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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)About the Inclusion of Light-Duty Diesel Vehicles in the Smog Check ProgramMany of the Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) listed below have been raised by members of the

inspection and repair industry, new and used car dealerships and owners of diesel repair specialty shops

participating in the diesel workshops. The information provided in the FAQs will be updated on the

BAR’s Web site as it becomes available.Diesel Inspection ProceduresWhat Smog Check test procedures are being planned for the new diesel inspection?The proposed inspection will consist of three parts; a visual check of the emission control equipment, a

check of the OBD system and a test for visible smoke.

All of these tests are currently performed on gasoline vehicles. However, there are some differences as

indicated below:

The visual check of diesel vehicles will be performed the same way as the test performed on

gasoline powered vehicles except that the emission control components maybe different. The

BAR will provide instructions for performing the visual inspection in the

Procedures Manual.Smog Check InspectionThe OBD-II check on diesels will be conducted the same way it is performed on gasoline

vehicles. The BAR-97 cannot perform the OBDII check for any vehicles with the newer Controller

Area Network (CAN) OBD communication protocol. Some diesel vehicles started using the CAN

protocol as early as the 2003 model-year.

The BAR and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are working on a new visible smoke

test procedure for diesels.

Once the studies regarding the smoke procedure are complete, and the draft procedures are

finalized, they will be posted on BAR’s Web site

Will Smog Check technicians be required to do an ASM test on diesels?.No, dynamometer testing will not be part of the diesel inspection.Will Smog Check technicians be required to check the fuel being used?No. Although some operators of light-duty diesel vehicles use alternative diesel fuels, including various

mixes of biodiesel, currently, there are no plans to require technicians to collect fuel samples as part of

the Smog Check diesel inspection.How long will technicians need to run a diesel engine during an inspection?Although many factors affect the length of time it takes to do any type of inspection, the BAR expects

most technicians to be able to complete the diesel inspection in approximately 15 minutes.Implementation Schedule and Other Miscellaneous QuestionsWhen will diesel inspections begin?The DMV will begin mailing notices to motorists who own diesel-powered vehicles subject to the program

in January, 2010, for registrations due in April. However, change of ownership and out-of-stateBureau of Automotive Repair January 9, 2009 Page 1 of 3inspections will be required starting on January 1, 2010. Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, there is no

six year exemption on diesels included in the Smog Check Program.Why was 1998 established as the minimum model-year vehicle subject to the program?The law, as written, authorizing the inclusion of diesel vehicles into the Smog Check Program, required it.Will any diesel vehicles be exempt from the program?Yes, all diesel vehicles over the maximum 14,000 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) limit will be

exempt from the Smog Check Program. Some small motor homes maybe subject to the program, but

most have a GVWR that exceeds 14,000 pounds. The GVWR is indicated on a label located on the

chassis or door jamb of the vehicle.What other states smog check programs are inspecting diesel vehicles?Diesel vehicle inspection programs are operated in Nevada, New York, and Colorado.Repairs and SublettingHow does the BAR expect failed vehicles to be repaired?Currently, most diesel vehicle owners have their vehicles repaired at either a dealership or a diesel

specialty repair shop.Will subletting be allowed?BAR understands, subletting of repairs is not allowed when a vehicle fails a Smog Check, except under

certain conditions (i.e., parts removed from vehicle, or exhaust system repairs). The BAR is reviewing

subletting options for diesel repair and will provide further information during the regulatory process.Test-Only DirectionWill BAR be directing diesel vehicles to Test-Only stations?No, the BAR will not be directing diesel vehicles to Test-Only or Gold Shield stations when the program

begins in January, 2010.Tampering, Engine ChangesWill Smog Check technicians be expected to identify modified or tampered emission control

systems?Yes, CARB indicates that diesel vehicles subject to this program have been certified to meet strict

emission control requirements by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the

CARB. As a result, Smog Check technicians will be required to fail vehicles with modified emission

control equipment or devices that have not been approved by the CARB. Approved devices will have a

label with a CARB Executive Order number on it.Can BAR provide a web-based database available to help technicians identify which equipment is

illegal?Information about aftermarket equipment devices that are approved by the CARB is already available on

their website under “Aftermarket Parts” <http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/amquery.php>.Bureau of Automotive Repair January 9, 2009 Page 2 of 3

Bureau of Automotive Repair January 9, 2009 Page 3 of 3You can search either by the device description or by the Executive Order number assigned to the

device.What about engine changes on diesels?The Smog Check Program engine change policy applies to engine changes on diesel vehicles subject to

the program. To review the BAR Engine Change Policy go to the BAR Web site at:http://www.bar.ca.gov/80_BARResources/07_AutoRepair/Engine_Change_Guidelines.html.The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP)Will there be assistance for motorists who fail an inspection?Yes, diesel vehicles will be included in the CAP. Information about the CAP can be viewed on the BAR

Web site at:http://www.bar.ca.gov/80_BARResources/01_CAP&GoldShield/Factsheets/Consumer_Assist_FAQs.html .The CAP offers two options for consumers whose vehicles fail their biennial Smog Check. Motorists may

be eligible for either repair assistance or the vehicle retirement program. Repair Assistance allows

qualified consumers to receive financial assistance toward emissions-related repairs up to $500 to help

their vehicles pass a Smog Check inspection. Eligible consumers can also receive $1,000 to retire their

high-polluting vehicle. The vehicle must pass a visual and operational inspection before it is retired.Manufacturer Warranty CoverageAre warranties provided for diesel-powered vehicles different than for gasoline-powered

vehicles?Yes, but they vary considerably between vehicle makes. Station technicians should inform Consumers

that they can check their owner’s manual to determine what warranty coverage they were provided by

the manufacturer.Station Licensing, Technician Licensing, Gold Shield RequirementsDoes BAR intend to establish new license requirements for diesel inspections or repairs?No, the BAR will not be establishing new license requirements specific to the new diesel program.Will diesel repairs help a station qualify to meet the criteria to become a Gold Shield station?No, current regulations only allow repairs for tailpipe emission failures to be counted towards the required

10 repairs in a quarter. Station owners can obtain information about the Gold Shield Program and check

eligibility status on the BAR Web site at:http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/80_BARResources/01_CAP&GoldShield/GoldShield_Stations.html.TrainingWill training be provided by BAR prior to implementation of diesel inspections?Yes, the BAR is reviewing options for diesel inspection training and will provide further information during

the regulatory process. Other diesel repair based training is available through ASE, and other training

sources.
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