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Help - Car failed emissions inspection

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I just brought my 03 in for it's annual NY State inspection which includes an emissions test. I have no lights on the dash and everything seems to be running fine, so I assumed it would pass without an issue, but it did not. I've attached the printout and reasons for failure to see if anyone can lend some advice. The battery and alternator was replaced in the car back in August 2021, but since then the car has been driven about 350 miles. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My closest Acura dealer is about 90 miles away, so if I can't determine the cause of the issue and get it re-inspected locally, I will likely have to take it there.

Thanks,
Shawn

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It depends honestly, you can likely trigger them in less than 100 miles, but some of the monitors are tricky to set and you have to have the correct situations occur…which can be frustrating.

For the parameters, you can check the service manual for your year NSX


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In NY don't some dead presidents fix that...;)
 
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Not on an OBDII car. It still needs to show ready before it will spit out a sticker. It don’t have to pass visual but it’s still needs to show ready (technically it dose but those are easily overlooked) . In the OP case it just needs to be driven you can hook a standard Scanner up to it to see if it’s showing ready. Autozone will let you barrow one if you don’t have one handy. Good news is it likely don’t need parts you just got to drive it a bit.

OBDI cars yeah you can get stickers handed to you if you know the right people. It’s a big risk with no reward for them so it’s unlikely the average person can do this. I certainty would never do this it’s against the law. :rolleyes:

NYS inspection can now fail you for things like tint. NYC dose smog and is pushing to eliminate aftermarket exhausts. Huge blow to the enthusiast crowd. But The Road pirates need that Revenue. Thankfully outside the City Smog and aftermarket exhausts aren’t an issue unless your caught doing other stupid stuff it’s just a charge they tack on at the end to boost revenue. Or if you are ripping threw neighborhoods late at night and people complain.
 
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That is very unusual for none of the monitors to have been set. On the NSX, for whatever reason it usually seems to be the Evap monitor that is the one to fail to set or the very last to set. As an observation, until the monitor subroutines have been successfully completed I don't believe the ECU will report any emission related error codes. That is why the Inspectors check for completion of the monitors as part of the simplified non sniffer OBDII based compliance test.

The service manual is particularly unhelpful when it comes to diagnosing problems with monitor routines in the ECU. As far as I have been able to determine, there is no universal standard covering the monitor routine software other than the general requirement to have the routines. It appears that how the routines function can be unique to individual manufacturers so the magic drive cycle that causes the monitors to set on one car may not work on another car. You can see this if you do a Google search for OBDII Drive Cycles which will give you a list of drive cycles to set the monitors which are not consistent. The only feature lacking from the various drive cycles is sacrificing a chicken, spreading the blood around the car and doing the drive cycle at midnight with a full moon with a shaman in the passenger seat. The manufacturers do not appear to share the details of what the monitor software is checking for in order to achieve ready status. For what it is worth, on my 2000 when I take it out of storage every spring, I reconnect the battery, start it and let it idle for about 10 minutes while I pack stuff up, listen for strange noises and check for leaks, then I drive it home which is about 25 - 30 km of mixed low speed and highway driving and in all the times that I have checked the monitors were ready. No need to go through the elaborate routines described in the various drive cycles.

The service manual (and other sources) does set out that some of the monitors operate continuously (the O2 monitors) and some of the monitors only operate once each time the car is started and driven (the Evap monitor). This next bit of info is not from the service manual. It was gleaned by scrounging through various sources on the OBDII code (none of them Honda specific) so treat with caution. As far as I was able to determine the software runs the readiness monitors in a set process and if the first monitor in the process does not set it will not proceed to checking the status of the other monitors. It also appears that the O2 monitor (which runs continuously) is the first monitor to be checked, so if the O2 monitor routine does not set then it is game over in terms of getting any of the other monitors to set.

The status of the monitor completion is stored in keep alive memory in the ECU along with things like error codes. Every time you disconnect the battery or reset the ECU using the fuse you lose the status of all the monitors and you need to do the 'drive cycle' to get the monitors to set. Given that none of your monitors have set, I don't think your problem will be fixed by trying to carry out any of the magic drive cycles (those may help when the Evap is the monitor that fails to set). I don't know exactly what your problem is; but, I suggest three possible areas for exploration:

1) Is there a problem with the keep alive power for the ECU? If the keep alive power circuit has failed then every time you turn off the car all the monitor status indicators will reset to 'Not Ready'.
2) There is something wrong with the O2 sensor(s) which is preventing the ECU from successfully setting the O2 monitor which then prevents the ECU from trying to set any of the other monitors.
3) There is something screwy with the ECU firmware that runs the monitors. However, I find it hard to conceive of something that would corrupt the monitor firmware and leave the rest of the firmware functioning.

I suggest that if you don't have an OBDII code reader you borrow one or purchase one. You will need one that provides real time data and allows you to check the status of the monitors in real time. If you do a simple test drive, the reader will display the monitor status and under normal circumstances should switch from Not Ready to Ready on each monitor. Because the O2 monitor runs continuously it should set fairly quickly after the engine is up to operating temperature. If the O2 monitor (and any of the other monitors) transitions to ready during your test and then disappears after you shut the engine off and restart, you are likely losing keep alive power to the ECU. If none of the monitors set after a persistent test drive, then I suspect that something is screwy with the O2 sensors. Some OBDII scanners will allow you to monitor the real time voltage on the O2 sensors. A laptop or tablet / cell phone based scanner which graphs the voltages can be useful in diagnosing problems. With the actual O2 sensor voltages there are resources on the web that will provide guidance on whether your sensor voltages are normal or something is screwy. The ECU has error codes for failed heaters on the sensor and sensor voltages that are completely out of range (these are separate from the fuel mix errors). I would presume that these error codes should show up and trigger a MIL even if the O2 monitor fails to set; but, I don't know that for sure.
 
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Prior to the inspection, was the battery disconnected? If so, that's likely your problem. Same thing just happened to me with my 2007 S2000. I store the car with the battery disconnected. Went for my smog test and and the monitors weren't ready. Guy told me to drive it for half an hour and keep it a 55mph, and not to use the cruise control or AC. Went home, grabbed my scan tool and went for a drive. Sure enough, 30 minutes later, my monitors were ready. Went back and got my smog.
 
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Did your battery die recently or was unplugged? You'll most likely need to drive and cycle it to get all the monitors ready. Typically this involves letting the car sit and completely cool, then drive on the freeway at a steady pace. Keep the AC off at all times. Get yourself an OBDII reader too so you can confirm the monitors are ready before going back.
 
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Thank you all for the info so far, and hopefully it won't take too much effort or $ to get this issue solved. I'm definitely going to get an OBDII reader and see what conclusions I can put together from the data or lack of. To give a little more context about the car, the battery was replaced along with the alternator in August at 44,700 miles, since then the car has been driven 387 miles, mix of highway and some stop and go. Prior to the most recent battery change, there was another in September of 2013. I just bought the car in October, but from what the previous owner told me (and I can back this info up with records) the car has only been driven 1,800 miles in the last 8 years. About 10-20 miles at a time just to keep things moving. I'm not sure if any of that plays into the issue here, but I thought it might be relevant information to someone who has more experience with this sort of thing than I do. I don't have many more days to drive the car before I planned to put it away for the season, but in that time I'll try to give it a few long drives and get an OBDII scanner.

Thanks again
 
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Welcome to EPA and NY DOT nightmare. Been there done that and moved to PA. First get any cheap code reader and download Torque app. Than you can see how many sensors are ready for inspection.
Now the fun part . There is recommended driving cycle . This is from Smolketips and worked for me.


In most cases, your vehicle's emission monitors should run during normal driving on both city and highway traffic conditions and over the course of 200 to 300 miles. However, due to different driving habits, the criteria required to run a monitor may not always be met. Following the Honda Pilot drive cycle below should allow the emission monitors to complete. The drive cycle must be followed accurately.Take extra caution when performing the drive cycle on public roadways. Perform the drive cycle at your own risk. If you feel you might not be able to perform the drive cycle safely, or obey all traffic laws, seek the assistance of a smog check repair station which will be able to perform the drive cycle on a dynamometer, utilizing specialized OBD II drive cycle readiness tools/scanner/computer.

Emission "monitors" are internal self-tests which the engine control unit (ECU) performs to ensure your Pilot is not polluting and is running efficiently. The entire process of self-testing various emission control systems is called a Drive Cycle.
[h=2]How To Perform a Honda Pilot Drive Cycle[/h]The following is a Honda OBDII Drive Cycle Pattern. (Obey all traffic laws while performing drive cycles. Perform acceleration steps only on highways)
COLD START: Begin from Cold Start, and ignition in OFF position for at least 1 hour. Insure your Honda’s fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full and engine coolant temperature must be below 122°F and within 11°F of the ambient air temperature. Do not leave the key on prior to the cold start or the heated oxygen sensor diagnostic may not run.
IDLE TIME: Run your Honda’s engine (do not drive) for 2 1/2 minutes with the air conditioner on and rear defroster on. During this period the ECU will be running the Oxygen Sensor Heater self-test, Air Injection System Passive Air test, EVAP Purge "No Flow" test, Misfire Detection.
ACCELERATE: Turn off the air conditioner and rear defroster and begin driving. As soon as possible apply half throttle until 55mph is reached. The ECU will now run self-tests on the Misfire Detection, Fuel Trim, and EVAP Purge Flow.
HOLD STEADY: Now hold your vehicle speed steady at 55mph for three minutes. During this time the Oxygen Sensor O2 response, Air Intrusive (AIS System), EGR Flow, Purge Valve, Misfire Detection, and Fuel Trim diagnostics will be performed.
DECELERATE: During this step you want to slowly let off the accelerator pedal. Do not brake or shift your Honda in order to slow down. It is important to let the vehicle coast along gradually slowing down to 20 mph. The ECU will once again self-test the EGR System, EVAP Purge System and Long Term Fuel Trims.
ACCELERATE: Go ahead and accelerate again at 3/4 throttle until 55-60mph is reached. This will perform the same self tests as during the first acceleration step.
HOLD STEADY: Hold steady speed once again. This time at 55mph for five minutes. During this time, in addition to running the self-tests as during the first HOLD STEADY step, the ECU will perform the catalyst monitor diagnostics. If the catalyst (Catalytic Converter) is marginal or the battery has been disconnected, it may take 5 complete driving cycles to determine the state of the catalyst,or in order to Complete the CAT Monitor.
DECELERATE: This will perform the same diagnostics as in the first Deceleration. Remember not to press your Honda’s brake or shift gears during deceleration.
This should complete the drive cycle on your Honda Pilot. To ensure all monitors are complete use a scan tool to view the monitors. You may want to complete the drive cycle 2-3 times.

[FONT=&quot]
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Not on an OBDII car. It still needs to show ready before it will spit out a sticker. It don’t have to pass visual but it’s still needs to show ready (technically it dose but those are easily overlooked) . In the OP case it just needs to be driven you can hook a standard Scanner up to it to see if it’s showing ready. Autozone will let you barrow one if you don’t have one handy. Good news is it likely don’t need parts you just got to drive it a bit.

OBDI cars yeah you can get stickers handed to you if you know the right people. It’s a big risk with no reward for them so it’s unlikely the average person can do this. I certainty would never do this it’s against the law. :rolleyes:

NYS inspection can now fail you for things like tint. NYC dose smog and is pushing to eliminate aftermarket exhausts. Huge blow to the enthusiast crowd. But The Road pirates need that Revenue. Thankfully outside the City Smog and aftermarket exhausts aren’t an issue unless your caught doing other stupid stuff it’s just a charge they tack on at the end to boost revenue. Or if you are ripping threw neighborhoods late at night and people complain.

An '03 is an OBDII car.
 
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An '03 is an OBDII car.

Correct. I was replying to Doc’s post above. OBDII cars need to show ready otherwise it won’t pass so you can’t just grease some palms and get it done (the way everything in NY gets done). OBDI cars don’t have this issue.
 
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I knew it was OBD2 ....the power of the Benjamin's ..
 
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Yep just gotta "know" a guy....
 
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Yep just gotta "know" a guy....

My cousin Vinny knows a guy, who knows a guy who knows a ........

The correct 'guy' could probably fabricate a fake OBDII port and set it up to respond like a real OBDII port with ID info and also to respond to a query on the status of the emission monitors indicating all ready. If the emission inspector decided they wanted to check real time operating data, that would present a whole other problem.
 
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data shmatta....:tongue:
 
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I've got a quick update for anyone following along. Since yesterday I picked up an OBDII scanner from a buddy (Zurich ZR11 from harbor freight) and read through everyone's comments and private messages multiple times. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to respond, I appreciate it so much, and hope that in time I can lend some insight of my own.

Tonight I had the chance to give the car a drive to try out the drive cycle steps that [MENTION=31127]acuhon[/MENTION] shared. I did the best I could to follow the protocol as closely as possible starting with the idle in my garage. After getting through everything (about 20 mins), I parked and hooked up the scanner and all of the monitors except the O2 sensor monitor were good to go. I drove back home and parked the car, feeling hopeful and planning to go for another drive tomorrow to perform the same steps again. My curiosity got the better of me so around 8:30pm I went back out to the garage hooked up the scanner and now it looks like all the monitors including O2 are ready. I ran a global OBDII scan for codes as well as an enhanced Acura-specific scan and both turned up no codes whatsoever! Fingers crossed that everything stays good until Monday when I can get it re-tested for emissions, but at this point I'm feeling good about it.

I've seen it mentioned so many times that this community looks out for each other, and though I never doubted it, it really amazes me how quickly you guys stepped up to help me out. Thanks again and I'll keep you all updated on Monday, if not sooner.

Shawn
 
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The night before you go for your compliance test (or the morning of), reconnect your scanner to confirm that all the monitors remain ready and that some electrical problem has not erased them. No point in going for the compliance test if the monitors have not achieved ready status. I still find it odd that in 350 miles of regular driving none of the monitors were set yet they were all set in slightly over 20 minutes following the OBDII drive cycle.

Take your scanner with you to the compliance test. If the emission tester's equipment / scanner hand shakes with your car's ECU correctly on power up, I don't think it likely / possible that there would be a communication issue which would cause it to miss read the monitor status. However, if the tester's equipment indicates that the monitors are not set it would be interesting to know what your scanner reads.
 
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The night before you go for your compliance test (or the morning of), reconnect your scanner to confirm that all the monitors remain ready and that some electrical problem has not erased them. No point in going for the compliance test if the monitors have not achieved ready status. I still find it odd that in 350 miles of regular driving none of the monitors were set yet they were all set in slightly over 20 minutes following the OBDII drive cycle.

Take your scanner with you to the compliance test. If the emission tester's equipment / scanner hand shakes with your car's ECU correctly on power up, I don't think it likely / possible that there would be a communication issue which would cause it to miss read the monitor status. However, if the tester's equipment indicates that the monitors are not set it would be interesting to know what your scanner reads.

Thanks for the tips, I looked at everything again this morning before going out for a drive and all the monitors were still good. I definitely plan to hook that scanner up immediately before getting another test at the shop, because I'd hate to donate another $21 to NY State for no reason.

To your point about the oddity of the monitors not being ready after 350 miles, I'm wondering if a point you brought up earlier might be the case. In your first post you mentioned that the O2 monitors are the first to become ready and that if they fail the car wont even try to proceed with the other monitors. Then when [MENTION=31127]acuhon[/MENTION] laid out the drive cycle procedures it stated that in the initial 2.5 minute idle with the A/C on and the rear defroster on is the point where the "ECU will be running the Oxygen Sensor Heater self-test." Maybe that was the first domino that caused everything else to fall into place? I definitely know that in the few weeks I've had the car I never had the need to run the rear defroster during idle, and the previous owner in Florida would've had no reason to either. So the only thing I can conclude at this point is that either you have to follow a VERY specific set of steps or it was just purely luck. Could've also been that chicken I sacrificed with the Shaman! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 
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The whole emission monitor 'thing' is definitely 'dark arts'. What are continuous monitors and monitors that run once per trip cycle are different from manufacturer to manufacturer and sometimes have changed over the production years for the same manufacturer. It is not clear what the O2 monitor includes for the NSX because some cars have separate monitors for fuel mix which runs continuously and the O2 heater is a separate monitor. If the heater monitor was a simple monitor like a continuity (which is what I thought the NSX had) it could run continuously. If the O2 heater monitor checks the change in heater current at start up to confirm that the heater is actually heating up then it is definitely something that could only run from a cold start. Definitely the NSX secondary air system on 2000+ cars can only be tested once per drive cycle from a cold start because that is the only time that system operates. It would be nice if 'somebody' was a little more forthcoming with what the monitors actually test which would give us some clues as to what we need to do to get the monitors to the ready state..

There is a plethora of magic OBD2 drive cycles attributed to different manufacturers that will fix your problem for you. They range from the dead simple to the 'are you kidding me'.

OBDII (nyvip.org)

The only thing missing from some of these drive cycles is the shaman and the dead chicken.

Glad that you got your monitors set and hope they stay that way.
 
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Good news, the car passed emissions this morning. I'm going to keep the battery on a tender while I store it so that hopefully I don't run into this issue again. Thanks again to everyone for all the help!!

Shawn
 
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Good news, the car passed emissions this morning. I'm going to keep the battery on a tender while I store it so that hopefully I don't run into this issue again. Thanks again to everyone for all the help!!

Shawn

That's a great that you passed emissions. In NY with 03 car you can have one sensor not ready and you would pass. I wonder how many thousands of miles people spend on the road to try set all sensors and pass inspection just to make the green mafia happy. Also it can show on carfax and some people could think that your car was modified . It happened to me. Enjoy your beautiful car.
 
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My cousin Vinny knows a guy, who knows a guy who knows a ........

The correct 'guy' could probably fabricate a fake OBDII port and set it up to respond like a real OBDII port with ID info and also to respond to a query on the status of the emission monitors indicating all ready. If the emission inspector decided they wanted to check real time operating data, that would present a whole other problem.

Being a resident of California I need to look into this for a side job. Fab an OBD2 unit from a pi computer, lease it out to people, including a fake ALDL, for the modified crowd.

If VW could do it so can I.
 
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