cars for smog, the state recognized the fact that 10-15% of the states smog was coming from the emissions of large cars with large engines. SUV’s put out 43% more global-warming pollutants. This led to truck owners being closely zeroed in on for their car being checked. What was interesting to the government though was how such a heavily populated region like the Bay Area had a fairly low rate on air pollution.

The terms smog check, smog test, and emission check all refer to the same thing. There are two different ways a smog check is implemented: ASM & TSI. TSI (Two Speed Idle) test is used to inspect all wheel drive (AWD) vehicles. The vehicle is inspected at 2500rpm and idle. This is how all vehicles were inspected prior to 1997. ASM (Acceleration Simulation Mode) test procedures involve operating the vehicle on a dyno at 15 mph and 25 mph under load. Operating an ASM test allows for the measurement of a third emission gas (smog) nitrogen oxide (NOx).