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

Young Hope man with autism wants understanding, end to taunts

Brayden Duplessis, Grace 10 student at Hope Secondary, shares his story

New welding equipment for Hope Secondary

More time on welders for Hope high school students, thanks to new gear

Hope teens headed to BC Winter Games

Julius Brysch, 14, and Danielle Bacon, 13, are in Kamloops this weekend

UPDATE: 10-20 cm of snow expected Friday in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning in effect from North Shore mountains out to Hope

Parents cross over painting job on 6 Ave. crosswalks

Crosswalks, not painted since September, are a safety concern for two parents

VIDEO: Mixed bonspiel weekend at Hope Curling Club

The all-weekend tournament is the group’s final event of the season

Concert-goers unfazed by Hedley sexual misconduct allegations

Frontman Jacob Hoggard thanked fans from the ‘bottom of our hearts’ at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre

Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

Snowfall warning, travel advisory in effect for Coquihalla

Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt to receive 10 to 20 cm of snow Sunday

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canadians all smiles after record medal haul

Team Canada is taking home a record 29 medals from Pyeongchang – 11 gold, eight silver, 10 bronze

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Jury acquitted Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine after 11-hour deliberation

Most Read