Cen­ten­nial Col­lege’s Pro­fes­sor Thomas Brown an­swers some of Den­nis’ ques­tions from read­ers re­gard­ing au­to­mo­tive law.

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS - DEN­NIS O’SUL­LI­VAN


As a long time AST 310S & T Tech­ni­cian, I turn to your col­umn ev­ery Fri­day. Your an­swers have al­ways been spot on. I par­tic­u­larly like the way you in­ter­vene be­tween car own­ers and re­pair shops, which has of­ten re­sulted in the ex­po­sure of the cus­tomer’s lack of honesty. Please keep up the ex­cel­lent and in­ter­est­ing col­umns. If you ever need some as­sis­tance on mat­ters re­lat­ing to Cli­mate Con­trol or Au­to­mo­tive Law, please feel free to con­tact me. Pro­fes­sor Thomas Brown Au­to­mo­tive Ap­pren­tice­ship Pro­gram, Cli­mate Con­trol Depart­ment Cen­ten­nial Col­lege, Toronto


I re­ceived this email from Thomas Brown, who is an es­teemed pro­fes­sor from Cen­ten­nial Col­lege in Toronto. When you have con­tact with some­one who has this type of me­chan­i­cal knowl­edge, you cer­tainly do take ad­van­tage of his of­fer and ex­per­tise, which I have done.

I sent Pro­fes­sor Brown this fol­low­ing ques­tion, as it is one of many ques­tions that I re­ceive from my me­chan­i­cal read­ers, as well as those who are not as me­chan­i­cally in­clined:

Dear Mr. Brown, “Thank you for tak­ing the time to write to me. Have you heard any­thing about the gov­ern­ment’s pledge to scrap the emis­sion test­ing of ve­hi­cles and do you be­lieve that it is a good idea to get rid of the emis­sion test­ing of all ve­hi­cles?


“Hav­ing pe­rused the Drive Clean web­site (https://www.on­tario.ca/page/drive-clean) and hav­ing asked around, there doesn’t seem to be a con­sen­sus on the fu­ture of Drive Clean. It looks there­fore to be in place for the near fu­ture any­way. We do the train­ing for in­spec­tors at Cen­ten­nial Col­lege. As far as my opin­ion, I must con­fess that I was heav­ily in­volved in the 90s with a group that pres­sured the Prov­ince to in­sti­tute the pro­gram. The shop that I was associated with was one of the first to in­stall a dy­namome­ter. I do have a pos­i­tive opin­ion on the need to keep ve­hi­cles in good run­ning or­der and emis­sions at the man­u­fac­turer’s orig­i­nal lev­els. I am also in fa­vor of an an­nual safety in­spec­tion for ve­hi­cles sim­i­lar to the CVOR re­quire­ments for trucks. We must keep in mind that an un­safe car is a dan­ger to oth­ers, not just the driver. The new Safety Stan­dards In­spec­tion Guide­lines, in­tro­duced this sum­mer, bring a lot of clar­ity to the tech­ni­cians as to what is safe and un­safe. You may take com­fort that from year one be­cause we in­still in the Ap­pren­tices that their duty is to pre­vent un­safe ve­hi­cles from be­ing driven and show them how to iden­tify th­ese con­di­tions.” Prof. Thomas Brown Toronto


There is some­thing else that my me­chan­i­cal read­ers are ask­ing me about, all the time. Un­der the law, what are the tech­ni­cians sup­pose to do, if any­thing, if a car that they have just in­spected is un­safe for the road and the owner does not want to have it fixed at that time and is will­ing to drive it away?


“The HTA pro­vides that no per­son shall per­mit the op­er­a­tion of an un­safe ve­hi­cle. There­fore, a tech­ni­cian must first in­form the owner of such con­di­tion and if the cus­tomer leaves any­way, then to re­port the plate num­ber to the po­lice or MOT. Fail­ure to do so gen­er­ates a li­a­bil­ity to the shop & the tech­ni­cian.”

Prof. T. Brown PS Read­ers, Please be ad­vised that all emails can­not be an­swered. Send your ques­tions (be sure to in­clude your ad­dress) by email to: den­nis.osul­li­van@co­geco.ca or mail: Box 10019, Wi­nona, ON L8E 5R1

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