drive cycle
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Thread: drive cycle

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    1

    drive cycle

    Hi everyone
    I had to register my van as non operating because i did not have the fund to fix the problems associated with the check engine light.I must have left one of the overhead lights on and it drained the battery,and that in turn reset the computer
    now i cannot check to see what codes to fix.My questions is since i cannot drive my car on the road to cycle the computer, what can i do,will idling the car in my drive way reset the computer.Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Supporting Member

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    Mar 2011
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    Mid Hudson Valley, NY (USA)
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    Re: drive cycle

    The answer is I don't believe you can. In order to set all of the readiness indicators to show a motor vehicle inspection station that the computer is truly 'clean', you must complete the full drive cycle. The specifics vary depending on the model & year, but in general it includes the following:

    1) a half tank of gas to test the vapor recovery system operation
    2) a cold start, a few minutes of idle to get up to temperature followed by a light-moderate acceleration to highway speed
    3) hold that speed for a few miles, then coast down (some say without braking...)
    4) turn off the ignition and wait a few moments
    5) repeat the acceleration and steady state cruising
    6) shut down and allow to cool to test vapor recovery

    Again, this is the general idea and the devil is in the details. Normally a few days of normal operation will get it done if this 'quick' method does not.

    In your case, however, you need first to get the light back on so that you can address the basic issue that flunked you the first time around? That part you may be able to do depending on what's wrong. Start and let it idle. In you driveway 'drive' it as best you can back and forth during warmup and after it warms up. Basic stuff like vapor recovery operation, pre and post cat sensors, knock, temp, load calc, transition from open to closed loop, misfire, etc. should show themselves and trigger a code and give you an idea where to start.

    After you fix it, how are you going to get it ready for re-inspection without being allowed to drive it to set the ready indicators You won't get there sitting in your driveway...
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  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    355

    Re: drive cycle

    Unfortunately, there's no shortcut to being "ready." But, if you use your van daily, for more than around town, you should be ready within a week.

    Without a scan tool to read codes, or a nearby AutoZone, you're blind to your problems, should your MIL illuminate.

    It's also helpful to know your state's emissions protocols. Most follow a federal protocol wherein you may have one (or two) monitors not ready, as long as there are no pending codes.

    Here's a list of readiness drive patterns for Toyotas:

    http://home.comcast.net/~dntsdad//TS..._(revised).pdf
    Last edited by pjksr02; 01-23-2012 at 10:44 PM.

  5. #4
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    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    152

    Re: drive cycle

    I read OP differently. He/she had to sign off on road operation due to lack of funds to fix the problems. So, unless there is some provision for changing this status, there seems to be no way to legally drive it at all. When you run into this sort of stand-off, that car is ready to junk, but OP probably does not have money for another car. Bad deal; I feel for you.

  6. #5
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2,923

    Re: drive cycle

    Don't shoot me for making an unreasonable suggestion, but there are only two ways I can think of to get the vehicle through a full operational cycle to satisfy the test requirement:
    1. run it on a chassis dynamometer - yes I know dyno time is expensive and the van would have to be towed to the shop with the dyno
    2. drive it on private property - a race/test track ideally, but any private facility with internal roads that allow sufficient speed would work
    Maybe these will get other members thinking about a more practical method.

    I assume that the owner is expected to tow the vehicle to the test station to get it approved for road use again... yes, another expense.

  7. #6
    Supporting Member

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    Mid Hudson Valley, NY (USA)
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    Re: drive cycle

    Sound suggestions, Brian. Short of stealing your neighbors plates and driving illegally , the system has made it near impossible to get a vehicle back on the road. In NY it once was possible to get a 10 day temporary inspection sticker after the primary ran out, but when they shut that down you had to have the vehicle towed to one of the very widely scattered state run garages to get re-certified.

    The only exception that I know of is if you bring a vehicle into the state and register it for the first time. Then you are given a 10 day pass. That works great if you can show a second place of residency in a neighboring state. Selling it to your sister and buying it back would also work, but the State will want something in sales tax on the fair market value of the vehicle.
    '08 Sienna LE (FWD) in Slate Metallic, '02 and '14 Subaru Outback wagons
    Sienna:
    Enabled DRL & VIP RS3200 Security
    Curt 13256 2” receiver hitch & Air Lift 1000 rear spring bags
    Fog lights, mud guards, & door sill protectors
    Avery ‘Touring’ custom grey carpet 3 piece floor mat set
    Continental Extreme Winter on Sport Edition F7 rims, TMPS & ATEQ reset tool
    8yr/125k $0 deductible Platinum warranty

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    355

    Re: drive cycle

    In Connecticut, if you have $660 of emissions repairs performed at a "certified" emissions repair shop, and the problem is not fixed, then you can apply for a waiver from the emissions requirement. Maybe other states have similar "outs."

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13

    Re: drive cycle

    pjksr02, I think it's that way here in Georgia too. This whole emissions thing is such a crock. If it's so important to "everyone" that emissions are to be so minimal, I know the auto industry can easily design a system that functions as we need it too to satisfy the emissions standard without having to go through all this crap with so many vehicles. I mean come on, this is now 2014 and we still have this much trouble with vapor emissions. It's all about those dollar bills and keeping shops in business. Anyway, I guess I'm just a little bitter going through this crap myself. The prices to "fix" these things are just so ridiculous and almost have nothing at all to do with how the car is running. My van runs perfect other than that stupid canister that needs to be replaced.

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