Smog test in CA
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This is a discussion on Smog test in CA within the South Western States forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; Hey guys, New to the forum here, and ill be moving out to the Berkeley area later this year. Im ...

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    Smog test in CA

    Hey guys,
    New to the forum here, and ill be moving out to the Berkeley area later this year. Im coming from South Dakota and we dont have any bs emission laws here. that has me worried about moving there. ive moded but i dont have any of my stock parts.... how are you guys passing the smog test out there. any shops or anything i should know about.I've read the other post about smog testing. but no one said if e85 is exempt, i didnt know if that would fall into the hybrid category for CA laws. like ive said ive read the stickys and some other threads please dont tell me to read them. im looking for real answers such as a one guy said bov's will fail visual but the sti cam stock with them. and why would it matter if it was upraded. same thing with the boots why the hell would the intake boots matter. Any help will be appreciated. feel free to either reply here or pm me thanks guys. like

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    Quote Originally Posted by k.ballinger View Post
    Hey guys,
    New to the forum here, and ill be moving out to the Berkeley area later this year. Im coming from South Dakota and we dont have any bs emission laws here.
    You're in luck. There are no BS smog laws in CA either.

    i should know about.I've read the other post about smog testing. but no one said if e85 is exempt,
    Drive Clean - Ethanol (E85) Flex Fuel

    i didnt know if that would fall into the hybrid category for CA laws.
    E85 is a flex fuel product and the main advantage seems to be domestic production. People attempt to use EtOH in their fuel to address specific smog test readings both in CA and elsewhere, but that in turn implies that E85 retrofitted cars are smog tested.

    like ive said ive read the stickys and some other threads please dont tell me to read them. im looking for real answers such as a one guy said bov's will fail visual but the sti cam stock with them.
    The guy was correct. BOVs should fail the visual in an ideal world.

    The rest of the statement is not true, so it's not a real answer. The STi did not come stock with a BOV. Nor should it.

    and why would it matter if it was upraded.
    It matters because a BOV is an intake leak. Intake leaks affect emissions, and emissions affect air quality. It also matters because the "upgrade" is no upgrade at all; it's an imitation part that is not approved by CARB, the CA Air Resources Board. All parts fitted to a car that affect air quality must be approved by CARB. To show approval status there is a number listing for each part, and a CARB exemption sticker that must be displayed.

    same thing with the boots why the hell would the intake boots matter.
    For the same exact reasons. The intake, fuel, ignition, and exhaust systems of a car affect emissions and air quality.

    The system is not without faults but the results of the system have been, in a very strict and realistic sense, absolutely fantastic. Air quality used to be disastrous. There used to be visible smog in the air on a daily basis. Over many years, even though there are many more cars on the road here today, the air quality has improved dramatically.

    Any help will be appreciated.
    My hands are a bit tied, as you have already read the stickies. In essence your car must actually meet both the visual and the actual emissions requirements. However, a new law in CA has taken smog testing several steps backwards, yet it is still in effect: cars that are built this century generally only have to pass an ECU sweep and a visual. This means that if your ECU reports all sensors "ready" and you pass the visual (using a tech that either doesn't care, doesn't know where to look for problem parts, or literally cannot see) you should pass smog.

    feel free to either reply here or pm me thanks guys. like
    My best advice is to read over other threads in other WRX fora that list parts that passed. The visual will always be a problem; I am amazed (and saddened...) by what parts people get away with according to their posts. Also be cautious of unscrupulous testers; they're risking their shop and their money for very little in return. Example: My fav smog shop is owned by a guy that's been in business for many decades, and is honorable and dedicated. The state did a sting, by sending one of their cars. He correctly failed the car and correctly identified the gas cap as being faulty, and therefore part of the reason the car failed. The state still attempted to fine him several thousand $, and this was back when several thousand $ was actually a significant amount of money. He fought it in the system and won. However this shows that smog shops have lots of incentive to follow the rules -- as well they should -- and very little to not follow the rules.

    Ideally you need a stock intake, fuel system, ECU, exhaust, turbo, and fuel storage system. In real life many parts will not be detected. An ECU that reports "all ready" will probably pass. An up and down pipe that seem relatively stock and have lumps where cats could be may also pass. An open intake and a BOV should fail but at least the latter may fly under the radar depending on the tech. A full exhaust should fail but since they're only looking at ECU and visual, if visual goes well you may actually get away with it but that leaves the question, which tech won't notice a shiny exhaust without cats?

    Again, any parts without a CARB sticker that are not authentic Subaru parts should fail the car but whether they do depends on a number of things.

    Sorry I can't be more specific; I hope this helps.

    PS I've thought more about E85 and test exemptions. Here's what I think: I believe federal rules allow E85 to apply for a smog exemption in any state. Let's assume that's true for the sake of argument. That doesn't mean any rule anywhere imposes on CA the responsibility of accepting any application. It also still leaves unanswered the questions about the illegal parts on the car. In other words, let's say you do find the mechanisms and apply for an E85-based exemption in CA. Your car would be exempt from future smog tests (again I'm only saying this for the sake of argument, there is no reason to think any of this will be true!), but the car was illegal from day 1 in CA -- it still lacks CARB approved parts, and the parts you used to convert to full E85 were not CARB exempt, right? So I suspect and I think it's not illogical to think that to do this, assuming the mechanisms exist, you would need to speak to a state smog referee and get the actual details.

    Incidentally, if your car has an exhaust then it is illegal in South Dakota as well as California. There are federal laws in addition to state laws. Whether the state in which you live enforces testing doesn't matter in terms of whether the car is actually road legal or not.

    Also, there are specific counties in CA that do NOT require smog tests every two years. They may or may not require a transfer smog (when selling, the car will need a smog certificate from the seller) or an "intro" smog. Look them up on CA DMV and see if you are moving to one of those counties.
    Last edited by SD_GR; 02-28-2015 at 08:43 AM.
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    OK, do you even know the sti's, they came stock with a bypass valve(yes i understand that the stock ones recirculated back to the intake but to say they had no bov is idiotic. thats all you want to do is build boost let of to shift or what have you and still have all that pressure.) but for the sake of CA yes i can see because it is a external discharge of a tiny bit of gasses and particles that can be changed.

    E85 my car is fully set up for e85 and you obviously dont know anything about that fuel to say that its main positive is domestic production, it burns cleaner, more power, actually has a complete burn if you have the right set up and tune. you seem like one of the people that believe e85 comes only from corn. and you cant be more wrong. There are ton of renewables that can be used to produce e85.

    For the boots whats the problem. Is it because they allow the air to flow better than the stock rippled piping. Which in turns allows more air in and improves to get a more complete fire. Doesn't make any sense, but again for the sake of CA they can be changed.

    Exhaust having a exhaust system in south dakota isnt illegal and thats another moronic thing to say. while yes its illegal to run catless i know that, but to say exhaust are illegal... ha. my car is 100% legal to drive here. you must be born and raised cali boy and only know their "BS emissions." I say that because they are BS, to improve the intake, exhaust, ECU and fuel delivery, done right will make your car burn cleaner and smoother and would improve the performance of the car. meanwhile you can go numerous places and see the Exempt pieces of **** like old muscle cars, idi diesels, heavy diesel trucks, anything before what 75 or 76. yeah if cali were to get rid of all that junk your smog would probably dramatically drop. but for cars like mine where they burn cleaner than alot of cal certified cars is bs.

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    I can understand your frustration somewhat, but the forum is PG-13 so let's keep that in mind. I'll try to address some concerns:

    Quote Originally Posted by k.ballinger View Post
    OK, do you even know the sti's, they came stock with a bypass valve(yes i understand that the stock ones recirculated back to the intake but to say they had no bov is idiotic.
    No, it's accurate. A bypass valve does not release emissions. A BOV does. No Subaru sold in the US was fitted with a BOV. It's that simple.

    but for the sake of CA yes i can see because it is a external discharge of a tiny bit of gasses and particles that can be changed.
    That's exactly it.

    E85 my car is fully set up for e85 and you obviously dont know anything about that fuel to say that its main positive is domestic production, it burns cleaner, more power, actually has a complete burn if you have the right set up and tune. you seem like one of the people that believe e85 comes only from corn. and you cant be more wrong. There are ton of renewables that can be used to produce e85.
    That's neither here nor there. The only question is whether your E85 converted vehicle can be smogged or exempted in CA. I have my doubts about the latter but the former seems feasible with a little care and preparation.

    For the boots whats the problem. Is it because they allow the air to flow better than the stock rippled piping. Which in turns allows more air in and improves to get a more complete fire. Doesn't make any sense, but again for the sake of CA they can be changed.
    Sorry here I may have misunderstood. What is a "boot" or more importantly, do you have the stock air intake with the black plastic rectangular tube that starts at the nose and ends into the fender? Is your air filter visible?

    Exhaust having a exhaust system in south dakota isnt illegal
    If you have removed a catalytic converter on any roadgoing vehicle anywhere in the United States, the car is illegal for road use. Have you?

    and thats another moronic thing to say. while yes its illegal to run catless i know that, but to say exhaust are illegal... ha. my car is 100% legal to drive here. you must be born and raised cali boy and only know their "BS emissions." I say that because they are BS, to improve the intake, exhaust, ECU and fuel delivery, done right will make your car burn cleaner and smoother and would improve the performance of the car. meanwhile you can go numerous places and see the Exempt pieces of **** like old muscle cars, idi diesels, heavy diesel trucks, anything before what 75 or 76. yeah if cali were to get rid of all that junk your smog would probably dramatically drop. but for cars like mine where they burn cleaner than alot of cal certified cars is bs.
    Regrettably it seems the only interest your thread has generated is from a moron Cali boy, born and bred. I'm willing to try and help nonetheless, but until or unless someone intelligent responds I think it's best if you listed your actual modifications, part by part. That way I can look and see what I think might raise red flags.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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