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Drive Cycle Won’t Complete, Tips on How to Deal with Drive Cycle Issues

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You’ve recently read about How to do A Basic Drive Cycle on a previous article. But what if the basic drive cycle didn’t work?

Continue reading and find out more about what you should do if the drive cycle won’t complete.

First step: The vehicle preparation

You must do a double check on the preparation of the vehicle. Fill your fuel tank for just 30 to 70 percent of fuel capacity. This needs checking out since some systems require a specific range or level of fuel to trust the tests like the EVAP system. Basic tests may not run if the fuel tank is either below 30 percent or more than 70 percent.

You also need to watch out for a good battery and  alternator to avoid the occasional jump-start. This jump-start might cause the PCM or powertrain control module memory to be erased along with the results gathered through the various stages of the Drive Cycle. The important tests might not also run if the battery is uncharged or weak.

Letting the vehicle sit overnight or 8 hours minimum would help prepare the vehicle for the drive cycle as you did previously when you initially performed the drive cycle. Let it sit in an environment for less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that engine and air temperature matches. This helps in establishing an accurate baseline for the test later. The fuel would be too volatile if the temperature is higher than 90 degrees F. And though some emissions systems may run, the EVAP won’t run its tests in this case.

This mostly recalls to what you’ve already done in the initial drive cycle, making sure that the keys are out of the ignition and closing all the doors. This is to ensure that the onboard computers are off when you leave your vehicle. Some of the computers in your vehicle might boot up when you forget to get the keys out of your ignition.

Second step: Basic Drive Cycle must be repeated

Faithfully follow the rulebook on performing the Basic Drive Cycle. You can surely recall how you kept the speed from 55 mph to 60 mph on the freeway, running on 5 miles minimum. Here, remember to use the cruise control to help you keep the speed and in the right lane for your own safety.

Third step: Which Drive Cycle Monitor did not complete

Take note of which one did not complete the drive cycle. When you drive to an auto shop of your own choice, they re-check your present codes, pending ones, and your readiness monitors for free as a courtesy. Your vehicle is ready for normal driving and an emissions inspection when there are no present or pending codes anymore. Take note of them if they’re not. Check if the pending code was set or if the Check Engine light is illuminated, this would mean that the auto shop who worked on your vehicle did something wrong. They must re-do the work without the charging more except for a newly diagnosed trouble code.

Fourth step: Determine which monitor needed to be prioritized

Remember that there are three continuous monitors that will complete in most cases. These are for monitoring: the fuel mixture, occurrence of misfires, and the sensors.

Should the monitor for the oxygen sensor heater not be ready yet, see how many monitors are not yet ready as well. If both the catalyst and oxygen sensor monitors aren’t ready yet, the possible problem would be the weak battery. This usually happens when you have your battery for more than four years. Replace your battery and do the Drive Cycle again.

Watch closely even when your car is starting fine. You must know that PCM is hypersensitive even with the slightest battery glitch. This will cause for another suspension of the Drive Cycle, with not enough charging system and battery performance.

Say, only the oxygen sensor heater is not ready but most are ready (EGR system, oxygen sensor monitor, EVAP monitor, catalyst monitor, and secondary air system, what will likely happen? If all else is ready, in most cases, the heater monitor will eventually be ready. This could be a sign of the heater circuit that’s getting old making it one of the last to pass. But if the catalyst monitors and the oxygen sensor are ready, the heater needs to work of the two other monitors would fail and set the codes.

What if the EVAP monitor is not ready?

You can still pass even when your EVAP monitor is not ready. Most of the time, this is the last to get ready. However, if you want to fix this concern, check if your fuel cap is tight and the fuel is between ¼ to ¾ of a full tank. If the other monitors show they’re still not ready, try making a few cold starts. If in this case, your EVAP monitor still hasn’t passed, take it to a shop with familiarity on the Mode 6 Diagnosis.

Should none of the monitors set, forego taking your vehicle to your local auto shop who understands the Mode 6 Diagnosis.

How did your vehicle do on fixing the Drive cycle not completing issue? If you need to see on Video a drive cycle being completed really fast in under 10 miles, check this video out.

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