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Proposed changes to California smog check requirements 1976 - 1982 cars

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John in Eugene Avatar
John in Eugene Platinum Member John Quilter
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
Of interest to California British car owners with 1976 to pre 1983 model year cars, a new state bill has been submitted to extend the California required biannual smog check exemption to pre 1983 year cars from the existing exemption for cars pre 1976 model year. The bill, AB 210, is currently before the State Assembly Transportation Committee. If you chose to weigh in on this proposal, details on how to do that are at: http://www.semasan.com/legislative-alerts/california/california-bill-exempt-pre-1983-vehicles-emissions-inspections

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA

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F1000RACER Avatar
F1000RACER Platinum Member Gary H
Alpine, CA, USA   USA
Thanks for posting this John.

This makes my prospect of owning a late model TR8 even better. I have passed on many of them over the last 10 years because some had missing or non operational smog equipment.

I can think of a few 1976 TR6 owners here on the left coast that will certainly benefit from this change.

GH

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John in Eugene Avatar
John in Eugene Platinum Member John Quilter
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
Gary,

This is a LONG, LONG way from actually being passed into law. The California legislature in the past has always rejected such attempts to modify the exemption criteria as the CARB is strongly against such changes and the legislature, for the most part, goes along with CARB. recommendations. It will take a Herculean effort on the part of car hobbyists to get this latest proposal passed. But hope springs eternal.

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Sadly I don't see this bill going anywhere, like it's predecessors it will most likely be quickly tabled and forgotten. I just can't imagine the Peoples Republic of California doing something to make anybody's life easier. But there is another possibility, when I last got my car smogged the tech guys I talked to said they just don't test very many cars the old fashion way anymore and every year there are fewer. Their opinion was that sooner or later testing this decreasing number of cars was going to be more trouble than it's worth. My current strategy is to outlast the bastards.

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jelly donut Frank G
Rockaway, NJ, USA   USA
I expect that's where you're likely headed. NJ did away with inspection for all cars 1995 and older. Only OBDII cars are subject to inspection now. As the older cars have dwindled, it just makes no economical sense to maintain the equipment and trained personnel to do a real tail pipe sniffer test.

I'm sure CA has more older cars running around, but no doubt they will eventually come to the same conclusion. Oh wait, it's CA...

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John in Eugene Avatar
John in Eugene Platinum Member John Quilter
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
I have a more pessimistic attitude and that is the number of contract smog test stations will diminish resulting in having to travel ever farther to get a test done. Some will simply park their cars, sell their cars out of state, or export to more friendly countries. It is the cynical in me that CA will find a way to get these cars off the road one way or another. Already we have seen in the Bay Area and LA basin a dramatic decrease in the number of repair shops that can, or will, work on these older cars making them near impossible to service for all but the very technically savvy and hands on owner/driver. I saw this happening 10-12 years ago and immigrated to an area that is more friendly to the vintage car hobby.

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA

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Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR7 Drophead "The Great Pumpkin"
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1595253 by sliproc My current strategy is to outlast the bastards.

LOL. smileys with beer

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, frame off restoration, complete.
1980 Vermilion TR7 Sprint replica, in progress.

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
John,

When it comes to California I'm always pessimistic. You're probably right about the number of smog test stations getting fewer as the pool of cars requiring traditional testing shrinks. California may have painted itself into a corner by building such a huge smog test infrastructure; test only stations, test and repair, and referee centers. Like the guys who repaired Conastoga wagons they're eventually going to run out of customers.

When California started the smog test program in '84 it was state run, naturally it was inefficient and expense so they turned most of it over to the privateers. As it becomes less profitable and the privateers get out of the business maybe the state will take it over again, I don't know. What I do know is I'm not going to stop driving my TR-7. If it winds up that there's only one test center in the state in Sacramento then every two years I'll take a nice little roadtrip up there and get that test.

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bowen6951 Avatar
bowen6951 Gold Member rob bowen
Fontana, CA, USA   USA
Well, over the summer I visited our local B.A.R. (bureau of automotive repairs - state) Referee Station and had a nice chat with the man. I wanted to convert my '80 TR8 EFI flapper system to a Rover "Hotwire" FI, I explained that the computers and air flow meters are NLA and used ones are dying and not repairable while the R.R. parts are off the shelf. His answer was "if the part is unavailable and not repairable we can give you and exemption for the part", but said I if the car won't run with out the part what would I do?. He said "not drive the car". We then proceeded out to the parking lot where my car was, I said this is a nice venue for a car show do you come here often, he looked at me funny then smiled. He said nice car and I opened the hood and we started talking cars. I explained to him about the flapper system and how parts are drying up and it would be a simple matter to install the latter model FI and how much more efficient it would be. He said if you could put the latter system on and make it look stock, with no grinding, welding or mickeying things probably no one would ever know. But it would still have to pass smog. He said they have books going back to the '60s so they have a wealth of knowledge but was not sure what they would have for our cars. John thanks for the heads up on A.B. 210 I had not heard about it yet, Thanks, Rob

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Rob,

So you're the guy, I had heard an unsubstantiated rumor that someone had had a good experience at a Referee Station, of course like Big Foot I didn't believe it until now. In my experiences with the various Referee Stations over the years there seems to be a common theme, they have no interest in providing help of any kind and the prevailing feeling seems to be if your car had to go to a Referee Station it probably shouldn't be on the road anyway.

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bowen6951 Avatar
bowen6951 Gold Member rob bowen
Fontana, CA, USA   USA
Hi Kevin,
actually I've had a couple good experiences. In the mid '80s I had a Porsche 911 that had originally come with an air pump (the only year) and it had been removed along with all the hardware. My Wife made 10 trips from Glendora (home) to Pasadena (referee) to get an exemption because the parts were NLA, and the Ref worked really hard to help us. Maybe the times were different, but the guy I talked to recently was an O.K. guy also I just had to get him out of his uniform (?) so to speak. Thanks, Rob

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bowen6951 Avatar
bowen6951 Gold Member rob bowen
Fontana, CA, USA   USA
Forgot to add this to the post:
A.B. 210 was proposed on 1/19/19 and amended on 2/12/19. It has a long was to go but coming so close on the heels of S.B. 1239 (similar failed bill) is a good sign somebody in Sacramento has some common sense. Please people contact your Assemblyman and tell them you've spent thousands of dollars on your car and only drive it on weekends, CA.gov info below.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB210

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Rob,

The CA smog test system has evolved through the years since it's inception. In around '84 when it started there were only state run facilities and every car had to be tested, including my '58 Austin-Healey. Sometime in the '90s when the bulk of the testing was done by privateers the state referee stations did inspections and testing for gross polluters. The current system involves; test only stations, test and service stations, and referee centers which now only check for visual compliance, if you pass visual they send you to a test station.

I think we may be in the midst of another evolution, I have noticed that the test only station down the street has only one or two cars on their lot at any given time, ten years ago that lot was packed with cars awaiting testing. What happens from here only time will tell.


PS: to non-CA guys, my apologies I know this thread has no impact on you, but it does give you some idea of what we have to put up with in La La Land.

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John in Eugene Avatar
John in Eugene Platinum Member John Quilter
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
I believe that in recent years cars with OBDII are exempted if they are less than 5 (?) years old. That may have been extended still more. That means as the car park gets newer, less cars are subject to biannual testing. A little background as best I recall it from my days in CA. Around 1990 IIRC a new BAR90 test was put in place with some standards that were stricter than the EPA and CARB originally certified the cars with. Mechanically injected Mercedes and Porsches would simply not pass the idle test. This caused a massive brouhaha and Senator Quenton Kopp (I San Francisco) introduced a bill, SB42, that initially would have exempted cars on a 25 year rolling basis. The CARB balked, and the bill was modified to 25 year rolling exemption. This bill was finally passed but as many of the cars that CARB had an issue with, probably pre catalyst cars, neared the rolling exemption date they requested the rolling exemption be eliminated and a hard limit set at model year 1975 and earlier only cars be exempted. That is the situation now, Many attempts to move this exemption model year to newer cars have failed at the urging of CARB and the dominant legislative majority has always agreed with CARB. Others in CA may be able to clarify or add more details on the history of this ongoing issue for car hobbyists there.

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
John,

The DMV now says a car doesn't require a test for the first six years, before that it was four. While new cars are exempted from testing they still have to pay a fee, of naturally. The rolling exemption was actually 30 years or older, I was just able to sneak my '74 Jensen-Healey under the wire, but of course that made to much sense so they froze it in 2005. I think 2000 and later cars just get plugged into the computer to test, I also saw something about '96 and later but it was a little confusing, but hey isn't that what the DMV is all about.

Like the old saying goes" If you're not totally confused then you don't fully understand the situation".

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