top of page

Failed Smog Check - What do you do now?

What should you do if you fail a smog inspection?

In the unfortunate event that you do fail a smog inspection, you want to correct the problems and schedule a new test as quickly as possible. If you get your smog inspection at a location that offers repairs, then you may be able to get this all done at once. Even if you aren’t getting an inspection at a location with full repair services, you should be able to get a list of reasons why your car failed. There are several reasons why you want to fix the problems as quickly as possible.

First, failing the smog check means that you can’t renew your vehicle’s registration. If you waited until the last minute to get your smog inspection, then that could leave you without a car for the near future.

Second, failing a smog test can sometimes be a matter of minor problems, but it can also indicate that there are serious problems with your car. Air pollution isn’t just a general problem for the environment, but also for the air that you breath. If your car is pumping out toxic fumes, you’re the first person that’s going to be affected. On top of that, smog inspections can also identify safety problems that are unrelated to your car’s emissions.

Third, if you’re trying to sell the car, then having a clean emissions check can make a big difference. You might be able to get some offers with the failed test, but consider that the increase in value after a passed test might be a lot larger than how much the repairs and tests themselves cost.

What kind of penalties are there surrounding smog inspections?

If you car fails a smog inspection or if you fail to get a smog inspection once every two years, then you will not be allowed to renew your car’s registration with the DMV. As a result, you will not be able to legally drive that car on the street.

In such a situation, it may sound tempting to sell the car, but that will be more difficult as well. Many people won’t want to buy a car that’s failed emissions testing, so you may need to shell out the cash for that before you even find interested buyers.


bottom of page