Pass Smog Check

So you’ve brought your vehicle into Crescent Auto Repair for a Smog Check or somewhere else for a smog check and you are told that your monitors are not ready or you have monitors incomplete. What now? “You need to drive it,” your told. “How long?” And here is where the confusion happens: You are typically told (and never told this by Crescent Auto Repair,) “Drive it for 40 miles, drive it for 50 miles, drive it for 100 miles and then bring it back and you’ll be good!” Being told this is a great way to cause frustration, if it doesn’t work! Before I dive into the truth, let me provide some basics.


OBDII readiness monitors are a real thing and if they are not marked COMPLETE at time of inspection, your car will fail the smog check. They are basically system self-checks/tests to ensure the smog related devices are working properly (doing their job!)


There are a few reasons why monitors would be marked INCOMPLETE (or NOT READY) and those reasons are: 1) Clearing of DTC’s (trouble codes) and 2) Power failure (typically because your battery got disconnected for some reason.) Maybe you recently got some work done on your vehicle or you replaced the battery or your battery died, etc.

Now what?! You need to drive the vehicle and the follow up is not for how long but more how do you need drive it? The answer to that question is found in something called drive cycles. Here at Crescent Auto Repair & Smog, we believe in educating the customer and helping you understand why we do what we do and not just knowing what we do. That being said, drive cycles just indicate how you need to drive the vehicle in order to complete a monitor in question, perhaps all of them. Each vehicle make and model can be different. Sometimes info is provided and sometimes it isn’t.

Generally speaking, it all begins with a cold start on the vehicle and typically involves some residential stop and go type driving, some freeway driving at different speeds, and making sure there are no pending trouble codes or engine light on. I hope this article has been of some help and given some insight on a sometimes sensitive subject matter.

Don’t forget to come see me for your next cheap smog check. Remember, it’s $40 for our cash special and that includes all the fees and the certificate! Don’t be fooled by a lower number on the internet, only to find out that was the bait and then it gets switched on you and you end up paying more than $40. You will always get straight forward and upfront answers when it comes to smog check and repair at Crescent Auto Repair!

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. ( 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, another 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 unconsciously 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 then 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 nitrogen oxide (NOx).
A portion of the smog check fee funds air pollution programs. Six dollars from the fee goes to the Air Pollution Control Fund which funds air pollution reduction programs such as the Carl Moyer Program.

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