Upcoming BAR-97 EIS Changes

The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) plans to require that the BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System (EIS) to connect to the Vehicle Information Database (VID) through the internet just like with BAR On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS) testing of vehicles. The internet connection will improve reliability by eliminating the need for a dedicated phone line. This change is required because the VID will no longer support outdated dialup connectivity. Newer EIS models are upgradable to support internet connectivity, but older EIS models will require replacement. BAR is working with interested EIS manufacturers to certify internet connectivity updates. Check with your EIS manufacturer for details.

In addition, BAR plans to require stations to use a BAR-97 EIS that is certified to meet BAR’s proposed 2017 specification. There is currently no date set in law to eliminate tailpipe testing of older vehicles. Obsolete EIS components are becoming increasingly difficult to support and have reached the end of their useful life.

BAR is addressing these issues with new requirements, such as a newer computer, a supported version of operating system software, and integration of the Low Pressure Fuel Evaporative Tester (LPFET) into the BAR-97 EIS. The 2017 specification changes also include the ability to require online testing, a reminder message to inspect certain vehicles with the BAR-OIS, and other minor prompting changes to better match inspection procedures. Stations using newer EIS models may only need an update to comply with the 2017 specification. Stations using older EIS models will need to be replacement or upgraded.

The Smog Check Manual will be updated to require that the EIS use an internet connection. The new manual will also:

  • Clarify that a fuel cap visual inspection is not required during the visual evaporative system check.

  • Require the key on and engine off when inspecting for liquid leaks on hybrid and stop-start vehicles.

  • Include Appendix C, identifying which aftermarket parts require verification of an ARB Executive Order exemption.

  • State that a LPFET test is not required on vehicles with a fuel tank greater than 50 gallons.

It is anticipated that internet connection may be ready as an option to stations as early as April 2017. Internet connection would not become mandatory until January 1, 2018. An EIS certified to the 2017 specification would also be required no sooner than January 1, 2018. For up-to-date information, visit the BAR-97 Information page at www.bar.ca.gov.

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