California Auto Centers

California Auto Centers

Foreign and Domestic Automotive Repair

smogctaWhen smog check time comes around, many people just go to the first shop they drive past.  But choosing a great service provider can make a difference in whether you pass or not.

Many smog shops are test only, which means that if your car does not pass, for any reason, they are not authorized by the state to correct any problems before re-testing.  That means that you would have to take your car to another shop to get the work done before returning to them for a re-test.  Many consumers feel as we do, that this makes no sense at all.  Save yourself the time, energy, money and hassle by coming to us first. We are authorized by the state, not only to perform the test, but to do any repair work that might be needed as well, which is just another reason why we provide the auto service Temecula loves.


The California DMV requires vehicles undergo one of two different smog check inspections based randomly or determined by a vehicle’s specific smog check history.  The DMV will require you obtain either a “test only or gold shield” smog check or a “regular” smog check. It’s that simple.

Where it gets complicated is when figuring out which type of smog station you can visit to fulfill the DMV’s requirement.  Older vehicles will typically need a test only smog check, where newer cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and motorhomes will require a regular smog test.

Your DMV paperwork will indicate your vehicle’s particular requirement.

1. Regular Smog Test Inspection

A regular smog test can be obtained at any type of smog station. Refer to your DMV paperwork. Locate the smog check requirement section. If the DMV makes no mention of Test Only or Gold Shield, this is considered a “regular” smog check.

All California certified smog stations can perform a “regular” smog check.

A regular smog check will suffice when obtaining a smog check for initial California registration, or when buying or selling a vehicle in California.

2. Test Only or Gold Shield Smog Check

If the DMV is asking for a Test Only or Gold Shield station certification, you can visit either of these two types of smog test centers. If you have no DMV paperwork and are unsure of the type of smog check your car, truck, van, SUV, or motorhome requires call the DMV at (800)777-0133.

Smog Test Only Centers are only authorized to perform test only inspections and are not allowed to perform smog check repairs.  Gold Shield Smog Stations are authorized to perform test only inspections, as well as repair and certify all vehicles.

3. Smog Check Repair Stations

If your vehicle has failed the smog check, the Bureau of Automotive Repairs requires that only licensed California smog check repair stations, or CAP Gold Shield repair centers, perform diagnosis and/or repairs.

“Test and Repair” stations are authorized by the State of California to perform Regular smog inspections and smog check service, as well as diagnose and repair any vehicles which have failed the smog check. Test & Repair smog stations can not certify vehicles requiring Test Only or Gold Shield inspections.

4. What is a “Smog Test Only” station?

A smog test only center is authorized to perform test only inspections and not allowed to perform smog check repairs.  If your vehicle fails at a test only smog test center or any of California’s test only smog stations, you will need to seek repairs at a regular smog check & repair center or Gold Shield station.

Contact us now and see how we can provide you with both the smog check and the Temecula auto repair you need, all in one location.


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