One of the benefits to owning a diesel vehicle in California has been that trucks, (and cars), have been exempt from smog checks in the Golden State. That it, up 'till now.
It gets the ball rolling for smog checks on all diesel vehicles with a GVWR of less than 14,000 lbs. The plan is to start testing '97-and-up diesel vehicles with a GVWR under 8,501 lbs. on January 1, 2010.
At first, 3/4 and 1-ton trucks will still be exempt from the smog check program, but it looks like the diesel free-pass for these trucks may not last. The section of the bill that exempts them will now read:
"All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,501 to 10,000 pounds, inclusive, until the department, in consultation with the state board, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to these vehicles." --California AB 1488
That means after a test procedure is approved, it will be game-on for every '97-and-up diesel Chevy/GMC 2500HD/3500HD, Dodge 2500/3500, and Ford F-250/F-350/F-450. At first, it looks as if the smog tests will only involve reading the engine computer for signs of aftermarket shenanigans, but visual inspections of the exhaust and "sniffer" tests are also a possibility.
To read the most recent version of AB 1488 you can download it here.
And you can go here to get the latest information on AB 1488.
Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.
Should diesel trucks remain smog-test free?
Will this put an end to high-performance diesel tuning in California?
Some states already smog test diesels - what should Californians expect?