Provided the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon Light is not illuminated, most vehicles will pass their Etest. However, this new type of OBD (On Board Diagnostics) Emissions Test is relying on your vehicle to tell our Drive Clean Test Unit that all of the systems on your car are healthy and working as they should. Many systems in your vehicle are continually self-tested as you drive and these self-tests are referred to as “Monitors”. If all of these Monitors have passed their self-test, they will report a status of “READY”. If your car’s computers determine that there is something out of line, it could suspend testing of certain components and if it is bad enough may even turn on your Check Engine Light. If the test has been suspended due to an impending fault or there is some other criteria that has not been met in order to run the self-test (engine temperature, outdoor temperature, fuel level, fault in a related monitor or system), the Monitor may report in as NOT READY.

Normally, after leaving the factory and being driven under a variety of conditions, your vehicle will pass all of these Monitors and remain READY for many months or years until something on board becomes faulty, the battery power has been lost or the monitors have been forced to reset by a technician.

Having a battery go dead or even crank over very slowly on a bitterly cold winter morning is all that it takes to reset all of the “MONITORS” on your vehicle. We call them Monitors because they are responsible to “monitor” your vehicle components and report in with a Pass, Fail or NOT READY.

If your vehicle is 1998-2000, you are permitted to have 2 of these “Readiness Montiors” indicating that they are NOT READY. If your vehicle is 2001 or newer, you are only permitted one monitor to be NOT READY. If you have excessive Monitors NOT READY and/or your Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon is ON or commanded (requested by your computer to turn on) ON, you will FAIL the Drive Clean Emissions Test.

If you failed your Etest due to a Check Engine Light, repairs and/or an Emission Diagnostic will need to be performed. Once repaired, the vehicle will need to be driven under the conditions described below.

If you failed your Etest due to too many Monitors being NOT READY, the vehicle will need to be driven as described below. This may have occured because your vehicle’s battery has recently gone dead or been replaced. Monitors can also be reset by a “scanner” or diagnostic computer. It is common to clear the Check Engine Light following a vehicle repair, ultimately clearing your Monitors as well. The vehicle will need to be driven as described below.

Recommend Drive Cycle

To ensure that your monitors have the best chance of becoming READY, especially after being reset, follow the following steps and information:

1. You must start this process with a fuel level of between ¼ and ¾ full. If there is too much or too little fuel, some of the onboard monitors may not run and will remain NOT READY. If your tank is below ¼, add enough fuel so that it becomes no more than ¾ full. If your tank is full, drive it normally until it is less than ¾ full (but more than ¼) and then continue with the steps below.

2. The vehicle must sit for a minimum 8 hour period, without a start.

3. Start the engine and before driving it, let it sit and idle to warm it up to normal operating temperature (this is normally when the car would be fully warm inside from the heater and/or the engine temperature gauge is reading “normal” or where it usually does after a long drive).

4. Drive the vehicle for a minimum of 10 minutes at highway speeds (between 90 km/hr and 110 km/hr).

5. Drive the vehicle for at least 20 minutes in stop and go traffic with at least four idle periods (engine running while at a stop).

6. Do not turn the engine off during the above driving cycle until the very end (no stopping for a coffee in between any step!).

7. It is not necessary to have your vehicle tested immediately after this drive cycle. Your vehicle will remain READY as long as the battery is not disconnected (or goes dead) or the Diagnostic Codes are cleared by a “scanner” of some kind. If you can’t make it in for a number of days, this is fine provided the Check Engine Light does not return.

8. Provided your Check Engine light did not come on, your vehicle should be ready for a Drive Clean Retest. Call or email us for an emissions test appointment at or 613-547-8473.

9. If the Check Engine Light illuminates, the vehicle may require repairs prior to your Drive Clean Retest. Call or email us for a diagnostic appointment at or 613-547-8473.

10. Severe outdoor temperatures (e.g., below freezing) may prevent your vehicle from running the monitor(s) that are required to pass your emissions test. If your vehicle continues to be NOT READY due to this temperature, you may be eligible for a “Conditional Pass”. We will let you know if this is the case. Note: A “Conditional Pass” is not eligible for vehicle ownership transfer or initial registration in Ontario.

If you have ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, do not hesitate to contact us! We are the Drive Clean Experts