News & Publications - E-news

The AirCare E-news is a monthly newsletter created to keep business partners and the general public up-to-date on AirCare and vehicle emissions related issues.  Visit the E-News Archive.

March 2014 - 154th Edition

  • Peter Hill Retiring
  • Cheap, Guaranteed AirCare Pass? Not Likely
  • Earth Day 2014
  • Easter Holiday Hours


Peter Hill Retiring

The AirCare program would like to acknowledge the retirement of our long time colleague Peter M. Hill, TransLink’s Manager of Access Transit and formerly the Manager of Program Policy for AirCare. Peter was part of the original team that helped launch the AirCare program in the early 1990’s. Peter worked tirelessly and passionately to ensure the residents and motorists of this region understood that the work being done by AirCare was vital to the liveability of this part of the world. He was an unapologetic proponent of the AirCare program, willing to promote its positive benefits to the public, stakeholders and business partners.

Peter HillThroughout his 16 years at AirCare he was the advocate of those that needed it the most. Peter always made every effort to put the customer first and treat every concern or comment as an opportunity to provide world class customer service. Whether it was the single mother who needed her car for work or the exasperated fleet service manager who had 30 cars to get through AirCare, Peter always went that extra mile to find solutions that benefited the customer and the company. Anyone that knows Peter understands his commitment to his work. He loved what he did and giving less than his best was a disservice to himself, the company, his colleagues and most importantly, the people he served.

Perhaps his greatest contribution to public service was his mentorship of co-op students and newly minted University graduates. Peter could spot talent and worked to nurture and foster it. He valued good listeners and those willing to take on tasks and learn all aspects of the company. His philosophy was baptism by fire and entrusted these rookies with the ‘heavy-lifting’ from Day One. Peter instilled confidence and empowered people to do their job effectively. He expected a lot from you because he knew you could do it.

There is a whole generation of communicators and public servants who have benefitted greatly from the wisdom and expertise of Peter Hill and the people we serve are better for it.

Peter always said that we are doing our job if we make our boss look good. And that sums up Peter in a nutshell – selfless. He always had the best interests of others foremost in his mind.

From all your friends at AirCare, thank you for your 34 years of public service Peter! Enjoy your retirement.

Cheap, Guaranteed AirCare Pass? Not Likely!

Recently AirCare Certified and Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver automotive technician, Bernie Pawlik wrote a blog post about a snake oil product marketed as a “Guaranteed to Pass”. With his permission, here’s the blog post:

“Every once in a while I come across a product that annoys and offends me, mainly because it makes unsubstantiated claims, creates false hope and gives people the idea that there are simple solutions to more complex problems. AirCare problems can rarely be fixed by simply adding a bottle of chemical to your gas tank.

The product is called “Guaranteed to Pass”. It’s a chemical additive that you put in your gas tank. It is supposed to make your vehicle pass an emission test. The truth is that it will rarely work and if it did, would only do so under the exact right circumstances.

Looking at the product’s ingredients it contains mainly petroleum distillates. These are essentially fuel system cleaners. If your vehicle failed because your injectors were gummed up the product might just work.

However, of all the AirCare repairs that we’ve done for the past 20 plus years …we’ve never had a car that has failed from gummed up injectors!

In defense of the product, it is perfectly legitimate in that they do offer a guarantee: “guaranteed to pass or twice your money back”. What I find offensive is that this is just a marketing ploy, preying on the uninformed and those hoping for a simple solution. I cannot even imagine a situation in a modern AirCare test where a chemical additive would make a difference to exhaust emissions.

Vehicles fail AirCare tests and emission tests for many reasons. Some of the more common causes are: weak catalytic converter(s); failed oxygen sensor; engine misfire caused by poor compression or a dead spark plug. A chemical additive to the fuel system will make no difference to your emissions in any of these circumstances.

While the price of the product is cheap and you can get twice your money back it is still not enough to pay for a failed AirCare retest in BC at the current $20.00 fee. When you factor in your time, it costs you even more.

You have to wonder how many people return for a refund after a failed test; my guess is 1 in a 100. According to the manager at a local auto parts store that sells the product, nobody has ever come back for a refund.

The best guarantee to pass is to visit a shop that has a good track record for AirCare repairs and have them fix the car right the first time.

For more informative blog posts on automotive repair and maintenance, check out Bernie Pawlik's blog.

Earth Day 2014

On the heels of Earth Hour, Canadians will soon be celebrating the Earth again but this time for an entire day! Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day is the largest environmental event in the world with participation from nearly 200 countries each year.

The first Earth Day in Canada was held in 1980. Now a national environmental charity, Earth Day Canada (EDC) partners with and supports hundreds of organizations across the country to educate and inspire Canadians to reach local environmental solutions.

Here are EDC’s Top 10 Actions that Canadians can participate in to make every day Earth Day!  For information on the Earth Day Canada challenge, check out their website.

Easter Holiday Hours

AirCare inspection stations will be closed network-wide on Friday, April 18 in observance of Good Friday.  The inspection stations will resume normal business hours on Saturday (April 19) and Monday (April 21).  Please note: the AirCare administration office (PVTT) will be closed on Friday and Monday.

Did You Know

April 1 marks another reduction in our test fee, and that’s no joke! For a complete breakdown of our test fee visit our website.


January 2014

Total Inspections: 44,324     

Pass: 40,560 (91.50%)

Fail: 3,726 (8.41%)

Conditional Pass: 38 (0.09%)

February 2014

Total Inspections: 38,782     

Pass: 35,364 (91.19%)

Fail: 3,388 (8.74%)

Conditional Pass: 30 (0.07%)

2014 Year to Date

Total Inspections: 83,106

Pass: 75,924 (91.36%)

Fail: 7,114 (8.56%)

Conditional Pass: 68 (0.08%)