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Old 03-11-2007, 08:28 AM   #1
suessaturn
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1999 SL
Dizzy 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

NYS inspection done on my '99 SL manual drive Saturn. I love this car...have never had a problem 'till now.

Inspection failed because the following were "not ready" on the OBD II test:

1. Catalyst
2. O2 Sensor
3. EVG (?) sorry can't remember exactly the initials

Jiffy Lube guys (my first mistake/last time I go there) told me to "drive it at 65 mph for 40 minutes" and return for a retest (no charge).

Got in my car, headed to expressway. Noted that my odometer light was out. It was operable 30 minutes before when I turned the car over to the Jiffy Lube people. I pulled over, and checked my fuses.

Fuses all looked okay, but when I pressed firmly down on all of them to be sure they were seated, several were noted to "click" back into place - I don't know which ones because I was pressing several at a time.

Odometer light back on.

Clock radio had not been reset, so as far as I can tell, the battery had not been disconnected.

Wasted my gas doing the 65 mph for 40 min. drive. Back to Jiffy Lube.

Failed again.

Was told their "printer out of ink" and they couldn't give me my "NYS 10 day" inspection waiver. The tech signed my receipt and told me, "Drive it a few days, we'll check it again. If you get pulled over by a cop, show him the receipt."

Drove home, looking for the police every step of the way!

Went on line: NYS DMV has brochure on how to run a Drive Cycle. I did it this morning as follows:

1. rear defrost on, car in drive; start and idle for 2 1/2 min.
2. accelerate moderately and steadily to 55 and hold at 55 for 3 min.
3. decelearte without braking or using clutch (not easy - I had to pop it out of gear or it would've stalled) to 20 mph.
4. accelerate again to 55 - 60 and hold for 5 min at that speed.
5. decelearate again as above, only this time let the car come to a complete stop.

didn't work.

ANY IDEAS? I will try this cycle again, but if anyone knows of a better one, please let me know.

And don't tell me to disconnect the battery, because that will only cause me to have to re-do a drive cycle again. I read that somewhere on here.

Thanks!!!!!

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Old 03-11-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Is the SES light on? If so go to an auto store and have them connect the car to a OBII scanner and get the error codes and post them here.

When was your last tune up? Once you have the codes you'll know whether or not for sure if you need a new O2 sensor or new plugs and wires, or your EGR cleaned, etc.

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Old 03-11-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

My SES light has never turned on (aside from at start up, which is normal). My boyfriend has an OBD II monitor, that's how I know that the 3 things are still "not ready".

It's been maintained well.

I believe that the techs at jiffy lube either loosened my fuses or disconnected the battery during the inspection, and that is why I am getting the "not ready" readings.

They cannot pass my car for NYS inspection without being able to do the emissions inspection and they can't do that until the computer re-sets itself.

To reset the computer, I need to do a "drive cycle" or two.

Is there any other way to reset the computer and get it ready for testing besides the drive cycle business..it's crazy! Has anyone else had to do this with a manual transmission car? How am I supposed to allow the car to decelleration from 55 mph to 20 mph without using my clutch to downshift?

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Old 03-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

As 3rd gear goes easily past 60mph (I've held it to just over 70...) it should be no problem for 55mph... and no problem at 20mph. 4th might work at 20mph but I've never tried it that low.

...
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Old 03-11-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suessaturn View Post
............. Has anyone else had to do this with a manual transmission car? How am I supposed to allow the car to decelleration from 55 mph to 20 mph without using my clutch to downshift?
Unfortunately you'll have to attempt to drive as normal as you would for the drive cycles to gather enough input information before the ready indication. I would also agree that someone pulled fuses in order to perform a reset that backfired and passed the problem back to you with the consolation of a free re-inspection. As you realized too late, Bungled-Lube isn't the place for auto work, its better to just get on with getting state inspection. Why should it be a problem leaving the car in gear while coasting from 55 to 20? Maybe an uphill portion of road will help deceleration if timed right while in gear, just remember to downshift to either 3rd or 2nd when approaching 20mph while staying aware of traffic behind you. If you've driven a manual long enough to be able to deal with varying shift conditions this shouldn't be any different.
When this is all over and done with it would be better to either ask around for repair shops that are known for competent work or go with your gut instinct. State inspection stations are everywhere but experts aren't, even for simple (although more sophisticated) computer read-outs for inspection.

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Old 03-11-2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

The driving cycle shoudl be from a "cold start." See below. Not clear from you post if you did that. That should get rid of any "not ready" codes, but may leave problem codes. Be sure to tell us the exact code numbers, not some hammer mechanic's interpretationof the code, which may not be Saturn specific.

General Motors Driving Cycle

A complete driving cycle should perform diagnostics on all systems. A complete driving cycle can be done in under fifteen minutes.

To perform an OBDII Driving cycle do the following:

1. Cold Start. In order to be classified as a cold start the engine coolant temperature must be below 50C (122F) and within 6C (11F) of the ambient air temperature at startup. Do not leave the key on prior to the cold start or the heated oxygen sensor diagnostic may not run.
2. Idle. The engine must be run for two and a half minutes with the air conditioner on and rear defroster on. The more electrical load you can apply the better. This will test the O2 heater, Passive Air, Purge "No Flow", Misfire and if closed loop is achieved, Fuel Trim.
3. Accelerate. Turn off the air conditioner and all the other loads and apply half throttle until 88km/hr (55mph) is reached. During this time the Misfire, Fuel Trim, and Purge Flow diagnostics will be performed.
4. Hold Steady Speed. Hold a steady speed of 88km/hr (55mph) for 3 minutes. During this time the O2 response, air Intrusive, EGR, Purge, Misfire, and Fuel Trim diagnostics will be performed.
5. Decelerate. Let off the accelerator pedal. Do not shift, touch the brake or clutch. It is important to let the vehicle coast along gradually slowing down to 32km/hr (20 mph). During this time the EGR, Purge and Fuel Trim diagnostics will be performed.
6. Accelerate. Accelerate at 3/4 throttle until 88-96 km/hr (55-60mph). This will perform the same diagnostics as in step 3.
7. Hold Steady Speed. Hold a steady speed of 88km/hr (55mph) for five minutes. During this time, in addition to the diagnostics performed in step 4, the catalyst monitor diagnostics will be performed. If the catalyst is marginal or the battery has been disconnected, it may take 5 complete driving cycles to determine the state of the catalyst.
8. Decelerate. This will perform the same diagnostics as in step 5. Again, don't press the clutch or brakes or shift gears.

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Old 03-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #7
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Happy Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

You all totally rock! I so appreciate the information.

I am going to head out to re-try the drive cycle per that last post. The one I tried earlier was very similar, and yes, was from a cold start...HOWEVER...after letting it idle for the 2 1/2 minutes, I had to then drive to the expressway on roads that are 35 mph, with stop lights in-between, etc. Could the fact that it wasn't a clean accel to 55 mph cause the cycle to be no good?

My plan is to drive to the expressway, sit with my coffee and paper for about an hour to let it cool down (I'm in Upstate NY, won't take long)..and then do the cycle from there.

The idea of using an incline is a good one. I just don't want to stall out in gear - I've been driving manual vehicles for about 28 years - I LOVE manual transmission, won't have it any other way. I'm a techno-baby who doesn't know much about cars, but has no fear of getting my fingernails dirty and will try to sort something out (i.e. get info via the web, friends) before heading to the professionals so I will have some idea as to what is going on.

When I asked the "tech" at screwey-lube what the heck "not ready" meant, all he could tell me was that my on board computer was "not ready" (literally, that's what he said!). It took me going on the internet and researching this for about an hour to get an understanding as to what was going on...that's when I realized that the goofballs had reset my computer during the inspection.

Yes - lesson learned. Will head to my Saturn people from now on (have always done so before and never had a problem with them).

Ok..off to drive! Wish me luck. Again THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INFO!!!!

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Old 03-11-2007, 07:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Note that the "accelerate to 55" step does NOT specify what gear(s) you use, but the "decelerate to 20" step does specify that you do NO shift or clutch. If you use fifth gear, that's gonna be tough. Well, impossible, esp. with an MP2 tranny. You *might* be able to do this by maxing out in fourth.

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Old 03-11-2007, 11:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suessaturn View Post
My SES light has never turned on (aside from at start up, which is normal). My boyfriend has an OBD II monitor, that's how I know that the 3 things are still "not ready".

:
Any chance he used that OBD II "monitor" to reset the PCM codes to "help you pass?"

That being the case, that is the root cause of why you failed.

Drive the car in a variety of ways, (normally?) for about a week, including city, highway and rural driving. That will get all the monitors back on line. Keep the OBD II "monitor" away from the car....and then get it retested.

...
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
Any chance he used that OBD II "monitor" to reset the PCM codes to "help you pass?"

That being the case, that is the root cause of why you failed.

Drive the car in a variety of ways, (normally?) for about a week, including city, highway and rural driving. That will get all the monitors back on line. Keep the OBD II "monitor" away from the car....and then get it retested.
Nope, the OBD II has never been inside my car until the day I called him up and cried "help!" after my failed inspection.

I appreciate all the information though...this situation has led me to this wonderful website..which I'm sure I will make use of for a long time to come.

Still can't get the codes to read "Ready" but am driving all over creation, city, rural, stop and go, and highway as suggested. I wonder if there's something that can be done other than just wasting my precious gas to get this taken care of and why on earth isn't there an easier way to reset this to read "ready" - computers...arrrrgh!

Thanks again for the info! Much appreciated

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Old 03-14-2007, 08:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Is the engine reaching normal operating temperture (temp gauge around 3/8 scale)?

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Old 03-14-2007, 04:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

Quote:
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Is the engine reaching normal operating temperture (temp gauge around 3/8 scale)?
yes...everything is working fine. I've never ever had any problems with this car...almost 118k miles on it, the most amount of money I've ever spent was to purchse 4 tires at once...the SES light has never come on except at start up...what I really believe is that the goofballs at jiffy lube somehow disrupted my battery power or through the fuses (the fuses were loose - I checked 2 miles down the road when my odometer light wasn't lit upon taking the car back from them)..and thereby, reset my onboard diag. computer..causing the "not ready" readings.

I am driving all over the place, trying to get the computer to go into "ready mode" but my 9 day grace period is over next monday, and I have to do something quick.

Is there any other way to get my on board computer to be "ready"? Even if I have to spend some $ to do it, at this point, I just want to pass my NYS inspection...thanks!

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Old 03-15-2007, 12:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

ok, I found another posting on this site by someone who had the exact same problem with their car.

It was suggested that he manually clear out the codes and then idle car to really warm up well, then drive 55 MPH for some time, almost red-line it..and repeat the drive cycle a few times...and it worked for him. I'm going to try this, since nothing else is working and the horror stories I read here talk about driving for 2000 miles without getting the car to clear the "not ready" codes. I don't have the option of waiting that long..this car needs to have an inspection sticker on it, quick! Every time I go by a police car, I freak. I do not want nor can I afford a ticket for no inspection sticker. (see my orig. post..Jiffy Goofs said their "printer was out of ink" and couldn't give me the white temp. sticker - wrote out "printer out of ink" on the receipt, telling me that that would suffice if I were stopped in the next 9 days). I looked up the NYS law on line, and "any substitution for inspection sticker or temp. waiver sticker is illegal" and will result in additional fines...

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Old 03-15-2007, 08:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

If you don't get it to work I suspect your thermostat is starting to fail. If it starts opening early then the temp sensor never sees operating temp so it doesn't proceed. Your gage may seem normal but a thermostat sometimes fails slowly as the spring weakens so you don't notice that it's not that high anymore.

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Old 03-16-2007, 08:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

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If you don't get it to work I suspect your thermostat is starting to fail. If it starts opening early then the temp sensor never sees operating temp so it doesn't proceed. Your gage may seem normal but a thermostat sometimes fails slowly as the spring weakens so you don't notice that it's not that high anymore.

thanks...checking that out today...and, luckily have someone who can replace it - or walk me through replacing it, if needed...

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Old 03-20-2007, 01:06 PM   #16
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Attention Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

soo, i guess i'm not the only one! i have a 98 sl1 and i'm having the same exact problem and i'm also from rochester ny. our check engine light was on and we needed to pass inspection. so they reset the codes, gave the car an oil change and a tune up and the check engine light has stayed off and the car drives better than ever. BUT the same 3 systems as yours keep coming up again and again and they say NOT READY. we have driven almost 7,000 miles.... country... city... uphill... downhill anything you can think of we have done! I'm ready to flip out. We've gotten pulled over 4 times and the last cop took the expired sticker out of the window and now were going to get pulled over even more. Every place keeps saying if there were something wrong with the car it would be either messing up when driving or the check engine light would have came back on already. well no light so WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM??? we cant afford any more tickets... we've gotten 2 and the cop let us go twice. please someone help us! i love my saturn but why wont it pass inspection?

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Old 03-20-2007, 01:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

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soo, i guess i'm not the only one! i have a 98 sl1 and i'm having the same exact problem and i'm also from rochester ny. our check engine light was on and we needed to pass inspection. so they reset the codes, gave the car an oil change and a tune up and the check engine light has stayed off and the car drives better than ever. BUT the same 3 systems as yours keep coming up again and again and they say NOT READY. we have driven almost 7,000 miles.... country... city... uphill... downhill anything you can think of we have done! I'm ready to flip out. We've gotten pulled over 4 times and the last cop took the expired sticker out of the window and now were going to get pulled over even more. Every place keeps saying if there were something wrong with the car it would be either messing up when driving or the check engine light would have came back on already. well no light so WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM??? we cant afford any more tickets... we've gotten 2 and the cop let us go twice. please someone help us! i love my saturn but why wont it pass inspection?
I reset mine using my scanner the other day just to see how long it would take the monitors to come back on line with just "normal driving" It took LESS than 2 days..about 115 miles.

This suggests that you might have an issue with the PCM memory or monitor circuit. Start by checking ALL THE FUSES (as in USE A TEST LIGHT or PULL EACH ONE OUT AND LOOK AT IT) in the Underhood fuse box. Something is keeping the PCM from "remembering".

Also the next time you start the car COLD, IMEDIATELY look at the temperature gauge. If it is reading ANYTHING other than STONE COLD imediately (within a few seconds) after a COLD start, THAT is you problem. You ECTS is BAD and is not sending appropriate data to the PCM indicating a "normal" warm up. And THAT will prevent the monitors from coming online without setting a code or SES light.

...
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

I had the battery disconnected for repair work and of course it clear the memory in the computer.This is my adventure to reset the monitors.Drive cycles (12 mile loop) highway and secondary roads.1st drive cycle o2 sensor heater (set).2nt drive cycle EGR system,o2 sensor,catalyst (set).3rd drive cycle (no change).4th drive cycle evaporative system (set).All readiness tests performed.That's what it took to reset mine.
A bad ETCS does seems like a good thing to look at.

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Old 03-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #19
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Sad Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

well...on day 11, and stil no real progress.

Checked the fuses..all good.

I have noticed that my temp. gauge doesn't normally get much past 1/8...i.e. about half way to the 1/4 mark.

Today, had the car idlying, revved the engine enough to get the temp to 1/4, and (yippe) the 02 sensor went to "ready" state. Still "not ready" are:

catalyst, EVAP, and EGR (or evg, I keep forgetting to write that one down).

Drove it again, GM drive cycle, 55 - 60 in 3rd gear, and noted that the temp gauge went down to 1/8...meaning my thermostat is just too good - (I think).

No SES light, everything runs fine...

I have to get rid of one more "not ready" in order to pass inspection. Have decided to take it to a trusted mechanic on Thursday and bite the bullet and see if there is something wrong with any of those above systems and see what can be done.

I am absolutely convinced that Jiffy Lube people accidentally reset my computer and caused this hassle. And will never go back there again.

I wish there was a way to do the old-fashioned tail pipe emissions test...oh well.

thanks again to all for their info here.

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Old 03-20-2007, 05:23 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 1999 SL OBD II "Not Ready" failed NYS inspection HELP!

At the risk of having to take back what I posted at the beginning, there's been one hint that the engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS) is defective that doesn't send correct signals to the ECM affecting the temperature gauge reading indirectly and preventing the system from going into the 'ready' mode. You may still have the old resin tipped sensor that's famous for cracking, replaced with the brass one. As per usual suggestions, look in the How-to section for the side-by-side comparison of the old one against the replacement brass one. The two-wire connector needs to be checked also for corrosion preventing good electrical connection. Replacement is either from a junk yard off the air temp sensor or the $30 dealer part. I believe the temperature gauge was telling you that the coolant sensor wasn't allowing the engine to completely warm-up, where the system can record the parameters correctly. Its coincidental that the thermostat was suspect also so the suggestion to replace it was warranted.

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