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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am moving to San Diego this summer from Ottawa, Canada. Will I need to get an emissions test for my 1986 Spider Veloce? If so, how difficult will it be for the car to pass? Obviously, without seeing the car no one can tell, but it runs well. Can anyone let me know what their experience has been?
Thanks.
 

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Just a thought;
Most people bring Alfas to Canada from the states.
A "rust free Canasdian Alfa may be considered a "rust bucket" by California standards.
Really fine examples of 86 Southern Spiders are going for $5000 and they pass CA smog.
I expect you have considered the cost of shipping it rather than selling it in Canada and getting one down there. There are potentially more hassles and costs to register and plate the car in the US (CA), especially if your car is a CDN version.
Also consider that up here, you are exempt eTest, down there you could be putting $ to pass. To make your decision easier, go to a local eTester, for less tha $40 he will do an etest and you can then have an idea of the emissions status of your 86.
Just my thoughts......Elio
 

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Elio has made good points.

To answer your question, if all the emisions items are in good working order I doubt it'd have trouble passing a tail pipe test. You may want to consider a new O2 sensor and possibly a new (replacement) catalytic converter. And make sure the thermostat is operating properly and the coolant temp sensor is sensing.
 

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jenjer:

An '86 Alfa has Bosch EFI, and not Spica, right? If so, as long as everything is stock, you shouldn't have any problems. As ghnl wrote, a new cat and o2 sensor would be nice, but if these are relatively fresh, you will probably pass as-is.

Despite tales of Kalifornia being a police state, the smog process isn't all that brutal (unless you have a Spica car). If you fail the first time, they don't throw you in jail or crush your car. Most inspection stations will re-test for free or for another $10. Just bring it in fully warmed up, with fresh oil and high test gas, and hope for the best. If it fails, bring the readings to a competent mechanic, and they'll know what to do.
 

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My 1986, which I bought used in California at 120,000 miles, needed a new cat. Otherwise, it was fine for emissions. A new thing in California is the fuel tank vent system leak test. Just make sure all the hoses relating to this part of the system are new.

Check on the CADMV web site about bring a car in with that model year.
 

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I have registered cars in CA from out of state. It isn't all that hard. You need to get the smog test (residents can have the test centers submit the test results on-line, but since your car won't be in the DMV's system, be sure to get a paper certificate). Then, you need to go to a DMV office for them to verify your VIN, and give you plates. Expect to wait in line forever, unless you have made an appointment on-line which saves a lot of time. When they ask you when the car entered the state, be sure to answer with a date within the last 30 days.
 

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Boys, This car is coming from another country.(yes CANADA is another country)....not out of State.....and the Canadian version has some differences, labelling, speedometer, odometer and possibly bumper and seat restraints. Just as a personal example, I owned a ford fairmnt wagon, made in the USA. when I tried to take it with me to Texas, I found it could not be plated.

Best regrds, Elio
 

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Yikes. I hate to be Captain Downer but what I understand about bringing a vehicle into the US from another country and to get registration for it can be a major problem. A majority of vehicles sold outside the US do not meet Federal safety standards and Emission standards as well as California emission standards. These cars are known as “Grey Market” cars. Getting a smog inspection in California will be slim to none. And what’s worse is that you would be looking at inspections for vehicle safety (Kaching$$$)“eehhh!” And further more you would have to see the State Referee. Oh they’re nice yet so anal (More Kaching$$$ Kaching$$$!). If you are a lucky owner, the Alfa you own was originally sold in the U S. and brought to Canada (Beautiful place and people by the way! Aye!) The under hood label that has engine size and emissions information will say if it meets Federal and/or California emission standards. Good luck to you. Or consider this, come to the U S and supports are failing economy and buy ANOTHER SPIDER! Good luck to you and God speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your inputs. I will check the internet for the availability of Alfas in the San Diego area, but this one has sentimental value to me. I will check the hood for the label, because it is originally from the US (one of the Carolinas, I believe). It does have a Bosch EFI, so at least that is one step in the right direction. Wish me luck!
 

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Well, Carro-Kann may be right. My experience was coming from Missouri, not Ontario. Still, 1986 may be old enough that the State doesn't care about where the car was first sold. Certainly an Alfa first sold ex-US in the 50's or 60's wouldn't be an issue. Some research is going to be needed to determine at what point the nice people in Sacramento begin to care. Start with dmv.ca.gov In theory you can call the DMV (1-800-777-0133), though it has been my experience that their highly motivated, cheerful employees don't answer their phones.
 

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This Bosch injected 1986 Spider conformed to all U.S. emission requirements, including those in California. If the car in question has not been modified, and being that it was an original U.S. edition, it should have no problem passing inspection. More important, any stock Spider of this vintage that does not pass an emissions test is a car that is no longer running as it should. Thus, it simply best to focus on ensuring that the car is up to OEM spec. As others have stated, this does include making sure that the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter are in good working order. Then, the inspection will take care of itself...

Best regards,
 

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As far as I know Alfa never built separate US spec and Canadian spec cars, they were all just North American market vehicles so should be no differences.
 

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They may all be the same for North America but if the emissions sticker doesn't say US, CA dmv considers it foreign. However, in this case the owner says the car is originally US registered, so just drag it by DMV to get it verified (visually inspected), apply for the registration (spend money), take the papers to a smog test station and go from there.
 

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I think as long as the car is the same it is no big deal.
My brothers wife is from there. and I know one car she was going to bring here was a problem due to it not having a airbag or that auto seatbelt thing that wraps the seatbelt around your neck when you get in. if she put in one or the other it could have came in.
I think they have a list or something. and know what needs to be done for each car.
 
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