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[icon] I hate my car - Patti
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Subject:I hate my car
Time:12:10 pm
OK, mostly I don't hate my car. In fact, I quite like her. However, every two years, come smog check time, I hate her.

One of the California smog checks involves testing that the onboard diagnostics emissions sensors are ready. Unfortunately, there's a bug in the firmware of my car that makes it essentially impossible for this to happen. The only real way to make this car pass smog checks is to take it to a dealer, pay them a couple hundred bucks to set all the sensors to ready, then to drive to a smog station and have the car tested. I have to do all of this without turning the engine off, because as soon as I do that the sensors get reset and I have to do it from scratch.

The official description of this is "Some monitors are difficult to set to 'complete'." Blah.

Guess who forgot about this when she took her car to be smogged this morning? blah!
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clutch_c
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-07-27 08:03 pm (UTC)
My dad had a similar problem with his truck. If I understand correctly there is a circuit to provide supply keep-alive memory (KAM) power to the emission system controller; that circuit has a fuse that can burn out and if it does the only sign is that the sensors get reset to "not complete" every time you turn off the engine.

However, even if you can't fix it by replacing a fuse, it might be possible to set the sensors to ready without paying the dealer by doing a "drive cycle." According to the NY dmv web site, you can do a drive cycle by:

1. Start the engine. Idle the engine in drive for two and a half minutes with the A/C and rear defroster on.
2. Turn the A/C and rear defrost off, and accelerate to 55 mph at half throttle.
3. Hold at a steady speed of 55 mph for three minutes.
4. Decelerate (coast down) to 20 mph without braking or depressing the clutch.
5. Accelerate back to 55 to 60 mph at 3/4 throttle.
6. Hold at a steady speed of 55 to 60 mph for five minutes.
7. Decelerate (coast down) to a stop without braking.
8. Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care.

OK, I made that last one up.

You probably knew all that. Never mind...
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-07-28 05:11 am (UTC)
The drive cycle for mine is a fair bit hairier. I've tried to follow it a couple of times and never managed to get any of the monitors set. Sigh.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-08-01 06:09 am (UTC)
I wish it was that easy on my car. The procedure for doing this on my Eclipse is really complex. Hence the mechanic who can do it pretty much is the dealer.
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[icon] I hate my car - Patti
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