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Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

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  • Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

    I have been reading this web site for some time. Have learned a great deal. My question for the group is can you register a car or truck in Calif. that burns both N G and gasoline? I would think you might need to use gasoline some time.

    Thanks Bernie

  • #2
    Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

    Chevy Bi fuel caviliers, Ford Bi fuel contours , Ford Bi fuel pickups and vans, and a few GM bi fuel pickups and vans with carb approvals are no problem in CA. All of the above can be found in the used market.

    New Conversion kits will not get approved in CA unless the vendor goes through the approval process.
    See link.

    Some have posted the opinion that epa certified vehicles ,that are not C.A.R.B. approved can be imported into california as used vehicles , with a minimum number of miles on them . I would advise getting that in writing from C.A.R.B. before buying such a vehicle.

    Vehicles of the 1975 and older model years are exempt from smog check in CA.
    Last edited by Lakewood90712; 01-04-2010, 07:38 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

      This is going to be a bit long sorry.
      You’re right Lakewood. Bernie, current Calif law, through the Calif Air Resources Board (CARB), the Health and Safety code, the Bureau of Automotive Repair, and California’s SMOG Referee system indicates that aftermarket Alternate Fuel Conversion Kits cannot be sold, installed or brought in to Calif. on a vehicle and that vehicle's that have these kits installed cannot be registered in Calif.; even if they pass the tail pipe portion of the Calif. SMOG test. There are two other section, visual and functional, of the Calif SMOG check. SMOG test that the vehicle must also pass.

      Calif. law also states that the vehicle seller is responsible for the SMOG test upon sale of a vehicle. This basically means that the vehicle can’t be registered in the new owners name until it passes SMOG. There are vehicles that have passed Calif SMOG with non EPA and/or CARB conversion kits installed and functional. I would lay down a “Franklin” that either the SMOG test Technician did not know his job and the requirements regarding alternate fuel conversion kits or looked the other way and passed the vehicle. I have seen this. As a SMOG instructor for around 25 years and licensed SMOG technician since 1965, I do not approve of such practice. It is not the SMOG test that may be “less than accurate” and gets the vehicle registered in a new owner’s name. What bothers me; it is the one that comes in 2 years for registration renewal that bothers me. The competent test that will fail the vehicle and probably get it sent to the Referee for a second opinion and get failed again preventing the vehicle from being registered in Calif until the kit is removed and the vehicle repaired to an un-tampered condition.

      CARB has a web site on which you can check if an alternate fuel conversion kit can be identified as being CARB approved and it list it Executive Order (E.O.) Number which should be identified somewhere on the kit or on a label affixed under the hood. The conversion kit label should have the E.O. number, the make and model of the kit and the installer of the kit along with other information.
      Anyone can go into this site and check out a kit, its application, and the vehicle(s) on which it is allowed to be installed.

      You could get a written statement from CARB probably saying that the kit does not comply with Calif SMOG, but why not check for yourself?

      If you really want to get into it, go to , click on the “general information” tab, and then click on “publications”. Then down load the SMOG Check Reference Guide, and SMOG Check Procedure, draft, (it is current). You can see what the BAR expects from a SMOG tech.

      In closing , as of January 1, 2010, diesel powered vehicle under GVWR of 14,000 Lb, are required to have a SMOG check, (crankcase smoke, tail pipe smoke, OBD II and visual test) on 1998 and newer vehicles. Among other thing, the visual check is to determine if there are any non CARB approved modifications, chips, dual fuel, etc. There is also a SMOG tech update you could go through and see how the diesel inspection is to be performed.

      Enough of this. You may not like what I’m saying, but check it out, then “pays your money and takes your chances”

      I really hope everyone understands a little better how unapproved devices can affect the registration of a vehicle in Calif.

      Last edited by larrycng; 01-04-2010, 10:42 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

        Thanks, Larry for the sage advice.
        CARB Executive Orders for OEM vehicles and alternative fuel conversions are found here too:


        • #5
          Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

          Welcome William,

          The onlyway a bi-fuel vehicle can be registered in Calif. legally, is that the conversion kit or conversion has CARB executive order number (EO number) for the year, model, engine family if the vehicle. A factory bi-fuel must also have a Calif emission certification. Yea, it's a pain, but Calif has a reputation of being a leader in many fields -- except, in my opinion, common sense and practicality.



          • #6
            Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

            Larry can someone living in California drive a car that is licensed out of state? When I lived in Fresno the police were chasing the criminals and not paying much attention to traffic. Jim


            • #7
              Re: Duel fuel cars and trucks in CALIFORNIA?

              I would not try it if you have a Calif driver's license. Calif, law, as I remember it requires that if you work in Calif, you have around 3 weeks? to register your vehicle in Calif. Where they will get you is if are driving a car with out of state plates with a Calif driver's license, especially if the vehicle is registered in your name. If they do cite you for registeration, you will be liable for back registeration fees and penalties (not a pretty thought). That is the long answer and there are probably more details I don't know.

              If you don't pay income taxes in Calif, have an out of state drivers license, and are stopped for a violation, there probably won't be any question (treated like an out of stater). The way I understand it, you can have a home in Calif (vacation home). pay property tax on it (can't get away from that), and spend most of yourtime out of California, there probably would not be a question about it; I'm sure you're a "snow bird" with a winter home in Calif, and are down for a visit. You would be treated like someone traveling through on vacation.

              Where you from in Wa?