Alameda Smog Dog is a STAR Certified Test Only Station that performs smog inspections on all kinds of vehicles as part of the State of California’s clean air initiative.
At Alameda Smog Dog, we are always happy to answer your questions.
Feel free to call us at (510) 522-7664
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
What is the Smog Check Program?
The Smog Check Program is an important part of the State’s efforts to improve the air we breathe. Smog Check inspections are designed to identify vehicles with excess emissions so they can be properly repaired. The Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California.
How long does a Smog Check take?
The average Smog Check takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Is Alameda Smog Dog a STAR certified station?
YES. Alameda Smog Dog is a STAR Certified Test Only station. STAR Certified stations are considered industry leaders by the State of California.
What are STAR certified stations?
STAR stations, like Alameda Smog Dog, are Smog Check stations that meet higher performance standards established by the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
What is a Test-Only Station?
Test-Only Stations, like Alameda Smog Dog, are smog check stations licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) to inspect and certify most vehicles, including Gross Polluters. They are prohibited from providing any repair services and are not allowed to diagnose the reasons for a Smog Check failure or recommend repair facilities. This ensures that Test-Only stations are fair and unbiased, as they do not have an incentive to fail a vehicle and gain repair fees. At Alameda Smog Dog, we go beyond the requirements of a Test-Only station and offer a Free re-test. Thus you can be assured that your test is performed with the highest level of integrity. Additionally, since all we do is perform smog checks, you can trust that we will perform your test accurately and efficiently and have you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Do I need to take my vehicle to a Test-Only station?
Some vehicles, such as those categorized as gross-polluting must have their vehicles tested and certified at a test-only 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 station. It is a good idea to take your vehicle to a Test-Only station even if you are not required to do so. At Test-Only stations, like Alameda Smog Dog, you can trust that your vehicle will be tested accurately, efficiently and with the highest level of integrity.
Do I need to take my vehicle a STAR certified smog station?
Not necessarily, your registration renewal notice sent by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will tell if you need to take your vehicle to a STAR certified station. It is a good idea to take your vehicle to a STAR certified station even if you are not required to do so. STAR Certified stations, like Alameda Smog Dog, must meet higher performance standards established by the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
Why am I being sent to a STAR certified smog station?
The Department of Motor Vehicles does not declare why a certain vehicle is directed to a STAR station,
but there are only a few possibilities:
but there are only a few possibilities:
- Your vehicle may have failed a smog test in the past
- Your vehicle was identified as being more likely than others to emit unhealthy levels of harmful pollutants. This may be true even though your vehicle may never have failed a Smog Check.
- Your vehicle was chosen at random for Smog Check Program evaluation purposes.
Do you only test STAR directed vehicles?
No, at Alameda Smog Dog, we test all vehicles.
Does my vehicle require a Smog Check?
- Registration Renewals – Older gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and alternative-fuel vehicles that are model year 1976 and newer require a biennial (every other year) Smog Check. Vehicles six model-years and newer are exempted from registration renewal inspections.
- Selling – If you are selling a vehicle, a Smog Check is needed if it is more than four model years old.
- Out of State Vehicles – Out of state vehicles being registered in California requires a Smog Check regardless of model year.
- Diesel-powered vehicles 1998 and newer with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds and less require a Smog Check.
- Motorcycles and electric-powered vehicles are currently exempt from the Smog Check Program.
How often does my vehicle have to be tested?
Most vehicles must be tested upon DMV registration every 2 years. However, six model-years and newer do not need a biennial (every other year) inspection. A smog check is also usually required if you sell your vehicle. Only vehicles four model-years and newer do not need a change-of-ownership inspection. A smog check is required when registering an out-of-state vehicle for the first time in California.
How can I help my vehicle pass a Smog Check?
Performing proper and regular vehicle maintenance according to your owner’s manual gives you the best chance of successfully passing you smog inspection. See our SMOG √ TIPS section for more detailed advice.
What happens if my vehicle fails a Smog Check?
If you wish to register your vehicle, you will need to bring your test results to a qualified technician for necessary repairs. Once repairs are complete, Alameda Smog Dog will retest your vehicle for free! (You’re only responsible for the $8.25 certification fee charged by the state, upon a successful smog test)