Regular Smog Station vs. Star Station
We are asked all the time: what is the difference between a regular smog station and a Star smog station? If you have received your renewal notice from the DMV and it says “Smog certification required at a STAR Station” it doesn’t mean you have a problem. All this means is that the DMV has selected your vehicle to inspected at a STAR certified smog station. A STAR station is monitored closely by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and must conform to the high standards of the BAR.
Some STAR stations are only authorized to test the vehicle, while others are also authorized for repair.
STAR Test Only Facility – smog test only facilities are authorized by the state of California to perform both regular and test only smog tests. They may not perform any repairs to vehicles that have failed the smog test. Their main job is to perform a non-biased and accurate smog test. These facilities are authorized to test all DMV required vehicles.
STAR Test and Repair – These smog facilities are authorized by the BAR regular and STAR directed smog tests along with repairs to vehicles that have failed smog. A STAR test and repair facility are the only shops authorized to inspect, repair and certify all vehicles. These stations also participate in the state’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) and are inspected by the state of California monthly.
The state of California uses three basic strategies for determining whether a vehicle is designated for a STAR station:
1. Gross Polluters – vehicles which have failed a previous smog inspection with very high emission readings.
2. High Emitter Profile Vehicles – these are vehicle types determined by the BAR to have a high chance of failing the smog inspection.
3. A random sample of all vehicles registered in this state and being driven on public roads.
If your vehicle has been directed to a STAR station there is no need to worry. There are many STAR stations here in the Huntington Beach area. If you aren’t sure where to go, give us a call and we can refer you to a station.
The best news – if your vehicle is year 2000 or newer and you do not need to go to a STAR station, Val & Mike’s Auto Repair can perform your smog test! And we are also authorized to repair your vehicle if it fails smog. For any questions we are here to help. We are your smog repair and check engine light specialists.