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New Central Valley Program Pays To Help Cars Pass Smog


Many older cars that fail California smog testing are still on the road spewing pollution. A new program pays for repairs so hundreds of drivers in the Central Valley can pass the emissions tests and register their vehicles.

Five hundred cars line up for emission testing at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. Many are not registered with the DMV because they failed a smog test.

Valley Clean Air Now is sponsoring these Tune In and Tune Up events and  is giving $500 vouchers for emission repairs to vehicles that fail.

Executive Director Tom Knox says most of the cars here are 1995 or older models.

"With a car that's got, let's say 200,000 miles on it, it's very unlikely to be able to afford the $800 for smog repairs," Knox says.

Anthony Mulford is waiting in line.

"$500 toward getting it fixed, if it needs to be, I got a check engine light on," Anthony says. "This will really help."

Getting a voucher is good news for Lester Warren whose car failed the test.

"Because I didn't have no more money to spend on it, that's why I need the voucher," Warren says.

Twenty-four Tune Up events will be held from Stockton to Bakersfield on weekends through December.

Tom Knox says the Tune In Tune Up program will spend about $4 million to reduce automotive smog.

"These are actually a very, very cost effective way of reducing emissions, it's in the worst neighborhoods, it's in the areas that are already hardest hit by air emissions," Knox explains.

Knox says about 60 percent of the cars that come through fail, and of those, about 70 percent will go to a smog shop for repairs. 

Tune In & Tune Up Events

February 6
Porterville Fair

February 20
Kern County Raceway Park

March 5
Stanislaus County Fairgrounds (Turlock)

March 19
Mosqueda Community Center (Fresno)

April 9
San Joaquin County Fairgrounds (Stockton)

April 23
West Hills College (Lemoore)

May 7
Kern County Fairgrounds (Bakersfield)

May 21
Fresno Fairgrounds

June 4
Stanislaus County Fairgrounds (Turlock)

June 11
International Agri-Center (Tulare)

June 25
Merced County Fairgrounds

 air quality

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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