The term “Gross Polluter” sounds sort of comical doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the state of California doesn’t see it that way at all and neither will you if your car is deemed as such. The term basically means that your car has a high probability of failing a smog test or it has failed the test with twice the emissions limits. If your vehicle has been chosen as a gross polluter, it will have to be tested, repaired and then re-tested at a STAR certified smog test and repair station such as GIC Car Clinic here in San Jose.
You will find information on your Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork telling you if your vehicle is a gross polluter or not. If you are not deemed a gross polluter, you can have your car tested at any smog test center but why go anywhere else but GIC anyway?
Also know that, if your car is a gross polluter, it is in the general group of cars that make up about 15-25% of all vehicle smog here in California. That’s a very high number and is the main reason these cars need to be tested and operating in top condition. Motor vehicles alone produce up to 50% of the states smog so keeping them tested and in good repair is our main concern.
If you drive an older vehicle you don’t have to worry about being considered a gross polluter since vehicles built before a certain date were not built to the strict standards like today’s cars. These cars must still be maintained and be able to pass a smog test, it just isn’t as tough as the tests done on newer vehicles. Consider it a handicap for your older car.
If your car is producing excessive smoke from the tail-pipe, it could be considered a gross polluter. Any sign of excessive smoke should be repaired immediately to prevent further harm to the environment or more damage to your car.
The two types of smoke to look for are white smoke and black smoke. Each one indicates a different problem with your car and both are equally bad. White smoke indicates a bad head gasket and possible overheating of your car’s engine. Black smoke indicates that your car is producing high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and it is running under a very rich fuel condition. If your car is emitting smoke from the tail-pipe, bring it in to GIC Car Clinic today and have one of our expert mechanics inspect it before you have it tested at a smog test station.