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Old 01-09-2019, 11:15 PM   #1
CaptainAtom
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Default On board computer not ready

Hi all, I have a question for the community. So I've taken my car into emissions twice now and both times they've said that the computer isn't ready yet. The things that it says aren't ready are the O2 sensor, evap system, catalyst, and the egr. Does anyone know if I just need to keep driving it or should I take it into the mechanic?

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Old 01-09-2019, 11:34 PM   #2
Cheyne
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

Where does the temp gauge sit when driving? Have you changed the ECTS?

It sounds like itís not getting up to temp.

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Old 01-10-2019, 12:28 AM   #3
onlinebiker
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

Sounds like me in the morning, before coffee.....


The house could be burning down - and I'd still be looking for my cuppa...

...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
97 SC2
99 SC2
02 SC2
02 SL2

parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
3 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

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Old 01-10-2019, 10:43 AM   #4
alordofchaos
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyne View Post
Where does the temp gauge sit when driving? Have you changed the ECTS?

It sounds like itís not getting up to temp.
Agreed

Hey, CaptainAtom, did you ever find the source of your coolant leak?

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:05 AM   #5
trottida
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2001 SL1
Default Re: On board computer not ready

From what others have indicated proper operating temperature will affect readiness of the various sensors and their inputs relayed to the computer (PCM).

Here's a clip from another post regarding operating temperature, ECTS and Thermostat. I'm not sure what generation your driving; Gen2 (96-99) temp gauge reading at operating temperature is a bit lower but still close to 1/3 and the Gen1 (91-95) is close to 1/2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
Start by replacing the ETCS if resin tipped and make sure the connector is not fouled. Also check the wire to ensure there are no crimp connectors; either soldered connections or factory wires (connector never replaced). If it is already brass tipped and the connector/wires look good then move onto the thermostat; it's likely leaking. Instructions on how to check the thermostat are below.


GEN3
The proper operating temperature for a GEN3 (2000-2002) should show as per the gauge in this photo; a needle width either way. When the gauge runs at 1/4 your car is running rich and you'll get poor gas mileage and carbon build up. High idle is also a sign that it is running rich as the PCM thinks the engine is still cold and it increases the fuel ratio.



GEN2
The proper operating temperature for a GEN2 S Series (1996-1999) should show as per the gauge in this photo; a needle width either way. When the gauge runs at 1/4 your car is running rich and you'll get poor gas mileage and carbon build up. High idle is also a sign that it is running rich as the PCM thinks the engine is still cold and it increases the fuel ratio.




Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post

If you're running at the 1/4 or less then you have some issues.

The original ECTS (Coolant Temp Sensor) installed in all S Series from 1991 to mid year 2001 had a resin tip which over time is prone to cracking and leaking coolant onto the connector. A faulty ECTS and/or connector sends the wrong signal to the PCM which is responsible for fuel management. It usually reads cold and therefore increases fuel. The engine is running rich and this creates a lot of carbon deposits, poor fuel mileage and high idle. Over time you'll begin to see exhaust component failures due to exessive carbon build up.

Here's a photo showing the difference between the resin tipped ETCS and the brass tipped.



Here's a photo showing a cracked resin tipped sensor and a fouled ETCS connector. Both should be replaced and connector wires should be soldered not crimp connected. Crimp connectors will cause signal failure.



Checking the ECTS is relatively easy with minimal coolant loss. It's recommended to change it to a brass tipped sensor. If your ECTS connector has been fouled then it should be changed as well ensuring the connections are soldered and shrink wrapped rather than crimped. The ECTS is just below the EGR valve on the left side of the engine (drivers side). Open and close the coolant resevoir to depressurize the system. Remove the air intake to access the sensor. Disconnect the connector by pinching in the 2 sides to release the tabs and check that it is clean and not fouled. If fouled then replace with a new one. Remove the ECTS using a deep socket and check the tip. If resin then change it to brass; if brass it is likely still good but you can change it if you want since it is only about a $15 part.

Thermostats also fail over time and when they do they leak and this resulted in lower operating temperatures. The lower operating temperature also causes a rich condition affecting fuel mileage and carbon deposits. You may also experience poor heating from the HVAC system because the HVAC heater core pulls heat from the coolant.

Here's how to check if your thermostat is leaking. Starting with a cold engine, start the engine and put your hand on the the lower radiator hose just after the thermostat. If that hose gets warm after a minute or so then your thermostat is leaking. The thermostat should stay closed until the coolant temperature reaches 188-195 F. It takes several minute of run time to reach this temperature. If the thermostat is leaking it is recommended to replace with a Stant 14279. A thermostat is about a $20 part however it's a bit more labour intensive to change than the ECTS as you have to drain the coolant to remove it

...
2001 SL1 MT (428,500 km @ 01/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (272,500 km @ 01/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (120,506 km @ 01/2019)

Past Saturns
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2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 01-10-2019 at 11:15 AM..

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Old 01-10-2019, 01:25 PM   #6
Saturn Night
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAtom View Post
Hi all, I have a question for the community. So I've taken my car into emissions twice now and both times they've said that the computer isn't ready yet. The things that it says aren't ready are the O2 sensor, evap system, catalyst, and the egr. Does anyone know if I just need to keep driving it or should I take it into the mechanic?
This means the PCM has been reset, by having power disconnected, on OBD-II systems. People did this with OBD-I, just before an emissions test, since the "Service Engine Soon" light will automatically fail you.

With OBD-II, there is no "cheating", as the car must get up to engine temperature O2 sensor temperature to maintain "closed loop" operation for about 50 miles of driving.

Colder temperatures seem to affect the EVAP system going to "Ready" status.

What DTCs were coming up, before you reset your PCM to go in for emissions?

You have also not mentioned which year of S-Series or model you own.

...
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"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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Old 01-11-2019, 11:12 AM   #7
trottida
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

The OP's other post indicates
Quote:
My car is a 98 Saturn SL 1
CaptainAtom, it is recommended to add you car details into your profile shown on the left and/or into your signature line. This helps us focus into the specific generation, body style and model year. There are minor variances year over year.

...
2001 SL1 MT (428,500 km @ 01/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (272,500 km @ 01/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (120,506 km @ 01/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 01-11-2019, 11:37 AM   #8
SLfun
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Default Re: On board computer not ready

Once you deal with any obvious problems, sounds to me like you have to complete a 'drive cycle' .

http://www.obdii.com/drivecycle.html

This is something I have had to do to several cars to get them to go into
ready to be tested mode. Iv'e had a 100% success rate to get cars to be tested after completing a drive cycle.
Be sure to follow it to the letter, or as close as possible while obeying local traffic laws of course.

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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