Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Readiness Monitors and Drive Cycles

What are readiness monitors and drive cycles?

If you want to get your vehicle inspected, your car’s readiness monitors must be in the “ready” state in order to pass the test. And that means you must complete a drive cycle.

In the old days of OBDI, you could reset the computer and run your vehicle over to the emissions testing station. Not anymore. Everytime you clear the codes from the computer, you’re resetting the computer and it must start all its testing from scratch. Each drive cycle routine has its own parameters the test must meet in order to set the “readiness monitor” to the “ready” state. If the readiness monitor isn’t set, the testing station will see that immediately and send you packing.

Here’s an example of a drive cycle routine for a Chevrolet Trailblazer

• At least 17 hours have elapsed since the last drive cycle met and passed the test criteria. That means you can’t clear codes and immediately try to perform a drive cycle and zoom off to the testing station. Remember, minimum of 17 hours.
• Check engine light is off.
• No Emission related trouble codes are present.
• BARO signal more than 74 kPa.
• Battery voltage between 10-18v.
• Difference between the ECT and IAT signals less than 14ºF at startup. In other words, the two sensors must be good.
• Engine coolant temp between 39-86ºF at startup. Can’t start this test on a sub-zero day.
• Intake air temp signal between 39-86ºF at startup.
• Fuel level between 25-75%.

If you meet all those criteria, then

1. Start the engine and allow it to run at idle speed for 15 seconds.
2. Accelerate at part-throttle to 45 mph and maintain that speed until the engine reaches normal operating temperature (this can take up to 10 minutes).
3. Drive for another 3 minutes at 45 mph on a flat road without climbing any hills to minimize the fuel slosh. Bring the vehicle to a stop in a safe place, but do not turn off the
ignition key.
4. On the scan tool or code reader with the readiness monitor feature, check the status of the readiness code for the EVAP System Monitor. The Readiness code should change to YES when the test is done. If it does, return home turn off the ignition key.

If it does not, check for any temporary codes. If no temporary codes are set, return to step 3 and repeat the test procedure. Check the status of the Readiness code for the EVAP System Monitor. The Readiness code should change to YES when the test is done.

Extremely high or low ambient temperatures may prevent this test from running. If the test is interrupted before completion, do all of the test steps from the beginning. If a small leak is detected during testing, a minimum of 3 drive cycles may be required before the EVAP Monitor status will update to YES. Performing a visual inspection prior to running the EVAP test may prevent having to repeat the test. An aborted or failed test will require the vehicle to cool down in order to meet the test conditions to run another test sequence.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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