Volkswagen OBD II Monitor Drive Cycle

A reader wrote in to say that she’s having trouble getting her 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit to complete OBD II monitors.  I shared the following drive cycle wither her, and decided to post it here for others experiencing similar issues with their Volkswagen vehicles.

This drive cycle should be valid for Volkswagen engine codes BGP and BGQ.

  • Switch the ignition on and start the vehicle.
  • Idle the vehicle for 2-3 minutes. This executes the O2S Heater, Misfire, Secondary AIR, Fuel Trim, and Purge system monitors.
  • Drive the vehicle at 45-55 mph for a continuous 7 minute period, avoid stopping. This executes the EVAP, O2S, Fuel Trim, and Misfire monitors.
  • Accelerate the vehicle to an engine speed of 5000 RPM (with automatic transmission use the tip-tronic mode) lift off the throttle until the engine speed is around 1200 rpm. This executes the fuel cut off
  • Accelerate the vehicle smoothly to 60-65 mph, cruise constantly for 5 min, this executes the Catalyst, O2S, Misfire, Fuel Trim, and Purge System monitors.
  • Decelerate and idle the vehicle again for 3 minutes. This executes the Misfire, Secondary AIR, Fuel Trim, and Purge system monitors.

As with most OBD II monitor drive cycles, a complete warm-up cycle is recommended. In other words, let the vehicle cool down completely and allow the vehicle to warm up to full operating temperature from a cold start before commencing the drive cycle. Also, it might be necessary to perform the drive cycle on a weekend morning when traffic is light.

Drive safely and observe all traffic laws while performing the drive cycle. Several attempts may be required. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Toyota Camry Failed Smog : Not Ready : No Check Engine Light

Our customer’s 1999 Toyota Camry CE 2.2L failed the biennial smog check inspection (category: OBD System Checks for being “Not Ready“). In most situations driving the vehicle for a week or two (streets & highway) will allow the vehicle to complete it’s self tests (readiness monitors) and become “Ready” so that it will pass the emission inspection.

Unfortunately, our customer drove almost 500 miles and still his Toyota was Not Ready for the following three monitors: Catalyst, Oxygen Sensor & Oxygen Sensor Heater.

He asked us to diagnose the problem. Although there was no check engine light illuminated, there as a pending diagnostic trouble code (DTC) stored in the vehicles computer: DTC P1155. P1155 is a manufacturer specific code relating to the Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor Heater Circuit.

Our technician diagnosed the air/fuel sensor and confirmed an open heater circuit. We replaced the a new Denso air/fuel sensor, cleared the fault code, and drove the vehicle.

In less than 20 miles of our drive cycle all three incomplete monitors (Catalyst, Oxygen Sensor & Oxygen Sensor Heater) became “Ready”. We re-tested the Camry and it passed.

Although in most “Not Ready” failed smog check situations, a vehicle can be driven to become “Ready” and pass a California smog inspection, repairs are sometimes necessary.

 

Check OBD II Monitor Readiness Without A Scan Tool

Image of instrument cluster including "Check Engine" lightIt is possible to check OBD II monitor readiness on many late model vehicles without connecting a scan tool. This can often be necessary in order to determine if your car is ready for its California smog inspection.

What is OBD II monitor readiness?

On 1996 and newer model year vehicles, the on board diagnostic system (OBDII) performs up to eleven diagnostic checks of vehicle emission control systems.  These checks are performed in the background during normal driving and are designed not to interfere with vehicle performance or safety.

If a fault is detected, the power train control module (PCM – The computer) illuminates the malfunction indicator light (MIL – Check Engine – Service Vehicle Soon).

If the PCM loses power for any reason (Including a disconnected or depleted battery), or if diagnostic trouble codes are cleared using a diagnostic scan tool, readiness monitors will indicate an incomplete, or not ready, status.

In most cases, a vehicle with incomplete readiness monitors will not pass the California smog inspection (See New Readiness Monitor Standards For OBD II Functional Inspection).

Driving the vehicle under conditions that meet the monitor enabling criteria should complete most OBD II monitors.  This is usually accomplished after fifty to one-hundred miles of normal driving.

How to check monitors without a scan tool

In most cases, the correct procedure is outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Consult your owner’s manual for information specific to the car you drive.

However, the following procedures are presented as examples. They may not apply to your specific vehicle.

Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Vehicles

To determine if readiness OBD II monitors are complete:

  1. Turn the ignition key to the “on” position for 15 seconds without cranking the engine.
  2. If the “Service Engine Soon” light blinks eight times, one or more readiness monitors are incomplete.
  3. If the service engine soon indicator stays on solid, all readiness monitors are complete.

This procedure was included in the Owner’s Manual for a 2012 Ford Focus. This same procedure may apply to other models and model year Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicles.

For Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge

The owner’s manual states that the vehicle has a simple ignition key actuated test, which you can use prior to going to the test station. To check if your vehicle’s OBD II system is ready, you must do the following:

  1. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position, but do not crank or start the engine. If you crank or start the engine, you will have to start this test over.
  2. As soon as you turn the ignition switch to the ON position, you will see the MIL (Check Engine Light) symbol come on as part of a normal bulb check.
  3. Approximately 15 seconds later, one of two things will happen:
    1. The MIL will flash for about 10 seconds and then return to being fully illuminated until you turn OFF the ignition or start the engine. This means that your vehicle’s OBD II system is not ready and you should not proceed to the smog check station.
    2. The MIL will not flash at all and will remain fully illuminated until you turn OFF the ignition or start the engine. This means that your vehicle’s OBD II system is ready and you can proceed to the smog check station.
Honda/Acura

To check if the readiness codes are set, turn the ignition switch to the ON (II) position, without starting the engine. The MIL will come on for 20 seconds. If it then goes off, the readiness monitors are set. If it blinks five times, the readiness monitors are not set.

Mercedes Drive Cycle for Incomplete Readiness (Failed Smog Check)

mercedes-benz-smog-check-huntington-beachMany drivers have had difficulty completing readiness monitors for their Mercedes Benz. The two readiness monitors that seem to be the most stubborn to complete are: Secondary Air Injection and Catalyst (Catalytic Converter). We located a Mercedes Benz Service Bulletin (S-B-14.00/17) that may be helpful.

Also, one customer with a 2002 Mercedes was unable to complete the secondary air injection monitor until one evening he allowed his vehicle to idle for 5-20 minutes in his driveway. He then turned off his vehicle and restarted the vehicle the next morning and allowed it to idle for another 5-10 minutes. He stated that this procedure completed the AIR readiness monitor.

UPDATE:
Our customer had a stubborn CATALYST MONITOR on his 2002 Benz. He had already driven hundreds of miles and still the catalyst monitor was incomplete. The following drive cycle did the trick:

 

CATALYST MONITOR DRIVE CYCLE

  • Vehicle warm up
  • A/C Off
  • Drive 3 minutes at 43 mph in D
  • Drive 3 minutes at 51 mph in D
  • Stop and let idle for 3 minutes in P

 

Mercedes Benz Service Bulletin (S-B-14.00/17)

SUBJECT: State I/M (emission inspection and maintenance) Facilities Incorporating an OBDII Check
A. Description of State I/M OBDII Checks & Drive Cycle
B. Models, Model Years & OBDII Systems Included
C. Drive Cycle Test Procedure
Note:
Refer to Service Information: P-SI-14.00/14 for historical information.
A. Description of State I/M OBDII Checks & Drive Cycle
Certain States around the country have or will begin to roll-out in the coming months, OBDII (On-Board
Diagnostic II) quick checks for emission inspection and maintenance (I/M) testing. The emission I/M testing
is required for customers to register their vehicles. These State I/M facilities will specifically look for whether
or not the vehicle’s OBDII system is “ready” to be tested. The OBDII system uses readiness codes built into
the vehicles computer to indicate if the system is “ready” to be emission tested. These State I/M Facilities
use hand held scan tools capable of reading OBDII codes and will indicate if these readiness codes are set
or not.
These readiness codes are needed to be set (complete) within the OBDII computer system. Without these
codes set, the vehicle will most likely fail the emissions portion of this inspection and the customer will not
be able to register or re-register their vehicle. In an effort to prevent this situation from happening, a specific
drive cycle must be performed prior to the vehicle being tested at any I/M facility checking the OBDII
system.
2 S-B-14.00/17 February 2004
If a model year 1996 through 1999 vehicle has “failed” a State I/M emission test and no faults have been
found in the system (i.e. check engine light NOT on) then a drive cycle test must be performed on the
vehicle.
Note:
A battery disconnect to service the vehicle can impact whether the readiness codes will be set, if the
vehicle is immediately taken from the service facility to an I/M testing facility for vehicle registration
purposes. In such a case, the customer should be notified and instructed not to take the vehicle
immediately to an I/M station for emission testing.
Note:
Cycling the ignition key from on – to – off prior to performing the I/M test is not recommended.
B. Models, Model Years & OBDII Systems Included
1. A drive cycle has been developed for the following model years and models:
MY1996
S420 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
S500, S500C & SL500 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1997
C230 & E320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
C280 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320, SL320 & C36 AMG (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
E420, S420, S500, SL500, S600, SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1998
C230 & SLK230 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S420, S500, CL500, SL500, S600, CL600 & SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
MY1999
C230 & SLK230 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S320 (w/ME2.1 OBDII system)
S420, S500, CL500, S600, CL600 & SL600 (w/ME1.0 OBDII system)
2. On-Board Diagnostic System (OBDII) used on the vehicle, are ME1.0, ME2.0 or ME2.1 systems.
3. Performing the drive cycle on the vehicle will take up to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Required tools are: SDS equipment and all required cables.
C. Drive Cycle Test Procedure

S-B-14.00/17 February 2004 3
Note:
Readiness/function codes cannot be displayed for tests performed on vehicles at altitudes above 8200 feet.
Note:
Depending on engine temperature you may perform the testing starting with EVAP system (see step 7)
or start with steps 1 through 4 or continue to step 6 (Air injection Diagnostics). Remember, these tests
are all based on engine temperature.
Note:
When using an SDS to check vehicle readiness codes, note the following:
1. Open vehicle hood.
2. Either remove the SDS connector cover or the engine fuse box cover depending on the model.
3. Attach/connect SDS connector.
4. Enter into the CARS function.
5. Select correct Chassis line
6. Select the gasoline engine for engine type.
7. On the screen labeled Main Function Groups, select Option 1 Gasoline Engine.
8. Select the ME system and press enter.
9. Start the vehicle to enable communication between the module and SDS system.
10. In the Functions screen, go to option 3: Actual Values and press enter, you are now ready to begin
the testing.
11. For steps 1 through 7: For ME2 under Actual Values select option 12 Completed Test and press
enter, for ME1 under Actual Values Option 9 Performed Tests.
12. Scroll through the screens to find the applicable step information and identify whether a check mark
or F has been highlighted
Drive Cycle Test Procedure Explained
1. 02 Sensor Heater Diagnostics (do not interrupt this portion of the test):
With the engine warm (greater than 80 degrees C), and the transmission gearshift lever in Park
position, proceed as follows:
• Start engine and increase engine speed to between 2,000 to 2,500 RPM for 2 minutes.
• After the 2 minutes, run engine at idle speed, with no applied load for 6 minutes (Air
conditioning OFF, no throttle movements etc).
• After this time period has been obtained proceed to step 2 below.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 1 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS.
2. Lambda (02) Sensor Signal (do not interrupt this portion of the test, to be conducted directly after
step 1 above has been performed):
With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C, and with transmission gearshift lever in position D,
• Drive vehicle for 3 minutes at 70km/h (43 mph).
• After the 3 minutes has been reached proceed to step 3 below.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 2 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS.
3. Catalytic Converter Efficiency Diagnostics (do not interrupt this portion of the test and must be
conducted directly after step 2 above has been performed):

With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C:
4 S-B-14.00/17 February 2004
• Drive vehicle with transmission still in position D for 3 minutes at 80-90 km/h (48-54 mph).
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 3 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
4. Self-adjustment of the air/fuel mixture (idle speed & self adaptation) (do not interrupt this
portion of the test and must be conducted directly after step 3 has been performed):
With engine temp greater than 80 degrees C, proceed as follows:
• Place transmission gearshift lever into Park position and allow engine to idle (with no load
applied to the vehicle, i.e. Air conditioning OFF) for 3 minutes.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool verify Step 4 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
5. EGR System (Emission Vacuum Diagnostics): No DTC codes should stored for the intake
manifold pressure sensor and EGR pressure transducer during this portion of the test. With the
engine temperature at 80 degrees C:

• Start and Drive vehicle (in D position) and then accelerate smoothly up to 2000 rpm, and
then decelerate smoothly back down to 1100 rpm.
Note:
If using a Hand Held Scan Tool to verify test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in the
display field or the word PASS
• After this test step has been completed, turn ignition OFF, wait 10 seconds and repeat this
test step (5.) again.
6. Air Injection Diagnostics: (do not interrupt this test when performing this test step 6).
Note:
First: Place a suitable auxiliary fan in front of the vehicle to force engine cool down. (Engine cool down can
also be simulated by using a decade box to simulate engine cool down).
Continue test step: With engine temperature less than 40 degrees C, the air conditioning OFF and the
transmission gearshift lever in Park position; and auxiliary fan removed from front of vehicle,

• Start engine and accelerate engine speed to 1400 rpm.
• Allow engine to run at this increased rpm until coolant temperature reaches between 70 to
106 degrees C.
• Allow engine to run with increased rpms for 7 minutes (or drive the vehicle for 7 minutes).
• After the 7 minute time period has been reached, stop the vehicle, place gearshift lever into
Park position and allow engine to idle (with no load) for 6 seconds. Do not use A/C.
• After this step turn the ignition OFF, wait ten seconds and repeat this test step.
• Note that when testing the air injection system, the engine coolant temperature must be at
the same temperature (degrees) as when before the ignition key was switched off in the
prior test step.
Note:
If using a Hand-Held Scan Tool to verify Step 6 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in
the display field or the word PASS
S-B-14.00/17 February 2004 5
7. Fuel System Leak test (EVAP): No DTC codes should be present in memory for the EVAP
canister purge valve, fuel tank pressure sensor, or the shut-off valve.
Note:
Prior to performing this test (7) step:
• Ensure the fuel tank fuel level is between ¼ and ¾ full and
• The engine temperature less than 100 degrees C with air intake temperature less than 45
degrees C.
• With gearshift lever in Park position, start and idle engine for 20 minutes (with no load).
Note that if after the 20 minutes of idling time has elapsed and no readiness codes were
set, consider driving the vehicle for an additional 20 minutes.
• After these 20 minutes has elapsed, turn ignition OFF, wait 10 seconds and repeat this test
step again.
Note:
If using a Hand Held Scan Tool to verify Step 7 test completion. This will be indicated by a check mark in
the display field or the word PASS
ir.

1996 to 2002 Toyota OBD II Catalyst Monitor Readiness Drive Patterns

The catalyst monitor on many Toyota vehicles can be difficult to complete.  That’s why it’s important to follow the Toyota recommended drive cycle after performing actions that are known to clear your Toyota’s computer memory.

Remember, all on-board diagnostic monitors are cleared when the battery is disconnected, or when the power train control module (PCM) is cleared with a scan tool.

CATALYST MONITOR DRIVE CYCLE INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Do not turn off the ignition switch during the test procedure.
  2. Allow the vehicle to run at idle until warmed up.
  3. Drive at a steady speed between 40 and 70 MPH for 10 minutes.  It’s a good idea to stay in the middle of this range, so 55 MPH is optimal.
  4. It may take several attempts and warm up cycles to complete the drive cycle.

toyota-drive-cycle-obd-readiness-monitor-smog-check

 

 

 

1996 to 2002 Toyota OBD II Monitor Readiness Drive Patterns

OBD II Monitor Readiness – Drive Cycle GM

The following is the recommended driving cycle for General Motors.

A complete driving cycle should perform diagnostics on all systems. A complete driving cycle can be done in under fifteen minutes. Continue reading