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

53 Replies to “1996 to 2002 Toyota OBD II Catalyst Monitor Readiness Drive Patterns”

  1. Charlie

    Do you have a drive pattern for 2004 Toyota Higlander? I am having a hard time to get the Catalyst ready.

    Reply
    • Julius Post author

      Hi Charlie, sorry for the late reply. Per Toyota, the following drive cycle should run the catalyst monitor on 2004 Toyota Highlanders:

      CATALYST MONITOR DRIVE CYCLE INSTRUCTIONS

      1. The monitor will not run if active diagnostic codes are present
      2. Do not turn off the ignition switch during the test procedure.
      3. Allow the vehicle to run at idle until fully warmed up. I usually recommended letting it idle for ten to fifteen minutes after sitting overnight.
      4. After warming up the vehicle, drive at a steady speed between 40 & 70 miles per hour. Tip: try to stay around the middle of this range (55MPH). Also, in Southern California, it may only be possible to maintain these speeds early on a weekend morning.
      5. You may need to extend the drive cycle.
      6. In most cases, you should be able to complete the catalyst monitor after following the drive cycle a couple of times.

      If several reasonable attempts at running the drive cycle fail to complete the catalyst monitor, a problem may exist that is preventing your vehicle from running the monitor to completion. In that case, it may be time to have your vehicle properly diagnosed and repaired by a shop that has the training, equipment, and experience necessary to diagnose and repair OBD monitor issues.

      Reply
    • danielkahale959

      2004 Toyota Highlander Drive Cycle for Catalyst Readiness Monitor:

      – Allow vehicle to warm up.
      – Drive at a steady speed between 40 and 70 mph for 10 minutes

      Reply
      • dewok

        Hi Paulette,

        For a 2001 Toyota, I would go with our standard 1996-2002 Toyota drive cycle as found on our website.

        Reply
          • dewok

            I don’t have personal experience with scanners under $30. We own a few Autel AL319 scanners and loan them out to customers. They have a full color display and a convenient one-touch readiness monitors button.

            Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool

  2. Amy C.

    We have a 2000 4Runner with the same issue of the catalyst drive monitor not being “ready.” How can I find the drive cycle for a 2000 4Runner “Per Toyota?” I’ve found several suggestions online, but they differ quite a bit from each other. I figure I better go with the manufacturer suggestion, but can’t find it. Thank you!

    Reply
      • Mark Oliver

        I have a 2000 Tundra and the Catalyst monitor would not go ready even after driving over 400 miles… I had tried several other drive patterns with no luck. I found this link and did the drive pattern #3 as instructed and it worked. Just posting because I had seen many other complaining about the Catalyst monitor…it was a extreme pain in the butt to find a road where I could do the pattern of 40-50 for 3-7min and 35-45 for 7 min. uninterrupted. Due to stoplights I had to rerun the pattern 3 times before it worked. But DO USE THIS GUIDE! Thanks Julius!

        Reply
    • Julius Post author

      Yes, I believe that the 1996 to 2002 Toyota OBD II Catalyst Monitor Readiness Drive Patterns, should also apply to your 2002 Toyota Celica.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Drive cycle questions - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

    • dewok

      Hi Krista,

      Although the drive cycle for a 2003 Toyota Camry might be slightly different, it’s worth giving it a try. As long as all the emission systems are working correctly, the readiness monitors should complete without setting a fault code (DTC) by the end of the drive cycle.

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Tom,

      I would go with the standard Toyota drive cycle listed on our website. Catalyst: allow warm up at idle from cold start / drive 55-60 mph steady for 10 minutes. EVAP can be trickier on some models.

      Reply
  4. Sandra

    After my car had its smog check and passed the engine light came on and I then took to repaire shop and they replaced a sensor . Light was off for about 4 hours and has been on ever since. the car runs fine and the shop has no idea what problem is. HELP

    Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Sandra,

      What is the year and model of the vehicle? What is the fault code (ie P0135)? Which sensor did your mechanic replace?

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Sandra,

      A couple of questions … What is the year and model of the vehicle? What fault code (ie P0135) before and after the repair? Exactly what sensor was replaced?

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Luke,

      The EVAP Monitor is not required to be complete (Ready) in order to pass the California smog check. According to my software the EVAP monitor drive cycle for a 2001 Toyota Camry is to: Drive at 45 mph for 5 minutes (steady) then decelerate to 25 mph for 15 minutes then back to idle.

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Jonathan,

      2005 Toyota Rav 4 catalyst monitor drive cycle is usually relatively simple. We have success running them at 55-60mph (w/ a/c off) for about 10 minutes.

      Good luck,

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Jonathan,

      2005 Toyota Rav 4 catalyst monitor drive cycle is usually relatively simple. We have success running them at 55-60mph (w/ a/c off) for about 10 minutes.

      Good luck,

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
  5. Sonny Tran

    Hello, I have been working on my drive cycle for weeks. Its just taking my catalytic converter a long time to be ready. No engine light for the past 500miles. Recently had a thermostat replaced. I drove 55mph for 200miles…Speed to 70mph and cruise down to 15mph with no brakes (2 times.)

    Toyota Solara 2003 V6. Please help, as I will take your advice for this upcoming weekend (drive cycle.) Cheers and Happy Holidays!

    Reply
    • dewok

      Hello Sonny,

      First, I would double check that the proper thermostat was installed. For some vehicles, a precondition for the catalyst monitor to complete is for the vehicle to reach a particular temperature. We have diagnosed and repaired defective (or incorrect) thermostat issues that have prevented readiness. A basic scan tool and infrared thermometer are required to diagnose thermostat/ect sensor issues.

      Good luck,

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Alan,

      Toyota drive cycles for catalyst monitors usually consist of driving the vehicle at highway speed (55-60 mph) for about 10 minutes (A/C off).

      Be aware that some vehicles have trouble setting “Ready” for the cat monitor if the converter is slightly defective. We’ve had customers drop their vehicles off for our drive cycle service after hundreds of miles driven without success. After our technician drives the vehicle a pending P0420 or P0430 DTC appears in the system, indicating a potentially defective catalytic converter. With that said, more often than not, the monitor is set without fault codes if you follow the procedure above.

      Good luck,

      Danny
      JUST SMOGS

      Reply
  6. Angela

    Just bought a used 2007 RAV4. Catalytic Converter, Evap System, and Oxygen Sensor showing not ready. Tried twice. No check engine codes. What is the drive cycle for 2007 RAV4?

    Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Angela,

      Toyota drive cycles are generally fairly simple as long as there aren’t any preexisting conditions with the vehicle. We usually start the vehicle in the morning (A/C off) and allow the vehicle to idle for 10-15 minutes. Then we drive in stop and go traffic to our local highway and drive for about 10 minutes at 60 mph. This process usually completes all monitors (except EVAP) after a few tries. For most Toyotas, we find that we do not need to follow the manufacturer specified drive cycle exactly. Remember, your Rav4 will still pass a smog check even with EVAP monitor “Not Ready”.

      Good luck!

      Danny
      JUST SMOGS
      Huntington Beach

      Reply
  7. jorge Mendoza 818 2819439

    I have a Toyota Highlander 2004 having an issue passing SMOG. The last SMOG check says that OBDii not ready and I was told by my mechanic to perform the drive cycle. I tried to do it to the best of my ability but still not clearing it. Some shops want to replace the catalytic converter at a hefty price that I can not afford. Some shops are telling me just to drive it. I have an expired tag and I do not know what else to do. Even the dealer says that it is not the catalytic converter if it is not showing P0420 code. they have change airfuel sensor and clean the throttle body but this did not help.

    Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Jorge,

      We feel your pain. We have a 2003 Toyota Matrix here with an incomplete Catalyst monitored and are unable to drive cycle it successfully. There are no pending or current P0420 DTCs and the rear oxygen sensor is relatively flat (most of the time). At this time we’re stuck.

      The first thing you should do is pay your DMV registration to prevent any further late penalties. Also, the Auto Club (AAA) or DMV can provide you with a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP). The TOP will allow you to drive the vehicle for another 60 days legally.

      On the bright side, we just completed a 2001 Toyota Solara (235,000 miles) catalyst monitor. The customer drove the vehicle for hundreds of miles with no success. So there is hope!

      Good luck!

      Reply
  8. Lorena Armenta

    I have a 2000 Toyota Corolla and just had the catalyst serviced and 02 sensor replaced and and 5 of the 7 emissions say ready, the catalyst and Evap are the ones left to say ready how do i run a proper drive cycle?

    Reply
    • dewok

      Hi Lorena,

      For a 2000 Toyota Corolla if the catalyst is operating correctly, the catalyst monitor should run when driving at about 55mph for 10 minutes. What was done to service the catalyst?

      Danny
      Just Smogs

      Reply
      • siphony

        The manufacturer drive cycle is designed for a ‘properly’ operated engine. If your engine is not, then the drive cycle will not work. My car is 2001 Toyota Celica GTS. I spent a month observing and investigating why my CAT monitor was not ready and root caused to the defective thermostat. I replaced the thermostat and went to pickup a spare tire. After 50 miles, all monitors were ready.

        Before that, I drove over 400 miles following the manufacturer drive cycle many times without hope. The first requirement of the drive cycle is that your engine must be at the operating temperature (179F in my case). But what it didn’t say is that your engine temperature must remain constant at the optimum temperature of 183F until you turn off your engine. This means your thermostat must be in perfect condition in adjusting its valve to control the coolant flow to radiator for heat release as the engine heats up. If this condition is not met then your fuel will not burn cleanly causing engine problems and will kill the CAT. After replacing the thermostat, my scanner reads ECT (engine cooling temp) at 183F once it warms up until I turn of the engine.

        I didn’t follow the drive cycle at all. Just drove to a nearby town to pickup my spare tire for a round trip of around 50 miles. All monitors were ready when I came home.

        By the way the thermostat I replace is the one I ordered for my daughter’s car which is 2008 corolla. It has the label 82C (179.6F) on it.

        Reply
  9. chuckpoo

    I have a 2002 Camry V6 XLE for which the catalytic monitor refused to run following some battery work. I attempted this and a couple of other drive cycles I found online numerous times with no success.

    The link dewok provided seems to be dead, but I found the Toyota bulletin for Toyota Drive Cycles.

    In reading this through you’ll notice one of the pre-test conditions is that the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) must eventually get over 80 degrees celsius. My OBD2 monitor showed I was never getting close to that. A bit more research later I figured I needed my engine coolant thermostat replaced, so I took the car into the shop and had that done ($250 job).

    Following that, the ECT ran over 80. I drove about 40 miles over a handful of trips, and BOOM, my monitors were ready.

    The ECT thing above may not be terribly uncommon if you drive a 20 year old car like me. I strongly suggest you get an OBD2 monitor to see how your car is running so you can diagnose little one-off issues like this that might save you from having to run through these drive cycles countless times.

    Reply
  10. susan

    Danny,

    My ex-husband is having the same problem with his 2003 Toyota Spyder. I found your website and gave him your number. He’s ready to wreck the car and call it a day. Hope you guys can help him You’re the only shop out there answering questions on line for ppl. That’s really good of you!! Thank you!!!

    Reply

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