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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I looked around and couldn't find great advice for my situation.

My 03' 330ci has an issue with the catalytic converters. Sometimes the CEL comes on, and I've had the codes read, efficiency banks 1 and 2 I believe.

Other times, it stays off. It goes on and off every few weeks.

I'm in Chicago and just got summoned to do a test. So I have a few questions:

1. If I go when the light is off? Will I pass?
2. Does anyone know what all is done in Illinois for emissions?
3. If I can't pass even with the light off, what options do I have? Could O2 sims fix this?

Kinda starting to worry about this, as I replacing them is a pain in the ass.

Any tips, advice would be greatly appreciated boys! Cheers
 

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Hey, I looked around and couldn't find great advice for my situation.

My 03' 330ci has an issue with the catalytic converters. Sometimes the CEL comes on, and I've had the codes read, efficiency banks 1 and 2 I believe.

Other times, it stays off. It goes on and off every few weeks.

I'm in Chicago and just got summoned to do a test. So I have a few questions:

1. If I go when the light is off? Will I pass?
2. Does anyone know what all is done in Illinois for emissions?
3. If I can't pass even with the light off, what options do I have? Could O2 sims fix this?

Kinda starting to worry about this, as I replacing them is a pain in the ass.

Any tips, advice would be greatly appreciated boys! Cheers
I'm in Illinois and the emissions testing is a joke. You'll fail if the CEL is one, but other than that you should be good. I've seen some complete hoop-ties pass. I've also had a stage 3 S70 T5 pass while having deleted some of my emissions equipment, o2 delete, no cats, etc. I know of an S2000 that passed running an open dp, e85, meth, etc.

You'll wait in line, drive into the station, they'll hook up to your obd port, and in a few mins it'll be a pass or fail.

If you want to test in Joliet, I'm pretty close to the station here with a scan gauge you can use to clear any codes.

Edit- I think they test your gas cap too. If you're that worried about it you could get some o2 spacers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ross,

Awesome. Hopefully you are right. Like I said it goes on and off every few weeks. I see that if the "Monitors" aren't reset tho, even if the CEL is off, you may not pass?

Would having issues with the cats effect my gas cap? I don't know too much about emissions and such...

Thanks for your help. I might hit you up if i can't pass. Luckily i have a few months to do so. Still kinda worried tho!
 

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Most states that perform just the OBDII test require that the 3 Continuous Readiness Monitors are Clear/Pass/Read, at least all but one of the Non Continuous Monitors are Clear/Pass/Ready and there is NO SES/CEL/MIL and no Pending Codes.

P0420/P0430 are nuisance codes, they show up for different reasons. Usually you can "manage" to keep these codes off my staying off the highway or a steady cruise with a long coast.

You need your OWN OBDII tool, smart phone Apps and interface are usually under $30. You can then watch and "manage" the situation and then get the car to the inspection station while the Readiness Monitors are all Clear/Pass/Ready and you have no Pending or Current codes.
 

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Ross,

Awesome. Hopefully you are right. Like I said it goes on and off every few weeks. I see that if the "Monitors" aren't reset tho, even if the CEL is off, you may not pass?

Would having issues with the cats effect my gas cap? I don't know too much about emissions and such...

Thanks for your help. I might hit you up if i can't pass. Luckily i have a few months to do so. Still kinda worried tho!
I've had 2 cars that I was literally clearing with a scan gauge while I was in line. My Volvo 850R's cel came on while they were in my car. I pulled the scan gauge out cleared it, and they didn't care. I've never failed.

Gas cap won't affect cats. Just letting you know that they'll remove it and test it too.

Pm me if you decide to get tested in Joliet and need a hand.
 

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I've had 2 cars that I was literally clearing with a scan gauge while I was in line. My Volvo 850R's cel came on while they were in my car. I pulled the scan gauge out cleared it, and they didn't care. I've never failed.

Gas cap won't affect cats. Just letting you know that they'll remove it and test it too.

Pm me if you decide to get tested in Joliet and need a hand.
Not sure what your Inspection Station does, if you clear codes, none of the Emission Readiness Monitors will be Clear/Pass/Ready, so the cars should not eligible for OBDII Inspection, maybe they default to tailpipe and if the numbers are good they pass.

Your Volvo is a "Special Child", the early Volvos will NEVER clear many of the Readiness Monitors so most states have a database of these "Special Children" and they ignore the Readiness Monitors that are not Clear/Pass/Ready.
 

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Not sure what your Inspection Station does, if you clear codes, non of the Emission Readiness Monitors will be Clear/Pass/Ready, so the cars should not eligible for OBDII Inspection, maybe they default to tailpipe and if the numbers are good they pass.

Your Volvo is a "Special Child", the early Volvos will NEVER clear many of the Readiness Monitors so most states have a database of these "Special Children" and they ignore the Readiness Monitors that are not Clear/Pass/Ready.
Most of mine are done in Joliet, but I've taken one or two in either Orland or Tinley. I haven't had the tailpipe dyno run inspection since college back in 04' on my Z28.

Not all the cars were Volvo's, but I hear ya. I've had modded ones from 96' to 03' that all passed. Everyone I know with a modded car has passed, even with just clearing some random code. Just letting OP know that Illinois emissions aren't as stringent as other states and usually pretty easy to pass.

It's pointless anyways. They don't test 95' and older because it's too expensive, so they only test the usually more efficient cars. :tsk:
 

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If you replace a battery or clear your CEL codes your emission subsystem tests will not be ready until you drive the car in varying ways to get each different subsystem to be READY.. Good idea to read the readiness subsystems prior to your test to verify they are all ready.



.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, lets say me CEL goes off automatically. Should that mean the monitors should all be reset and I should be good to go test?
 

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So, lets say me CEL goes off automatically. Should that mean the monitors should all be reset and I should be good to go test?
If the light is on, that's an instant fail. If the light is off, there is no guarantee that the car will pass.

Your car is telling you that the CAT(s) is(are) operating below efficiency -- although you did not give us any codes to confirm this, and your description is a bit vague if not completely non committal. If the light is going on and off by itself, then you should be okay with the Readiness Monitors -- your car is sensing a fail condition that fixes itself, this should bypass the readiness monitors. Honestly, it is a bit odd that you car fixes itself.

What you need is to buy an ELM-327 module on eBay for about $20, then buy the upgrade app for your phone -- there are free versions that are good to play with, but you want to go all-in and buy the upgrade for 5 bucks (Torque Pro). You can spend more, but even so you can have a very good scan tool for less than $40, and less than $30 if you don't go crazy. The phone app will allow data collection over time that you can use to make a graph, and it gives realtime data that displays on your phone or tablet. The information you get will tell you where you need to aim your screwdrivers and wrenches.
 

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Is the testing equipment universal across the country as far as what's plugged into the obd? Just curious since I see some responses from all over.

Like I said, I've had cars pass that were just cleared in line before testing. I've also had highly modified cars and know people with those types of cars that pass with ease. Cars with open dp's, no cats, o2 delete, sas delete, catch cans, race gas, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If the light is on, that's an instant fail. If the light is off, there is no guarantee that the car will pass.

Your car is telling you that the CAT(s) is(are) operating below efficiency -- although you did not give us any codes to confirm this, and your description is a bit vague if not completely non committal. If the light is going on and off by itself, then you should be okay with the Readiness Monitors -- your car is sensing a fail condition that fixes itself, this should bypass the readiness monitors. Honestly, it is a bit odd that you car fixes itself.

What you need is to buy an ELM-327 module on eBay for about $20, then buy the upgrade app for your phone -- there are free versions that are good to play with, but you want to go all-in and buy the upgrade for 5 bucks (Torque Pro). You can spend more, but even so you can have a very good scan tool for less than $40, and less than $30 if you don't go crazy. The phone app will allow data collection over time that you can use to make a graph, and it gives realtime data that displays on your phone or tablet. The information you get will tell you where you need to aim your screwdrivers and wrenches.
I just bought it from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Version-Bluet...&qid=1426019510&sr=8-1&keywords=elm+327+obdii

Says shipping will take a few weeks >.< but hopefully it's quick.

Thanks for the help! I'll look into everything once I get that.

Lets say it the CEL goes off in the mean time and I take it to go get tested. Is there anyway that could hurt me? If I fail does that flag my car in anyway?
 

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I just bought it from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Version-Bluet...&qid=1426019510&sr=8-1&keywords=elm+327+obdii

Says shipping will take a few weeks >.< but hopefully it's quick.

Thanks for the help! I'll look into everything once I get that.

Lets say it the CEL goes off in the mean time and I take it to go get tested. Is there anyway that could hurt me? If I fail does that flag my car in anyway?
Yes. You can't get new tabs and the car becomes illegal to drive. I actually have a friend of a friend that has some Frankenstein motor swap in his car and can't pass no matter what he's tried. He just had the registration transferred to his mom so he's good for the next year or whatever.
 

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So, lets say me CEL goes off automatically. Should that mean the monitors should all be reset and I should be good to go test?
NO.

You NEED to buy yourself and OBDII tool.

Everyone that drives a vehicle that is from 1996 or newer NEEDS an OBDII tool.

$30 or less for a smart phone App and interface.

$50 for a decent stand alone tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
NO.

You NEED to buy yourself and OBDII tool.

Everyone that drives a vehicle that is from 1996 or newer NEEDS an OBDII tool.

$30 or less for a smart phone App and interface.

$50 for a decent stand alone tool.
Okay cool. Well I just purchased mine. Hopefully it comes quicker than it says it will. (Damn amazon tricks). I wont go to get it checked even if the CEL goes off. I'll wait for the reader, and report what i find, and hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction. Thanks a bunch!
 

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Okay cool. Well I just purchased mine. Hopefully it comes quicker than it says it will. (Damn amazon tricks). I wont go to get it checked even if the CEL goes off. I'll wait for the reader, and report what i find, and hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction. Thanks a bunch!
There ARE NO Amazon tricks.

The purchaser (You) have to pay attention to DETAIL!

First look to see if it states "In Stock".

If the item indicates it is "Fulfilled by Amazon", it means the item is currently in one of the North American Amazon Distribution Centers or local distribution centers in the region you are shopping from Amazon.

So if the description says something like Sold by iSaddle and Fulfilled by Amazon, you should get it quickly, usually in a few days.

If the description says something like Ships from and sold by Gold Wing, well your guess is as good as mine. This means this seller is using Amazon as a store front and if they are located in Asia, you might see the item in 2-4 weeks depending on where is coming from and how they ship the item.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There ARE NO Amazon tricks.

The purchaser (You) have to pay attention to DETAIL!

First look to see if it states "In Stock".

If the item indicates it is "Fulfilled by Amazon", it means the item is currently in one of the North American Amazon Distribution Centers or local distribution centers in the region you are shopping from Amazon.

So if the description says something like Sold by iSaddle and Fulfilled by Amazon, you should get it quickly, usually in a few days.

If the description says something like Ships from and sold by Gold Wing, well your guess is as good as mine. This means this seller is using Amazon as a store front and if they are located in Asia, you might see the item in 2-4 weeks depending on where is coming from and how they ship the item.
I just bought this one - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OMT6UEK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I assume this will work the same? It didn't have the exact same product name, but it looked like the same thing.

You are right. It was my mistake for not reading more. Hopefully they will cancel my order for the other one.
 

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So, lets say me CEL goes off automatically. Should that mean the monitors should all be reset and I should be good to go test?
No! Your system readiness is separate than the CEL. Not Ready will not set the CEL.

Need to drive the car in different manners to reset the system tests.
 

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I just bought it from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Version-Bluet...&qid=1426019510&sr=8-1&keywords=elm+327+obdii

Says shipping will take a few weeks >.< but hopefully it's quick.

Thanks for the help! I'll look into everything once I get that.

Lets say it the CEL goes off in the mean time and I take it to go get tested. Is there anyway that could hurt me? If I fail does that flag my car in anyway?
If the car fails then it has to be repaired before you get new registration stickers.

If your light clears itself but the car is still marginal, then it can fail the test. Let's say that they test for some content that is allowed to be 47. Yours hovers at 46, and occasionally touches on 48, so the light comes on. The reality is that the car does not know the limits of the contents they test for, and it can be running at 50 all of the time, but the light does not come on until 55, and every so often you hit on 60, but if they are testing for 47, then 50 is a failure even though the light is not on. You have marginal performance of something that trips the check engine light and then falls back to specification so the light goes off. The car is happy even if the smog test machine is not. On the other hand, you car can tell you that it's not happy at some given point in time, but the smog machine is good with the numbers so it lets you pass.

Without codes, it is impossible to know why the light comes on and goes off again. It's not likely to be CAT efficiency, though. It could be, but not likely. There is a certain putting-the-cart-before-the-horse quality to this discussion. You need to know why the light is coming on before you can develop a repair strategy that involves your driveway, or an halfway intelligent discussion with the mechanic.
 

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No! Your system readiness is separate than the CEL. Not Ready will not set the CEL.

Need to drive the car in different manners to reset the system tests.
Your answer is correct, but does not answer his question.

He has a CEL that goes out by itself, the question is if the monitors run or not. I suspect they do not because the Reset button was not used, therefore the monitors do not need to run. Monitors run after reset, and ready is the state of monitors that have successfully completed checking for the stuff they check for. And, that's not entirely true. A state of completion can be that the CEL is on again, and by definition this is not a ready state.
 
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