Environmental Technology Consultants invite motorists to volunteer their vehicles for an emission system repair benefit study for the Hong Kong government.
Commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department, the project aims to measure improvements in vehicle emissions after repairs to emission control systems, says the company's Philip Poon.
'The data generated will help provide guidelines on how to reduce vehicle emissions by repairing vehicles that are already in use,' he says. The study will be the biggest yet, involving 27 cars and 16 LPG taxis.
The volunteer vehicles' emissions will be measured using a constant volume sampling exhaust dilution system during a short test drive - a four-minute cycle on a chassis dynamometer (a treadmill for cars).
'Vehicles will also be diagnosed on fuel mixing and supply, engine management and emission control systems,' Poon says. 'Three steps of repair will be performed on the vehicles: general servicing, [then repairs to] oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. An emissions test will be performed on the vehicle after each step to measure the difference before and after the job.' The study on each car will take six to eight hours over one or two days, during office hours, depending on volunteers' preferences, he says.
'All costs for emissions testing, diagnosis, vehicle servicing, replacement parts and labour will be covered,' says Poon. 'New parts installed on the vehicles won't be removed after the study is finished.'
But the testers won't take any old banger. Vehicles will be selected on the basis of date of manufacture and mileage (1987-91 with more than 150,000km on the clock; 1992-95 with 100,000-150,000km; 1996-2000 with 50,000-100,000km; 2001-06 with 20,000-50,000km). They must be common models in Hong Kong with spare parts readily available, the testers say. The vehicles must be in good condition and free of leaks and physical damage. The study cars will also need wheel and tyre alignment to be suitable for tests on a dynamometer. Inquiries: Environmental Technology Consultants, Ms Lam (tel: 2264 2299; fax: 2264 2227; e-mail: email@example.com 
Mainland marques might receive less criticism at overseas motor shows if Hong Kong Inc gave them a helping hand. When the Post's Kandy Wong (Business, March 12) revealed that overseas automotive analysts 'were unimpressed by the simple curve shape and poor ability to sustain impact' of Chinese cars, we groaned again. In our review of the recent Paris Motor show we suggested Hong Kong could become a testing ground for mainland cars such as the Brilliance BC3 (left).
So, again, we urge the government to let mainland carmakers focus group or test a quota of left-hand-drive cars in Hong Kong, the car capital of Asia.
Are Chinese cars getting pooh-poohed in Paris and Geneva because their makers haven't ironed out their failings in east-meets-west Hong Kong? Tell us your views on firstname.lastname@example.org 
Finally, Happy St Patrick's Day to all our Irish readers. Slainte!