Smog Check San Diego

Although it seems like it should be simple, finding a smog check station in San Diego can often be challenging. When searching for smog check stations, it can be common to stumble across scams or fake results. Even when you find a real smog check station, the technical jargon can make it difficult to figure out whether or not the station offers the correct type of smog inspection for your needs.

Choosing the correct smog inspection can also be difficult. Most smog check stations often offer a variety of types of smog checks in San Diego to choose from, each with different applications. Figuring out the kind of smog inspection you need for what you’re doing can be a headache in itself. 

Where to Find the Best Smog Test San Diego

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best smog check stations in San Diego for you, to let you avoid the trouble of finding a smog check station on your own. No matter where you live in the city, there’s almost guaranteed to be a fantastic smog test station near you where you can quickly and easily get your vehicle inspected. It’s also important that you’re able to understand the basics of a smog check in San Diego and what they’re for. Here’s everything you need to know about smog tests in San Diego.

How Much is a Smog Check in San Diego?

So, you might be wondering, how much is a smog check in San Diego? Smog checks in San Diego can range between $45 to $55. However, many smog check stations in San Diego offer a smog check San Diego coupon and other promotions that can drive the cost down to between $20 and $30!

Does San Diego Require a Smog Check?

The city of San Diego, in accordance with federal and state law, requires smog checks in order to perform a variety of vehicle-related activities, including registering a vehicle or renewing a registered vehicle. Gas-operated vehicles made after 1975 also require smog checks every two years after the first six years since the car was made.

What Is a AAA Smog Check in San Diego?

The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers approval and certification programs to smog check stations to determine and regulate labor standards for different types of inspections. Check to see if a smog check station has AAA smog check San Diego certification. 

What Is a STAR Certified Smog Check in San Diego?

A STAR Certified Smog Check is conducted by a STAR Certified smog check station, and is conducted to higher standards and regulations compared to regular smog checks. Certain vehicles require STAR Certified Smog Checks depending on the year of make and the type of vehicle.

How Much Do Smog Checks Cost in California?

The cost to have a smog inspection done on your vehicle typically ranges between $29.95 and $69.96, depending on the county where the check is performed, the type of vehicle you own, and the kind of inspection you order.

What Year Requires a Smog Check in California?

The State of California has instituted a variety of laws and regulations around the need for smog checks. Local residents that own gas-powered vehicles made after 1975 are required to have a smog check performed on their vehicles every two years. However, this doesn’t apply to the first six years after a new car is registered in the state. Some older vehicles may require special smog checks, such as STAR Certified smog checks. 

Where Can I Find Certified Smog Check Stations in San Diego?

Instead of going through the trouble of searching for a smog check station on your own, you can use the list we’ve compiled of some of the best smog check stations in every part of San Diego to find a quick and convenient place to have your car inspected.

North County Coastal Smog Check Stations

If you live in the North County Coastal region of San Diego between South Coast Highway and Highway 78, you can easily find one of the fantastic smog check stations compiled below near you. 

Complete Car Care Encinitas

Located near Garden View Road and El Camino Real, Complete Car Care Encinitas can easily be spotted at the front of Camino Encinitas Plaza, surrounded by other shops and businesses. The store offers smog checking services on all types of vehicles, as well as specific smog checks including regular smog checks, diesel smog checks, and gross polluters certificates. The company also offers a coupon for $10 off the cost of a smog check on their website.

  • Address: 318 A North El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Phone: (760) 634-1001
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

A Plus Test Only Smog

You can find A Plus Test Only Smog on North Coast Highway 101 close to 2nd Street. The smog inspection station can easily be made out by its teal exterior and dark navy and gold sign. A Plus Test Only Smog offers smog inspection services for standard cars, exotic cars, pickups, vans, trucks, SUVs, and all diesel vehicles. Star Certified Inspections and Gross Polluter Certificates are available in addition to regular smog tests.

  • Address: 140 2nd St. D, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Phone: (760) 436-9821
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Closed Sunday

K M Test Only

Located on the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and Mango Drive, K M Test Only offers smog test services for all vehicles, as well as a wide variety of different smog test types, such as Star Certified Smog Inspections and Gross Polluter Certification. The smog inspection station also offers an online coupon for $10 off the cost of a smog test. Smog tests typically take around ten minutes from when customers enter to when they leave. 

  • Address: 13801 Mango Dr., Del Mar, CA 92014
  • Phone: (858) 523-9953
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Sat 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    Closed Sunday

North County Inland Smog Check Stations

For those who live closer inland in North County, there are plenty of high-quality smog inspection stations in this part of the city as well. Here is a list of some of the best options for you to choose from if you need a smog check.

California Smog Check & Registration Service

Located near the corner of South Rose Street and East Grand Avenue, California Smog Check and Registration Service is a Star Certified Smog Check Station offering a variety of smog check services, including regular smog checks, test only smog checks, and Gross Polluter Certification. In addition to smog checks, the business also provides registration services, so you can get vehicle registration completed as soon as you finish your smog check.

  • Address: 151 North Rose St., Valley Pkwy Ste. A-104, Escondido, CA 92027 
  • Phone: (760) 291-1456
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

Secor’s Automotive

Tucked in a complex along with several other automotive businesses, Secor’s Automotive can be found west of Avocado Highway and has been offering auto care and smog check services for almost 40 years. The business is STAR Certified and provides a variety of smog check services, including regular smog checks and STAR Certified Smog Checks. Free wifi is also offered on-premises.

  • Address: 11643 Iberia Pl., San Diego, CA 92128
  • Phone: (858) 487-1250
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 7:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Closed Saturday and Sunday

Henry’s Smog

Located on the corner of South Escondido Boulevard and W 6th Avenue, Henry’s Smog can easily be distinguished by its bold red and blue signage and blue and white storefront. The store provides a fifteen-minute turnaround time on smog checks, as well as walk-in service. A variety of smog check types are offered, including test-only smog checks, out-of-state smog checks, regular smog checks, and STAR Certified Smog Checks. Free WiFi access and Spanish language service are also available. 

  • Address: 555 S Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025
  • Phone: (760) 855-4972
  • Hours: Mon 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Tue – Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Sat 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

Central San Diego Smog Check Stations

Central San Diego also offers a choice of smog check stations for individuals who need an inspection for car registration or other purposes. Here are the best smog check stations in the Central San Diego area.

Star Station Smog Check in Pacific Beach

Located near the corner of Mission Bay Drive and Garnet Avenue, Star Station Smog Check can be found tucked inside Ivan’s Trucks and Cars. You can find the building by looking for a variety of red and blue signage, as well as a red, white, and blue storefront. 

Star Station Smog Check’s small red sign can be seen hanging from the garage of Ivan’s Trucks and Cars. The business offers both appointment and walk-in services, and provides a variety of smog check services, including regular and STAR Certified checks. An online coupon can be found on their website for $12.00 off.

  • Address: 2909 Damon Ave., San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: (858) 581-9115
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
    Sat 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Sun 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m

Clairemont Auto Care

Established near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Genesee Avenue, Clairemont Auto Care can be seen tucked inside a gas station marked with a stark blue and yellow sign. The store offers a variety of vehicle repair and maintenance services, as well as smog check testing for vehicle registration and repairs. The business is STAR Certified and ASE Certified.

  • Address: 4495 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92117
  • Phone: (858) 274-6566
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 6 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • Sun 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

East County Smog Check Stations

Customers who live east of Highway 125 in East County are able to choose from a variety of quality smog check stations as well. Here are some of the best options below.

C & D Autocare

Located on the corner of University Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, C & D Autocare can easily be seen with a blue, red, and orange around the storefront and visible white lettering for its signage. Found in the La Mesa neighborhood, C & D Autocare offers a variety of smog inspection services, including Star Certified smog checks and regular smog checks. Its technicians are ASE-Certified, and the business offers diagnostic services in order to determine what needs to be fixed in a vehicle in the event that it fails a smog check.

  • Address: 7167 University Ave., La Mesa, CA 91942
  • Phone: (619) 466-9100
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sat 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays

A Qwik Smog

Found near El Cajon Boulevard and Richfield Avenue east of Kumeyaay Highway, A Qwik Smog can easily be recognized by its blue and yellow sign and storefront. The business offers smog checks for cars, pickups, vans, and RVs, and provides a 20% coupon off a smog check in San Diego on its Facebook page. 

  • Address: 580 El Cajon Blvd. A, El Cajon, CA 92020
  • Phone: (619) 749-4974
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

Elite Smog and Auto

Located near N 1st Street and Greenfield Drive, Elite Smog and Auto can be distinguished from the street by two blue and red banners as well as blue and red signs on both its main office building and its garage. The business offers a variety of vehicle repair services, as well as regular and STAR Certified smog checks. Technicians are ASE-Certified and the lite Smog and Auto offers free coffee in its waiting room while customers wait for their inspections to be completed. 

  • Address: 1027 Greenfield Dr., El Cajon, CA 92021
  • Phone: (619) 749-4974
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Closed Sat & Sun

South Bay Smog Check Stations

Those who live south of Highway 15 in South bay can also find a variety of high-quality smog inspection stations nearby to have their vehicles smog tested. Here are some of the best choices to pick from for a smog test in South Bay.

Star Station Smog Check in Chula Vista

Located on the corner of Naples Street and Broadway, Star Station Smog Check in Chula Vista can be easily spotted from the street thanks to its red and blue symbols and signs around the premises. As the name suggests, Star Station Smog Check is STAR Certified and offers certified and regular smog checks on all vehicles, including diesels and hybrids. The business offers an online coupon for $12 dollars off on its website, which applies to unmodified vehicles made after 2000.

  • Address: 1088 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91911
  • Phone: (619) 422-5788
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat & Sun 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Smog Express

Located near Broadway and Park Way, Smog Express can easily be spotted thanks to its red and white sign. The business offers regular smog checks for cars, pickups, vans, RVs, and trucks, as well as pre-inspection services. Free re-tests within 14 days are provided so long as vehicle owners retain their certified repair invoice.

  • Address: 355 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Phone: (619) 422-2713
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

Ideal Smog Test Only

Found on the corner of W 11th Street and National City Boulevard, Ideal Smog can be distinguished by the yellow banner wrapped around its storefront and a red and white sign outside its garage. The business is tucked in a complex along with a variety of other automotive businesses. Regular and STAR Certified smog checks are provided, as well as clay and wax restoration on vehicles.

  • Address: 1112 National City Blvd, National City, CA 91950
  • Phone: (619) 802-8997
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Sat 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Closed Sunday

As you can see, there are a huge variety of locations available to get a smog check in San Diego. From a Star Station Smog Check in San Diego to businesses that offer AAA smog check San Diego discounts, as well as smog check San Diego coupons, you can be sure to get the best deal on your next smog check in San Diego. 

Furthermore, if you’re traveling to other cities in San Diego (such as La Jolla), you can be assured there are also a variety of businesses where you can get a smog check in La Jolla. And while you’re in La Jolla, make sure you check out the La Jolla Concours car show, as well! No matter whether you’re getting a smog check for registration purposes, or to participate in San Diego car shows, these smog check stations in San Diego have you set! 

About the author: Roy Shi can often be found spending his time writing articles, short stories, and whatever else suits his fancy. When he isn’t behind the screen, he loves reading the latest fantasy novels by his favorite authors, baking, and practicing the saxophone, much to the chagrin of his neighbors.

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