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Locked: Any tricks to tuning the vehicle so it can pass AIRCARE?

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  • Nov 30th, 2005 11:32 pm
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Newbie
Apr 1, 2001
21 posts

Re: Any tricks to tuning the vehicle so it can pass AIRCARE?

My friend got a fairly new 99 Nissan Sentra, it's completely stock, and it can't pass air care... She don't know what to do now, it could cost hundreds or thousand if she picked a crappy repair shop and they just replace everything that isn't broken! I've heard too many horror stories about bad mechanics and technicans who just screw you for money.

I don't know any technican, does anyone know what he can do? Does those "Smog eliminator" sold in Canadian tire works? She's in the Vancouver area, it'd be great if anyone can recommend some honest and fair repair shops.

Also, there were some bad city traffic jam when she's on the way to the inspection centre, and the car is using regular, not sure if that'll cause the fail. Will driving around the highway, and using Premium and Octane booster help right before the Aircare test?
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Deal Addict
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Apr 1, 2001
4230 posts
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Driving on the highway should help clear it out a bit. I always do that first before heading to Aircare with my 90 Mazda. Still excellent results.

I personally know a mechanic, he works at "Advantage Collision" in Richmond just across the Knight St. Bridge. He fixes anything I have problems with for me, but I dont' know how the shop itself is (he doesn't own the shop).
Sr. Member
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Nov 4, 2002
748 posts
16 upvotes
Burnaby
Which of the tests did she fail on? Might give us a better idea for suggestions.

Always a good idea to drive for at least half an hour, keeping the revs fairly high, before going in for the inspection. Gotta make sure the cat is nice and hot.

Premium gas and an oil change are also good ideas.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 1, 2001
21 posts
Failed pretty badly on Carbon Monoxide. Passing was like 6.xx, she got 10.xx

All oil change was done properly, usually every 4-5k.

The car was taken directly to the air inspection from home, after some bad city traffic... that's probably why there are lots of bad air building up...
Member
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Nov 24, 2002
289 posts
21 upvotes
do they still have a limit to the amount you have to pay on repairs.. like 300 bux then you'll pass for the year?
Deal Addict
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Mar 27, 2003
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Failed pretty badly on Carbon Monoxide. Passing was like 6.xx, she got 10.xx

All oil change was done properly, usually every 4-5k.  

The car was taken directly to the air inspection from home, after some bad city traffic... that's probably why there are lots of bad air building up...
I don't think the bad air in traffic/city would be a factor, because the testing hose is connected directly to the muffler. Anyways, do a search on the forum. Things that I think do help is get an old change week before, fill up on Premium Sunnoco and rev the car high. It's a good idea to do this preparation for the test. Don't just drive in....
Deal Addict
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Dec 2, 2002
1233 posts
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One of the car clubs in Canada (I think APA?) on the Drive Clean program in Ontario.

To sum it up: choose a testing facility close to the highway. 30-60 minutes before the test drive on the highway; not neccasirly hard driving just stay at the speed limit. Then pull into the testing facility no not shut off the engine. If you must wait more than 10 minutes before you can enter the facility; cancel the appointment and rebook.

The theory behind above is that a few of emission control systems only begin the actively work at higher temps (mainly the cat's).

Changing your oil and using Octane 94 gas only helps marginally. The special formula Canadian tire sells does work depending on who you ask; but since it has a money back guarantee if you fail the test using the product there's little to lose.

As for repairs: it's strange that a 4-5~ year old ULEV vehicle would fail the test? Something simple as a loose gas cap would make you fail. But since it's the CO2 failure i'm not sure. If the vehicle is close to 100k km you should consider a tune up. But things such as the cats themselves and possibly the O2 sensor's should be covered by Nissan's emissions warranty.

Good luck.
Member
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Sep 14, 2002
290 posts
17 upvotes
Toronto
I second the Sunoco gas thing.
Here's a link that explains the low sulphur content.
Link: http://www.sunoco.ca/content.asp?id=125

In Toronto area Canadian Tires, they have an additive called something like "Guaranteed to Pass" and it's an additive you just add it your fuel, they have some sort of money back guarantee with it as well...worth taking a look.
 
Newbie
Dec 10, 2001
14 posts
T.O.
the best tip is to make sure your car has been warmed up properly.. (and does not idle for a long time before the test) Some more reputable shops will run your car on the dyno for 5 minutes before doing the actual test.

if it's been awhile, then also change your spark plugs, air filter,etc and get a general tune up
Member
User avatar
May 5, 2003
288 posts
Sounds like this Drive Clean program is a waste of time, since everyone's wasting tons of gas before going in for testing anyway, and everyone else is using "tricks" to pass, so the cars probably aren't fit. It's probably just making things worse. What a disappointment this program is turning out to be.
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Jr. Member
Jan 21, 2003
113 posts
If she failed by that much on a 4-5 year old car, something is wrong. She really should get it fixed.

Instead of trying to alter the results, find a good mechanic that will not cheat you instead. Like someone else mentioned, if it's something related to emissions, the warranty for all manufacturers is around 7 years. So depending on the part, it might not cost her anything. But the least she should do is find out what's wrong. Go to 2-3 shops and ask for a quote.
Deal Addict
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Mar 27, 2003
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Sounds like this Drive Clean program is a waste of time, since everyone's wasting tons of gas before going in for testing anyway, and everyone else is using "tricks" to pass, so the cars probably aren't fit. It's probably just making things worse. What a disappointment this program is turning out to be.
I wish I could pull over cars and make them do a drive-clean.
I've seen cars that were in bad condition.. *BLACK SMOKE* spewing out. I hope drive clean gets rid of these cars.
Newbie
Feb 4, 2003
91 posts
2 upvotes
London
Sounds like this Drive Clean program is a waste of time, since everyone's wasting tons of gas before going in for testing anyway, and everyone else is using "tricks" to pass, so the cars probably aren't fit. It's probably just making things worse. What a disappointment this program is turning out to be.
I agree. Especially when you consider that cars older than 20 years (I think) are totally exempt from testing. It's these older cars that are the ones blowing blue smoke out of their exhaust going down the highway!! Not to mention that catalytic converters weren't even in existence yet...

I've always said that this e-testing is more like a cash grab than a credible environmental program.
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 19, 2001
5086 posts
27 upvotes
Vancouver
Your friend should find a reliable repair shop and fix whatever the problem is.

Cars don't fail aircare unless they're broken. Especially nearly new cars like this one.
Deal Fanatic
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Jul 18, 2003
6267 posts
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Etobicoke
Sounds like this Drive Clean program is a waste of time, since everyone's wasting tons of gas before going in for testing anyway, and everyone else is using "tricks" to pass, so the cars probably aren't fit. It's probably just making things worse. What a disappointment this program is turning out to be.
Such a politically charged statement. Election time must be coming soon.

If you judge the effectiveness of a law by the amount of people not obeying it, then we shouldn't have laws against drinking & driving or murders. Because people are still being murdered and people still drink and drive. Are the criminal code & HTA waste of time?

People try to cheat DriveClean because the program is effective and it catches polluters. People then blame everyone else except their own car and their car manufacturer.

DriveClean can be improved by more effective policing. Not complaining about it.
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