The Prime Buyer's Report

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San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Smog Check Centers

How to Find the Best Smog Testing in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA

With California's car emission laws, every car must have a smog check periodically. Older cars may have more difficulty passing a smog test, but good smog test centers can give you recommendations on how to meet California emissions guidelines. There are many smog test stations in Alameda County and good smog test technicians can perform your smog emissions test quickly and efficiently.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best smog testing in Alameda County and issues related to smog checks.

Updated December 20, 2013

 The TOP 10 Smog Check Centers in Alameda County CA

Fremont Smog Test Only
(510) 744-9955
4299 Peralta Blvd # F
Fremont, CA 94536

Official Smog Check Test Only
(510) 639-7664
645 85th Ave
Oakland, CA 94621

Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Oakland CA, Piedmont CA, Alameda CA, Albany CA, Emeryville CA

EZ Smog Test Only
(510) 597-0876
3315 San Pablo Ave
Emeryville, CA 94608

Berkeley Test Only Smog
(510) 845-4495
1933 Addison St
Berkeley, CA 94704

Speedy Smog
(510) 522-7664
1726 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501

Newark Smog Check Center
(510) 791-8881
37900 Cedar Blvd # F
Newark, CA 94560

Foothill Smog Test Only
(510) 532-8974
4033 Foothill Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601

Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Oakland CA, Alameda CA, Emeryville CA, Albany CA, Piedmont CA

How to Find the Best Smog Testing in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA 


Smog check stations in Alameda County CA must be licensed by the State as protection for consumers.  They are not required by law to have liability insurance; however, all emission testing services bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol do have that liability insurance coverage to reimburse you in the event of any damage to your vehicle, in addition to passing all other requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as our survey phone calls to their previous customers verifying high satisfaction, hiring only documented workers, verified license, clean complaint record, and more.


Smog Tests in Alameda County CA
Passing the smog test is important because the California DMV requires owners to present a smog certificate, a document detailing emissions test results, within 90 days of renewing vehicle registration.

Another important aspect of emissions testing in Alameda County is whether or not the smog check station can, if your vehicle fails to pass a smog test, fix your vehicle so it can pass the smog test. Smog Test Only stations are prohibited by law from performing diagnosis or repairs of any kind. Others known as Test-and-Repair stations are licensed to perform official smog inspections and smog repairs.

As of January 1 2013, the Gold Shield Smog Check Station program has been replaced by STAR stations. Some STAR smog stations are licensed as test-only and others are licensed to do both smog tests and repairs. Your DMV registration renewal notice might state your vehicle requires a smog check at a STAR station, which makes yours a "directed vehicle" because it has been proactively directed to a STAR certified station. Additionally, vehicles that fail an emissions test at very high emission levels are considered "gross polluters" and then must receive certification specifically from a STAR-certified station.



Check Out the Choices of Smog Check Stations in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA
There are many auto smog check centers to choose from, ranging from the cheap smog inspection stations to those smog test shops that can perform repairs to guarantee a smog check pass. The Prime Buyer's Report lists contact information for the following smog check stations in Alameda County: Speedy Smog, Berkeley Test Only Smog, EZ Smog Test Only, Fremont Smog Test Only, Newark Smog Check Center, Foothill Smog Test Only, Official Smog Check Test Only. Other smog test stations that might still serve Alameda County include: .

Some Smog Check Services in Alameda County Are A Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these smog check stations in Alameda County CA: Speedy Smog, Berkeley Test Only Smog, EZ Smog Test Only, Fremont Smog Test Only, Newark Smog Check Center, Foothill Smog Test Only, Official Smog Check Test Only. Other shops for smog testing in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA that might still be in business include: .

 

 

A Guide To Finding Good Smog Test Centers in Alameda County CA 

Step 1: Understand the Rules of Smog Testing in Alameda County CA
You may think your car drives exactly the same as it did when you last passed a smog check, but driveability doesn't mean your car will pass a smog test. If your vehicle is fairly new, you don't necessarily need to provide a California smog certificate, but if your vehicle is older, it may not pass smog even though it passed last year. If you are aware of any problems or symptoms that could affect your car's ability to pass a smog check, describe those symptoms clearly and accurately to the smog test technician.

Step 2: Ask & Answer Questions of the Smog Test Stations in Alameda County.
The smog center should not only ask about the symptoms, but also your history with the vehicle, any previous problems and even driving habits. Select the most appropriate questions from the list below to supplement what you've already learned. Take notes on the answers you receive.

How long have you been doing smog tests in Alameda County?
Do you often do smog tests and/or repairs on my particular model/year of car?
If there is a problem passing the smog test, can you fix the problem once you've found it?
Will you contact the DMV to report my vehicle's smog test results?
When doing repairs, do you use original equipment (OEM) parts, other new parts, or used parts?
Will work performed by your shop affect my manufacturer's warranty?
Will you provide a written, itemized estimate for the smog test and smog repairs?
Will you provide a written contract for the smog test and smog repairs?
What process do you go through to price the smog test and work?
What type of warranty on smog testing and for smog work will you provide?
How long should it take to complete the work?
Do you provide loaner cars while my vehicle is being smogged?
If the smog repair work involves a damaged component, what was the failure?

Step 3: The Preliminary Decision Among Good Smog Testing Stations in Alameda County CA.
After you've interviewed good smog check stations in Alameda County, narrow the field. Remember that a good smog technician should be working with you to help get your vehicle smogged and registered.

Step 4: Final Research on Smog Test Centers in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA.
Make sure you've got all the information you need before deciding. What credentials do the smog centers have? What about the employees? Does the company have a good reputation? Verify licensing, insurance, and other certifications.

Step 5: The Final Decision on The Best Smog Testing Centers in Alameda County For You
Call for any final questions, and if your vehicle will be repaired by the smog station, ask the mechanic to provide a written and signed pricing, timing, quality, and warranty agreement.

 

 

Resources About Smog Checks in Alameda County 

Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations Related to Smog Testing in Alameda County CA
AAA American Automobile Association (http://www.aaa.com/)
AASP Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
ADS American Driving Society (http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/)   
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group (http://www.aiag.org/)
AIRNow (http://www.airnow.gov/)
ALA American Lung Association of California (http://www.caifornialung.com/)
APAA Automotive Parts & Accessories Association (http://www.apaa.org/)
ARB California Air Resources Board (http://www.arb.ca.gov/)
ASA Automotive Service Association (http://www.asashop.org/)
ASE Automotive Service Excellence (http://www.asecert.org/)
BAR Bureau of Automotive Repair: Smog Check Menu (http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
CARB California Air Resources Board (http://www.arb.ca.gov/)
CSAA California State Automobile Association (http://www.csaa.org/)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
STS Service Technicians Society (http://www.sts.sae.org/)


Media Regarding Smog Checks in Alameda County

4wd Magazine
Automotive News
Autoweek
Autofan
Automotive News
Automotive Rebuilder
Brake & Front End
Car and Driver
Car Mechanics Magazine
Detroit News
Import Car
Motor Age
Motor Trend
Popular Hot Rodding
Rebuilder Direct
Recyclers World
Road And Track
Super Chevy
Street Rodder
Truckin
Today's SUV
Turbo And High Performance Magazine
Underhood Service
US Auto News
VW Trends
Vette



The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Smog Tests in Alameda County CA within the following zip codes:

94606, 94615, 94502, 94551, 94537, 94701, 94609, 94611, 94579, 94705, 94605, 94623, 94580, 94586, 94710, 94662, 94608, 94617, 94614, 94578, 94661, 94706, 94618, 94707, 94542, 94538, 94550, 94557, 94577, 94704, 94708, 94566, 94540, 94702, 94621, 94602, 94603, 94703, 94544, 94555, 94604, 94545, 94536, 94539, 94709, 94552, 94619, 94607, 94546, 94610, 94501, 94543, 94588, 94712, 94560, 94613, 94587, 94624, 94568, 94541, 94601, 94620 and 94612

 

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Smog Checks in Alameda County CA within the following cities:

94606, 94615, 94502, 94551, 94537, 94701, 94609, 94611, 94579, 94705, 94605, 94623, 94580, 94586, 94710, 94662, 94608, 94617, 94614, 94578, 94661, 94706, 94618, 94707, 94542, 94538, 94550, 94557, 94577, 94704, 94708, 94566, 94540, 94702, 94621, 94602, 94603, 94703, 94544, 94555, 94604, 94545, 94536, 94539, 94709, 94552, 94619, 94607, 94546, 94610, 94501, 94543, 94588, 94712, 94560, 94613, 94587, 94624, 94568, 94541, 94601, 94620 and 94612

 

 

Tips About Smog Check Stations in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA 

Don't Smog Test Your Vehicle in Poor Condition.
If your vehicle sputters, stalls, or is otherwise running poorly, don't expect to pass the emissions test. Your inspection fee will be money wasted when the vehicle fails inspection. Repairing any obvious problems with your vehicle before the test will greatly improve your chances of passing your smog test.

Warm Up the Engine Before Your Smog Test.
A warmed-up engine will usually produce better emissions testing results. Internal-combustion engines need time to warm up in order to ensure efficient burning of the fuel in the cylinders. An warmed-up engine running at optimum levels will improve your chances of passing a smog test.

Try Over-the-Counter Products Before Taking Your Car to a Smog Center.
Fuel additives can be an ally in improving engine efficiency and lowering smog levels. Additives can clear carbon deposits and intake and exhaust systems helping fuel and air flow more freely and increasing your chances of passing a smog test.

Perform Some Routine Maintenance Prior to Having a Smog Check.
In certain California counties, enhanced inspections require the smog station to run your vehicle on a dynamometer. Make sure your tires are inflated evenly to recommended pressures to ensure top performance in this section. Also, have an oil change before your test so your engine is running at top efficiency.

Find Out if Your Vehicle Actually Needs a Smog Check.
Every time a vehicle is initially registered, and every two years after that, a smog check is required under California law. This applies to vehicles produced after 1976 that are powered by gasoline, propane, natural gas, and ethanol. Vehicles produced in 1975 or before are exempt from California's emissions laws. Vehicles four or six model-years old or newer are not required to perform a smog check until the vehicle is five or seven years old (unless the vehicle is sold or registered for the first time in California). Other exemptions include: Vehicles with diesel engines, vehicles with two-cycle engines, vehicles with engines smaller than 50 cubic inches of displacement, electric vehicles, and motorcycles, as well as hybrids.

Check Up On The Smog Center.
For all smog checks in Oakland CA, be sure to check licensing, liability insurances, and any other relevant credentials before you sign. Understand that "Test Only" smog checks are performed at special facilities that are prohibited from performing repairs.


Keep In Touch With Your Smog Center.
When you have the slightest doubt about how a job is going, ask questions. As the tested vehicle's owner, you have the right to know about all aspects of the emissions testing process. Smog technicians can answer many questions about whether a vehicle will pass, and may be able to offer valuable advice on how to improve your vehicle's performance during a smog check.

 

 

Research on Smog Tests in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA 


 

Common Smog Check Terms

 

  • Emission Control System - A vehicle exhaust system and the components that reduce smog. The exhaust system control components include: evaporative emissions and tailpipe emissions.

  • Exhaust / Exhaust Emissions - Pollutants comprising smog that are harmful to people and the environment, including lead, unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.

  • Exhaust Analyzer - The smog check service device that uses infrared energy to determine the composition of engine exhaust gases during a smog test. Exhaust analyzers found in smog check centers include a two-gas type that measures hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide and a four-gas type, which measures oxygen and carbon dioxide.

  • Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) - An emissions-control system that reduces smog by suppressing the production of nitrogen oxides and diluting the air / fuel mixture with exhaust gas so that cylinder combustion temperatures are lowered.

  • Exhaust Manifold - A component, usually made of cast iron, with passages that carry exhaust gases from exhaust ports to the exhaust system header.

  • Exhaust System - A system including tubing, mufflers, and catalytic converters that directs exhaust gases.


Smog Test Alameda CA

Smog Check Stations Alameda CA 94501
Speedy Smog Alameda CA 94501-1416

Smog Test Albany CA

Albany Express Smog Test Only Albany CA 94706-2215
Smog Shop Test Only Albany CA 94706-2450
Smog Zone Albany CA 94706

 

Smog Test Berkeley CA

7 Days A Week Smog Test Berkeley CA 94702
Ace Test Only Smog Center Berkeley CA 94702-2425
Berkeley Smog Test Only Center Berkeley CA 94710-2614
Berkeley Test Only Smog Berkeley CA 94704-1101
Campus Auto Care Berkeley CA 94709-1750

 

Smog Test Emeryville CA

EZ Smog Test Only Emeryville CA 94608-4235

 

Smog Test Oakland CA

A 880 Smog Oakland CA 94601-3458
A Plus Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94621
Auto Row Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94611-5713
Autohouse Car Repair Oakland CA 94612-1601
Broadway Smog Station Oakland CA 94611-6023
Danny's Smog Station Oakland CA 94621-2478
East Bay Smog Center Oakland CA 94609-1017
Econo Smog Oakland CA 94607-4423
Foothill Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94601-4238
Gic Smog Station Oakland CA 94601-4024
High Street Smog Check Oakland CA 94601-4445
International Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94606-4333
Oakland Test Only Smog Center Oakland CA 94606
Official Smog Check Test Only Oakland CA 94621-1254
Q Smog Check Test Only Oakland CA 94601-5218
San Pablo Smog Test Only Center Oakland CA 94608-1231
Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94606-3625
Super Smog Test Only Oakland CA 94608-4560
Test Only Smog Station Oakland CA 94601-3523
Test Only Smog Station Oakland CA 94601-4037

 


 

Smog Test Castro Valley CA

Expert Tune & Smog Castro Valley CA 94546-4535

Smog Test Hayward CA

123 Smog Test Only Hayward CA 94541-4838
4 Stroke Smog Hayward CA 94544-7808
AMC Smog Only Hayward CA 94541-3912
Bay Smog Hayward CA 94544-5326
California Air Smog Hayward CA 94544
Cear Blue Smog Inc Hayward CA 94541-3938
Hayward Smog Test Only Hayward CA 94544-2519
Jackson Test Only Center Inc Hayward CA 94544-1545
Just Smog Hayward CA 94541-5830
Meekland Smog Test Only Hayward CA 94541-3861
Mission Smog Test Only Hayward CA 94544-4134
Quik Smog Hayward CA 94541-3912


Smog Test San Leandro CA

Accutest Test Only Center San Leandro CA 94578-3112
Pro Smog San Leandro CA 94578-3324
San Leandro Test Only San Leandro CA 94577-1209
Smog Pros San Leandro CA 94577
Speedy Smog San Leandro CA 94579-1810


Smog Test San Lorenzo CA

Automac Smog & Test Only San Lorenzo CA 94580-1742
Smog Pros San Lorenzo CA 94580-3035

 




 

Smog Test Dublin CA

All Smogs Test Only Center Dublin CA 94568-2408
Discount Smog Check Center Dublin CA 94568-2633
Smog Station Dublin CA 94568-3140


Smog Test Livermore CA

A1 Smog Test Only Center Livermore CA 94551-4920
Cactus Car Care & Smog Livermore CA 94551-1623
Cal State Smogs Livermore CA 94551-4995
Discount Smog Check Center Livermore CA 94551
First Street Smog Livermore CA 94551-4951
Tri Valley Test Only Center Livermore CA 94550-4304
Tri Valley Test Only Center Livermore CA 94551-1628

 

Smog Test Pleasanton CA

Alameda County Smog King Pleasanton CA 94566-6266
Epps Test Only Center Pleasanton CA 94566-6269
Great American Smog Test Center Pleasanton CA 94588-3469
Test Only Smog Station Pleasanton CA 94588-8507

 



 

Smog Test Fremont CA

Auto Mall Smog Test Only Fremont CA 94538-3164
Big Citi Test Only Fremont CA 94536-4854
City Smog Fremont CA 94536-5807
Eurotech Fremont CA 94536-3664
Fremont Everyday Smog Fremont CA 94538-4305
Fremont Smog Test Only Fremont CA 94536-4861
Happy Smog Check Fremont CA 94539
Hi Tech Auto Care & Smog Fremont CA 94538
Mowry Smog Only Fremont CA 94536-4107
Quality Tune-Up Shops Smog Center Fremont CA 94536
Quick Smog Fremont CA 94538-2447
Rich's Smog Fremont CA 94538-6449
Smog & Go Test Only Fremont CA 94539-5657
Smog Check Stations Fremont CA 94538-1340
Smog Pros Fremont CA 94539
Vanguard Smog Test Only Fremont CA 94536-4958

Smog Test Newark CA

4 Stroke Smog Newark CA 94560-4803
Express Auto Newark CA 94560-4482
Newark Smog Check Center Newark CA 94560-4482
Precision Smog & Service Newark CA 94560-4482
Smog Center Test Only Newark CA 94560-3644

 

Smog Test Union City CA

Quik Smog Union City CA 94587-4903
Union City Smog Test Only Union City CA 94587-2802