Smog Tips

Alameda Smog Dog advises the following to successfully complete your California smog test

Take your vehicle to a TEST-ONLY station – Alameda Smog Dog is a licensed Test Only station.

Test Only stations are not allowed to perform repairs or even recommend mechanics. This means that you will receive a truly unbiased test. While most shops are honest, Test & Repair stations have an incentive to fail your vehicle and perform the repair. The State of California established Test Only stations to assure consumers that they are being treated fairly.
Moreover, as a Test Only station, the only service we perform is smog checks. The trained and focused technicians at Alameda Smog Dog will accurately examine your vehicle and have you back on the road as quickly as possible.

WARM your vehicle’s ENGINE:
Be sure that your vehicle is operating at normal temperatures before bringing it to Alameda Smog Dog. A vehicle with a warm engine is more likely to pass a smog check. When your engine is warm, it burns fuel more efficiently. The catalytic converter will better oxidize pollutants coming out of the combustion chamber, meaning less harmful emissions and better smog test results. Especially on colder days, drive your vehicle for at least 20 minutes before we perform your smog test.

CHANGE your vehicle’s OIL:
If your vehicle is overdue for an oil change, have this service performed before bringing it to Alameda Smog Dog. Vehicles needing an oil change may be burning fuel high in hydrocarbons and are therefore less likely to pass a smog test. An IMPORTANT note for 2000 and newer vehicles: Some oil changers will disconnect your battery during their inspection procedures. This will reset your vehicle’s memory chip used in the smog check process. A vehicle with an erased memory chip will not pass its smog test. Should this occur, just wait a few days before bringing your vehicle to Alameda Smog Dog.

Nothing beats regular maintenance for ensuring that your vehicle will pass its smog test. A vehicle owner who follows the manufacturer’s schedule for regular maintenance is more likely to have a vehicle running at optimal fuel efficiency with fewer harmful emissions. Preventative maintenance will diagnose and correct issues before they become apparent during your vehicle’s smog check. If your engine is not idling smoothly have it repaired before getting a smog test.

Repair your vehicle if the CHECK ENGINE light is on:
If your check engine or similar light is illuminated have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired, and then drive the vehicle at least 50 miles, before bringing it to Alameda Smog Dog. A vehicle cannot pass a smog test if the check engine light is on, even if it successfully meets all emission requirements. The state puts smog technicians in a tough position over this requirement. Consumers are rightfully frustrated that technicians continue their smog test procedures even after seeing an illuminated check engine light. Every technician is rated by the state and these ratings are not only a source of pride but can be critical to their livelihood. Aborted tests negatively impact a technician’s report card with the state, therefore they will always complete all procedures even after becoming aware that a vehicle will not pass. This is another reason why Alameda Smog Dog offers a steeply discounted re-test. We do not want our customers or our technicians to be penalized by this issue. Of course, you will save our time and yours if you resolve check engine light issues before bringing your vehicle to Alameda Smog Dog.

Maintain proper TIRE PRESSURE:
Proper tire pressure allows your vehicle to run smoothly and efficiently, not only on the road, but also when on our dynamometer during the smog inspection process. The manufacturer’s specifications for tire pressure for your vehicle will be found on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb or in the glove compartment or in the trunk.

Fill your GAS TANK (older vehicles):
It requires a bit more time to test 1995 or older vehicles. These vehicles require an additional EVAP test, where the gas tank is filled with nitrogen to test if it holds pressure. A full tank will reduce the time required for this test and put you back on the road more quickly.

📍  1726 Park Street Alameda, CA 94501

🕑 Monday thru Saturday: 8:30am thru 5:30pm

📞 (510) 522-7664