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Old 05-30-2020, 02:37 PM   #1
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CA smog check - new requirement?

Just went in to get my 01 Boxster smog checked for California. I have been going to the same check station for over 10 years now. Today, first time ever, they ask me to open the top. They said they would not smog check my car unless I open the engine bay cover to expose the engine and throttle body! Is this something new, have they been doing it wrong all along or does the station not know what it is doing now?

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Old 05-30-2020, 05:35 PM   #2
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Its part of the required visual inspection. The previous tech(s) was probably lazy and just dry-lab'd the inspection.

Read the details here: Smog Test Visual Inspection
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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The station I have used for +/- 10 years made me open it up the first time he checked the Boxster. The last time he didn't bother/trusted me.
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Old 05-30-2020, 10:43 PM   #4
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3 years ago, I had my hardtop on and the tech did not bother to do the visual, last year I didnít have my hardtop and they did ask to see the engine bay. So it must be either laziness or luck on who you get.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:13 AM   #5
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Well, what if they would see a 74mm throttle body and an IPD plenum?
inspector: Oh...uhm, connections look fine...passedÖ
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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3 years ago, I had my hardtop on and the tech did not bother to do the visual, last year I didnít have my hardtop and they did ask to see the engine bay. So it must be either laziness or luck on who you get.
And I just spoke with my mechanic and he said the guy was just being overly aggressive and gave me the name of the smog shop they use. So I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:40 PM   #7
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My STAR station just did a visual under the car, said it was fine as far as visual went.
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:57 PM   #8
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That's funny. What's to see from the bottom, the cats, oil filter?

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My STAR station just did a visual under the car, said it was fine as far as visual went.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:03 PM   #9
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That's funny. What's to see from the bottom, the cats, oil filter?
Yup, that's exactly what he looked at, the O2 sensors, the exhaust, and just to see that it "looked stock".
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:20 AM   #10
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Good to know I always keep my hard top on
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:43 AM   #11
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And I just spoke with my mechanic and he said the guy was just being overly aggressive and gave me the name of the smog shop they use. So I'll let you know how it goes.
I always remove the engine cover when I get to the Smog check station. as long as there's nothing shiny under there to atract attention they think I have nothing to hide.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:26 AM   #12
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The first time I had mine smogged the station had me remove the engine cover, and this was before they had wi-fi connectivity so disassembly was done while on the rollers. I wasn't too happy. Subsequently they've not required I tear down the car. Perhaps they've learned their lesson and now take me at my word that all's stock.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:54 AM   #13
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Well that is all done. Went to the second station today and they also asked to see the engine, but they do cars for the auto center all the time and are used to accessing the engine. In and out in about 30 minutes. Sent my CA ransom (registration fee) in and am good to go for another 2 years. Live and learn.

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