BAR OIS Testing And Invalid Monitor Information

On August 1, 20016, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) implemented a change in the BAR-OIS testing procedure that may result in a new type of smog inspection failure.

What is BAR-OIS testing?

just-smog-check-huntington-beach-3-bays-800x480The BAR-OIS is the Smog Check equipment required when inspecting most model-year 2000 and newer gasoline and hybrid vehicles and most 1998 and newer diesel vehicles. The system consists of a certified Data Acquisition Device (DAD) and off the shelf equipment, including a computer, bar code scanner, and printer.

During a BAR-OIS smog inspection, the DAD collects data from your vehicle’s Power train Control Module (PCM), or as most people call it, “The Computer”.

The data collected by the DAD includes diagnostic trouble code information (Mode $03), Vehicle Information (Mode $09), and the current monitor information from Mode $01. Other data is also collected, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on Mode $01 monitor information.

OBD II Monitor Readiness

Image of instrument cluster including "Check Engine" lightOBD II Monitor Readiness is a key element of the BAR-OIS smog inspection process.

Most model year 2000 and newer gasoline powered and hybrid vehicles can pass the BAR-OIS inspection if EVAP is the only incomplete monitor; otherwise, all other OBD II monitors must be complete.

While most vehicles behave as expected, some vehicles do not respond with proper OBD monitor information from the PCM, or the transmission computer responds instead of the engine computer.

In most cases cycling the vehicle’s ignition (off/on) will solve the problem, but occasionally the vehicle will continue to respond with invalid or no data.

Prior to August 1, 2016, a vehicle could pass the BAR-OIS inspection if this condition continued; however, that is no longer the case.

What has changed?

toyota-drive-cycle-obd-readiness-monitor-smog-checkEffective August 1, 2016, if a vehicle continues to respond with improper OBD II monitor information, the vehicle will fail the inspection.

If a vehicle in the following list fails for invalid OBD II monitor information, it should be referred to the BAR Referee. Vehicles not included in the list will most likely require repairs.

  • 2004 Volvo C70 HPT
  • 2004 Volvo C70 LPT
  • 2004 Porsche Boxster S
  • 2004 Porsche Boxster
  • 2003 Porsche Boxster


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