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    Thread: Check Engine Light Reset and California Smog

    1. Semi-n00b
      Join Date
      Sep 13th, 2010
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      San Jose, CA
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      2012 VW Jetta S
      12-13-2010 07:11 PM #1
      So... after I finally got around to replacing my ABS pump I went to get my smog check done. Passed except I didn't drive enough miles to qualify. WTF is that about? The SMOG tech told me to drive 150 miles and come back. I drive the 150 plus miles and within that time my check engine light comes on. I go to the shop and have it reset. Now my question is...

      How many miles do I have to drive the car after a Check Engine Light reset in order to qualify for a Cali SMOG Check?

      THANKS!

    2. Member scotts13's Avatar
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      Feb 15th, 2007
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      Lehigh County, Pa.
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      2004 GLS 1.8T
      12-13-2010 07:39 PM #2
      Some reasons the CEL comes on take a while to collect data before deciding there's an error. Therefore, there's a "readiness" code set, basically saying it's monitored long enough to give an accurate readout. OTHERWISE, people would reset the light and immediately get the smog check done before the light could come back. You wouldn't want that, would you?

      I don't know the exact algorithm used to decide when to set a readiness code. But it's both start/stop cycles and miles, and I'm pretty sure less than 150 of 'em.

    3. 12-13-2010 09:41 PM #3
      I am in the same boat right now. It's an evap emissions problem, I think it's the breather motor. I cleared the morning before the test (MA I think uses CA smog).
      I was rejected for 'monitor not ready'. The mechanic said come back in a little bit of driving.

      Is there some window of time where the monitor will be ready, but the CEL will not come on and I can pass without repairing the issue???

    4. Semi-n00b
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      San Jose, CA
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      2012 VW Jetta S
      12-14-2010 02:05 PM #4
      75 Miles... wish me luck!

    5. Semi-n00b
      Join Date
      Mar 20th, 2011
      Location
      Mission Viejo, CA
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      12
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      2004 A6 Avant
      01-16-2012 12:24 AM #5
      Did it work at 75 miles?

    6. 01-16-2012 01:14 AM #6
      Wow over a year ago.
      The guy ended up passing me in December 2010 with a wink aNd a nod.
      The light did come back on right at 75 miles.
      Fast forward to December 2011. Mechanic replaced the purge valve. That was not it and I still have the old expired sticker.

      Next item to change is the leak detection pump.

    7. 01-16-2012 04:33 PM #7
      The problem you guys are having is with whats called the readiness code. The readiness code is simply a binary string of numbers that represent whether the self tests on the emissions systems of the vehicle been run and passed. A readiness code of all 1's means that all self tests have been run and the individual systems are working properly. If there is a 0 in the string, then there is either a test that is not completed or failed. Subsequently, a failed self test also stores a fault code and most likely sets the Check engine light. Anytime you clear all the fault codes out of the system, all the readiness tests default to 0 and need to be done again. This is because the car has no idea what work has been performed on the vehicle, so it needs to make sure all systems are working to ensure a proper repair and functioning emissions controls. The self tests cant be actuated all at once, or immediately after the reset because some systems only work when very specific requirements are met. You generally have to drive a couple of days (50-100 miles) before all the individual tests have been performed and readiness is set. This is done so people cant just clear the Check engine light and then roll directly into an emissions station and pass.

      Bottom line? fix whats actually wrong with your car and you will pass emissions.
      No. 2944 - BMP - SOLD
      2002 Matte white with pearl (dipped) 2002 Passat GLX, 5 speed, (1 of 22 in N.A. in this configuration) Koni coils, Hella bi-xenon retrofit, ECS stubby antenna, de-badged, B5 all red tails.

    8. 08-04-2012 03:46 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Ae 2944 View Post
      The problem you guys are having is with whats called the readiness code. The readiness code is simply a binary string of numbers that represent whether the self tests on the emissions systems of the vehicle been run and passed. A readiness code of all 1's means that all self tests have been run and the individual systems are working properly. If there is a 0 in the string, then there is either a test that is not completed or failed. Subsequently, a failed self test also stores a fault code and most likely sets the Check engine light. Anytime you clear all the fault codes out of the system, all the readiness tests default to 0 and need to be done again. This is because the car has no idea what work has been performed on the vehicle, so it needs to make sure all systems are working to ensure a proper repair and functioning emissions controls. The self tests cant be actuated all at once, or immediately after the reset because some systems only work when very specific requirements are met. You generally have to drive a couple of days (50-100 miles) before all the individual tests have been performed and readiness is set. This is done so people cant just clear the Check engine light and then roll directly into an emissions station and pass.

      Bottom line? fix whats actually wrong with your car and you will pass emissions.

      I've driven my car about 500 miles after the reset, check engine light is still off after the reset but i did not pass the smog. What do you think is the problem sir?

    9. Member scotts13's Avatar
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      2004 GLS 1.8T
      08-04-2012 06:56 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Andreamzi View Post
      I've driven my car about 500 miles after the reset, check engine light is still off after the reset but i did not pass the smog. What do you think is the problem sir?
      Generally, they tell you what they flunked you for; there's a form just for that. If it passed the OBDII check, it's probably just putting out too much pollution. What did the report say?

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