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Consumer Assistance

Toyota Camry LE OBD II Monitors Not Ready

Smog had to be done at a STAR station. I took it to a star test and repair station because the check engine light had been coming on and going off for a few months. I knew if it failed I would have to apply for CAP. The light was on all the way to the station. He tested it and told us it failed due to OBD II monitors not ready. He said the check engine light wasn't on when tested. I asked what I needed to do and he said all I could do was just drive it enough to read the codes. I told him again the light had been going on and off for months. He said if the light came back on, we could bring it back and he would hook it up to the scan tool and see what trouble codes showed up.

On our way home the light came on, so we called him and took it back. He scanned it and said it could be the oxygen sensor, but there could be other things wrong, so just drive it and bring it back within 30 days for free retest. The 1st test was done on 8-15. The light continued off and on. We decided we would take it back on 9-13. The light had been off for 3 days but came back on when driving it there for the smog retest. We told him that and he said, no reason to do the retest then. I told him I was approved for CAP and he informed me that they were not doing CAP repairs at this time. He referred me to a place down the street that would do repairs. We asked if this place would use the first smog check we did with him or if we would have to pay for another "new" test. He assured us they would be able to use the first one. We went straight to this shop. The shop said they would have to retest and then diagnose it, and it would take a few days because they would probably have to drive it around. I am on disability and couldn't afford the DMV renewal or the first smog test, so I had applied for a credit card that would just cover these costs. This second place has in-house financing and I have been approved for $380 dollars. They said it will cost me $50 for smog and $80 dollars per trouble code to diagnose. I really dont know if I should trust them.


If in fact you've been approved for CAP, we highly recommend taking advantage of the free $500 in smog check repairs. If your registration is expired or will be expiring soon, visit the DMV and ask for a 30 day temporary operating permit (TOP). Show the DMV clerk your CAP application and acceptance letter. They should waive the $50 temporary operating permit fee. Ask to speak with a supervisor if the DMV clerk does not approve the TOP fee exemption. As far as the check engine light turning on and off, as you by now know, the light must remain off and no trouble code(s) exist in the engine control unit (ECU) system in order for your Toyota to pass the smog check. Your Camry must also be driven through a Toyota Camry drive cycle while all emission systems are functional in order for the emission monitors to complete.

posted by SmogTips Support

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