Published on December 31st, 2012 | by Jordan

Is Your Vehicle Ready for the New Drive Clean Test?

Ontario’s Drive Clean program is using faster, more accurate technology that will help your car last longer and better protect the air we breathe.

The revised test uses equipment that reads your car’s computer history to see if your vehicle meets emissions standards. The test can detect problems that often lead to poor performance, high emissions or poor fuel economy.

The new Drive Clean Ontario test takes effect as of January 1, 2013 and will be used on light-duty vehicles — cars, trucks and mini-vans — from the 1998 model year or newer. Vehicles with a model year before 1998 will still get a tailpipe test. Visit for more information.

There are some important details that motorists must be aware of.  If you have recently had your vehicle repaired, or if the battery has recently been disconnected for any reason, the information in your vehicle’s built-in computer likely won’t be readable, and your vehicle will fail the test. If that happens, you’ll have to drive your car around to replace the computer data, then re-take the test. A day or two of normal highway and city driving will usually reset your vehicle’s computer and ensure it’s ready for the Drive Clean test, but you can

Is your vehicle driving clean?

also take your vehicle through a ‘generic drive cycle’:

Step 1: Make sure the vehicle has been parked for eight hours without a start.
Step 2: Start the engine and let it idle in drive for two-and-a-half minutes with the air conditioning (A/C) and rear defroster on.
Step 3: Turn the A/C and rear defroster off. Drive the vehicle for 10 minutes at highway speeds.
Step 4: Drive the vehicle for 20 minutes in stop- and-go traffic.
Step 5: Your drive cycle is complete. You can now go in for your test.

Your car must pass the test before you can get your license sticker renewed, so it’s best to go in early.

The cost of the test stays the same — $35. If you need a re-test, you’ll have to pay again but will receive a reduced rate if you return within 120 days to the facility that did your first test.

Drive Clean plays an important role in keeping our air clean.  Poor air quality harms public health, particularly children, the elderly and people who have respiratory challenges. What’s good for your car is good for everyone’s lungs.

Learn more about the new Drive Clean test at


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