Pass Smog Check

So you’ve brought your vehicle into Crescent Auto Repair for a Smog Check or somewhere else for a smog check and you are told that your monitors are not ready or you have monitors incomplete. What now? “You need to drive it,” your told. “How long?” And here is where the confusion happens: You are typically told (and never told this by Crescent Auto Repair,) “Drive it for 40 miles, drive it for 50 miles, drive it for 100 miles and then bring it back and you’ll be good!” Being told this is a great way to cause frustration, if it doesn’t work! Before I dive into the truth, let me provide some basics.


OBDII readiness monitors are a real thing and if they are not marked COMPLETE at time of inspection, your car will fail the smog check. They are basically system self-checks/tests to ensure the smog related devices are working properly (doing their job!)


There are a few reasons why monitors would be marked INCOMPLETE (or NOT READY) and those reasons are: 1) Clearing of DTC’s (trouble codes) and 2) Power failure (typically because your battery got disconnected for some reason.) Maybe you recently got some work done on your vehicle or you replaced the battery or your battery died, etc.

Now what?! You need to drive the vehicle and the follow up is not for how long but more how do you need drive it? The answer to that question is found in something called drive cycles. Here at Crescent Auto Repair & Smog, we believe in educating the customer and helping you understand why we do what we do and not just knowing what we do. That being said, drive cycles just indicate how you need to drive the vehicle in order to complete a monitor in question, perhaps all of them. Each vehicle make and model can be different. Sometimes info is provided and sometimes it isn’t.

Generally speaking, it all begins with a cold start on the vehicle and typically involves some residential stop and go type driving, some freeway driving at different speeds, and making sure there are no pending trouble codes or engine light on. I hope this article has been of some help and given some insight on a sometimes sensitive subject matter.

Don’t forget to come see me for your next cheap smog check. Remember, it’s $40 for our cash special and that includes all the fees and the certificate! Don’t be fooled by a lower number on the internet, only to find out that was the bait and then it gets switched on you and you end up paying more than $40. You will always get straight forward and upfront answers when it comes to smog check and repair at Crescent Auto Repair!

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