Old badly maintained vehicles that belch smoke like this one no longer face pressure to clean up their act now that the AirCare program has ended.

Smoky beaters keep belching in post-AirCare era

Metro Vancouver officials watch for uptick in old vehicles returning to road as car ads celebrate 'no more AirCare'

The death of AirCare may be breathing more life into old beaters.

Aging cars and trucks that might have struggled to pass the now-terminated emissions monitoring program are increasingly popping up in online advertisements, some with jubilant reminders that the days of mandatory tests are over.

A 1997 pickup going for $2,200 in Langley is just one of the ads that boasts “no more AirCare.”

Another seller of a $999 “beater” truck with “loud and stinky” exhaust in Surrey’s Clayton area is just as blunt.

“AirCare? Who cares? Not an issue to insure this truck,” the Craigslist ad says. “If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, then I will have to defer you to the bicycle section. Maybe you can install a nice basket on the handlebars to haul your stuff.”

The province pulled the plug on the AirCare program effective Dec. 31 on the basis it became obsolete as vehicle pollution controls improved.

But Metro Vancouver protested the cancellation, fearing air pollution might worsen without the required repairs and retesting for vehicles that failed AirCare.

Regional district officials say they’ve also noticed the recent ads and intend to track vehicle registrations through ICBC to see if more older models now turn up on the roads.

“We’ll see if there’s a bump in older vehicles that return to the fleet in 2015 compared to 2014,” senior engineer Derek Jennejohn said.

In previous years, he said, there’s been a consistent number of vehicles that got reinspected after failing AirCare – usually meaning they made a trip to the garage to clean up their emissions.

But Jennejohn said thousands of vehicles that would normally be expected to get a re-test never showed up in the second half of 2014.

“It’s possible those vehicles were just temporarily insured or put aside and waited until 2015 to reinsure and return to the road in their failing condition,” he said. “That’s a concern to us. Our board has directed us to try and prevent backsliding in the gains that have been achieved through AirCare.”

He said another potential indicator to watch is if fewer old vehicles than usual are now retired through the Scrap-It program for rebates.

Many motorists hated AirCare, considering it an inconvenient, costly and pointless imposition if their car routinely passed.

The failure rate had fallen from 14 per cent in 2007 to less than eight per cent, but more than 34,000 vehicles still failed last year.

Just Posted

Harrison continues push for local doctor

Mayor has requested Fraser Health provide primary care services

New surcharge for Harrison boaters

Small boat launch surcharge to fund KHSAR

POLL: How should Harrison deal with goose poop?

Monday’s council meeting raised questions about the best way to handle waste around the beach

Sts’ailes First Nation to vote on land code

Land Code would remove nation from 34 sections of Indian Act

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including to Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Friends filling a fridge with love in Chilliwack

Meal Train helping family enjoy more moments together following cancer diagnosis

NEB issues ruling on dispute resolution between Trans Mountain and local governments

Project said to be in the public interest but company is required to comply with municipal laws

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

5 to start your day

Smoking ban on BC Ferries starts Monday, IHIT uses new strategy in murder investigation and more

Most Read