Aftermarket & the Environment Supplement

Did you know?

How the Ontario Drive Clean program helps the environment

* In 2006, the Ontario Drive Clean program refocused itself on the light-duty vehicles most likely to pollute. Testing is required for cars five years old, rather than three.

* It also removed the emissions test exemption for vehicles 20 years old or older. Beginning with the 1988 model year, cars must be tested every two years for registration renewal. 1987 vehicles and earlier model years continue to be exempt from test requirements.

* Drive Clean certificates are required for ownership transfer -- even if the vehicle is less than five years old. (But only if it has been longer than one year since the last emissions test.) Drive Clean certificates are also required when a lessee purchases his or her vehicle from the dealership -- even if he or she was the only lessee and the vehicle is less than five years old.

* Hybrid vehicles are exempt from the Drive Clean program. Hybrids are not designed to idle for long periods of time and are not compatible with Drive Clean's emissions testing equipment. The vehicles also produce very low emissions.

* About 10% of vehicles, or 225,000, fail the initial Drive Clean test per year and require maintenance and/or repairs in order to pass a retest.

* Ontario law requires every vehicle to have manufacturer-installed emissions control equipment or approved, equivalent replacement aftermarket parts.

* Ontario's Environmental Protection Act requires aftermarket emissions control systems to be certified by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, the California Air Resources Board, the United States Environmental Protection Agency or another specified body identified by the Ministry of the Environment.

* Any provincial officer may stop and inspect a motor vehicle at any time to ensure emissions control equipment is in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.

* Common causes of emissions control systems failure are:

* oxygen sensors

* catalytic converters

* inoperative or ineffective exhaust gas recirculation, or

* poor vehicle maintenance.

* Ontario Drive Clean also has a program for heavy-duty vehicles, such as large trucks and buses. While the light-duty vehicle program operates across southern Ontario from Windsor to Ottawa, the heavy-duty program operates throughout the province. Light-duty vehicles require emissions testing every two years, while heavy-duty vehicles generally require annual tests.

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