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As part of the STAR smog check program smog stations will now offering ODB-II only tests.  In order to perform ODB II only tests, the smog station must purchase new smog check equipment.

What is and ODB-II Test

ODB stands for On-Board-Diagnostics. ODB II refers to a standard established by regulatory agencies to transmit the correct engine performance information in a standard format so that engine emissions can be effectively analyzed

How Will and ODB II Test Affect the Consumer

One of the goals of the STAR program was to lower the cost of smog checks for consumers. If your vehicle has an ODB II computer on-board which allows an ODB II smog test to be performed, you may see the cost and time of your smog check go down. Conversely, it may be possible that vehicles that do not have and ODB II compliant computer may see their smog checks go up.

The STAR program made many changes and time will tell what the impact of this program is for the public. Smog shops need to buy new equipment to perform ODB II tests. At the same time, these tests are likely to lower their revenue. Buying equipment to make less money does not seem to make much sense for an individual shop. However, price is always king in a commodity market. As such, if competitors do invest in this equipment and then offer lower cost smog checks as a result, they may end up making more money because they attract more business.

Where to find more information

General Smog Check Information from the California Smog Check Program.

STAR Smog Check Information for Consumers.

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