BMW X5 Drive Cycle Information
Your BMW X5's engine control unit (ECU) performs internal self-tests in order to ensure the engine is running efficiently and not polluting. These self-tests are called Emission Monitors. The entire process of self-testing various emission control systems is called a Drive Cycle. Typically driving 200-300 miles through various traffic conditions and over the course of a few days is enough to get the BMW drive cycle to initiate and complete.
Sometimes however simply driving an extend length of time isn't enough to make the required emission monitors ready for the smog check. Due to individual vehicle owner driving habits, a specific drive cycle designed by BMW might need to be followed.
If you have recently changed your BMW's battery, needed to disconnect the battery for any reason, or had a check engine light on and trouble code(s) which were cleared, more than likely the ECU was reset; clearing the trouble codes from memory and resetting the emission monitors. In order to get the vehicle to pass the smog test, the monitors will need to be completed again. Driving your BMW through a drive cycle will accomplish this.
Notice: Obey all traffic laws while performing drive cycles. Perform the drive cycle cautiously and at your own risk. Use a OBD-II scan tool to check the status of the monitors once you've completed the drive cycle at least once.
2000 & newer BMWs must have all the monitors ready, except the EVAP, in order to pass the smog check. The EVAP is the only monitor, at the time of this posting, that is allowed to be incomplete but still allow the vehicle to pass the smog inspection. Please note, the secondary air injection monitor begins testing when the engine is cold, and best after the engine has sat overnight. We recommend ensuring the Secondary Air Injection Monitor parameters are met. If you do not hear the air injection pump running in the mornings when you first start the engine (weather must be cold), the air injection monitor will not complete.
How to Perform a BMW X5 Drive Cycle
Begin by: (Make sure you have between 1/4 and 3/4 fuel in the gas tank. The EVAP test will not run while your BMW has a full tank of gas or the gas tank is near empty. Ensure there are no pending or active trouble codes and that the check engine light is not on. Start the drive cycle from a cold start; preferably on a cold morning.
A. Start engine and idle for approximately 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The secondary air injection and EVAP leak detection tests are being conducted now.
B. Begin driving. Accelerate to 20-30 MPH and maintain steady speed for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. During this drive segment the ECU is checking closed-loop operation and oxygen sensor response time.
C. Accelerate to 40-60 MPH and maintain steady speed for 15 minutes. The catalyst monitor is being run now.
D Decelerate to a complete stop and idle while the engine is in gear for 5 minutes. The ECU is testing the system for EVAP leaks.
E. End of Drive Cycle
If readiness status of all monitors do not switch to “ready,” ensure preconditions are met, and complete a new drive cycle after the engine has cooled overnight. The BMW X5 drive cycle (drive trace) requires driving both highway and city speeds. If you feel you might be unable to complete the drive cycle safely, please seek assistance from a BMW repair center or smog check repair station.