Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario is an association that represents over 900 Independent Repair Garage Owners / members.
As of January 1 2013, the Drive Clean emission test procedure has changed significantly. The new test method utilizes the vehicle OBD “On Board Diagnostic” information which is logged into the vehicle computer.
AARO is concerned about the negative press the new Drive Clean Test procedure is receiving. AARO feels the negative press is due to a lack of understanding of the changes, and the issues of not ready “Readiness” monitors.
It is AARO’s position that Ontario vehicle owners should be made aware of the benefits of the Drive Clean program and the positive outcomes expected from the upgraded test procedure.
Drive Clean has made a huge impact on the air we breathe. Over a period of nine years, the Drive Clean program has reduced Nitrogen Oxides and Hydrocarbons by 266,000 tonnes, Carbon Monoxide by 2.5 million tonnes and Carbon Dioxide, a major greenhouse gas by 250,000 tonnes. The former DEynamometer / tailpipe test is a one-time snap-shot of the vehicle emissions and cannot capture the ongoing emission status of the vehicle.
The vehicle OBD system constantly monitors emissions. The OBD will alert the vehicle operator of an emission problem by activating the Check Engine Light and recording related fail data.
Emission test enhancements are:
· Fuel Evaporative system function is monitored.
· Detect engine Miss-fire.
· Detect marginal Catalytic Convertors.
· Detect marginal Sensor operation.
· Added consumer protection when purchasing a vehicle.
OBD monitors must be “Ready” in order to store emission related data. If the vehicle battery has been disconnected, or diagnostic codes have been erased, the vehicle monitors will be set to “not ready”, and related data is lost. A vehicle with an excessive number of not ready monitors will produce an “incomplete” Drive Clean Test result, and will require several drive cycles to reset the monitors.
Recommendations to reduce “not ready” status:
· Carry out the Drive Clean test two weeks before the license sticker is due.
· Test the vehicle before servicing the battery or removing the diagnostic trouble codes.
· Allow two-three days of normal driving following a battery service, before doing the Etest.
· Used car dealers & vehicles to be stored – perform the E-test before parking the vehicle on the lot or in storage.
The recent Drive Clean test changes are the natural evolution of emission testing.
For more information on Drive Clean testing and enabling readiness monitor, talk to
your local Drive Clean Facility operator, or visit www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/air/driveclean .