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If your car is having trouble passing emissions, you're in luck. Valley Clean Air Now (CAN) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District are hosting a free car emissions test and diagnostic inspection event at West Hills College Lemoore, 555 College Drive, parking lot A.

The Tune In & Tune Up Car Clean-Up Event is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Note: There is no event entry before 6:30 a.m. and no smog certificates will be issued at the event. While supplies last, vehicles that fail emissions will receive a $500 voucher for repairs at a participating STAR smog shop. 

The Sentinel talked with Tom Knox, Valley CAN executive director, to find out more about Saturday's event.

Question: So tell me a little about the changes to the testing and what prompted them.

Answer: The Tune In & Tune Up event is very popular, but big crowds created long wait times that made it more difficult for busy working families to take advantage of our free smog repairs. We recognized that these wait times were becoming a barrier, so our team acquired additional smog testing equipment and worked out some improvements to the system that has cut wait times on Saturday morning approximately in half.

Q: Is the event open to all Valley residents or is it just restricted to Kings County residents? What is the maximum number of vehicles that will be tested during the event?

A: All San Joaquin residents are welcome to attend, with no restrictions. We don’t care about any issues or lack of paperwork that our customers may have. We only care about getting their cars tested and cleaned up. We allow cars into the lot until noon, or until we reach our limit of 550 vehicles.

Q: Are people given the voucher after the car clean-up event or is it mailed?

A: Every driver that fails the emissions screening test is given a $500 voucher at the event, and they can schedule a followup appointment with participating smog shops before they leave the event. We make it as easy as possible to get the voucher and get the smog repairs done.

Q: Can you explain the goal or mission of the event?

A: The San Joaquin Valley is likely home to more older, high emitting vehicles than any other part of the U.S. These cars are likely the largest unregulated source of man-made emissions in the Valley. By encouraging drivers to get their car tested and repaired, this helps local drivers keep their car registered, save a lot of money and clean up the air.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the event or Valley CAN?

A: We can all work together to continue improving air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. There are little things we can all do that together make a big difference.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or Follow him on Twitter @HanfordPete.

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