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Discussion Starter #1
CA folks: I'm sure all of you know what a PITA the biennual smog check is. Well, here is our chance to fight back! Recently I started corresponding w/ Assemblyman Alberto Torrico about a proposal to change the CA smog check rules. This is my current proposal:

If a car passes the tail pipe emissions test, but fails the visual test, a 'visual waiver' will be granted, provided:
- a visual waiver fee of $50 (or TBD) is paid. This money will go towards the state CARB.
- gas cap passes the pressure test
- no visible liquid gas leak
- PCV system is present
- Fuel evaporation system is present
- engine change is specifically allowed provided all the above conditions are met, and the engine passes the tail pipe emissions test.

[Cliff Notes]: You're free to mod all you want provided the car still passes the tail pipe test.[/Cliff Notes]

BTW- everyone is WELCOME to make any suggestions to add to or polish up this proposal.

Now Assemblyman Torrico is looking into this, but he's raising some probing questions which need some serious research to answer. Here are the questions I need to answer:

1. statistics: how many people will benefit from this
2. Prior or similar legislation (bill number, support/opposition, final outcome)
3. Key legislators who are likely to support or oppose this
4. Likely position of Dept of Finance.
5. Affected State Agencies
6. Interest groups
7. What are you (meaning me, you and us:D) willing to do advocating on behalf of this bill.

I need help in researching and answering these questions... and beyond that, if this proposal becomes a bill we'll need all the help we can get to push this bill into law. For the time being I need some quick help in answering these questions for Torrico so this can go forward ASAP. Who wants to pitch in & make this happen? :)
 

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I fear CARB is too mighty, but the payoff may slightly interest them, but I sadly doubt it. I'll still try to help you with research in my free time.

Have you asked SEMA? They should have info.
 

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Nice Jesse, what kind of contributions will you need from us? Many people will benefit from this. We need a bill like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would like to approach SEMA, but I'm not a member and I'm not a business.

As to help - I need help with answering those questions. Especially:

1. Statistics - how many people will benefit from the change? My guess is it's between 10,000-> 100,000. But I have no hard numbers at all. If anyone have any idea how to come up with even a rough guess, it would be greatly appreciated.

3. Legislators likely to support or opose this- this will take a lot of research to dig through legislations etc.

BTW- don't be scared of CARB. CARB is like the DMV, it's just a government office which carries out whatever the law tells them to do. CARB is not a lobbying group. They have no budget to lobby any legislators. (NRA, Prison Guard union, NEA, AIPAC, etc- these are examples of lobbying groups) Just like any large government organization, they have their supporters who want to see their jobs protected. As long as you're not proposing to cut those jobs, they don't care. Now if you're proposing to cut their jobs- that's a different story. But we're not doing that here.

The $50 payoff is mostly to placate the environmental organizations who might object. In fact some of that money may have to go to the police too, who may object also. You know how it is- you gotta pay to play ;)

So come on guys- let's make this happen! We can't just take it lying down year after year without fighting back!!!!
 

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The Vorlon
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-I'd say up the $50 fee to somewhere between $200-$300 (per biannual inspection period) and then you'll have a better chance. I'm all for such a rule, and would do what I can to support it.

-Another thing to add to the rule would be to remove the SB100 allotment of only 500 vehicles per year. In addition, I would propose that the SPCN vehicle registration process have an additional one time fee of $1000 or 10% of the vehicle value (whichever is more) to register a kit car for the SB100 registration (on top of state tax). In return for this fee, the exemption should be extended to people submitting out of state kit cars (which currently get caught up in the bureaucracy), engine swap projects, and other cars which would fall between the cracks of the current registration methods. SB100 cars would maintain their smog excempt status.

-Another thing to add would to to extend the one time $1000/10% (whichever is more) fee to allow a car owner to "buy" a car back into the rolling "25 year old car" smog exemption. It's unlikely that owners of old beater cars who don't maintain them will be willing to pay the fee for the exemption. The fee weeds out old beter cars, but allows for enthusiasts to keep well maintained & modified older cars.

I would say that this law, properly written, would benefit over WAY over 100,000 people. If only 100,000 of those people paid the biannual $200 fee, we'd be talking a net income of ~$10,000,000 to the state per year, with little to no effect on air quality. There are at least 100,000 other people who would be willing to pay the $1000 fee for smog exemptions as well, which would bring a significant amount of money to the state, too. Add to this income the reduced cost of enforcement necessary under the current laws, and the state makes a LOT of money while stimulating the CA car economy & minimally affecting air quality.

As far as I'm willing to help? I'm not much of a political person (though I vote EVERY time)...but for something like this I'd be willing to be a campaign worker. I'd also contribute to the candidate who champions this cause, both time and money.
 

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ok. i'm going a little bit off topic, but b/c all our miatas are required to go to test only now, i think it's relevant.

My car failed smog due to high NOx 1256/847max and 1206/786 max 15/25 mph respectively.

Anyone here deal with the CAP Consumer Assistance Program?
 

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Im probabaly going to come off as negative in what Im about to say, but Honestly I appreciate anyone willing to come forward and help fight the crap laid down by CARB in the state of caifornia


Having said that, There is no way what your proposing will be passed. $50 is nothing compared to the money aftermarket companies pay CARB to get their products carb appproved each year! We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the state of california to say "ok, your intake or your turbo or your header is ok for our state". You start giving people a way around that and the whole system as it stands right now falls flat on its face. How can CARB get money for testing and certification of aftermarket parts when you can pay a fee to have the ARB look the other way when you fail a visual inspection. The little CARB sticker would be useless.

Also, when you get pulled over and get an inspection.. then what? Are the police going to have to look the other way too? You could add one part after your inspection and the last inspection would then be void.

Again..I would love for this to happen, especially since I have a car with another type of engine installed, but the sad truth is that there is no reason for them to do it for you. They would need some serious coaxing (money) to make them change the way its run, and with all the clean air crap going around, your going to have a real problem convincing anyone that the current laws are wrong.

...On a side note, Im going to be heading to a ref in the next month or so, so wish me luck! I'll need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
$50 is nothing compared to the money aftermarket companies pay CARB to get their products carb appproved each year! We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the state of california to say "ok, your intake or your turbo or your header is ok for our state". You start giving people a way around that and the whole system as it stands right now falls flat on its face. How can CARB get money for testing and certification of aftermarket parts when you can pay a fee to have the ARB look the other way when you fail a visual inspection.
Woah! this is a big misunderstanding of the process. The reason it costs hundreds of thousands to get CARB exemption is because you have to hire an independent lab to test your test car. The money is NOT paid to CARB at all. In fact I think there is no fee for applying for CARB exemption. You can find the necessary forms and process right here:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/topforms.htm

No mention of fees anywhere. Heck CARB even says they'll test your car for free:
"If confirmatory testing is required at the Air Resources Board's laboratory after you completed the testing, you must provide the test vehicle, but there is no charge for testing. "
 

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Discussion Starter #11
-I'd say up the $50 fee to somewhere between $200-$300 (per biannual inspection period) and then you'll have a better chance. I'm all for such a rule, and would do what I can to support it.
Yeah- the $50 sounds a bit low now that I look at it. You'd have to spend >>$2000 in order to do any meaningful mods to your engine. Having said that- will $200 be too much for the younger Honda set? Maybe ~$100-150?

-Another thing to add to the rule would be to remove the SB100 allotment of only 500 vehicles per year....

-Another thing to add would to to extend the one time $1000/10% (whichever is more) fee to allow a car owner to "buy" a car back into the rolling "25 year old car" smog exemption...
Those are great poposals too.... even though they would probably have to be a separate piece of legislation for another time. Just trying to create a visual waiver proposal is already a huge task.

As far as I'm willing to help? I'm not much of a political person (though I vote EVERY time)...but for something like this I'd be willing to be a campaign worker. I'd also contribute to the candidate who champions this cause, both time and money.
Thanks a lot for your help!!! I know we can do this. There are FAR more of us modders than there are kit car builders. If the kit car guys can ram through SB100 (which is a straight smog exemption, unlike what we're asking for here), there is no reason why we can't do it.

Come on, CA folks. If you live in CA and you are reading this forum- you're probably suffering in silence too. The time to fight back is now. As the saying goes "if not now, when? if not you, who?"
 

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I didn't mean to come off as a downer... just saw some problems with what you were proposing. And from everyone I spoke to about carb, they made it sound like CARB was getting money to certify. Maybe they were mistaken.

Im sure all of us would be willing to help, but bottom line is its going to be an up hill battle. Trying to lessen the emissions standards is probably more difficult than turning piss to wine. Id be willing to help too if there was a reasonable proposal to be presented.
 

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The Vorlon
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I didn't mean to come off as a downer... just saw some problems with what you were proposing. And from everyone I spoke to about carb, they made it sound like CARB was getting money to certify. Maybe they were mistaken.

Im sure all of us would be willing to help, but bottom line is its going to be an up hill battle. Trying to lessen the emissions standards is probably more difficult than turning piss to wine. Id be willing to help too if there was a reasonable proposal to be presented.
If it wasn't uphill, it wouldn't be a battle.
 

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Hey guys, you live in a state filled with areas that don't have circulating air. Deal with it, your lungs will thank you.

I am in no way required to have cats on either of my cars but I kept them on anyway.
 

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I would like to approach SEMA, but I'm not a member and I'm not a business.

As to help - I need help with answering those questions. Especially:

1. Statistics - how many people will benefit from the change? My guess is it's between 10,000-> 100,000. But I have no hard numbers at all. If anyone have any idea how to come up with even a rough guess, it would be greatly appreciated.
SEMA will definately have something like this. They have market reports and such on their site. While skimming the old ones (the only ones available to non-members) they have market cap numbers, so I'm thinking a member could find more info. I think finding a member to help with research will greatly ease the work.

3. Legislators likely to support or opose this- this will take a lot of research to dig through legislations etc.
http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=61681

I'm trying to sort through older legislation to find opponents to similar bills, but it's not the most user friendly system.

The $50 payoff is mostly to placate the environmental organizations who might object. In fact some of that money may have to go to the police too, who may object also. You know how it is- you gotta pay to play ;)
I agree this will probaby need to be upped to make it sound substantial. I was thinking it may be possible to appease environmentalists by requiring more frequent sniffer tests for those that don't pass visual to ensure that they are clean. This may be too much work for DMV to track though. I'm thinking that possible opposition would state that if a car is modified to the extent that it doesn't pass visual it may be modified in the future to not be able to pass sniffer either. More strigent requirements to make sure it passes sniffer would negate this. But I guess that could be added if that bridge is crossed.
 

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I dont have stat for you, but I do have $300 I would pay to play man!!!

Down with CARB. I am from NY and live here in CA now and hate CARB.

Its bullshit. Pass a sniffer and be done. Sounds good to me. SOund better than good.


Supporter right here!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
SEMA will definately have something like this. They have market reports and such on their site. While skimming the old ones (the only ones available to non-members) they have market cap numbers, so I'm thinking a member could find more info.
I skimmed through a bunch of those SEMA reports last nights. They have sales figures in $ amounts, but no headcount numbers. Also - no geographical breakdown. We only want to see the number for California. Those are the older reports; maybe the newer reports are more detailed. Does anyone know anyone who is a SEMA member?

I'm thinking that possible opposition would state that if a car is modified to the extent that it doesn't pass visual it may be modified in the future to not be able to pass sniffer either.
So what you are saying is, people will make their car pass smog on the day of the smog check, but alter their cars once they're done with the smog. Well- my answer would be- that's exactly what is happening now. People on the "2 year plan" would take off their turbos, etc every 2 years just for smogging purpose, and put them back on. Or worse- they would bribe the smogman; or fraudulently register their cars in some remote county to escape the smog check altogether.

So basically people are already doing all kinds of screwy things to get around the smog check. What our change does is attempt to bring them back into the system. Hopefully from here on out, people will focus all their energy on passing the smog check, instead of getting aroundthe smog check like they do now.
 

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I'm down to spread the word and vote for whatever I have to. Fight the man, man... lol.
 
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