Hybrid cars have surged in popularity over the past two decades. They’re extremely fuel efficient and are environmentally friendly, too. Since they’re considered to be green vehicles, you may wonder if you’re required to have a smog check in San Diego or other parts of California.
The short answer is yes. Hybrid vehicles are subject to smog checks every other year. This is the same requirement as for all gas-powered and flex-fuel cars, trucks, and SUVs that were made in or after 1976. However, the same exceptions apply hybrids as to other types of cars: Those vehicles that are six years old or newer aren’t required to get a smog check every other year. Nor is a smog check required when a hybrid that’s four years old or newer is sold to another owner. Both of these circumstances apply because they’re equipped with the latest and best emissions equipment. It’s rare that a newer vehicle will fail a smog check unless there are extraordinary circumstances (like tampering or a manufacturer’s defect) at play.
Sometimes hybrid vehicle owners mistakenly believe they’re totally exempt from smog checks. The confusion stems from when hybrids first hit the market in California in 2000. At that time, testing devices couldn’t measure emissions when the hybrid was idling. That’s because the vehicle switches over to the electric motor, which produces no emissions. Today’s tests examine a hybrid’s on-board diagnostic system. Data is gathered and examined to see if the emissions system is functioning as it should.
If you’re looking for a cheap smog check near you in Chula Vista or the San Diego area, visit B&J Auto Repair Smog & Sales. We offer smog coupons to save you money. Plus, we’re your one-stop shop for smog and auto repair. Our friendly staff can answer all your questions about the testing process and any smog repairs you need.