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CostHelper > Cars  > Smog Check

Smog Check Cost


How Much Does a Smog Check Cost?

 
average costEmissions Test: Free-$90+high costEmissions-Related Repairs: $100-$3,500+

All states have emission limits which vehicles cannot exceed, and most states now require some sort of periodic smog check (also called an emissions test). Typically, a vehicle's exhaust system is tested for the number and type of pollutants emitted by the vehicle, as well as checking that all parts related to emissions control are connected and functioning correctly.

Typical costs:

  • Requirements and costs vary by state, and often from county to county within a state; if a smog check or emissions test is required, it might be provided free in some states or can cost $30-$90 or more at a certified private facility.
  • For example, Pennsylvania[1] requires an annual emissions check, generally done at the same time as the mandatory annual safety inspection; exact testing varies by regions within the state, but the combined tests typically cost $35-$90.
  • New Jersey[2] requires an emissions check every other year for vehicles at least five years old or older, as part of the vehicle registration renewal process; the emissions check is offered free of charge at state-operated inspection station or can cost $20-$60 or more at a private facility.
  • Out of 254 Texas[3] counties, 17 require an annual emissions test, done at the same time as the mandatory annual safety inspection; this typically costs $24-$40.
  • A smog check in California[4] typically costs $30-$90; this may include all fees, or there can be additional charges such as about $8 for a state certificate fee once the vehicle passes the test, or an electronic transmission fee (about $1-$3) for transmitting the vehicle's information via a dedicated phone line. About 18 out of 58 California counties do not require a smog check; six require a smog check only in certain zip codes and the remaining 34 counties require a smog check every two or when a vehicle more than four years old is sold.
  • If the vehicle doesn't pass the emissions test, repairs can cost $100-$3,500 or more, depending on what is needed. For example, a complete tune-up with new spark plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter and more can cost $200-$800 or more. Replacing a failed catalytic converter can cost $300-$3,000, depending on the year, make and model of vehicle, but averages about $1,000.
Related articles: Tune-up, Catalytic Converter

What should be included:
  • The type of emissions testing required varies by state, and often by the age, make and model of vehicle. For example, in some Texas[5] counties, older vehicles must have a tailpipe (ASM or TSI) test and new vehicles undergo a computerized On Board Diagnostics procedure.
Discounts:
  • States may offer assistance with emission-related repairs for low-income owners, put a maximum on the amount an owner has to pay for repairs or pay a set amount to "retire" a failed vehicle. For example, California[6] will pay up to $500 for emissions-related repairs for qualified motorists or $1,000-$1,500 to take a vehicle that failed the smog check off the streets. Illinois[7] will waive the emissions check requirement if a vehicle has failed at least two tests, the owner has spent a minimum of $450 on emission-related repairs from a recognized repair technician, all the vehicle's emission control devices are properly connected and operating, and proper paperwork is presented.
Shopping for a smog check:
  • DMV.org (a privately owned website not associated with any state government) lists smog and emission rules by state[8] .
  • Most states maintain a searchable database of smog or emissions-testing stations, such as those provided by California[9] , Illinois[10] , Texas[11] or Wisconsin[12] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Screwed! Smog Check incomplete, New Company Aqcuired Lloyds Tire while drive cycle incomplete and no longer does smog inspections
Amount: $69.95
Posted by: Andrew L in Scotts Valley, CA.Posted: November 13th, 2019 11:11PM
Car Make: BMWCar Model: 325i
Car Year: 2002
I had purchased a smog check for my BMW on 09/30/19 for $69.95 at Lloyds Tires in Scotts Valley, CA. I was told that the car had not completed a full drive cycle. I was told I would need to drive my car about 500 miles to give it time to complete the full cycle. I drove my car about 500 miles and came back to the store. I was told it was not ready. I was given information on how to complete a drive cycle by the technician and was told to complete this and come back to complete the smog test. I did this 2 more times, still not ready. The only part of the drive cycle not complete is the secondary air system which requires the car to be started after sitting overnight and cold and to not touch anything for 3 minutes to allow it to complete. I have done this 15 to 20 times and still not complete. The next time I came to Lloyds Tire I was told that they no longer do smog inspections and that Lloyds tire was bought out by a new company. I was told that I would not be reimbursed.
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Glendale Smog
Amount: $42.00
Posted by: GLG in Glendale, CA.Posted: June 12th, 2019 01:06PM
Car Make: BMWCar Model: 335i
Car Year: 2011
Find $29.95 coupon online! Then they add $8.05 for certificate + $4 electronic transfer fee = $42. (If you pay in cash, you’ll get $2 off = $40.)
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2017 BMW 328d
Amount: $58.75
Posted by: Hoppe in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: May 22nd, 2019 11:05AM
Car Make: BMWCar Model: 328d
Car Year: 2017
Diesel cars in CA have to be checked every 3 years.
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Car still isn't smoggrd
Amount: $68.00
Posted by: Karen Mack in North Highlands, CA.Posted: February 27th, 2019 09:02AM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Paseo
Car Year: 1994
2 years ago it passed with flying colors
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Extra Fee
Amount: $78.00
Posted by: Dan Martin in Garden Grove, CA.Posted: February 25th, 2019 08:02PM
Car Make: FordCar Model: Ranger
Car Year: 1999
Action Auto in Cypress, CA wants to charge an extra smog check fee for a 20 year old vehicle, claiming it takes different equipment that they rarely use. Scam.
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MAZDA MX6 1989
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: gray geek in SAN JOSE, CA.Posted: December 8th, 2018 12:12PM
Car Make: MAZDACar Model: MX6 TURBO
Car Year: 1989
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Jeep Cherokee
Amount: $60.00
Posted by: Five6twoGirl in Whittier, CA.Posted: March 11th, 2018 10:03AM
Car Year: 1997
And paid another 30 to retest since the computer didn't read at first .. make sure u drive the car for at least 20 min before u take it in or it will NOT pass. And if u reset ur engine light before u take it in make sure u drive it at least 50 miles or it will not pass
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2006 corolla 203,000 miles
Amount: $40.00
Posted by: Later in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: January 31st, 2018 11:01AM
Car Year: 2006
$40 with certification.
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93 Honda Accord
Amount: $40.00
Posted by: Tony Li in San Gabriel, CA.Posted: December 22nd, 2014 03:12PM
Car Year: 1993
@ New United auto repairs
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External Resources:
  1.  www.dmv.state.pa.us/inspections/emissions.shtml
  2.  www.nj.gov/mvc/Inspections/Understanding.htm
  3.  www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/inspection/inspectionCriteria.aspx
  4.  www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/smog.htm
  5.  www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/consumerinfo/emissionTesting.htm
  6.  www.bar.ca.gov/80_BARResources/01_CAP&GoldShield/Factsheets/Website%20CAP%20FAQs.pdf
  7.  www.epa.state.il.us/air/vim/faq/failure.html#11
  8.  www.dmv.org/smog-check.php
  9.  www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/Station/StationList.aspx
  10.  www.epa.state.il.us/air/vim/locations.html
  11.  www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/misc/rerf/emissionRepairLocator.aspx
  12.  www.wisconsinvip.org/WivipPublic/
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