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Hybrids exempt from smog tests?



  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    rpgolfer - it might be hard to believe, but the diamond lane construction and usage is different in Southern Cal from that in Northern Cal at least where I've had an opportunity to drive.

    All the Northern California diamond lanes I've seen are just another lane with a dotted line between them and the regular lanes and diamonds to mark them. One can freely transition in and out of them (except the special case going from 80 West to the Golden gate bridge where they have their own overpass). Even up here there are some other variations like some of the lanes require 3 in the car and some only 2.

    The diamond lanes in LA area are generally marked with a double solid line plus a dotted line. When the carpool lane is left of the regular lanes (as it usually is) the dotted line is on the left and the double solid lines are directly to the right of the dotted line. My understanding is that this marking means you can only join the carpool lane where there are gaps in the double solid line but you can leave whenever you need to. Some of the carpool lanes in LA, especially those near downtown, make me very nervous to drive in because you can be zipping along in a tight channel at high speed with a concrete barrior on your left and a solid line of stop and go cars on your right. If anything should go wrong there is no room for the slightest swerve much less changing lanes to get out of the way of trouble.

    Friends in SanDiego tell me that there in and out of the lanes is even more tightly controlled. You can only enter and exit at certain points.
  • I might just be the first one to have to have my '06 Highland Hybrid 4wd LTD smogged! Shucks! I bought the car in Ohio, drove it back, went to the DMV to get it registered, and low-and-behold, I have to have it smogged.

    I have until the end of August ...

    If anyone has done a smog test on a Hybrid, I'd love to hear from you.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "I might just be the first one to have to have my '06 Highland Hybrid 4wd LTD smogged! Shucks! I bought the car in Ohio, drove it back, went to the DMV to get it registered, and low-and-behold, I have to have it smogged."\

    What??? Here in CA they don't make you get a smog test for 5 years on a new car...
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    Back in the early hybrid days when i still owned an 01 Prius, I had to have it tested (a requirement here in Ontario Canada when cars hit 3 years).

    For the test I...

    1) Had a change oil, then

    1) Drove at high speed for 30 minutes to make sure the cat converter was at max temp so the ICE would not kick in to warm it up while on the idling test.
    (Also it was to top up the batteries to max, again to minimize ICE kicking in).

    2) Temporarily overinflated the tires beyond tirewall max so the car will roll most efficiently.

    3) Turned off all accesories (including the energy monitor) then parked on the nearest spot to the test bay so minimal juice will be used.

    When the technician saw it was a hybrid, he had this misconception the ICE would never run on the idle test. Called someone from the gov who also made another booboo and told him to test it like a diesel (spot for black smoke while idling).

    Of course, tech knew that would never happen, so he just gave me a pass on a diesel test doc without so much as stepping inside the car.

    Paid $35 bucks for a piece of paper that meant nothing.


    Heres an article I found interesting but which I never tried. So take it with a grain of salt...
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    took my 14 year old mustang 5.0 for it's test. it has low mileage(30k), but still has original plugs, wires, etc. the air filter has been changed a couple of times.
    passed the dyno test, with flying colors. the tester wasn't too happy it passed, becasue they also do repairs. :) i was like :shades:
  • Well, the saga of the smog test continued and I have a happy ending!

    After taking my 4wd HH Lmtd to a smog test place, the poor tech was so confused when he just started it. I was almost LOL! He started it ... had a big puzzled-look on his face. Turned off the key and restarted it. I went to the window, winked and said it is a hybrid. He was red as a beet! ;)

    Back to the 'smog test'. The tech (and then the owner) informed me that they CAN'T test a hybrid, and especially a 4wd one. There is NO WAY to control when the gas-engine comes on. So I left with my wallet intact and the toll-free phone number for the California Department of Automotive Repairs.

    Got home ... called. They confirmed that hybrids can't be tested at this time. They referred me to the "Smog Referee" when I asked what I was supposed to tell the DMV. (Didn't even know there was such thing as a "Smog Referee"!). Called him ... he confirmed that ALL Hybrids are exempt in California .. tell the DMV clerk to call their home office in Sacramento - they made the rule.

    SO ... I went back to the DMV and the clerk insisted I had to have a smog certificate because the vehicle was purchased out of state (DUMB rule!). I asked for his supervisor, who didn't even know there was a HYBRID Highlander! I asked for HIS supervisor, who came over, changed the fuel description on their screen to "Q" instead of "G" and I was on my way. :shades:

    What an ordeal! But, the outcome was okay.

    In CA ALL Hybrids are exempt from smog testing!

    Hope everyone else is helped by this saga.

    Happy Hybriding!
    DJ in Santa Clara :)
  • if the hybrid cars get to pass on the test then that in itself will promote more sales of the cars. and then back yard mechanics will figure a way around the battery when the cars get older to make them run on just the gas engine. this then will carry through to the testing of these cars and they will have a black market of test free cars on the road that run just on gas engines. and the smog problem may return from all the ?hybrid cars on the roads running gas engines only. the hybrid will run on the engine but it uses the battery for take off. and then the gas engines start to kick in. the after market will soon start producing performance parts for the hybrids to make the gas engine more powerful. the battery's will get disconnected and because they say hybrid they will drive right by the test stations. may be a good thing maybe not.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,848
    I think you would find with the Toyota Hybrids, they will not run without a GOOD battery. There are also sensors on everything to do with emissions that will stop the car dead in its tracks. Down to a gas tank sensor failure. It would take some real modification to work around the HSD. Diesel vehicles are also exempt in CA. So they save you at the pump and the DMV also.
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