Chrysler Drive Cycle – ODB2 Readiness Monitors

In order to determine if your Jeep, Dodge, or Chrysler vehicle is ready for an emissions test, first check the MIL (check engine light).

  1. Turn on the ignition to ON, but do not start the engine.
  2. The check engine light f the (MIL) will turn on for 15 seconds.
  3. After 15 seconds, one of two things will happen.
    1. If the MIL flashes for 10 seconds, and then returns to being fully illuminated, the OBDII sensors are NOT READY and you need to complete the drive cycle.
    2. If the MIL does not flash and remains fully lit, you are ready to go to the smog station.

Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge Drive Cycle

Note: Original 1996 Chrysler vehicles do not maintain OBD2 readiness after engine shutdown, however this is a fix that is available at a dealer.

For all drive cycles, make sure the check engine light (MIL) is off.

All Monitor Drive Trace
Idle for 5 minutes
Warm engine up for five minutes
Smoothly acceerate and maintain a speed between 40 to 60 mph for 8 minutes.
Stop and idle for 3 minutes.
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed above 20 mph for 2 minutes.
Turn key off, leave off for ten minutes

Catalyst Monitor Drive Trace
Idle for 5 minutes
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed between 30 to 45 mph for 2 minutes.

EGR System Monitor Drive Trace – Vacuum controlled
Idle for 5 minutes
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed between 40 to 60 mph for 2 minutes.

EGR System Monitor Drive Trace – Electronic
Idle for 5 minutes
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed between 40 to 60 mph for 2 minutes.
Idle for 3 minutes

Evaporative System Monitor Drive Trace
Trace 1: Standard Type – Make sure that your fuel level is between 50% and 85% full.
Idle for 5 minutes
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed between 30 to 45 mph for 2 minutes.

Trace 2: Leak Detection Pump
From 6-8 hours of the vehicle being off (cold soak), idle for 5 minutes
Drive in city traffic naturally with stops and acceleration for 5 minutes.
Stop. Idle vehicle for 4 minutes.

O2 Sensor Monitor Drive Trace
Idle for 5 minutes
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed above 25 mph for 2 minutes.
Stop and idle for 30 seconds.
Smoothly accelerate and maintain a speed between 30 to 40 mph
Repeat idle and acceleration to 30-40 mph five times.

O2 Sensor Heater Monitor Drive Trace
Idle for 5 minutes, then shut the engine and leave the vehicle off for 10 minutes.


Honda and Acura Drive Cycle

The Honda Drive Cycle is included in recent owners manuals. Additionally, Honda and Acura will indicate, on vehicle startup of the readiness monitors are set. When you turn the ignition to On-2 without starting the engine, the MIL will come on for 20 seconds. If the MIL turn off again, then the readiness monitors are set. If they blinks five times, the readiness monitors are not set and you need to conduct the Honda Acura Drive Cycle for smog check readiness.

Prerequisite: The gas tank should be 3/4 full and the vehicle has been stopped with the motor off for 6 hours or more. Ensure the air temperature is approximately 40° and 95°F.

  1. Start the motor and keep the car idle for 20 seconds. Don’t touch the accelerator.
  2. Rev the engine to 2000 RPM for 3 minutes. The temperature should be at 1/3 of the scale or higher.
  3. Idle for 20 seconds again.
  4. Go to a highway and drive between 50-60mph for 20 minutes. You should be in D or 5th gear. Don’t utilize cruise control. At some point in the journey, coast for 90 seconds (take your foot off the accelerator).
  5. Conduct city driving for 10 minutes, and during this time, perform some coasting.
  6. Once completed, let the vehicle turn off and sit for 30 minutes with the engine off.


Ford Motors Drive Cycle Readiness for Smog Check

Ford Escort and Ford Probe 1.8L Engine
Prequisites: Cold Start, Fuel level between 15% and 85%. All accessories off

Start the vehicle and idle for 5 minutes.
While in park or neutral, rev the engine to 2500 rpm for 15 seconds
While in park or neutral, rev the engine to 4000 rpm for 15 seconds
Let the idle engine for 20 seconds with the cooling fan stopped
Drive towards a highway, and accelerate to 55 mph, maintaining that speed for 90 seconds
Decelerate to 15 mph and drive for 13 minutes at speeds between 15-35 mph
Maintain a 25 mph speed for 30 seconds

For Mercury Villager
Start the vehicle and idle until ECT is above 160F.
Idle for 90 more seconds
Drive towards a highway, and accelerate to 56 MPH. Automatic Transmission in D and overdrive ON. Coast for 10 seconds.
and accelerate to 56 MPH and drive for 10 minutes at that speed.
Stop and idle for 20 seconds
Accelerate slowly to 25 mph (take 10 seconds to reach that speed). Hold accelerator for 20 seoncds.
Repeat the stop and accelerate cycle 8 times

accelerate to 56 MPH for 6 minutes and keep foot on accelerator.

Other Fords
Prequisites: Cold Start, Fuel level between 15% and 85%. All accessories off

Start the vehicle and idle for 4 minutes.
Idle the vehicle in Drive for 1 minute.
Drive towards an empty street or highway, and accelerate to 45 mph slowly. Stay in second gear for 5 seconds during this acceleration. Get to the 5th gear.
Maintain a 45 mph speed for 30 seconds
Stop the vehicle.
Idle the vehicle in Drive for 1 minute.
Drive at 25 mph and drive for 15 minutes at speeds between 15-35 mph. Within this time, stop at least 5 times, and have at least 3 periods of steady speed for 90 second durations.

Drive the vehicle between 45-60mph for 8 minutes.
Maintain a steady speed between 45-60mph for 5 minutes.
Drive the vehicle between 45-60mph for 8 minutes.
Stop the vehicle and idle for 40 seconds.

Toyota Drive Cycle OBDII Readiness Monitors

Toyota has various OBD2 readiness monitors for emissions testing, and by conducting a Toyota Drive cycle, you can activate and ready the Toyota ODBII sensors. If your smog technician tells you the specific drive cycle to perform, you can focus on just triggering that drive cycle. Otherwise you need to exercise each of the types of monitors. You should not need to perform all 11 procedures – just those specific to your model. 

  1. EGR Monitor (All Except 1FZ–FE Engine)
  2. EGR Monitor (For 1FZ–FE Engine)
  3. Catalyst Monitor (O2S Type)
  4. Catalyst Monitor (AF Sensor Type)
  5. EVAP Monitor (Internal Pressure Monitor/Non–Intrusive Type)
  6. EVAP Monitor (Vacuum Pressure Monitor/Intrusive Type)
  7. EVAP Monitor (Without Leak Detection)
  8. EVAP Monitor (For Prius)
  9. Oxygen Sensor Monitor (Front and Rear O2S System)
  10. Oxygen/AF Sensor Monitor (Front AF Sensor and Rear O2S System)
  11. Oxygen/AF Sensor Heater Monitor

Source: Toyota’s 1996-2002 Readiness Monitor Guide for more detail

Toyota Drive Pattern 1 – EGR Monitor

Toyota Drive Pattern 2 – EGR Monitor

Toyota Drive Pattern 3 – Catalyst Monitor – O2S Type

Toyota Drive Pattern 4 – Catalyst Monitor – AF Sensor Type

Toyota Drive Pattern 5 – EVAP Monitor – Internal Pressure – Non Intrusive

Toyota Drive Pattern 6 – EVAP Monitor – Vacuum Pressure Monitor – Intrusive

Toyota Drive Pattern 7 – EVAP Monitor – Without Leak Detection

Toyota Drive Pattern 8 – EVAP Monitor – Prius

Toyota Drive Pattern 9 – Oxygen Sensor Monitor – Front and Rear O2S System

Toyota Drive Pattern 10 – Oxygen Air Fuel Ratio Sensor Monitor – Front AF Sensor and Rear O2S System

Toyota Drive Pattern 11 – Oxygen – AF Sensor Heater Monitor

General Motors Drive Cycle For Smog Check

In order to get all your OBD2 monitors for your GM (Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile) vehicle ready, please perform the following steps:

  1. Start the vehicle from a cold start. The time to do this is if you have not driven the vehicle for a few hours and the engine coolant temperature is less than 50 degrees F.
  2. Let the engine run on idle. Turn the A/C and rear defroster on. You are trying to apply electrical load to the system.
  3. Accelerate to 55 mph.
  4. Hold a steady speed of 55 mph for 3 minutes
  5. let go of the accelerator and coast until the vehicle hits 20mph. Don’t apply brakes to slow down.
  6. Accelerate again until 60 mph.
  7. Hold steady for 5 minutes at 60mph for 5 minutes.
  8. Decellerate (coast to slow down).
  9. You may need to repeat steps 3-8 a few times if the battery was disconnected recently.

Is My Car Ready for a Smog? Readiness monitors and Drive Cycle

Most 1996 and new vehicles have on board computers called an On Board Diagnostics II monitors (OBDII). OBDII contains information which is used to conduct smog tests, and determine smog test readiness. On average, there are 8-11 monitors that OBDII provides, and all these monitors must be in a ready state in order for a smog test to be completed. If you have changed your car battery, or disconnected power to your car, your readiness monitors can get reset. That means you need to drive your car in a variety of conditions in order to “exercise” the OBDII system and get the monitors in a ready state. If your car is not in a ready state, the smog check cannot be conducted.

Do All OBD2 Readiness monitors need to be “Ready”? 

The United States EPA has a slightly looser standards than California. For 1996-1999 cars, two monitors can be in a not ready state. For 2000 and newer cars, the United States EPA allows one monitor to be in a not ready state.

In California:

  • Gasoline Vehicles
    • 1996-1999 Gasoline Vehicles can have 1 monitor not-ready
    • 2000 and newer gas vehicles must have ALL monitors in a ready state with the exception of the EVAP monitor. 
  • Diesel Vehicles
    • 1996-2006 Diesel Vehicles can have 1 monitor in a not ready state. 
    • 2007 and newer Diese vehicles can have 2 OBD2 monitors in a not ready state 

How did my car get into a not ready state?

  • Battery disconnected or replaced. For example, if you have recently jump started your vehicle due to a weak battery, it’s possible the monitor information has been reset.
  • Vehicle computer updates or requiring an update
  • A problem either indicated by a check engine light, or soon to be reported by the check engine light
  • Clearing out the OBDII monitors using a scan tool.

Getting your OBD2 Monitors Ready – Performing a Drive Cycle

In order to get your vehicle in a ready state, you need to drive your vehicle in different conditions. This will naturally occur over time if you have not had any battery issue, or if there is no problem with your vehicle. But if you want to make sure, or you know you need to conduct a drive cycle, follow these instructions. Please note that depending on the model, make, and year of the vehicle, you will need to perform certain steps in order to get all the monitors in a ready state. You can follow the general instructions, or find your specific vehicle instructions below. 


Generic Vehicle Drive Cycle Instructions

Drive Cycle Instructions

Here are general instructions which should work for most vehicles. You should follow all traffic laws. You can perform this later at night so that there is less traffic. Don’t forget to be safe! 

  • Cold Start. Don’t leave your keys in prior to the cold start. (For example, after leaving the car overnight)
  • Idle for 3 minutes with electrical equipment on (A/C, headlights, and rear defroster turned on)
  • Turn off A/C and rear defroster.
  • Put the vehicle in gear, drive up to 35mph, and come to a complete stop. This should just be natural city driving for a few minutes.
  • Get on a freeway, accelerate smoothly to 55mph and maintain speeds for 3 minutes
  • Decelerate down to 20mph without braking or depressing clutch (for manual transmissions). Turn on hazard lights as needed.
  • accelerate smoothly to 55mph and maintain speeds for 5 minutes
  • Decelerate down to 20mph without braking or depressing clutch (for manual transmissions)

That’s it. You should be set to get to Antoich’s smog check now! 

Benefits of China’s Smog & Air Pollution?

It’s Hazardous & Dangerous… But China Journalist Still Assert Smog Air Pollution Can Actually Benefit The Health Of Citizens…

Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades, journalist and medical writer, published a humorous take on China’s approach to the air pollution reaching far above the WHO’s (World Health Organization) hazardous levels to human health.

Her article states, “According to an op-ed published by the country’s state-run media network, CCTV, smog is actually making Chinese residents smarter, funnier, and more informed.” Read the full article and #TakeAction @

The article goes on to outline the “benefits” of China’s widespread air pollution. The op-ed Antoniades is referring to in her article was written by journalist Wang Lei where he outlines how smog air pollution is actually benefitting the health of citizens. You are probably wondering how he was able to come up with 5 benefits…  Journalist Antoniades listed the findings in her article, which are also copied below:

1. Smog unites people against a common enemy.
2. It promotes equality, because it harms the lungs of both the rich and the poor.
3. Smog has opened people’s eyes to the price China has to pay for becoming the “world’s factory.”
4. It’s made people funnier because they have to use sarcasm and jokes to cope with it.
5. Learning about smog has increased people’s knowledge of meteorology, history, geography, and physics and even strengthened everyone’s use of the English language.

The highly respected journalist notes that this op-ed is simply, “what has to be one of the more stunning attempts to turn lemons into lemonade.”

*Photo: China Stringer Network/Reuters

Get The Facts… Antioch Smog Check Laws!

Antioch, Brentwood, and Oakley Smog Check Guidelines… 

How do I know if my vehicle is up for a smog inspection? 

Vehicles registered in Alameda County, Solano County, and Contra Costa County, are currently mandated to provide proof of periodic smog certifications (legally every two years). Federal laws require drivers to produce official evidence of a smog inspection certification on-site when they go to renew annual vehicle registration.

If you don’t have the proper STAR Program smog certification, you will be immediately turned away at the DMV and forced to go through the entire process that is the Department of Motor Vehicles once again… something we can all agree is a chore we try to keep to once a year if possible!

Before you take time off work or out of your busy day to renew your registration, make sure you have everything you need before walking in to the DMV!

Do you have a vehicle that hasn’t required a smog check in Brentwood or smog inspection in Antioch yet?

Don’t waste a trip to the DMV assuming you will never need to produce smog inspection and certification to register your automobile. The California DMV does require that owners of vehicles six or less model years old will pay an annual smog deduction fee for the first six registration years instead of being required to provide the alternative periodic smog certification. (To learn more about your vehicle’s smog requirements specific to the make, model, and year, visit

Bay Area Spare the Air Smog Alerts!

Spare the Air Alerts

Stay Informed! The Air District Issues Spare the Air Alerts when Ground-level Ozone, or “Smog,” becomes a Pollution Problem!

The 2014 Spare the Air smog season runs from May through October. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues Spare the Air Alerts when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels in the Bay Area.

During the summer months, ozone pollution can become a health problem in the Bay Area. The summertime Spare the Air program notifies residents when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy, and urges residents to drive less and reduce their emissions of ozone-forming pollutants.

Why is this important to A Star Smog and local Bay Area residents? Pollution, ground-level ozone, or “smog,” becomes is becoming an increasingly high pollution problem. We encourage you to frequently check for days on which air quality is forecast to be unhealthy.

To find out when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect, register for email AirAlerts, call 1(800) HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.  Spare the Air Alerts will also be posted on the Spare the Air and websites.

The majority of this information was obtained from

Smog Checks Are The Law… But Is There A Bigger Picture?

California state law requires that your vehicle pass regular smog checks depending on the year it was made and the type of vehicle it is. The majority of us are responsible drivers and adhere to this rule, the rest of us have learned the hard way what will happen if you can’t register your automobile due to financial hardships or simply not making it a priority to visit a local Smog Check Station.
A Star Smog Blog: Smog Checks… Advocates for clean air

Without passing smog check, you can’t register your vehicle, forcing you to drive illegally if you do continue to drive with expired tags, you will get pulled over, and your car will end up in the impound lot. This will cost you nearly 10x what a simple smog check would cost.

If your card is up, and the time of year is approaching to register your car, find out if you need a smog check and make an appointment. Just get it done. This is a fast and painless procedure, and with discounts like A Star Smog provides, it’s cheap! We all live busy lives and often just go through the motions when it comes to federally mandated requirements such as smog checks; Never really considering the bigger picture of why this is a law.

First, imagine if no one was required to smog their vehicles. What would the freeways look like? What would your neighborhood look like? How would it affect traffic? How many cars would break down on the road? You have to look at the bigger picture, the air your children breath would be increasingly toxic every year and the midnight sky that they see would be filled with pollution and pretty soon no child will ever see a starry night.

A Star Smog Check Station is located in Antioch and we believe in making your car safer, getting you back on the road legally and as quickly as possible, and more than anything, protecting the environment from automobile fumes and toxic air. The bigger picture is keeping our communities as clean as possible and setting a good example for our children who will inherit our habits and the air we leave behind for them to breath.

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