Receiving the registration renewal reminder in the mail is even less welcome when it says a smog test is required. It may be inconvenient, but does not have to be a worry if you have been religious about visiting your auto shop for routine maintenance services.
By faithfully observing a maintenance program for your vehicle, and if there are no warning lights on (Check Engine or Service Engine Soon), you should pass the smog test the first time. Warning lights result in an automatic failure without any further testing being done, so if those lights are on, please take your vehicle to a trusted auto repair shop that can correctly diagnose and fix the cause of the light being displayed. Neglecting vehicle maintenance and then failing the smog test, generally leads to higher repair costs being incurred in order to get the vehicle to pass the second test. Maintenance is always better than repairs!
Your registration renewal notice may direct you to a Test Only station. Test Only stations are what the name implies: no automotive repairs can be performed at one of these stations. If you are not directed to Test Only, you can bring your vehicle anywhere that is a registered test station. Bringing your vehicle to a Test Only station, whether directed there or not, can be a better choice. Test Only stations are usually more objective. They have no incentive for the vehicle to fail, since they are not allowed to perform repairs.
Dean’s Automotive, Inc.