The Smog Stop
6414 University Ave, San Diego, Ca 92115
Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 17:00

Diesel Smog Check Inspection History

California Assembly Bill 1488 was enacted in to law in 2009 and required diesel powered pickups to undergo a smog check inspection in the State of California. In 2010, the amount of vehicles that were effected by this law was around 540,000. For the most part the State of California hit privately owned diesel pickups and did not go after the real diesel polluters, which is the the heavy duty diesel engines. It must be easier to levy money from a private citizen, rather than the transportation industry. If your diesel pickup or car falls meets the following criteria, your vehicle must pass a smog inspection in the state of California.

  • 1998 Model Year or newer
  • GVWR is under 14,000 lbs

Diesel Smog Inspection Procedures

The procedures for performing a smog check on a diesel vehicle is not much different than a vehicle with a gasoline engine. The inspection is actually is not as intrusive as gasoline vehicles. The following inspection points highlight the general smog check requirement of a diesel engine vehicle.

  • Visual Inspection
  • Smoke Test
  • OBD Readiness

Diesel Smog Check Test Equipment

All diesel engine vehicles undergo smog inspection on the OIS smog machine. The smog check machine many of us have come to know (BAR 97) the one that samples the exhaust gas is not used on to perform the smog test on diesel vehicles. The OIS diesel smog check machine is tailored to recognize the vehicle has a diesel engine and will prompt the smog technician to only perform the smog check inspection points required of a diesel engine vehicle.


Diesel Smog Check Frequently Asked Questions


How often do diesels have to have a smog inspection?

A diesel engine vehicle has to be smog inspected every 2 years. Diesel engine vehicles do not enjoy the 6 year smog exemption like gasoline engine vehicles. If you purchased a brand new diesel engine vehicle count on getting the vehicle smog tested in 2 years. If you are moving to California your diesel vehicle will have to undergo a smog check to obtain your vehicle registration.

How many monitors are allowed to be not ready on a diesel engine vehicle to pass the smog check?

  • If the diesel engine vehicle is model year 1998-2006, there can be no incomplete monitors
  • If the diesel engine vehicle is model year 2007 and newer, you can have 2 incomplete readiness monitors and still pass the diesel smog check

Does my diesel motorhome required a smog check?

The answer depends on the GVWR of the motor-home in question. If the GVWR is more than 14,000 lbs it does not required a smog check inspection

How much is a diesel smog check inspection?

A diesel smog check inspection costs around $60.00 in the San Diego area.

Do I have to get a smog check on a diesel vehicle when I transfer ownership?

Yes, if you purchased a diesel vehicle you must obtain a smog certificate within 90 days of the transfer in order to put the vehicle in your name. The California DMV mandates this policy and is very strict when it comes to making sure your vehicle passed the smog check inspection.