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So I've been trying to pass smog for the past month.

I recently got my 02 sensors changed in my 2003 330Ci. I took my car in for smog and they said my monitors were not complete.

I hooked up my OBDII reader and found that my EVAP, oxygen sensor, and oxygen sensor heater monitor were all incomplete.

I brought my car to a Euro shop and they printed out the following drive cycle for me to perform:



My first attempt on this drive cycle, no luck. I tried the cycle again and I successfully completed my EVAP and oxygen sensor heater monitors. I attempted the drive cycle a few more times after, but no luck. I'm now battling the last oxygen sensor monitor.

Any ideas or tips to complete this monitor? My car has not shot up any codes. Much appreciated!
 

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Do not put too much stock in the "Drive Cycle", if the engine is running properly, most monitors pass without problems after 2-4 Run cycles that includes 10-15 minutes of highway driving.

Chances are you have one or more lazy O2 sensors and/or the Post-cat O2 sensor wiring may be swapped Bank to Bank.

Thermostat may also be soft, 15 minutes is not long enough to fully warm up the engine under many conditions.

If I had $5 for every E46 over 100k miles that still has original O2 sensor, I would be a rich man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do not put too much stock in the "Drive Cycle", if the engine is running properly, most monitors pass without problems after 2-4 Run cycles that includes 10-15 minutes of highway driving.

Chances are you have one or more lazy O2 sensors and/or the Post-cat O2 sensor wiring may be swapped Bank to Bank.

Thermostat may also be soft, 15 minutes is not long enough to fully warm up the engine under many conditions.

If I had $5 for every E46 over 100k miles that still has original O2 sensor, I would be a rich man.
Sweet, thanks for the feedback! I will definitely bring it to the shop for them to check it out.

On a separate topic, I've been reading about people passing their smog test even with a few monitors incomplete? I've looked around for information, but I have not found any answers. I'm located in California and I'm reading that it varies from state to state. Do you know anything about that? My oxygen sensor monitor is the only monitor that is not complete.
 

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You can look up the info on the CA SMOG program on the CARB site. I believe, CA may allow 1 Readiness Monitor to be incomplete and I recall this may be the EVAP Monitor.

Other states allow 1-2 Monitors to be Incomplete depending on the year of the car and they usually do not specific specific Monitor requirements.

In the meantime, some light reading for you - https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_OBD_Reference_Guide.pdf

Pay attention to page 2, however, there are a number of different manufacturer Drive Cycles listed toward the end of the document as well.
 

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My battery died so all the smog checks got reset. I was failing one of the drive cycle checks. The shop originally told me to put 100 miles on the car and it would be okay. I put 200 miles on the car and it still failed. You need to follow how the test needs to be done or else it'll never complete.

I had to drive on the freeway for 15 minutes at 40-60 mph (keeping RPMS below 3000) to get the last check to pass. Was very painful. set cruise control to 55 mph and just drove in the slow lane. After that.. it immediately passed smog.
 

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I had to drive on the freeway for 15 minutes at 40-60 mph (keeping RPMS below 3000) to get the last check to pass. Was very painful. set cruise control to 55 mph and just drove in the slow lane. After that.. it immediately passed smog.
I think this is a key to get some of the Monitors to finally clear/pass that people have a hard time with.

Too many areas, people are either driving too fast and/or the speed slows down and picks up too much due to traffic and it is hard to drive at a steady state/speed.
 

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Hi jfoj,

I have similar problem with my 2000 323i, only Oxygen Sensor Monitor is Incomplete. I read some of your previous posts(excellent information, great Job!!) and got a OBDFusion setup, and collected the logs.
looking at the logs I'm confused on which O2 sensors are bad, can you please take a look at these logs and let me know which o2 sensors need to be replaced.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4x269iwr8ix3klm/AAAisOcPwEB6ymoj9H9psnU8a?dl=0

This has 2 files ( cold_start - early morning, and warm_idle -after running for ~10 min)_nr_
 

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Well, I've been TRYING to find a more DEFINITIVE answer to: Just WHAT, EXACTLY, does it take to get all the necessary sensors to acquire sufficient data to PASS the CA Smog Check - after doing the necessary repairs AND clearing all the codes??? Initially I had an intermittent 1421 & 1423, which I now understand (but couldn't find it initially, so let it slide with an occasional CLEARING of the CEL with my UltraGauge.) Making the mistake of clearing the CEL before driving to the smog station (23 miles away) I was told I had to go drive the thing 50-100 miles in order for the O2 and catalyst sensors to accumulate data. So I drove about 80 miles in about 8 trips, thinking it should get it -- NOPE! While trying to add more, the 142x errors returned, and - funny thing - seriously ROTTEN vac hose behind block. IF that fixes things, I'm HOPING that I can figure how to get things to pass by KNOWING what I'm doing instead of just driving around wasting time and gas to get it done. Doesn't ANYONE know the REAL TRUTH - please and thanks???
 

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Driving hundreds of miles is NOT the answer. A "good" car can have ALL but the Evap Readiness Monitors Complete in 1 drive if the O2 sensors are fresh and active, the SAP system works and there are no Lean codes. I am talking about 7-15 miles of driving.

Trying to drive the posted Drive Cycle posted all over the Internet is chancy IMHO.

EVERY time codes are cleared whether or not the SES/CEL/MIL is on, the Emission Readiness Monitors are RESET.

If a Pending code or a Permanent Hard code is triggered, the Readiness Monitor process will be stopped.

The SAP Readiness Monitor should turn to Ready/Pass/Clear on the first cold start after sitting overnight. If it doesn't, then depending on the year and DME in the car, the Pre-cat O2 sensors are probably lazy and/or there is a problem with the SAP system.

MANY problem cars have original O2 sensors after 10-15+ year and 150-250k+ miles. This IS a problem!

This is REALLY not that hard, if the car is in good shape and has been maintained.

I would suggest that MY Drive Cycle be followed, posted below.

1. Start engine cold from sitting overnight and allow the engine to idle normally for 2 minutes.
2. Drive the car around normally for 10-15 minutes to fully warm up the engine. You can attempt #3 & #4 during this warm up period.
3. Accelerate to 20-30 MPH and maintain steady speed for 3 1/2 minutes.
4. Accelerate to 40-50 MPH and maintain a steady speed for 15 minutes. A good car only needs 3-5 miles if the O2 sensors are working properly. I prefer to find a flat road without much traffic and set the cruise control at 45 MPH and drive for 3-5 miles and see if the O2 sensors and Catalyst Monitors clear.
5. Before shutting engine down, allow it to idle in gear for approximately 5 minutes.
The diagnostic routine shown above will be discontinued whenever:
***8226; Engine speed exceeds 3000 RPM
***8226; Large fluctuations in throttle angle
***8226; Road speed exceeds 60 MPH
NOTES:
Try to have the fuel tank filled between 3/4 & 7/8 of a tank. Often you will need at least 2 Run Cycles to complete most of the Readiness Monitors. The Evap Monitor is the hardest to clear, however, most states allow 1 Readiness Monitor to not be clear, CA now will allow the Evap Monitor to not be clear for SMOG testing.
 

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Thanks for the prompt RE, jfoj! I'll give that a go - with a couple exceptions:

1) "seeing" if the O2 sensors & CatMons clear - that's unlikely to be something I can do. Smog man _SAYS_ that if I hook up my UltraGauge it will knock me in the weeds and I'll have wasted my time. Seems unlikely that just having it hooked up would be a problem, as long as I don't use it to clear the CEL, but on the other hand I'm not even sure if the UG has the capability to tell me whether or not I have managed to acquire sufficient data on those monitors.

2) allowing it to idle IN GEAR for 5 minutes? Is this not assuming an A/T when I have a 5 speed stick? Like the <3000 RPM and the <60 MPH, sitting in my driveway with it in gear will require RADICAL patience on MY part (holding the clutch in for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES) so this introduces a high risk of OPERATOR ERROR. But I'll try.

As for gauges - I've been trying several things lately to enable not just monitoring, but MODIFYING certain items usually done by the stealership. Unfortunately, hard-wired AND bluetooth gadgetry that I've tried so far are NOT working for me. My 323i is something of a tweener, where some stuff is still in the round pacman terminal under the hood, so perhaps I can tap that w/ my laptop - sure haven't been able to get anything thru the under-dash OBD port!

Neither can I access any of the great SOUNDING options lurking in the "hidden" OBC items supposedly accessible thru the dash! NOTHING I have tried will allow me INTO the sub-menu items under #19. I was HOPING to be able to monitor the coolant temp directly, as the idiot gauge is configured so stupid (and I can't reprogram it until I find an interface and app with read/write capability). Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? Needing a cheese sampler with this whine, eh? Sorry.

Back to what's important:

THANKS for your assist!

<grin>
 

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1. SMOG guy does not now what he is talking about, not surprising. You can hook up the UltraGauge all day long and it will not cause problems with the Readiness Monitors as long as you do not use the UltraGauge to clear codes you will be fine.

One good thing about the UltraGauge is it will alert you of Pending Codes without having to attempt to Read Codes.

Depending on the version and age of the UltraGauge it can and may provide Readiness Monitor status. I have 2 here, so if you need you do not see them in the Menu, I can double check where the Readiness Monitor page is on the UltraGauge.

You probably should clear codes to start the Readiness Monitoring process over, even if there are no codes, if you have driving a few hundred miles and Monitors are still not Complete, best to start over and try to get a few of MY Drive Cycles in to see what happens.

2. Just allow the engine to idle in neutral before you shut the engine down. The Evap Monitor is not required for CA anyway, so you might not focus too hard on the Evap Monitor.

3. Your car has the round 20 pin DLC connector under the hood. The cap with jumpers needs to be installed on the DLC connector for the connector under the dash to work for basic OBDII. You will need a round 20 pin DLC to 16 pin OBDII adapter cable to access other modules in the car other than the DME and EGS. There may be a wiring hack that will allow you to access everything from the 16 pin OBDII connector under the dash, I will look to see if I can find the info, never tried it so cannot be 100% sure it works.

Can you advise how old/how many miles the O2 sensors have on them?

Can you advise if the SAP Readiness Monitor will clear on the first cold start?

I need to look around, I recall something from the CA SMOG site/manual that indicated some of the earlier BMW's had a hard time with some of the Readiness Monitors. I do not see many of the early E46's so I cannot say if this was as big of a problem with the early cars, but from 2001 and newer, I rarely have problems if the SAP system works and the O2 sensors are not lazy.

I will look for the CA SMOG info and post the info back here for review, it may not be something to worry about, just something to be aware of. I cannot recall if there was a "solution" or just talk about difficulty getting Readiness Monitors to set.

Do you have OBDFusion or any other OBDII App that will Log? We may need to see the O2 sensor behavior on cold start.
 

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See pages 36-38 in this PDF: https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_OBD_Reference_Full_Version.pdf

BUT be careful, just because there is a Tech Bulletin, this does not mean this will help you in the case of a 17 year old car that may still have original O2 sensors.

You really need to address the basics before you fall on the sword and expect the Technical Bulletin for a DME update to solve your issue.
 

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Hi jfoj

Thanks again for your generous advice! I'm about to risk driving on the road in spite of the registration technically being expired, as I couldn't pass the smog cert, in order to acquire the data necessary TO pass. And then there's getting the car TO the smog shop - hopefully I can accomplish both today without attracting undue attention and getting slapped.

What I discovered, and it came as NO surprise, was that the tiny piece of rubber vac hose at the rear of the block (connecting the solenoid to the hard plastic line that goes around the bend up to the valve) was old, crumbly and LONG overdue! The easy one at the other end of the hard line HAD been replaced, but the mother dog unit was left for my enjoyment. Fun task for someone with large paws -- even involving loss of blood. But WORTH IT!!!!

After replacing, the diagnosis looked promising: there was 15 lbs vac to the valve, healthy air coming out of pump, not too noisy, and that for only about a minute and a half. Looks like it probably fixed the weakness -- will be trying your driving tips next.

And, as you confirmed that my use of the UltraGauge will only cause problems IF I make the active choice to nuke the memory, I can even set it to warn me if I'm approaching the 3000 rpm and/or the 60 mph limits. Furthermore, as you mentioned the Readiness Monitor, coincidentally I discovered this yesterday when I hooked it back up to clear the CEL and codes. Of course, all the things monitored in that list were clean slates, but that's about to change.

There was an odd thing about that Readiness Monitor thing, though, and I'm not sure how/why: I couldn't EXIT from there, PLUS it stayed on even after I shut the engine off. For a long time. Too long. Gonna run the battery down eventually if it stays on forever - so I unplugged the UG again.

As for the tech bulletin re: problems w/ certain of these E46s passing CA smog - with a workaround by flashing some update - apparently that had been done at SOME time in this vehicle, because this car passed smog last time (had to get it done immediately when we acquired the thing). So if it passed about a year and a half ago, it shouldn't need reflashing now, I wouldn't think.

As for O2 sensors ages - I don't know. I can try to ask previous owner - but this should be something I can see on my UGauge, right? And if they were problematic, I think this would show with codes OTHER than the 1421 and 1423 that have been intermittently cropping up (which I'm inclined to believe was caused by that weak vacuum hose).

I guess there's one thing about which I'm still unclear, regarding the "Drive Cycle" thing: does the engine have to cool clear down to cold between drives in order to log another count? As I mentioned, I am hoping to get this sneaking-under-the-radar driving completed today, tomorrow at latest.

Before I sign off - gonna push my luck with an off-topic query of your off-the-top cranial library: any idea why I can't access all the extra goodies in submenus from the dash-based test of hidden OBC info - particularly menu 19 items where I could theoretically see coolant temp, for instance?? (Sorry - can't help myself)

Thanks again in a HUGE way!

;)
 

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As mentioned, if the car passed SMOG before, the DME flash is not likely required. If it has not been flashed, it may take longer to get the Readiness Monitors to Complete.

You want to allow the car to sit overnight, then run MY drive cycle, with the exception of the Evap monitor, which requires a specific time for the car to sit between restarts, you should be able to get all Monitors Complete in a single drive if everything is fine.

While the UltraGauge is a good tool, it is not ideal for diagnosing Driveability problems. You really want and need the OBDFusion App with is $10 or less depending on the platform you use. The interface is between $15-$40 depending on the platform you use. OBDFusion can actually Log the data and we can determine of any of the O2 sensors are lazy. I would bet your car has original O2 sensors or old replacements, the car is 15 years old!

See this link on what OBDFusion will allow you to see: http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showpost.php?p=16237779&postcount=34
 

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Woooooot!!!!

http://s1.e46fanatics.com/forum/images/smilies/excited.gif

Yeah, Baby! Just got home from what amounts to the 2nd or 3rd trip of the day - depending upon how you count - and ALL SYSTEMS are GO!

This morning I made a run northward to a town 10 miles distant (that happens to have a coffee shop I've patronized for a couple decades now) in hopes that the run up would constitute 1 cycle and the return home a 2nd. Came up still lacking 2: the catalyst and the evaporative. So I made a run south this evening, nearly 20 miles in total, where I could actually get 15 minutes at 50 mph, and when I pulled over to check the sensors, VOILA! ALL GOOD!

No codes of any kind now, either, and after watching the O2 sensors, their output levels look reasonable to me - swinging between about 0.16 v to 0.8. O2 was actually reporting OK by the end of the 1st leg of the morning trip, so tomorrow we're revisiting the smog shop to get this baby LEGAL again.

On to the rad fan controller now, to get a handle on the overheating issue. WAY COOL (pun intended).

THANKS AGAIN - sensei jfoj!!!! http://s1.e46fanatics.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_thank.gif
 

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Word to the wise, when driving to the SMOG shop take surface streets if possible, no highway driving or limited highway driving.

Good luck that you get the SMOG complete soon.
 

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Hi everyone... I am hoping someone can help me. I have taken my car a 535i BMW to get smogged 3x and it has failed. I recently had my water pump/thermostat changed out. The 1st smog place I went to said the mechanic must of rest my battery which reset my computer. He said that I needed to drive it around for a while so we did. Took it back after driving a good 100 miles and it still said not ready. So drove around again for a lot more miles, 400 to be exact and it is still saying the same thing. Smog guy prints me up a paper that says, OBDII Not ready, Evaporative system not ready, Oxygen sensor not ready. What do I do? I don't wanna take this car to BMW to just be charged a lot of money when I can possibly fix it. Thanks.
 

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Hi everyone... I am hoping someone can help me. I have taken my car a 535i BMW to get smogged 3x and it has failed. I recently had my water pump/thermostat changed out. The 1st smog place I went to said the mechanic must of rest my battery which reset my computer. He said that I needed to drive it around for a while so we did. Took it back after driving a good 100 miles and it still said not ready. So drove around again for a lot more miles, 400 to be exact and it is still saying the same thing. Smog guy prints me up a paper that says, OBDII Not ready, Evaporative system not ready, Oxygen sensor not ready. What do I do? I don't wanna take this car to BMW to just be charged a lot of money when I can possibly fix it. Thanks.


You need to complete a qualified drive cycle. A Drive Cycle is a specific manner of driving in a particular order. Google BMW DRIVE CYCLE to see what is needed. Just because it is "not ready" does not mean that it's broken and needs repair. For whatever reason, the computer got reset. This initiates a series of Readiness Monitors, of which the EVAP and O2 Sensors are just two.
 
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