OBD II Monitor Drive Cycle Service

multiple-smog-check-fountain-valleyIn recent years the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) have increasingly shifted the emphasis of the California emissions program to on-board diagnostic trouble codes &  monitor readiness. This is especially true for 2000 and newer model year vehicles.

If you are having trouble completing OBD II readiness monitors on your 1996 or newer vehicle, the licensed professionals at Just Smogs® in Huntington Beach can help.

OBD II Monitor Recap

What are OBD II readiness monitors?

just-smog-check-fountain-valley-front-800x480The short answer is that OBD II readiness monitors are usually something that average motorists never have to worry about until they have a reason to worry.

OBD II readiness monitors are self tests run by a vehicle’s on board diagnostic system.  OBD II monitors have two states: ‘ready’ and ‘not ready’.  Some scanners and code readers may display ‘complete’ , ‘incomplete’ , comp, inc, etc.  It all comes down to whether or not a test has been run to completion.

When one of these test fails, the check engine light is illuminated; otherwise, a driver normally has no indication that OBD II readiness monitors exist.

So what’s the problem?


It’s not uncommon for OBD II readiness monitors to be reset following repairs.  This is especially true if the check engine light was on.

If a vehicle’s power train control module (PCM – ‘The Computer’) loses power due to a dead or depleted battery, or if diagnostic trouble codes are cleared using a scan tool, all readiness monitors are automatically set to incomplete/not ready.

Incomplete readiness monitors aren’t  something that you have to worry about unless your vehicle is due for a smog inspection.

Readiness monitors are run in the background and by design do not affect driveability, safety, or fuel economy, but they are an important part of the California smog inspection program.

In order for a vehicle to pass a smog inspection in the state of California, most OBD 2 monitors must be run to completion.  For example, in order for most 2000 and newer gasoline powered vehicles to pass the smog inspection all monitors with the exception of the evap monitor must be complete.  If any monitor other than the evap monitor is incomplete the vehicle will fail the smog inspection.

If you’ve ever had an issue with OBD II readiness monitors, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Drive it fifty to one-hundred miles and you should be fine”.

I drove my car hundreds of miles, and it still isn’t ready!

Some cars are known to have issues that can make completing OBD II readiness monitors extremely difficult.star-smog-check-technician-licensed-800x480

BAR maintains a list of such vehicles and possible solutions (The Smog Check OBD II Reference).

Very often the solution involves following a very specific drive pattern that some motorists find difficult to complete during their normal driving routine.  That’s when Just Smogs® can help.

Just Smogs® OBD II Drive Cycle Service

huntington-beach-smog-store-frontIf your vehicle is otherwise in good repair, and you are having difficulties completing the OBD II drive cycle, the professionals at Just Smogs® can complete the drive cycle on most vehicles that do not require further repair or diagnosis.

This service offering does not include any diagnostics or repairs that may be necessary to enable the OBD II drive cycle, nor does it include diagnostics or repairs that may become necessary should the drive cycle trigger a diagnostic trouble code or check engine light.

Of course in most cases you should be able to complete the drive cycle yourself with no more effort than a Sunday drive, but in case you can’t, the professionals at Just Smogs® are here to help.

For more information about Just Smogs® OBD II drive cycle service, call (714) 596-1019.


10 Replies to “OBD II Monitor Drive Cycle Service”

  1. Chan Hur

    I have 2000 Hyundai Sonata GLS.
    My car requires drive cycle to fix obd2 monitor Not ready problem.

    How much charge for its service?

    • dewok

      Hi Chan,

      As of mid-2018 we generally charge $118 for our drive cycle/diagnostic service. Please call beforehand to verify.

  2. Josh

    Is there any place in the bay area that you know of that performs the drive cycle. I’m having trouble with my OBD2 drive cycle completion. It’s a 99 camery.

    • dewok

      Hi Josh,

      Congested city driving is the most difficult area to set readiness monitors. If you can’t find a local shop, we recommend contacting a local dealership.

  3. toddy

    is it always the service can make monitors ready?
    I just replaced new cat converter, O2; etc and cleared all sensors except cat monitor,
    do you guarantee the driving cycle service will make cat monitor ready?

    • dewok

      Hi Toddy,

      No guarantee that the drive cycle will make all monitors ready. Sometimes there are defective parts that can prevent a monitor from running.

      For example, we recently serviced a Chevrolet that would not set the catalyst monitor. We diagnosed the vehicle and found that the vehicle would not reach the proper temperature during the warm-up process. On some Chevrolets, a “pre-test condition” for the catalyst monitor is for the engine coolant temperature to reach a particular temperature. Once we fixed the problem, we were able to set the catalyst monitor on the first drive.

      Other times, we will get all monitors ready via our drive cycle service but a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is set. We then diagnose the DTC and recommend the proper repairs. Once the repairs are completed we then complete the process by setting the monitors.

      Just Smogs

  4. David Mullen

    Hi I have a 2000 dodge 3500 diesel. I have been to three dealerships. Dealt with Chrysler resolution. I’ve drove many drive cycles and still can’t get my ccm ready for smog. I’ve driven 1000 miles different conditions. I live in the Palm Springs area. Any help appreciated. Dave Mullen

    • dewok

      Hi Dave,

      First check if your Dodge is Federal or California certified. There should be an emission label on the engine. If the vehicle is Federal certified, it may not have OBD requirements and the OBD portion of the smog inspection can be bypassed.

      If the smog technician is unable to identify the vehicle emission certification level or you have concerns of not being able to, go ahead and give us a call at 714-596-1019. We can walk you through finding this over the phone.

      Good luck,


  5. R5

    “Comprehensive components” is the only one left on my Mini. I’ve done several drive cycles and that’s the only one that hasn’t switched after my repair. What kind of drive cycle should I do? I don’t see “components” on the BMW drive cycle.

    • dewok

      On most vehicles “comprehensive components” monitors will run almost immediately after start-up. We’ve had a BMW in the shop that would not complete the comprehensive component monitored until the vehicle was driven several hundred miles. Unfortunately, I don’t know the exact drive cycle. Please let us know if/how you complete the monitor.


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