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Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

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Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby tay » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:41 pm

My mom took my car in for a smog today at a smog station here in Petaluma. My engine light was on, due to perhaps the gas cover not tight. Long story short, but true, the smog station went on with the test, and failed her. No reason, would not even giver her advice what to do. So she drove right away to A Smog Test only on the boulevard, and guess what, it passed!

My poor mom paid well over a hundred dollars today, so I need advice how to get her money back from the station her ripped her off. I went on YELP and guess what, they do this all the time! Should we call the police?
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby Therewolf » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:50 pm

Smog stations are licensed and regulated by the state Bureau of Automotive Repair. Go online to http://www.bar.ca.gov. On the left side of the home page, under the heading "Quick Hits," click on "File a Complaint."

It's their mission to make sure we're not getting ripped off, and to put the crooks in the automotive repair industry out of business or worse (yes, they've been known to prosecute the really bad ones).

Good luck!
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby OB1 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:25 pm

tay wrote:My mom took my car in for a smog today at a smog station here in Petaluma. My engine light was on, due to perhaps the gas cover not tight. Long story short, but true, the smog station went on with the test, and failed her. No reason, would not even giver her advice what to do. So she drove right away to A Smog Test only on the boulevard, and guess what, it passed!

My poor mom paid well over a hundred dollars today, so I need advice how to get her money back from the station her ripped her off. I went on YELP and guess what, they do this all the time! Should we call the police?



Well, to start with you fail to even mention the name of the business who supposedly failed you on the test. I would think if you are interested in further investigation you would post the name of the business and allow other readers to offer opinions and any advice based on similar experiences.

I suspect your story is not genuine and feel as if you are trolling for something else. Post the name of the business and see what responses you get.
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby tay » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:36 pm

Not a troll, I've posted here before.
Name of business: 101 Express smog near IHop (failed no reason given)
The business who Is professional and honest: A Smog Test Only on the boulevard

If they don't refund my mom, who lives on a fixed income what the options here?
Small claims? It's bad business practice if you ask me. I even went on yelp...they have done this before. I wish I looked into this before she left today.
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby Drake94954 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:22 am

Why is your mother paying for a smog check on your car?
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby mikeg55 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:03 am

Been to that smog place by Ihop several times with no problems. Next time you take it in to get it smogged.
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby FNG » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:00 am

Want to know why the car failed smog take a look at the printout. The reason will be listed. Visual? excessive CO; High NOx; excessive ppm HC?

I believe that smog station is a Test Only facility with the employees smog test technicians and not qualified mechanics. The advice on repairs they would give would be best guess advice. I haven't had a smog license since leaving dealerships but back in the early 1980s a check engine light equalled a failed the visual test.

Failed visual test = failed test.
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby specvdriver » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:08 pm

I've been to both places and never had a fail.

They are only technicians and are not allowed to give advice or repairs, hence the "Test Only". It's possible that if your gas cap was not closed properly and the check engine light came on, you would have failed at the first test because it takes a couple of cycles to reset that light after the cap was tightened down properly.

If your check engine light was on when your mom took it in, they should not have run the test since that's an automatic fail. But you should have had that taken care of before going to a test only station.
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Re: Need Advice please! Smog rip off!

Postby walk2k » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:12 am

If the check engine light is on that's an automatic fail (visual), and as mentioned "Test Only" places are not allowed to give repair advice. But they can still take your money for the test, just not for the certificate. This is 100% legal, nothing you can do. Next time take it to a mechanic if the check engine light is on.
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