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5 Questions for Local Business: AAA Smog Center

After the completing the fastest smog test with the best results any of my cars have gotten, I had to ask AAA Smog a bit more about what they do.

opened in December, under the guiding hand of . The shop is getting a good reputation, and not only because they're open on Sunday, but also due to reasonable prices, quick service and good conversation with Sam and his wife, who handles the front of the shop.

A Naval engineer for more than 30 years, Sam's giving his sea legs a rest for now and putting that expertise to use making sure we all breathe cleaner and can get our cars registered.

You can find AAA Smog right past the corner of Cuyamaca and Buena Vista- stop by and get the car smogged, get a wide variety of DMV paperwork done next door at and grab a bite at all in the same strip mall.

Santee Patch asked Sam five questions about smog checks:

What services does AAA Smog provide? 

AAA Smog Center is a Test Only station that can test any vehicle's emissions, but is not allowed to do any repairs. We do all smog tests as required by State of California for foreign and domestic vehicles, including Diesels, Motor-homes, Change of Ownership, Out of State transfers, Gross Polluter and State directed TEST ONLY vehicles.  

We can also perform a "Pre-Test Inspection", if there is any doubt that the car will pass. The "Pre-Test Inspection" mode provides an option to asses the vehicle's emission controls and tailpipe emissions before undergoing the official smog check.   

If my car doesn't pass the smog test, what should I do first?

If your car fails the smog test, you'll be unable to register it until you make repairs. You will need to seek repairs at a test and repair station.  Repairs must be performed by a licensed smog check repair station or the vehicle's owner. Once repair is complete, then you will go for a retest and receive certificate. 

At what point in a car's life must you start smog testing your car?

Owners of vehicles six or Less model years old will pay a fee for the first six registration years instead of being required to provide a biennial smog certification. The registration renewal notice mailed to you by the department will indicate if a smog certification is required. If a smog certification is required and you have not had a smog inspection, you may still pay your registration fees to avoid any late fees. However, you will not receive your new registration or year sticker until the smog information has been received by DMV.
When you transfer a vehicle that is Four or Less model years old a smog certification is not required. The four or less model years old rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles. 

Exempt: Still exempt from the State of California Smog Check program are: Hybrid powered motor vehicles, two wheel motorcycles, Diesel cars & trucks (1997 & older), Diesel trucks (over 14,500 GVW) and 1975 model year vehicles and older.

Is there a reason to get your car smog tested other than requirement under CA law?

The American Lung Association ranks California 6th of the top 10 most polluted cities for ozone pollution.  Smog is a term used to describe air pollution that is a result of the interaction of sunlight with certain chemicals in the atmosphere. One of the primary components of photochemical smog is ozone. Ozone on the ground is hazardous to human health. Ground-level ozone is formed when vehicle emissions containing nitrogen oxides (primarily from vehicle exhaust) and volatile organic compounds (from paints, solvents, and fuel evaporation) interact in the presence of sunlight. Therefore, some of the sunniest cities are also some of the most polluted.

Why should I come to AAA Smog rather than somewhere else?

We are like a one stop shop for smog test, registration renewals and tags. Very convenient and no waiting at the DMV offices.

We are committed to giving you the best customer service and are happy to answer your questions. We offer fast and efficient certified smog check for your vehicle, at a very competitive pricing.

If you know of a business that you'd like to know more about or own a business and would like to answer a quick five questions, send an email to steven.bartholow@patch.com.

Lloyds Collision & Paint Center March 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM
i have been sending all our clients to Sam since he opened and everyone of our customers have been extremely pleased. Keep up the great work guys. The food is great at Emma's as well. Robert Lloyd Lloyds Collision Center
Garry Cruz March 14, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Excellent customer service!! I am so glad that an establishment like this is in the community. Keep up the great work!! Garry Cruz Solaris Senior Living Community
Bill Freeman March 14, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Great smog shop, the service was very smooth, quick and cheap. I showed up without an appointment and I will definitely bring my other cars here.

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