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Service, Recalls, Warranty & Maintenance Valuable service and maintenance information. Also discussion which engine and transmission fluids you use.

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:04 PM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

So recently I had to get my Murano inspected. It’s 100% stock with no mods (for now). When I arrived, a CEL popped up (just my luck). The guy cleared it and told me to drive it for a few hours. I asked like how many miles? He responded, “oh around 400+ miles”.

Like seriously, with the price of gas you want me to drive around for a few hours let alone 400 miles? Maybe I should have visited this girl off of Facebook in Indiana who wanted to meet me a few years ago. LOL jk
So knowing me, I did some research, examined the possibilities and decided to go to another inspection shop.

Below is just some interesting information I found which you may find helpful if you are in the same situation. I did the drive cycle procedure (documented in owner’s manual), took a quick drive to my aunt’s house and on my way back got the Murano inspected at another shop. Prior to going, I checked it with my ODB2 reader and it was flagged as “READY”. Got it inspected and I was on my way. I did no more than 30 miles of driving compared to the 400+ that the guy told me. The CEL light was for a small vacuum leak that I fixed.

While it’s true that you MUST drive it for a certain number of miles, THERE IS NO SET # of MILES. It varies by car. Your engine does not automatically become "Ready" after x number of miles or x number of drive cycles.

“PCM's go through a series of tests to make sure the components are working, and different criteria must be met for every engine. A lot of inspectors really don't understand this system fully. They just do whatever their inspection tool tells them. ”

Also keep in mind that it also applies to “RESETTING THE BATTERY” not just CEL’s. If the vehicle’s battery has been recently disconnected, or if DTCs have been recently cleared with a scan tool, all non-continuous components or systems will be set to “not ready”. So if you reset your battery, your car will be “NOT READY” for inspection.

Before continuing, I would recommend that EVERYONE own an ODB2 scan tool. They are very cheap and you can get them from eBay/Amazon for as little as $20 buck shipped. Just make sure you get one that has “I/M Monitor”.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

What is OBDII Readiness?
A vehicle's OBDII computer monitors engine, transmission, fuel system, and emissions control performance. Up to eleven "readiness monitors" or software routines continuously or periodically check these major systems and components under specific operating conditions. If enough monitors have not completed their checks by the time an inspection station connects to a vehicle's OBDII system for an emissions test, the vehicle is "not ready" and will not pass its inspection.

Certain common repairs or maintenance procedures can temporarily interrupt power from a vehicle's battery to its OBDII computer, leaving monitors "not ready" for an emissions test because the power loss has cleared all diagnostic results from the computer's memory. After power is restored, the computer needs to monitor various driving conditions long enough to run the required number of checks again, determine whether emissions-related systems or components are performing correctly, and store this information to be "ready" for a state emissions test.

-------------------------------------------------------------

What does the OBDII emissions test consists of?
An inspector checks to see if the MIL light comes on when the key is turned on. If the light does not come on, the vehicle fails the bulb check.
A scanner similar is plugged into the diagnostic link connector (DLC), and the system is checked for monitor readiness. If more than the allowed number of monitors are not ready, the vehicle is rejected and asked to come back later after it has been driven sufficiently to set the readiness flags. The scanner also checks the status of the MIL light (is it on or off?), and downloads any fault codes that may be present. If the MIL light is on and there are any OBD II codes present, the vehicle fails the test and must be repaired. The vehicle also fails if the DLC is missing, has been tampered with or fails to provide any data.

As a final system check, the scanner is used to command the MIL lamp on to verify it is taking commands from the onboard computer. If the OBD II light is on, or a vehicle has failed an OBDII emissions test, your first job is to verify the problem. That means plugging into the OBDII system, pulling out any stored codes and looking at any system data that might help you nail down what's causing the problem. Long-term fuel trim data can provide some useful insight into what's going on with the fuel mixture. If long-term fuel trim is at maximum, or you see a big difference in the numbers for the right and left banks of a V6 or V8 engine, it would tell you the engine control system is trying to compensate for a fuel mixture problem (possibly an air leak, dirty injectors, leaky EGR valve, etc.).

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How To Perform a Drive Cycle?

Suppose you have "fixed" an emissions problem on an OBDII-equipped vehicle. How can you check your work? By performing what is called an "OBDII drive cycle."

The purpose of the OBDII drive cycle is to run all of the onboard diagnostics. The drive cycle should be performed after you have erased any trouble codes from the PCM memory, or after the battery has been disconnected. Running through the drive cycle sets all the system monitors so that subsequent faults can be detected.

The OBDII drive cycle begins with a cold start (coolant temperature below 122 degrees F and the coolant and air temperature sensors within 11 degrees of one another).


NOTE: The ignition key must not be on prior to the cold start otherwise the heated oxygen sensor diagnostic may not run.

Here’s a fully documented Drive-Cycle procedure from the Nissan Manual:

Due to legal requirements in some states/areas, your vehicle may be required to be in what is called the ready condition for an Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) test of the emission control system. The vehicle is set to the ready condition when it is driven through certain driving patterns. Usually, the ready condition can be obtained by ordinary usage of the vehicle. If a power train system component is repaired or the battery is disconnected, the vehicle may be reset to a not ready condition. Before taking the I/M test, drive the vehicle through the following pattern to set the vehicle to the ready condition. If you cannot or do not want to perform the driving pattern, an NISSAN dealer can conduct it for you.

WARNING
Always drive the vehicle in a safe and prudent manner according to traffic conditions, and obey all traffic laws.

1. Start the engine when the engine coolant temperature gauge needle points to C. Allow the engine to idle until the gauge needle points between the C and H (normal operating temperature).

2. Accelerate the vehicle to 55 MPH (88km/h), then quickly release the accelerator pedal completely and keep it released for at least 6 seconds.

3. Quickly depress the accelerator pedal for a moment, then drive the vehicle at a speed of 53 to 60 MPH (86 to 96 km/h) for at least 5 minutes.

4. Stop the vehicle.

5. Accelerate the vehicle to 35 MPH (55 km/h) and maintain the speed for 20 seconds.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 at least 3 times.

7. Accelerate the vehicle to 55 MPH (88 km/h) and maintain the speed for at least 3 minutes.

8. Stop the vehicle (shift lever in the “P” or “N” position).

9. Rev the engine up between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm and hold it for 3 consecutive minutes, then release the accelerator pedal completely.

10.Wait 5 second at idle.

11.Rev the engine up between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm and maintain it for 5 consecutive minutes.

12.Turn the engine off.

13.Repeat steps 1 through 8 at least one more time.

If step 1 through 7 is interrupted, repeat the preceding step. Any safe driving mode is acceptable between steps. Do not stop the engine until step 7 is completed.

Since readiness monitors require specific speed and load conditions in order to run the monitor accurately, drive cycles work best with smooth flat roads and steady throttle / brake changes. Constantly changing loads and throttle inputs may prevent the monitors from running to completion.

Sources:

OBDII and Emissions Testing

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...5/ai_n14868801
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:14 PM   Thread Starter #2
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

A great DIY I found online courtesy of http://www.horsepowerjunkies.com.

The Do-It-Yourself OBD II Inspection

The best way to determine whether your car is ready for inspection is to hook up to a higher end OBD II scanner if you have one. I have one of the big orange Actron scanners (Actron CP9180) that you usually see being used by auto parts store employees. It was maybe $120 new off ebay when I bought it a while ago.

Now I'm going to demonstrate me checking to see if my car will pass inspection. This is my daily driver, a 1997 Infiniti Q45. My 1988 Rx-7 Turbo doesn't even have a check engine light!

Click the image to open in full size.

The first shot here is of the main menu in the Actron CP9180. I have two choices. I can select "State OBD Check" to get a summary of my readiness monitors and DTC's. I can also select "I/M Monitors" to get a breakdown of all the readiness checks in the PCM. So first I select "State OBD Check."

Click the image to open in full size.

From this screen I can see that the check engine light (Malfunction Indicator Light) is not active. I do have one DTC however, but it is a "pending" code that has not yet tripped the MIL. This number could be "3" if I had two active codes and one pending code.

Then the scantool separates my readiness monitors into 3 categores: OK, Incomplete, or Not Applicable. Any 2001+ car must have all but 1 supported monitor set as "OK." Only 1 readiness monitor can be set flagged as "incomplete." This car will pass an inspection because the MIL has not been set and all monitors are ready. Now let's take a more detailed look at my list of readiness monitors in the "I/M Monitors" screen.

Click the image to open in full size.

Those top three are my continuous monitors. Those three are always active. Any monitor that is not supported is listed as N/A. This particular car has an EGR readiness monitor but it does not have an EVAP monitor.

Click the image to open in full size.

Any monitor that requires some sort of drive cycle is called a non-continuous monitor. Those are the ones you are waiting on when you visit the inspection station. In my experience the Catalyst monitor and the EVAP monitors take the longest to be set. Here is a drive cycle that may help set the monitors:

Click the image to open in full size.


I hope that clears up some confusion about OBD II inspections and "readiness" tests. Engines don't just arbitrarily become "Ready" after x number of miles or x number of drive cycles. PCM's go through a series of tests to make sure the components are working, and different criteria must be met for every engine. A lot of inspectors really don't understand this system fully. They just do whatever their inspection tool tells them.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

I'm SO glad KY doesn't do inspections!
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:20 PM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

So before you go and drive 1,000 miles.... read through this thread to understand how it really works.

I basically did the drive cycle steps after the CEL was cleared and after a few miles of driving (give or take 30 miles)... my Murano was now ready for inspection.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:23 PM   Thread Starter #5
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

Originally Posted by officerfrasher View Post
I'm SO glad KY doesn't do inspections!
It's such a PAIN. Cali has it the worst. lol
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

Originally Posted by officerfrasher View Post
I'm SO glad KY doesn't do inspections!
+1

Several years ago i had to get inspected for Louisville, KY. But not once since then.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

Thanks Eddy this also applies to the TCM it does the same thing when there is a SEL .
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

What is the difference in the CEL and the SEL? And how does one remove the SEL from being on? THANKS for any help I think my car won't pass State Inspection with the SEL on.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Check Engine Light (CEL) + Inspection? What To Do?

Originally Posted by betosae View Post
What is the difference in the CEL and the SEL? And how does one remove the SEL from being on? THANKS for any help I think my car won't pass State Inspection with the SEL on.
Pretty sure its different ways different car companies call it

CEL - check engine light

SES - service engine soon

SEL - service engine light

Just different ways of saying the same thing
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