Thread: Smog Equipment
View Single Post
Noah930 Noah930 is offline
Noah930's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14,360
As you've gathered, there are two components to passing smog: visual and sniffer.

The visual test is just that: the tech looks at the car to see if all the stock/OEM stuff that came with the car is still there and hooked up/functioning. It's not a matter of what non-stock items contribute to exhaust pollutants. It's a matter of what LOOKS stock. So, somehow a shiny aftermarket performance muffler will send up red flags, but some econo model from Midas won't. How closely a tech scrutinizes this stuff is up to the talent of the tech. Some techs will just say: hey, if anyone asks, this stuff wasn't here when you brought it in . Others will be sticklers. Some techs have absolutely no idea what they're looking at/for. Luck of the draw, unless you ask around and find a shop that's friendly to old, hot-rodded Porsches.

Sniffer test is fairly similar to what you find in other states. The dyno is hooked up to some master DMV computer, so it's hard to fudge this part of it. It tests the car at idle and at load. The dyno rollers have some sort of scale built in, so you can't just hook up a totally different car to the thing and run it, instead. Supposedly the DMV does random, undercover checks on smog shops to try to keep them honest.

Different shops charge different amounts--there's no standardized fee. Some smog testers offer to do smog repairs (conflict of interest?), others don't.
1987 Venetian Blue (really looks like grey) 930 Coupe
Old 02-24-2010, 09:13 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #14 (permalink)