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Old 4/9/08, 1:14 PM   #1
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The TRUTH about emissions testing and tuning files

Ok guys,

I get emails daily with the only question in them being...

" Is my rear 02 sensor turned on or off because I'm going in for emissions testing and need to have it turned on"


This is NOT the reason why ANYONES tunes may not pass an PCM code read emissions test.

The reason is that in EVERY tune made starting with a base file, SCT or Diablosport, they prevent the engine from doing as many tests as it normally runs in order to speed up the processor. For you computer guys its kinda like speeding up the clock speed of the processor to gain more performance from it.

The Ford PCM runs a series of tests called " Readiness Tests" on certain systems and sensors and these tests in turn simply tell the PCM if these items are performing upto par. If not of course a code is set. These are SOME of the tests that are disabled by the tune files and this is why when you goto a testing facility with the tunes loaded you get a " System Readiness Test Invalid" or Not run. Not because of the rear 02's being turned off but because of the testing for the entire emissions readiness being disabled in the PCM.

Now for the big question, how do we pass testing?

The BEST answer is to simply return your car to the stock tune and the stock intake and drive it for around 50 miles or 20-30 minutes and this will set all of the " Readiness Monitors" and allow the car to pass with flying colors, as long as there's no other issues.

Now we all know that some of us this just isn't an option, everything from Off-road pipes to CMVC delete plates to Supercharger installations can prevent this. There are ways around this but for legality sake I will not publically announce it. All I will say is that IF you've went with a quality dealer or know of a custom tuning dealer to goto, of course like Bamachips , then we know what to do to make your car pass the PCM readiness tests. Consult your custom tuning dealer for more information on this.

Also, these tests are different. I've had customers who have reported absolutely no issues going through their local testing facilities and others who report immediate iconcerns, like described above. Either way these tests can be passed with aftermarket components but remember this is ONLY the tests that check for codes in the PCM, tailpipe sniffer tests may pass but I cannot guarantee this.

Thanks, Doug.
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Old 4/9/08, 2:40 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info Doug. I'll be bothering you shortly for some help.
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Old 4/9/08, 4:17 PM   #3
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I have to disagree about "driving your car for 50 miles or a few days" before taking it in. I have been routinely tweaking the calibration on my 2000 Crown Vic and it takes about 2 weeks of daily commuting to have the P1000 DTC disappear (readiness error code). I have heard about people just driving it for a week, but I only log about 125+ miles a week. I found that I really need at least 2 full weeks of commuting before P1000 disappears. This DTC is normally set after you have flashed your PCM.

Of course, one could just disable the P1000 code entirely. I have had P0300 come up very often (random misfire) and I chalked it up to my aftermarket camshafts. I disabled P0300 and haven't run into any problems.

Emissions and safety inspection is total bullsh*t just like firearm "inspection" aka registration. It is easy for someone to run off-road H/X-pipes in California or New Jersey (two of the STRICTEST states for emissions laws) 729 days out of 730 days (1 day to re-install stock cats and take it in for inspection). Then there are states where emissions laws do not exist, and people run off-road pipes for their pickups and cars year-round.
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Last edited by metroplex; 4/9/08 at 4:20 PM.
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Old 4/9/08, 4:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LEO_06GT View Post
Thanks for the info Doug. I'll be bothering you shortly for some help.
Not a problem sir, any of my customers are fully covered for tune file updates and I will make these tunes for free for you guys too.

Thanks, Doug.
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Old 4/9/08, 6:51 PM   #5
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I have to disagree about "driving your car for 50 miles or a few days" before taking it in. I have been routinely tweaking the calibration on my 2000 Crown Vic and it takes about 2 weeks of daily commuting to have the P1000 DTC disappear (readiness error code). I have heard about people just driving it for a week, but I only log about 125+ miles a week. I found that I really need at least 2 full weeks of commuting before P1000 disappears. This DTC is normally set after you have flashed your PCM.

Of course, one could just disable the P1000 code entirely. I have had P0300 come up very often (random misfire) and I chalked it up to my aftermarket camshafts. I disabled P0300 and haven't run into any problems.

Emissions and safety inspection is total bullsh*t just like firearm "inspection" aka registration. It is easy for someone to run off-road H/X-pipes in California or New Jersey (two of the STRICTEST states for emissions laws) 729 days out of 730 days (1 day to re-install stock cats and take it in for inspection). Then there are states where emissions laws do not exist, and people run off-road pipes for their pickups and cars year-round.

I know some cars can take time to reset but this is the information directly from the Ford Manual about OBD-2 operation and Readiness tests.

Quote:
The readiness function is implemented based on the J1979 format. A battery disconnection or clearing codes using a scan tool results in the various I/M readiness bits being set to a “not-ready” condition. As each noncontinuous
monitor completes a full diagnostic check, the I/M readiness bit associated with that monitor is set to a“ready” condition. This may take one or two driving cycles based on whether malfunctions are detected or not.The readiness bits for comprehensive component monitoring, misfire and fuel system monitoring are considered complete once all the non-continuous monitors have been evaluated. Because the evaporative system monitorrequires ambient conditions between 40 and 100 oF and BARO > 22.5 " Hg (< 8,000 ft.) to run, special logic can “bypass” the running the evap monitor for purposes of clearing the evap system I/M readiness bit due to thecontinued presence of these extreme conditions.
I only have the experience from the books and from my customers as we are one of those states that doesn't have any type of testing.

Thanks, Doug.
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Old 4/9/08, 7:21 PM   #6
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I think I may have been the catalyst for this thread, since I just asked Doug that very question and received his "fix" very quickly this evening, If I was, sorry for finally pushing you over the edge and making you post! And as usual, thanks for the great customer service. Hope those sinuses clear up!
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Old 4/9/08, 7:30 PM   #7
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Doug: I am not doubting you and I too have read the same statement in the OBD-II manuals. My experience is that it takes a bit longer if you don't drive long distances (I log a mere 125 miles a week).
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Old 4/9/08, 7:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Doug: I am not doubting you and I too have read the same statement in the OBD-II manuals. My experience is that it takes a bit longer if you don't drive long distances (I log a mere 125 miles a week).
Mine cleared in about 50 miles. Results may vary.
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Old 4/9/08, 8:42 PM   #9
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Doug: I am not doubting you and I too have read the same statement in the OBD-II manuals. My experience is that it takes a bit longer if you don't drive long distances (I log a mere 125 miles a week).
that 2000 vic probably is only a 486DX2 chip. LOL
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Old 4/10/08, 9:24 AM   #10
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that 2000 vic probably is only a 486DX2 chip. LOL
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Old 4/10/08, 9:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the clarification, Doug.
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Old 4/10/08, 9:52 AM   #12
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Thanks Doug. I'm one of your customers that got hit with this problem last summer. I resorted to the "return it to stock" method to get pass smog, but I only had a CAI and other nonperformance mods, so it wasn't a big deal. But I WOULD much rather have a tune that allowed me to not worry about it at all!
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Old 4/10/08, 9:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
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that 2000 vic probably is only a 486DX2 chip. LOL
It feels more like an 8086 with the turbo turned off.
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Old 4/10/08, 10:42 AM   #14
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Ok guys,

they prevent the engine from doing as many tests as it normally runs in order to speed up the processor.

Interesting. Thanks for filling us in. My question is, does having the computer run less tests actually make a noticable difference? I'm guessing a delay in throttle response might be the only thing.
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Old 4/10/08, 2:28 PM   #15
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The misfire monitoring is usually turned off, IIRC. When I first got my starter tune, a lot of stuff was disabled like the entire OBD-II monitoring system. I had been driving around for 3 years with a bunch of error codes that never displayed because the system was disabled.
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Old 4/10/08, 9:06 PM   #16
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I think the readiness test switch (OBDII switch?) is P1000. After I failed emissions due to the readiness monitors not running, we created a tune with this switch on, drove for about 50 miles, and passed with flying colors.

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Old 4/10/08, 10:53 PM   #17
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Not sure where this is going. Saying guys with O.R H and the rear o2's turned off wil not pass the readiness test? I thought that where Im at I am allowed 1 not ready and I can pass still.
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Old 4/11/08, 4:42 AM   #18
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Not sure where this is going. Saying guys with O.R H and the rear o2's turned off wil not pass the readiness test? I thought that where Im at I am allowed 1 not ready and I can pass still.
When you get a custom tune, there are a number of parameters whose value can provide boosts in performance. As Doug mentioned above, there is one parameter, I think it's P1000, that turns off/on the readiness monitors. The readiness monitors are a suite of tests whose stored values the emission stations check. In Maryland we get a printout and these tests are listed at the top. In a normal car, it takes a lot of driving before the computer says, "OK, I've got decent values now and I need to store these." I think Doug quoted 50 miles--that sounds about right. In many custom tunes, this parameter is turned off, I'm guessing to minimize the amount of computations the PCM has to deal with.

In my SCT scanner, I have a "race tune", "street tune" and "emissions tune". The latter has the P1000 switched turned ON.

Hope that helps.

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Old 4/11/08, 5:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jwgroovin View Post
When you get a custom tune, there are a number of parameters whose value can provide boosts in performance. As Doug mentioned above, there is one parameter, I think it's P1000, that turns off/on the readiness monitors. The readiness monitors are a suite of tests whose stored values the emission stations check. In Maryland we get a printout and these tests are listed at the top. In a normal car, it takes a lot of driving before the computer says, "OK, I've got decent values now and I need to store these." I think Doug quoted 50 miles--that sounds about right. In many custom tunes, this parameter is turned off, I'm guessing to minimize the amount of computations the PCM has to deal with.

In my SCT scanner, I have a "race tune", "street tune" and "emissions tune". The latter has the P1000 switched turned ON.

Hope that helps.

John
Switching off P1000 will not turn off the actual monitoring system. It just prevents P1000 from being set.

There's another switch that turns the OBD-II monitoring on or off, and that is not accessible by Pro Racer Package users and is only accessibly by SCT or SCT dealers. When the OBD-II monitoring is shut off, no DTCs will be set even as your transmission fails or your engine burns up. Disabling P0300 or P1000 only shuts off the DTC's for those respective codes. I am not sure if the inspection facility actually looks to see if all tests have passed, or if they simply look for the P1000 DTC.

I believe there is another restricted setting that controls misfire monitoring. IIRC from years ago, the misfire monitoring is generally turned off to conserve CPU cycles. The misfire monitoring is rather useless especially if you have aftermarket camshafts. Aston Martin uses a neural network artificial intelligence system that monitors misfires. Our Fords do NOT have anything that closely resembles this, so I would just shut it off (but keep the rest of the OBD-II system intact). I am not sure why my SCT tune did not have it set up this way from the get-go (my OBD-II monitoring was totally shut off).
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Last edited by metroplex; 4/11/08 at 5:27 AM.
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Old 4/11/08, 5:41 AM   #20
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Ah. I wasn't sure if P1000 was the master "on/off" switch or not--it appears it's the OBDII monitoring. thanks for clarifying that. I was watching over the guy's shoulder and P1000 was just something I remembered.

"I am not sure why my SCT tune did not have it set up this way from the get-go (my OBD-II monitoring was totally shut off)."

ah, now I recall something else. I presume that SCT dealers with Pro Racer get updated base files from time to time? as I recall the conversation, he said something about the OBDII now defaults to "off", where it was "on" in prior files. does that ring true? This was last summer...

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