Cars and Trucks and Things That Go…Put the Brakes on Traffic-Related Pollution Exposure at Schools

attend school near major roads appear to be more at risk for a variety of short- and long-term health effects, including asthma, reduced lung function, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. For example, a study by researchers at the University of Southern California found that children who live within 500 meters (that’s about one-third of a mile) from a freeway incur substantial and long-lasting deficits in lung development and function compared to children living at least 1500 meters (a little under 1 mile) from a freeway. Since motor vehicles are responsible for more than half of the smog and global warming pollution in California, the vehicle you buy directly impacts air quality, you may start wondering, “Where is a station for smog check near me? Yet nearly 17,000 of our country’s schools are located within steps of a heavily-traveled road, potentially exposing more than 6 million children to traffic-related pollution at a time when t…
Read more
  • 0

Emissions test as a measure of combustion efficiency

Often emissions test for CO+CO2 as a measure of combustion efficiency. An ideal burning of a hydrocarbon would only release water vapor and carbon dioxide. Unfortunately engines are far from ideal, and the real chemistry of combustion is very complicated as a result. The pollutants in exhaust are what we call the byproducts of combustion. Bad fuel air ratios that cause noxious emissions are caused by the engine operating outside of its ideal rpm range. Engines have only one speed at which they produce the best ratio of power output to low emissions. Thus STAR smog check station is ready for cooperation and assistance. Unfortunately to work with transmissions for variable vehicle speed and power output variation, engines must operate over a wide range of speeds from idle to redline. Incomplete combustion also causes particulate matter and VOC/ HC to form. These dust/ soot/ vapors are extremely toxic: they are the parts that give some of the color and most of the nasty smell t…
Read more
  • 0

The latest technology in emission control

A wide range of different technologies are employed to reduce smog forming emissions. Catalytic converters for example use the waste heat in the exhaust to energize a ceramic/ metal "sponge" of catalysts metals that break down many of the toxic emissions into their non-toxic constituent chemical parts, facilitating post combustion reaction completion and chemical reduction of noxious emissions species like NOX, CO, VOC and SOX. In this regard STAR stations are ready for help and assistance. The US Clean Air act was pivotal for the development of emissions reduction technology. Robust scientific and technological development in emissions control systems resulted from government policies derived from the clean air act "pushing" industry to clean up. Public policy can be a major source of inspiration for the private sector. Public policy that rewards "positive" business practices tends to be far more effective than public policy that punishes "bad" business practices. Automakers …
Read more
  • 0

What do you know about the smog that comes out of your vehicle tailpipe?

Someone else does! We have all driven behind an old vehicle (or diesel truck) that gives off a lot of "smell" and soot/ fumes.... and you do not want to breath those smells either, they are toxic! Fortunately vehicles do not last forever, and the vehicles that replace old ones are almost always much cleaner (in terms of their operating emissions). That said, even the cleanest vehicles emit something dirty and toxic... tire dust for example is released by fuel cell and electric vehicles the same way that tire dust is released by conventional vehicles. Smog brings to mind places like Mexico City, Beijing China, and Los Angeles California. Smog is a soup of funky toxic chemicals suspended in the air. Soot from diesel engines and coal power plants, that fine particulate matter that causes asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder; known as PM, it is a major component of urban smog. Have you ever found yourself asking: “where is the closest station for smog ch…
Read more
  • 0

Roadside Inspection Program

The Roadside Inspection Program was established by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 44081 which requires BAR, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, to inspect the emissions of vehicles while actually being driven on California roadways. In this regard STAR smog check station is ready for cooperation and assistance. Why are roadside surveys necessary? The data collected from roadside surveys provides an overview of the emissions emitted by vehicles driven on California's roads to help ensure the State is meeting federal standards for reducing ozone-forming pollution generated by motor vehicles. The data also provides useful information to evaluate and improve the performance of the Smog Check Program. STAR smog check stations, equipped with the latest testing devices, are ready to check your vehicle. Where are roadside surveys performed? The surveys are performed in the areas of the state with the poorest air qu…
Read more
  • 0

Challenges for taking your vehicle to STAR stations

Passing the smog test isn't as hard as it seems: just because you own a vehicle from the 70s doesn't mean that it will pollute so much by comparison to a new model vehicle that you won't be able to register it. Tailpipe emissions are graded on a sliding scale that depend on model year and vehicle type. This is good news, if not for the air but for your wallet and your love for these old vehicles. You can take your vehicle to STAR stations. If you live in California, you most likely live in several STAR stations testing areas but many other states implement or are in the process of implementing similar testing requirements that mimic if not duplicate CA exactly. Some people pass on the first attempt while others take several attempts. Some people give up and sell their bus in frustration. Overcoming the red tape is a great feeling of victory and relief but the process can often test your will. The biggest challenge for any owner is figuring out if a newly purchased bus is in…
Read more
  • 0

What exactly is the sniffer measuring?

Most people use a car to commute, and you may have had to deal with your vehicle's smog check, and your own respiratory problems, possibly related to vehicle smog. Have you ever found yourself asking: "where is the closest station for smog check near me?" HCs are essentially unburned fuel. When you hear about octane it's often a reference to the anti-knock index at the pump (87 etc) but it is also a reference to the chemical composition of fuel, part of which is made from C8H18 (eight carbon atoms and 18 hydrogen atoms; hence octane). HC is measured in parts per million (ppm) by the sniffer. When fuel (HC) and air (O2 + N2) are combusted the ideal product would be energy and water vapor (H20). Because the combustion process is imperfect, CO is one of the byproducts produced. CO is measured as a percentage of the exhaust gas. It is a colorless odorless gas and if you breathe it, it will combine with the hemoglobin in your blood and make you sick or kill you in larger doses. …
Read more
  • 0

Why The Smog Test

Smog testing is a requirement every two years. The DMV mails out registration notices that remind you about smog testing every other annual re-registration mailing. The notice will tell you whether or not you must have your test performed at a test-only station or if you can go to any testing center. Test-only stations are just as they sound: they do not offer repair or tuning services in the event that you fail your test. STAR smog check stations, equipped with the latest testing devices, are ready to check your vehicle.

You get two attempts at passing. If you fail the first time, you retune/repair the engine and you are allowed to retest for free at the same test station. Be sure to ask your test-only station if they will do this for you and report them if they don't. Beyond two fails you must take the vehicle to a special government approved repair shop (there are hundreds).  To solve this problem, we recommended making sure you go to a STAR …

Read more
  • 0

Passing the smog test isn’t as hard as it seems

Registering a VW bus is an increasing challenge especially with ever stricter smog limits that come into effect. When I first saw the passing limits imposed for 2004 I thought for sure every VW bay window bus would either fail or have to be specially "tuned" to pass. You would then re tune the engine afterwards for the sake of engine longevity. Fortunately this isn't the case.

Passing the test isn't as hard as it seems: just because you own a vehicle from the 70s doesn't mean that it will pollute so much by comparison to a new model vehicle that you won't be able to register it. Tailpipe emissions are graded on a sliding scale that depend on model year and vehicle type. This is good news, if not for the air but for your wallet and your love for these old vehicles.

If you live in California, you most likely live in a smog testing area but many other states implement or are in the process of implementing simila…

Read more
  • 0

How can we have clean air in California?

According one report of The American Lung Association (ALA) just released "State Of The Air" report listing the most polluted cities in the United States. Of the seven worst cities ranked as having the worst air quality, six -- including Los Angeles - are in California, despite the state having the toughest regulations in the country. Why is this?

The two biggest air pollution culprits are transportation sources such as cars and trucks and stationary sources such as oil refineries and industrial facilities. The ALA rankings look at two different pollutants: ozone (smog) and fine particulate matter. Take the first step and take your vehicle to the STAR stations to be carried out necessary checks.

Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds "cook" in sunlight to produce ozone. This mix of chemicals largely stems from the burning of fossil fuels: the pollution that comes from…

Read more
  • 0