Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - August 2013

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labour day newsletter


I decided this month I would talk about emissions testing and our favourite dashboard light, the check engine light.  I will discuss more further down, but wanted to share my experience with you.  My vehicle required a drive clean test this year in order to renew my plate sticker.  Like a lot of us, I waited until 2 weeks before, partly because I just didn’t have time and the other was a bit of procrastination.  I had been away and my vehicle had been parked for a while, so when I started it my check engine came on.   I had it turned off and a few days later, when I went for my emissions test I failed!  I passed the second time I went in, but I was a little stressed since it was the day of my birthday and I didn’t have any more time left.   Many of the Active Green and Ross stores offer emissions testing, so be sure to see if the one near you does or check out the website. I will discuss more about emissions testing further down.

I would like to wish everyone a great long weekend and if you plan to travel anywhere, be safe!




If your dreaded check engine light is on when you take your vehicle in for an emissions test it will automatically fail! 

This month's topic: Emissions testing and the Check Engine light

Many of us are familiar with having to have an emissions test done on our vehicle, but what many don’t know, is that it has become much stricter!  If your vehicle’s check engine light is on when you take it in, it’s an automatic failure.  Once the light is turned off by a technicians scan tool, you can’t re-test your vehicle right away because it won’t be in “ready” mode.  It can sometimes, take days for your vehicle to be “ready”.  Technicians will refer to getting your vehicle “ready” as going through a “drive cycle”.  This is periods of highway and city driving over a number of days.  The length of time varies vehicle to vehicle.

The new drive clean test now utilizes your On Board computer rather than using a vehicle dyno where they would run the engine up.  The On Board computer has been in vehicle since 1998.  In order for your vehicle to pass an emissions test you have to have most of your vehicle’s emissions systems in “ready” mode.  Depending on the year of your vehicle, you may be allowed one or two systems to not be ready and still pass your test. If your vehicle still doesn’t pass after two tests, the repair facility can give a conditional pass if it meets certain criteria.


  • Drive Clean test is the same at every shop.  $35.00
  • The drive clean test is good for one year
  • New vehicles don’t have to have a drive clean test until 7 years old
  • In 2010, 35,000 tonnes of smog causing pollutants kept out of air!


This month’s photo: The dreaded Check Engine light
How to recognize a shop that is an Emissions testing facility


check engine


drive clean



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