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Failed Smog Test

Ford Escape Can Not Get Computer to Complete Smog Test

We replaced all 3 catalytic converters on my Ford Escape but can not get the computer to complete a drive cycle. They told me to first let the car idol for 15 min first thing in the morning and then drive it 50 miles on freeway at 55 mph. I did that and it did not complete the emission monitors. I have driven the car 400-500 miles since I had the CATs changed. Now they are telling me to drive the car another 100-150 miles continuous before I bring it right over. This means I have to get up early and drive literally 150 miles before my appointment? Will this work? Any other suggestions? Thanks.


Emission monitors (such as the one in question: Catalyst Monitor) require specific operating conditions before the monitor test is initiated. In most cases, the monitors should run during normal vehicle operation. However, due to different driving habits, the criteria required to run a monitor may not always be met. By following the Ford Escape drive cycle below all emission monitors will run. The drive cycle must be followed accurately. Take extra caution when performing the drive cycle on public roadways. Perform the drive cycle at your own risk. If you feel you might not be able to perform the drive cycle safely, or obey all traffic laws, seek the assistance of a smog check repair station which will be able to perform the drive cycle on a dynomometer and be utilizing specialized OBD II drive cycle readiness tools/scanner/computer.

How to Perform a Ford Escape Drive Cycle

The following procedure is designed to complete the OBDII monitors required to get your Ford Escape to pass the OBDII Monitors portion of the smog check, also known of the I/M readiness test. The Ford Drive Cycle should be performed using a scan tool in order to speed up the drive cycle.

Drive Cycle Recommendations:

1.Most OBDII monitors will complete more readily using a "steady foot" driving style during cruise or acceleration modes. Operating the throttle in a "smooth" fashion will minimize the time required for monitor completion.

2.Fuel tank level should be between 1/2 and 3/4 fill with 3/4 fill being the most desirable.

3.The Evaporative Monitor can only operate during the first 30 minutes of engine operation. When executing the procedure for this monitor, stay in part throttle mode and drive in a smooth fashion to minimize "fuel slosh".

Drive Cycle Preparation  - 1. Install scan tool. Turn key on with the engine off. Cycle key off, then on. Select appropriate Vehicle & Engine qualifier. Clear all DTC's/ Perform a PCM Reset. Begin to monitor the following PIDs: ECT, EVAPDC, FLI (if available) and TP MODE. Start vehicle WITHOUT returning to Key Off. Idle vehicle for 15 seconds, then drive at 40 MPH until ECT is at least 170°F.

Prep for Monitor Entry - 4. Is IAT within 40 to 100° F? If Not, complete the following steps but, note that step 14 will be required to "bypass" the Evap monitor.

HEGO Monitor - 5. Cruise at 40 MPH for up to 4 minutes.

EVAP Monitor - 6. Cruise at 45 to 65 MPH for 10 minutes (avoid sharp turns and hills) Note: To initiate the monitor TP MODE should =PT, EVAPDC must be >75%, and FLI must be between 15 and 85%

Catalyst Monitor - 7. Drive in stop and go traffic conditions. Include five different constant cruise speeds, ranging from 25 to 45 MPH over a 10 minute period.

EGR Monitor - 8. From a stop, accelerate to 45 MPH at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. Repeat 3 times.

SEC AIR/CCM (Engine) - 9. Bring the vehicle to a stop. Idle with transmission in drive (neutral for M/T) for 2 minutes.

CCM (Trans) - 10. For M/T, accelerate from 0 to 50 MPH, continue to step 11. For A/T, from a stop and in overdrive, moderately accelerate to 50 MPH and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop vehicle and repeat without overdrive to 40 MPH cruising for at least 30 seconds. While at 40 MPH, activate overdrive and accelerate to 50 MPH and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop for at least 20 seconds and repeat step 10 five times.

Misfire & Fuel Monitors - 11. From a stop, accelerate to 65 MPH. Decelerate at closed throttle until 40 MPH (no brakes). Repeat this 3 times.

Readiness Check - 12. Access the ON-Board System Readiness (OBDII monitor status) function on the scan tool. Determine whether all non-continuous monitors have completed. If not, go to step 13.

Pending Code Check and Evap Monitor "Bypass" Check - 13. With the scan tool, check for pending codes. Conduct normal repair procedures for any pending code concern. Otherwise, rerun any incomplete monitor. Note: If the EVAP monitor is not complete AND IAT was out of the 40 to 100° F temperature range in step #4, or the altitude is over 8000 ft., the Evap "bypass" procedure must be followed. Proceed to step 14.

Evap Monitor "Bypass" - 14. Park vehicle for a minimum of 8 hours. Repeat steps 2 through 12. DO NOT REPEAT STEP 1.

posted by SmogTips Support

Consider having a repair shop with the proper diagnostic tools (Ford IDS and VCM/VCM II) or a Ford service center diagnose why your vehicle is having trouble completing the catalyst monitor. If no fault is found they can manually run the monitors using a scan tool (if your vehicle is CAN equipped). Most 2003 and newer vehicles have CAN. A repair shop, using MODE 6 of the scan tool, should be able to start individual monitors and access the monitor conditions. It should be noted a smog test only center can not perform this task. This service requires a smog check repair certified auto center or dealer service center.

posted by SmogTips Support

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