While not every vehicle requires a Drive Clean emission test, every vehicle can benefit from these simple and practical tips. Reduced vehicle emissions improve the air you breathe, and can actually save you money at the gas pump!
Here are some tips to help your vehicle pass its Drive Clean emission test and keep our air cleaner in Ontario.
- Get regular tune-ups.
Simple regular maintenance to your vehicle including an oil change, air and fuel filter replacement and evaluation of the condition of spark plugs, gas caps, etc. is recommended for many reasons: your vehicle will run a lot smoother than before, you'll get more gas mileage (saving you money at the gas pump), you reduce the risk of future costly repairs, and your chances of passing the smog test are increased. Check your vehicle’s warranty for maintenance schedule recommendations, but if your engine shakes or has a misfire, don’t delay in getting a tune-up as it may fail the emission test and may be an indication of a larger problem. If you have a bad misfire, this could cause your check engine light to come on as well, meaning you will automatically fail the functional portion of the Drive Clean test.
- Confirm required emissions components.
Depending on your vehicle, a visual inspection of emission control components and systems may be required. For example, a working catalytic converter must be installed on your vehicle in order to pass its Drive Clean emission test.
- Make sure your check engine light works.
Most vehicles are equipped with a check engine light. If your vehicle comes equipped with a check engine light but it does not work, it either went out or someone tampered with it. Your car will likely fail inspection if its check engine light is on.
- Use fuel cleaners.
Using a fuel cleaner regularly will help remove gunk stuck to your engine’s valves and head to help it run more efficiently. Just don't put it in right before you take your car to get checked, as the fuel cleaner will need time to work all of the junk from your vehicle’s systems.
- Use all your senses.
Keeping your eyes, nose and ears open for potential problems can help you catch an issue before it turns into an emission test failure or costly repair.
- Pay attention to your vehicle's dashboard warning lights.
- Watch for fluid leaks where you park your car, as low fluid levels can affect the efficiency of your vehicle.
- Inspect your gas cap to avoid excess evaporative emissions from your tank.
- Jerking and jumping, sudden drop in fuel efficiency, difficulty in starting or staying running, or a foul smell can all be signs of a faulty catalytic converter (which is a very common cause for emission test failure).
- If you need to replace a catalytic converter before its normal life, rather than replace it again, there may be a deeper underlying issue in the emissions control system that should be diagnosed by a certified repair facility.
Not sure if an emission test is required for your vehicle? Read more tips according to your vehicle type: