Drive Clean Test and Repair procedure;
UPDATED Jan 9, 2013
This is a updated breakdown of how the Drive Clean testing program works for consumers. Hopefully this will answer most of your testing questions.
Basic Info: Owners' responsibilities;
- Vehicle testing begins when it is 7 years old or when resold/traded in. Reminders are sent with your sticker renewal letter.
- Vehicles are tested every 2 years thereafter.
- All vehicles are tested upon resale unless they are current model year (2013 car in 2013)
- Pass certificates are good for 1 year from the date of the test. If you sell within 1 year of testing, you may include that test certificate with the vehicle - It is still valid.
- Vehicles are visually checked for an installed Catalytic Converter, Gas Cap or leaking fluids that may be dangerous to my equipment. Missing catalytic converter will rejected the vehicle from testing.
- The Repair Cost Limit (RCL) is set at $450 for all areas of Drive Clean using OEM parts.
- There are some situations where a Drive Clean test is not needed when transfering ownerships, such as transfering a vehicle within the immediate family, or buying out your lease. Call Drive Clean to see if you qualify.
- "Historic" plated vehicles no longer need a Drive Clean test. This will include 1988+ vehicles as they become 30 years old.
Make a mental note of that last one. It may be worth getting Historic plates for your Jeep soon.
The Test Procedure;
Vehicles 1998 to current; The test procedure connects your 1998+ vehicle to the OTU (Ontario Test unit) via the OBD2 port. The Unit then verifies that all your on-board monitors have been run. In short, modern cars monitor themselves and the OTU will verify that the car is performing within normal parameters. Do not clear your check engine light before you go in for a test - it will be detected and rejected (and you're told to come back again in 5 days). Photographs are taken of your car, the plate, and the VIN placard. Do not use plates from another vehicle to get to the test facility.
Vehicles 1988-1997; Vehicles are subjected to Two Speed Idle tests, using a gas bench to 'sniff' the tailpipe emissions to ensure compliance, similar to previous testing on AWD vehicles. OBD is not connected, and it's my understanding the Check Engine light does not influence your Drive Clean test.
- Bring your vehicle to the inspection facility and have it tested.
- IF YOU PASS, proceed to DMV for stickers. Fail, continue below.
- IF YOU FAIL, you have 2 options:
Either: You take the vehicle home and make your own repairs or adjustments. Drive Clean & Counter staff can NOT help you diagnose the failure, they can only provide the government issued pamphlet and circle what may be wrong with your car.
OR: You may employ the Drive Clean Repair Technician to diagnose your vehicle. The diagnosis is a definitive answer to what caused your car to fail. Usually, diagnosis cost about $100. In order to qualify for the Repair Cost Limit (RCL), you must have the Drive Clean Repair Technician inspect and diagnose the vehicle - even if you know what's wrong.
You now have the answer as to why your vehicle failed. The DCF will offer you a quote on the cost to repair your vehicle. If the combined cost of the diagnosis, parts and labour exceed the RCL (currently $450) you will qualify for a Conditional Pass Certificate. This certificate is only valid to the current vehicle owner, for the purpose of purchasing plate stickers. To obtain a Conditional Pass Certificate, you are responsible to pay for the Initial Test, the Diagnostics charges, and the Re-Test. If you've bought a vehicle and need to plate it, you MUST pass emissions - RCL does not apply.
READ THIS PART CAREFULLY:
Directly from the Drive Clean website:
This means even if you pay for the diagnosis the RCL will not apply and you'll still have to let the garage do the work.
"It should be clearly understood that repairs done at a non-accredited garage, or by a do-it-yourselfer WILL NOT QUALIFY for the applicable Repair Cost Limit".
Hot Rods & Engine Swaps;
1988-2000 Model years; A Hot-Rod vehicle is any vehicle that is equipped with an engine that was not available from the manufacturer in that model, ever. The block must be changed. The Owner is responsible to prove their engine is a hot rod if not visible without disassembly. This can be proven with pictures and parts receipts, or an invoice from the engine builders and installing garage. Bring photocopies for the inspecting facility to keep with their files.
2000+ Model Years; There is NO Hot-Rod provision for M.Y. 2000 and up anymore. You must pass the emissions requirements for that vehicle in that year. Dropping a 350 into a 2002 TJ? Make sure you're runnning quality catalytic converters and an EGR system. I believe Hot-Rods are Two-Speed Idle tested, unless you're running the original (or software modified) ECU/Fuel delivery/Emissions Control systems. I recommend ALL HOTROD OWNERS contact Drive Clean before trying to have their vehicles tested.
For official contact with Drive Clean please contact the Drive Clean HelpLine at 877-445-9486.