Understanding Ontario’s New Drive Clean Test

drive_cleanOn January 1, 2013, Ontario’s Drive Clean program initiated a new test that reads your car’s computer history to ensure your vehicle meets Ontario’s emission standards and detects problems that often lead to poor performance or poor fuel economy.  Performed on cars, trucks, SUV’s and mini-vans from the model year 1998 or newer, the Government states this new test is 20% more effective in reducing pollutants then the previous one.

About Drive Clean:

Drive Clean is Ontario’s mandatory vehicle emissions inspection program.

Before taking the new Drive Clean test, there is some important information you need to know in order to ensure your vehicle is ready.  If your battery has recently been disconnected or your vehicle has been repaired, you could fail the test, as your vehicles built-in computer may not be readable. You can typically reset your vehicle’s computer with a day or two of normal highway driving to ensure it is ready for the Drive Clean test.  To learn more about the Drive Clean test visit www.driveclean.com

The Government also suggest taking your vehicle through a ‘generic drive-cycle’:

Step 1: Make sure the vehicle has been parked for eight hours without a start.

Step 2: Start the engine and let it idle in Drive for two-and-a-half minutes with the Air Conditioning (A/C) and rear defroster on.

Step 3: Turn the A/C and rear defroster off. Drive the vehicle for 10 minutes at highway speeds.

Step 4: Drive the vehicle for 20 minutes in stop- and-go traffic.

Step 5: Your drive cycle is complete. You can now go in for your test.

The cost for the test is a standard $35 – you must pass the emissions test in order to renew your license sticker, so it is important to not leave it to the last minute.  If you fail, you will receive a reduced price if you return to our dealership within 120 days of having your first one completed with us.  Our certified technicians will go over your test with you and explain the results, as well as discuss any necessary repairs you may need in order to pass on the re-test.

Conditional Pass:

In some instances, we may give what is called a conditional pass.  This is given to individuals whose vehicle requires extensive emissions-related repairs.  In order to receive this, you must have had your emissions related repairs done at an accredited Drive Clean facility and you must have spent up to the Repair Cost Limit of $450.  This pass can only be used to renew your license plates and cannot be used to transfer ownership.  If you have any questions concerning a conditional pass, please speak with our service advisors.

If you would like to schedule a Drive Clean appointment with us or if you have any questions, please visit us at www.queenstonchev.com or www.imagehonda.com

By: Amy Cochren

Credit: Ontario Drive Clean www.driveclean.com


We’re adding some more apps to our list of great smartphone apps for drivers! To see our previous blog click here.


This is a great app for owners of GM vehicles. From MyChevrolet to MyGMC, MyBuick and more – you can get personalized apps for your brand of vehicle. The MyChevrolet app, for example, features the Find My Car feature that lets you mark parking spots on a map so finding your car in a parking lot won’t be a problem. The lights and indicators visual reference guide will tell you what those warning lights on your dashboard mean. There’s also OnStar RemoteLink to give you information on your car’s battery levels and operations. Plus easy access to scheduling service, locating dealers, roadside assistance and more! This app provides you with everything you need to keep your vehicle in check. This app is available on Apple and Android smartphones.

my chevrolet

 HondaLink – For additional info please click here

If you’re a Honda owner, the free HondaLink app is the best one for you. With the Aha system, you can turn your personalized internet content into customized on demand stations that sync to your in-car HondaLink. The internet content you can use with HondaLink includes various news stations, music stations, audio books and podcasts, facebook and twitter posts, restaurant listings and many more.  Change your customized stations whenever you want, and make your drive as convenient and as entertaining as possible with your in car stations. This app is available for Apple and Android smartphones. HondaLink

 Safe Driver

This app is for parents with teens who are new drivers. Or parents who just want to keep an eye on the way their kids are driving. Safe Driver monitors the location and driving of your child. It alerts parents via text or email when their kids exceed a specific speed. This is a great app for making a new driver’s experience safer. This app is available for Apple and Android smartphones. safe driver


Waze is a community based traffic and navigation app. You’ll be working with other drivers to make everyone’s commute easier and shorter. By simply driving with your Waze app open you’re contributing to the traffic and road information for your local community. Waze allows you to read and contribute to reporting accidents, hazards, police and anything you see on the road. Waze also works as a navigation system with voice guided navigation. You can share your drive with your friends too, so people know where you’re going and you can meet up with people going to the same destination. This app is available on Apple and Android smartphones.wazeiWrecked

If ever you’ve found yourself in an accident, the free iWrecked app will help you collect yourself when you don’t know what to do next. The app allows you to give a full accident report after you’ve been in a wreck. It generates a detailed, professional PDF accident report complete with images that you take yourself. You can send this report directly from your phone to your insurance company. You can also locate nearby taxi or towing companies to assist you straight from your app and make one button calls to your insurance companies and other emergency contacts. This app is available on Apple and Android smartphones.iWrecked


For more great posts and updates subscribe to Hamilton Auto blog or visit us at Image Honda and Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC today!

By: Nerissa Mohamed







Chevrolet Youth Concepts Canadian Debut

Making their introduction at last year’s 2012 North American International Auto Show, were the Chevrolet Youth Concepts – Tru 140S and Code 130R. Designed by Nicholas David and Joe Baker at GM North Hollywood Design, these concepts were based on input from people in the United States under the age of 30, regarding what features and styling they would like to see in their vehicle.

Over the last year, GM gathered feedback from close to 16,000 interested individuals and a similar consensus will be conducted throughout the 2013 Canadian Auto Shows, as well as, a pole that is to be conducted on the Chevrolet Canada Facebook Page.

Tru 140S is a front wheel-drive, 4-seated Coupe that was designed to be attractive, yet affordable.  Because it is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt, it leaves the car open to the possibility of designing one with electric range technology.


The Code 130R takes a different approach to its styling, offering a boxier appearance.  This 4-seated coupe is rear wheel-drive and resembles the Camaro.


Both the Tru 140S and Code 130R will be making their Canadian debut at the Montreal International Auto Show, which started on Friday and will run through to the 27th of January.  GM Canada has yet to announce whether the Youth Concepts will be making an appearance at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto running February 15-24th.  If you would like more information on these vehicles and the upcoming Auto Show in Toronto – please follow us at Hamilton Auto Blog and AutoHwy.com for the latest updates.

By: Amy Cochren

Credit: GM Canada

The Chevrolet Volt At Queenston!

If you are considering an electric vehicle, the Volt is the car for you! Come in to one of our 2 Dealerships and test drive the Volt today! www.queenstonchev.com

P.S. Did you know that electric vehicle owners in Ontario are eligible for a Government incentive ranging from $5000 to $8500?  If you were would like more information, Click here!  If you already own an electric vehicle, stop by our free charging stations at  Queenston on the Mountain and Queenston on Centennial.


Last night was a rough night for Sophia – she hates driving in the snow! Every time we came to a stop she would skid to a halt, but that’s because she hasn’t gotten her snow boots, I mean snow tires put on yet.  We’re planning to get that done ASAP.   In case you are wondering who Sophia is, that would be my car.  YES, I named my car…well actually, my girlfriend named my car when I bought her in September.  For as long as I have known my friend, we have been calling her car “Heidi the Hyundai”.  So naturally, when my other friend purchased her Rogue only a couple weeks before me, she was called “Rosie the Rogue”, followed by my beloved “Sophia the Sonic”.


Now, you’re probably doing one of two things – either you’re laughing at the fact I have named my car or you’re relating to me because you, too, have named your vehicle.  Here at the dealership, everyone knows who Sophia is.  I frequently get asked, “How is Sophia?”  In fact, my boss even texted me a couple weeks ago after a major storm, to ask if “Sophia made it safely to work”, sparking some laughs amongst my co-workers who drive SUVs!

Your car is a big investment – you spend hours in it every week, typically have it for many years and you invest a lot of money maintaining it.  Your car is even there for some of the biggest moments in your life!  Maybe it got you to the hospital for the birth of your child or took you on the best road trip of your life.  Whatever the reason may be, naming your car is not uncommon.  In fact, I know just as many people who name their car as those that don’t.  So for all of you people who are ashamed to admit that you have named your car, I say embrace it!  At the end of the day, it always sparks some laughs and you will be surprised how many people will call your car by its name!

If you would like to show your car some love, visit our service departments at www.queenstonchev.com or www.imagehonda.com

By: Amy Cochren

Honda’s “Urban” Small SUV Concept

Exciting News for Honda – Yesterday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Honda unveiled its new “Urban SUV Concept”.  This small SUV is expected to hit markets in Japan by the end of this year with North America following shortly after in 2014.

This new vehicle was designed with active lifestyle customers in mind and will not only be fun to drive, but fuel efficient.  Its sophisticated design even includes hidden rear door handles to give it a more coupe like feel.honda-urban-suv-concept

Coming to Canada in 2014, this all-new small SUV will be priced below Honda’s best- selling CR-V.  This new vehicle will be a part of Honda’s Global Compact Series and will feature the original centre-tank layout of the Fit.  It will also include Honda’s Magic Seat set up as well as next-generation telematics.  

For updates on this and other great posts, follow us at Hamilton Auto Blog or visit us at imagehonda.com!

By: Amy Cochren

Credit: Honda

Next Generation MyLink wins ‘Best Car Tech Award’ at CES 2013

Next Generation MyLink wins ‘Best Car Tech Award’ at CES 2013

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show or CES 2013, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala equipped with the next generation MyLink infotainment system was on display.

Similar to a smartphone, the first thing you notice about the MyLink system is the similar looking icons. Not only do the icons look similar to that of an iPhone but they can be rearranged in the same way as well. You simply hold down the icon and move it wherever you’d like. For quick access to the driver’s favourite functions, there is a top bar similar to a favourite bar which allows you to choose which icons you would like to use no matter where you are in the system. The MyLink system offers everything from navigation to phone to weather to apps like TuneIn and Pandora.

Making your drive safer, you can operate the system from your steering wheel itself. And a smaller display appears next to the speedometer, so you don’t necessarily need to look away from the road to see your MyLink.mylinkGM Chief Infotainment Officer Phil Abram had this to say about the upcoming MyLink system,

“There will be a category of apps that will be unique to our cars and very different from what people use today on their smartphones or tablets. It’s not just taking phone apps and making them functional in a car, which most car companies do in some form now. Instead, GM may approve applications that stem from vehicle ownership. For example, customers can choose to download applications that assist them in driving more safely or in a more fuel efficient manner, possibly decreasing the costs of vehicle ownership.”

We can expect to see this new MyLink system in the 2014 Chevrolet Impala later this year. Be sure to keep checking Hamilton Auto Blog and www.queenstonchev.com for more news on the release date.

By Nerissa Mohamed

Source: GM