Early 90s Hondas and California Smog Test?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Ari Rankum, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Ari Rankum

    Ari Rankum Guest

    I want to give my 1992 Honda Accord to my daughter for college. It's a
    1992 in great condition, inside and out. It passes Maryland emissions,
    practically without registering on the meters. I'm thinking it should be
    fine with California smog tests, but I don't want to spend $1200 to ship
    it out there only to have to spend $1200 to ship it back if it fails.

    Can anyone comment on successfully importing early 90s 49-state Hondas
    into California? Any ideas on tests I can do in Maryland that could
    give me confidence about tests in California?

    Thanks in advance.
    Ari Rankum, Jun 17, 2007
  2. Ari Rankum

    Dave L Guest

    Here are a couple of links for the California DMV website in reference to
    the SMOG (emissions test) and state transfers. It'll also show you where to
    look to see if it's 49 state emissions or 50 state/California. It's a 1992
    so I don't know when they began listing it for the 50 state emissions.



    Dave L, Jun 17, 2007
  3. The big "gotcha" (unless I'm mistaken) is that the test in California is
    heavily equipment oriented. Last I heard equipment had to be retrofitted to
    meet CA requirements.

    Michael Pardee, Jun 17, 2007
  4. Ari Rankum

    jim beam Guest

    i'm almost certain that's not the case any more - the old rules have
    been overturned after a federal lawsuit from what i understand. you can
    now drive and legally smog a 49-state 90 civic in california - without
    mods. i know because i've done it. can't imagine that doesn't apply to
    a 92 accord.
    jim beam, Jun 17, 2007
  5. Ari Rankum

    Eric Guest

    I was there during the lawsuit. When I initially took my 49 state '88 Civic
    to California I had to pay a $300 fee since it didn't have California
    emissions, i.e., no EGR valve. No modifications to the vehicle were
    needed. The Civic would pass the California smog test without any
    problems. Indeed, I would see many other vehicles on the road which clearly
    put out worse looking exhaust then my Civic does. After the lawsuit, I got
    my $300 back plus interest. One of the things that I didn't like about
    California's smog laws is that emissions testing has been privatized. It's
    a huge for profit business and the cost of tests can vary quite a bit, e.g.,
    $50-80 for the same test. The state government runs the test where I was
    from and where I am now and it costs $15 every other year.

    Eric, Jun 17, 2007
  6. That's great to know. My motorhead brother in CA was often running into the
    equipment problem. It seemed monumentally stupid when performance testing
    was more comprehensive anyway. But bureaucracies aren't known for doing
    smart things.

    Michael Pardee, Jun 17, 2007
  7. Ari Rankum

    jim beam Guest

    i actually "downgraded" my civic with a 49-state ecu to disable that
    stupid egr valve. they're nothing but trouble. car runs like a dream now.
    jim beam, Jun 17, 2007
  8. Ari Rankum

    william1977 Guest

    I don't know how strict the emissions are there but if the car tests
    fine out the tail pipe it could still fail smog. Make sure the check
    engine light is not on, make sure the gas cap seal is good and not
    cracked and you can take it to a mechanic and have him check to make
    sure all the smog equipment is all there ( I had a Toyota van that I
    brought down from WA fail smog because it had a broken ported vacuum
    switch). After you have it shipped have it taken to a no pass no pay
    place so if you do have a problem you don't have to pay twice. Now the
    big question is why would you spend that much money to ship the car
    then go through all the DMV and emissions BS rather than just selling
    your car where you live and buying her a nice Accord in CA?
    william1977, Jun 18, 2007
  9. Ari Rankum

    Ari Rankum Guest

    This is Zippy(TM) you're talking about. Zippy is a 1992 that's been
    babied to the point that she's dead-dog reliable. My chief reason for
    wanting to send zippy is I can set the daughter up with a completely
    reliable and safe (and darn good lookin') mode of transportation for
    $1200 (assuming it passes smog). The alternative, as you point out,
    would be to buy another Honda on the left coast. I'm buying the
    daughter a premier education; I'm not buying her a new car. She's very
    damn smart, but she's a bit uneducated in the realm of used car sales.
    I don't have the time to come out and shop with her. So, if she'll
    pass, Zippy seems like the best choice.
    Ari Rankum, Jun 19, 2007
  10. Ari Rankum

    jim beam Guest

    good on you. smart move.

    take care she doesn't get fleeced on the smog. ca dmv have a list of
    "smog only" stations and i recommend she use one. they're not allowed
    to repair, so they have no interest in trying to sell cats [or other
    "smog upgrades"] she won't need.
    jim beam, Jun 19, 2007
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