Smog Check II, MTBE and Underground Storage Tanks In California

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This website is dedicated to timely and accurate disemmination of public domain information without hype or misinformation on Smog Check II and Reformulated Gas and Underground Storage Tanks.

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EMAIL ME -- 4/24/05

EMail me with questions or just tell me what part of California you are in. I am in Oakland.

MaileaterEmail Len

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Update August 4, 2009

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Yahoo is closing Geocities October 26, 2009. So I must find a different Host Server. At present I believe I will choose Angelfire. When I move this website I will reorganize the content to eliminate all obsolete material. The website name will remain the same and it will provide the same information as you see now. However, as I move it I will update the content. Thanks for your patience. Len Trimlett.

Update May 19, 2009

As of today I have made multiple inquiries and can find no guidance as to what emissions equipment will be required on the Amnesty Vehicle. Without written guidance, these vehicles would likely have a difficult time getting past the visual and functional part of the emissions test. I am contacting the legislator.

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Update May 11, 2009

Vehicle Registration Amnesty -- AB619

As of this date the DMV Public Inquiry Line has no direction on the implementation of AB619. They referred me to the Governor's Line. The Governor's Line could not provide me with any information either. They said I would need to write in with an inquiry. If I get any information I will post it here immediately.

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This Flyer Is Going To Goodguys

Smog Flyer 2009

The flyer above is in Microsoft Word 2003.

Anyone with Titles Unlimited based titles in their chain or an under value reported title needs to read this flyer. It is for a limited time only. Expires 2011.

Regarding new legislation go to Sacramento Legislative Database and key in AB859 and SB232. SEMA has not chosen to publicize SB232 yet. It would solve much of the Titles Unlimited mess. SEMA.......WHY HAVE YOU NOT PUBLICIZED IT WITH THE SEMA ACTION NETWORK. THIS BENEFITS THE HOBBY.

If you like Historic Vehicles you might want to add SB385 - Senator Wright to your list. Look again at the above link.

To understand the background of Remote Sensing comments go to California Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee and select Presentations. The IMRC will be looking at the 66-75 smog exemption and trying to take it away. They may try to drag you back into smog check through Remote Sensing. This is one reason I have been arguing against Remote Sensing.

When at the IMRC site look at the Presentations and read "Scofflaws Found With RSD". This is current. Everything below still applies.

Now look at the South Coast Air Quality Management District on Scappage. This is SCAQMD Scrappage 2010 Initiative design to get you to scrap your car and buy a new car. South Coast Air Quality Management District in their meeting on Scrappage wants to delete the 1966-1975 Biennial Smog Exemption. There goes all the hobby vehicles.

South Coast Air Quality Scrappage 2010

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AB619 Vehicle Amnesty Legislation

The AB619 Vehicle Registration Amnesty Program becomes Effective July 2009. The Amnesty Program ends on January 1, 2011. It will be administered by DMV. According to my contact at BAR smog compliance verification will be done by the BAR Referee. The current ASM emission standards (cutpoints) for newer passenger cars and light-duty trucks categorize 2004 and newer model year vehicles together. (see Table 1, Title 16, California Code of Regulations Section 3340.42.) However the vehicle most likely would have to meet a visual inspection of applicable emission systems for the 2010 model year. Any details on the visual inspection are unknown at this time.

California Code Of Regulations

I have not been able to find anything on the DMV website about this yet other than the legislative code. To find information go to California DMV and type in 'Vehicle Registration Amnesty Program'. Do not expect to see a lot of information until July 2009. You can try calling the DMV 800 number 1-800-777-0133 to try and get answers. Some of the questions I have are:

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Update January 2009

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May 24, 2008 -- AB616

AB616 has come back to life. This is annual smog checks for vehicles over 15 years. This would also exempt vehicles from smog check that the Bureau of Automotive determines are likely to pass their smog check. Remember that Test-Only Directed Vehicles are vehicles � most likely to fail their smog check (especially at gross polluter levels) according to the Bureau of Automotive Repair website . How many people have been forced to go to test only yet pass their smog check? What�s wrong?

To find your Assembly and Senate legislator go here (Your Legislator ).

The bill is in Senate Appropriations. Here is the contact information (Senate Appropriations ).

It is important to put a stop to the bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee. If the bill gets through the Senate Appropriations, it goes to the Senate Floor, then Assembly Floor, then the Governor. It must be stopped now.

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April 9, 2008

Breaking news -- SB1549 has been amended into an Evaluation of the Special License Plate Program. It is no longer objectionable. Go to the link below and key in SB1549.

California Legislative Database

Special thanks goes to Association Of California Car Clubs and their lobbyist for writing the amendments. Visit Association Of California Car Clubs. The Association has stood up for the hobby. Check them out.

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The Remote Sensing Report Is Now Available

Background of Report Equipment Sight Restrictions

It is currently not feasible to deploy remote sensing systems or collect representative emissions measurements at any of the following:

What Does The Above Mean?

Simply put, think of it as follows. To make a reasonable comparison remote sensing is constrained to operate where the "Vehicle Specific Power" corresponds to a light accelerating load on the engine. Remember the Dynamometer for your smogcheck accelerated to a speed of 15 miles per hour. It is followed by steady state then accelerates to 25 miles per hour.

The problem is that remote sensing only gets "ONE SECOND OF DATA" where the Dynamometer run is 90 seconds.

Between 5% and 20% of the fleet will never be measured because they typically do not travel past sights suitable for remote sensing

What is Remote uncapable of detecting?

Remote sensing cannot detect "evaporative emission defects". This is now part of the biennial enhanced smog check...done along with use of the dynamometer.

Remote sensing cannot OBDII system defects:

Fleet Coverage

The Remote Sensing 2007 Final Report Is Here. It is fascinating.

EXAMPLE: The License Plate Reader was not usable according to the report. 2 million license plate images had to be examined manually and entered. The System is unusable in fog or rain because water interferes with the emissions readings. The study was run in 5 air basins (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, South Coast (Los Angeles) and San Diego. Of the 2 million records, 17% were valid and identified unique vehicles in DMV files. License plate glare was a factor making some license plates unreadable. To read the report go to the link below.

Remote Sensing Report

To read the overview of results of the remote sensing study go Here-Remote Sensing Presentation to IMRC .

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1/4/05--Bulletin--Specially Constructed Vehicles

If you are trying to register a newly built specially constructed vehicle or are concerned about the Titles Unlimited Issue, read here.

The link below documents the procedure for first time registration of newly built Specially Constructed Vehicles (custom hotrods without previous registration and kitcars -- ex. Cobra or some streetrods without a paper trail.).

Specially Constructed Vehicle Registration

This is not new but SEMA has worked with DMV and BAR and CARB to document the steps to take some of the confusion out of registration. Read below:

SEMA and Specially Constructed Vehicles

If you have a vehicle with Titles Unlimited in the chain, then read this. If you have out of state titling from Titles Unlimited in your title chain, SB953 is going to require you to re-register as a new vehicle with smog for the year of the engine. The 500 car limit in SB100 HAS NOT BEEN LIFTED for the supposed 70000 cars with Titles Unlimited in their registration chain. This bill extends a period of amnesty. If you do not comply, you are subject to prosecution. even though you bought it that way.

Onsite visual inspections will be required by CHP and BAR......Read SB953 below by clicking on the link below, then selecting legislation, then SB953

California State Senate

A last look at the California State Legislative Database indicated SB953 died.

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Remote Sensing Updated 3/20/06

News Flash -- Remote Sensing Begins 8/18/05!!!!

CARB is iimplementing Remote Sensing in Riverside, San Bernardino, LA and Orange Counties at freeway on ramps randomly. They will be measuring tailpipe emissions on any vehicle that goes through the Remote Sensing Sight......Maybe even your 68 Camaro or 67 Mustang or Hotrod or 60s VW. If you are out of spec they can call you in.

Vehicle code 27156 requires all original equipment (including smog equipment) to be on the vehicle. 90% of the collector cars in the 66-75 year range have removed smog equipment.

Cutpoints are made up. They are whatever the bureacrats decide they will be.


The principles and failure modes of Remote Sensing are detailed in the link below.

Remote Sensing Discussion

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The Hotrod Titling Issue -- 11/9/05

Hotrod Titling issues go something like this:

This Link Describes The Issues

Please read the above link for my best interpretation of the issues and stay tunes for more information as I get it. PLEASE GIVE SEMA ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND.

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11/9/05 -- SEMA Response To The Hotrod Issue

The following is SEMAs Public Affairs response to the Car Title Issue:

SEMA Response To The CAR Title Issue
SEMA Model Legislation
SEMA Legislation Already Passed

MaileaterEmail Steve McDonald At SEMA

If you have any questions on the above contact Steve McDonald. He is responsible for the above legislation.

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Test Only -- Update In Progress 11/27/05

My explanation of test-only is included on the link below.

My Explanation of Test-Only

Who goes to test only?:

I would strongly recommend that people read the California Inspection & Maintenance Committee Review Committee Review of the The Smog Check Program 2004 below.

California Inspection & Maintenance Review Committee Report

For those SMOG TECHS that read this sight(I know you are there.), BAR is cooking up another expense for you. It was demonstrated at the BAR advisory group meeting.

If it gets approved, you will be expected to buy another piece of equipment to do an EVAPORATIVE CANNISTER TEST for leaks in the evap system. It works by crimping off lines and running a test. The cost of that piece of equipment is estimated to be about $2500 (originally $800). If you crimp off an evap line that has become hardened from age, this could have you replacing the entire evap line from breakage!!! You break more cars than you fix. These were some of the comments I heard. If things go according to pattern, this piece of equipment may cost you $5000 + maintenance contracts when delivered. I believe you will need a PC to run it. The system displayed was driven by a laptop.

BTW, this new piece of equipment does not have a smoke test to find the leak. That will be extra. It appears other systems that have been previously demonstrated to work in other states are not good enough for California. BTW I am not sure I would want someone to crimp off the hoses on my car as I saw it done. The test will add 4-6 minutes to each smog check.

The letter below expresses the isssues of Test-Only:

Letter To CARB and IMRC on Test-Only

WORD OF CAUTION: The 800 number (800)952-5210 does not work. It is a victim of the budget. Even if you call that number during business hours it tells you to call back when they are open. It will do that all day if you let it. THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION

Go to the BAR Smogcheck Website and look for the "Station Locator". If you find this section, you enter ZIPCODE and (Test-Only, Test&Repair or Gold Shield) and you will find the type of station you want.

CARB reports that the failure rate at Test-Only Stations is 25% while the failure rate at Test & Repair is 9%. CARB was unable to tell me why there would be such a difference in results. There are two things that observation tell me could be happening. First -- many mechanics will advise a customer to have necessary repairs done (if identifiable) before the smogcheck is done in order that the person does not get caught in the Gross Polluter Trap. That was the reason for legislating Pre-Test. Secondly -- Some Test-Only Stations may not be allowing the car to heat up long enough if the car has been setting idle for any length of time. A Catalytic Converter that is not adequately warmed up may cause the vehicle to fail. These two items alone might explain the difference in failure rate between Test Only and Test & Repair.

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10/8/04--AB2683 Has Been Signed Into Law

12/24/04 -- Discussion on AB2683 has moved to the link below. There are no changes to AB2683 discussion at this time.

AB2683 Discussion

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9/22/04 -- New AB2683 Flyer

Download and read this flyer. It explains AB2683. There are a minimum of 5000 copies of this flyer in existence. It is now more explanatory than a call to action. The governor's office reported 4000 letters against AB2683. The flyer is in Microsoft Word 2000.

AB2683 Flyer

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Web Sites Of General Interest

The following website is a directory of State and Local Government on the Internet. It may be helpful to find your bureaucracy of interest.

State and Local Government On The Internet

An alternate source to find State and Federal issues is the SEMA Action Network. There is a guide there to lobbying your local legislator.

The SEMA Action Network

The SEMA Action Network website can help you find your legislators by zipcode and then compose one letter to all them on the vehicle issue of your choice. The reader is encouraged to look at this site closely.

For those of you that have experienced overheating problems, the following website was written by a computer programmer. It presents a good tutorial on engine overheating.Go to the car section.

Troubleshooting Engine Overheating

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My Concerns -- 11/22/05

Some of my concerns are defined in the link below:

My Concerns

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Congressional Bill Database -- 2005

Updated 11/22/05

Key in the word "Fuel" in the link below. You will find bills on Fuel Cells, Alternative Fuels(Diesel/Biomass/CNG/Fuel Cells, etc.).

You will even find bills to ban MTBE. Take a look. Try your own favorite keywords.

More after a little research.

Congressional Bill Database

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Smog Check II And The California Car

This is a basic tutorial more than anything and will stay, though it is elementary.

Smogcheck II and the California Car

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Contact Governor Schwarzenneger

Use the following link to access information about California State, County and City Government,Contact Bureaucracies, find highway information and contact the Governor.

California State Home Page

MaileaterEmail Len

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