Apr 11, 2017
It’s no joke, the Government of Ontario has announced that as of April 1st 2017 it will be eliminating the $30 Drive Clean fee on light duty vehicles (there will be no changes for heavy duty vehicles and re-test fees on light duty vehicles however). The emissions test is typically conducted every two years once a vehicle is 7 years old. The Ministry of Transportation will send a notification with registration renewal documents when a test is required.
Further to this, it was also announced that an emissions test is no longer required on the resale of pre-owned vehicles no matter their age, and includes dealership company vehicles as well. While it would appear that this would raise concerns with consumers purchasing used vehicles, those concerns are minimized with data demonstrating that failure rates on newer model vehicles are nearly non-existent. Most of the late-model year and dealership company vehicles are relatively new and under warranty making testing for emissions unnecessary and alleviates a financial burden that has been plaguing dealerships, automotive technicians and consumers since the onset of the Drive Clean program.
The cost associated with the emissions tests will be covered from the government’s general revenues but it is important to note that if a vehicle fails its initial test, the owner is still responsible for the cost of retesting.
While the government makes efforts towards making the world a greener place there are changes that drivers can make as well, one of which is reducing unnecessary idling time. Taking a few simple measures can create big results. Curbing engine idling can reduce wear on the engine, substantially reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions (idling releases just as much pollution as driving), lower health risks linked to pollution (asthma, allergies and heart disease) and save money on fuel costs
Here are a few tips for becoming idle-free:
• If a wait time of more than 10 seconds is necessary, turn off the ignition. Idling a car for 10 seconds or more consumes more gas than restarting the engine
• Warm up your engine by driving, not idling. Modern, electronic engines do not need to warm up and a vehicle’s engine warms twice as quickly when driven
• Easing into a drive is also the best way to warm up the interior of a vehicle as well as this gets the heating system delivering warmer air faster. Furthermore, sitting in an idling vehicle means breathing in dirty exhaust that leaks into the cabin
• Idling actually increases overall engine wear as it causes the vehicle to operate for longer than necessary adding to vehicle maintenance costs
While there are some circumstances where idling is unavoidable (such as sitting in traffic), it is unnecessary. Idling is merely a bad driving habit that can be broken, particularly when you consider all its harmful effects.