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NY vs CA vehicle inspection/emissions test


Is the CA vehicle inspections test that much harder to pass than NY. I have heard that the CA emissions test is the most restrictive in the US.

My son just moved to LA from NY. He has a 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 here that we are thinking of getting out to him. It has about 100,000 miles on it and seems to run well. The question is whether CA vehicle inspection test is that much more harder than NY and if his car would even pass the CA test if I can get it out to him.

Would there be a way here to get the car tested to see if it would pass the CA test?


I’m assuming he moved TO California, rather than to NY, as your post states. I think he’d be better off buying something that has already passed the CA test, rather than gambling on a car with 100K miles passing.

Cars sold in CA often have emissions controls different from other states, and trying to get an out of state car to pass could be expensive or impossible.

You could sell the car and send him the money, which would be much simpler than getting the car to CA.

If all the emissions equipment on your son’s car is present and working as designed it will pass CA.emissions.

Use the Forums search feature,we have discussed this issue before.

It used to be that because the California emissions requirements were more stringent, car makers would have to make California versions of their cars and so if you had a car from somewhere else there was no way in heck it was going to pass the CA test, even if it was running perfectly.

Nowadays, two things have changed. Firstly, a lot of other states have adopted the California standard including, I believe, New York. Though I’m not sure if this was the case in 2001. The other thing is that carmakers have gotten so much better at making emissions controls that don’t reduce the performance of the vehicle and so most cars these days are 50-states emissions legal, with only a handful of models requiring the extra equipment to pass the more stringent standards. I believe the emissions sticker under the hood will say whether the car passes the California standard or just the Federal one.

Anyone else find it ironic that California has the most stringent emissions standards of any state in the union, yet they still have the most smog-ridden air of any state in the union?

There does not appear to be a Cali emissions option for the Escort in 2001, so NY cars and CA cars are the same. You could have an emissions test run in NY to see what the results are and whether they meet the Cali standards. That way you will lessen the risk that it won’t pass when he registers it at his now home. You can probably find Cali emissions standards on line, unless someone on the board posts them.

The terrain traps that smog in those valley cities like LA. So, they have stricter emissions laws because of the smog

read the under hood emission label,very bottom.
and see if its a CARB car ,or a FEDERAL car.

that simple.

I grew-up in the San Fernando Valley (in L.A. County)time frame was early 60’s,the air was so bad it hurt to breath,things are much better today.

Political climate is what makes different emission standards for CA. As you may be aware CA. along with 12 (approx.) other States wants to add carbon dioxide as a “regulated gas”. The EPA says no,reasoning “nothing unique about CA. to allow different standards” this info is all over the Web.

Check out ULEV emission standards,what cars it applys to and time frame.

If it passes any test, it will pass California. The requirements are not terrible in Ca. You will like everything about DMV there except if you try to call your local one by phone. OTHER COMMENTS The air in Ca. on the coast is really great. I have been in Hartford Ct. in 1971 and the air could be terrible. Limestone Maine on a calm cold morning when all the furnaces and wood stoves are firing up can choke you. Ca. has an advantage with those huge white fans up on that hill blowing the smog away.

How many pounds of pollution per square mile do you think is produced in Montana?? Now compare that the Southern California. The difference is in the MILLIONS if not BILLIONS. It would be 100 times worse without those laws. I applaud them for their stance on pollution. I wish every state would take that stance.

Nope, I don’t find it ironic at all. Their smog problem is the reason for their tough emission standards. Though emission stardards explain how Texas surpassed California as the state with the dirtiest air years ago.

Ca. has an advantage with those huge white fans up on that hill blowing the smog away.

You’re joking, right? Those are windmills, not fans.

Rather than the cleaner air being the result of CA’s tougher standards I fell the result is due to the implination of Federal EPA standards,the additional CA.standards were just “icing on the cake”.

California actually formed its version of a state EPA before the Federal EPA was formed. That is why California has routinely set the standards for the rest of us. Until recently, California had the right to set emissions standards as tough as they wanted and the Federal EPA followed suit. That is why when you look at motorcycles on Honda’s web site, there is a disclaimer that “California version meets current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.” California has been the trend setter in environmental controls and the rest of the states and the Federal EPA have been trying to keep up with California.

The worst part of California (in terms of air quality) is L.A. because of the geography. The mountains that surround the area trap in pollution. So in the case of L.A., they are pretty isolated. If they relied on the U.S. EPA to set their standards, they would not have made as much progress as they have.

You are correct CARB established in 1967 EPA in 1970 but, The Feds started in 1955 with automotive pollution control legislation then in 1963 the Feds passed the Clean Air Act then the Air Quality Act in 1967 with revisions in 70,77,90.

A quick web search lists 1970 as the first year for the CARB to be acknowledged as having a impact on emissions.They did get authority to set their own standards in 1967 but I can find no figures for emission control other the closed cranckcase ventilation before 1970 and no figures for measured pollution before 1970,we know cars were not emission tested in 1967.

The 1955 Fed legislation was mainly “window dressing”

Ah, I see what you are saying now. If you were right about the Federal EPA having an effect on California air quality, we would be seeing the same improvements made in California being made in Texas. Controlling emissions is as much about industry as it is automobiles, if not more. Texas is testing cars for emissions, but as long as they give the oil refineries a blank check, Houston will continue to suffer from poor air quality. On the other hand, California had the monopoly on regulating smoke stack emissions until recently when someone developed a lazer system for measuring emissions. Now instead of taking the polluters’ word for it, we can actually test the gases coming out of the smoke stack.

CA just got a whole lot stricter, what with our savior Barrack Christ signing a bill for tougher emmission standards, which CA was harrassing Pres Bush to sign, but he wouldn’t. Pretty soon you’ll only be allowed to drive skateboards in CA.

Fanmills? They wind up during the day and blow the smog away at night. Get your kicks on 166. Santa Mawinda?

CA is using windmills to blow the smog away? Boy, they are progressive!