Currently all cars and light trucks must have an AirCare test before you can insure the vehicle for its next year of driving in BC. There are new regulations that will exclude new vehicles and include other vehicles, these new rules will be announced very soon I am informed.
So what is AirCare all about and why do we need another hoop to jump through just so we can drive our car anyway? To put it quite simply, most vehicle owners, for some reason lost to common sense, do not maintain their cars or a regular basis. This results in tens of thousands of cars driving back and forth burning more fuel than they need too, which in turn creates more emissions, which is bad.
If you maintain your vehicle on a regular basis you will have considerably less trouble with it, never fail your emissions testing, save loads of money on improved fuel consumption, retain a better resale value, and seldom if ever find yourself on the side of the road broken down. Your vehicle will actually last longer and because you don’t hate it so much you in turn will probably keep it longer and that will save you large amounts of pesos (I mean dollars).
So why do they have repair limits and so many forms to fill out and what are all those boxes for on the back of the Repair Data Form anyway? Believe it or not, the people that run the AirCare Program are in very tight control of the certified AirCare technicians & shops. To become either one is not an easy task. The repair limits are set in place to ensure that the motorist that fails the emissions test does have to spend more than the set amount to get a car repaired. This does not mean that you should never spend more than the limit, as sometimes a few more dollars spent this year will help you pass next year. Remember that the money you’re spending is for catch up, had you maintained your car to begin with, you would have already passed the AirCare test. The forms that you have tell the certified AirCare technician what they need to know to diagnose your failure, the second page of the form with all the boxes surveys what and how the technician made the repair as well as how much you spent, broken down into parts and labour. AirCare monitors the repair shop and technician for performance and what they charged you, each repair results in a grade for the shop and the tech. If either the shop or the technician do not maintain a good grade they can lose their certification.
So in closing, is the environment benefiting from emissions testing? Contrary to popular myth, it is so. You’re saving money due to better fuel economy and longer vehicle life, the environment is getting less abuse, and the government isn’t taxing you as much as you’re buying less fuel. On top of all this, your car runs better. Everybody wins!
Remember never to leave your vehicle running while you’re not in it. Drive safely. . .