Emission monitors are internal self-tests which the engine control computer (ECU) performs in order to verify specific emissions systems, such as the EGR system, EVAP system, oxygen sensors and Catalyst, are functioning properly. If any one monitor is incomplete (excluding the EVAP monitor), your RSX will not pass the smog test. The EVAP monitor is the only monitor allowed to remain incomplete and the vehicle still pass the smog check because of the difficulty of getting this particular monitor to complete. In order to make the monitors ready for the smog check you'll need to drive your RSX through what is known as a Drive Cycle.
Usually driving 200-300 miles over the course of a few days and in both city and highway traffic conditions is enough to get the drive cycle complete. Due to individual vehicle owner driving patterns however, sometimes the criteria required to get a particular monitor to initiate and/or become ready is not met. In such instances, it is required that a specific drive cycle pattern which is designed for the Acura RSX, be followed.
How to Complete an Acura RSX Drive Cycle
Performing the driving pattern below will allow your Acura to make ready all I/M emission monitors in preparation for a smog inspection. Follow the drive cycle carefully. Take extra caution when performing the drive cycle on public roadways. If you feel you will be unable to follow the Acura drive cycle safely, please seek assistance from an smog check repair station or Acura dealership. They may be able to perform the drive cycle utilizing a dynamometer, and specialized scan tools. Perform the drive cycle at yor own risk. Prior to beginning the drive cycle ensure your vehicle has between 15% to 85% fuel in the gas tank, and that the engine is cold. It is best to start the driving cycle in the morning (after a cold soak).
All Monitor Drive Cycle - This drive trace is intended to make READY all the emission monitors listed below in one driving trace.
1) MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) must be off
2) Cold start (Best to start in the morning after the vehicle has sat overnight)
3) 1/4 to 3/4 fuel in gas tank. Ensure your Acura is not running empty or full of fuel.
1) Without depressing the accelerator pedal, start the engine and idle for 20 seconds.
2) Keep the transmission in Park. Increase the engine speed to 2,000 rpm and hold until engine temperature gauge rises to 1/4 of the scale. Approximately 3 minutes of idle time should accomplish this.
3) Begin driving. Increase speed to 50-60 mph as soon as safe and possible and maintain speed for at least 20 minutes. This step should be performed on the highway and with the transmission in Drive. Cruise control should not be enabled at any time.
4) Drive an additional 90 seconds without moving the accelerator pedal at all. Your vehicle speed may vary slightly, but no greater than 3 mph. If it is not possible to maintain steady speed for 90 seconds, drive for at least 30 seconds, then repeat 30 second steady speedy intervals, twice (for a total of 90 seconds). The goal is, at some point of highway driving, to not move the accelerator pedal for 90 seconds.
5) Exit highway and reduce speed to city/suburban traffic. Drive for at least 10 minutes.
6) When possible, allow vehicle to coast for 10 seconds without depressing the accelerator or brake pedal.
Drive Cycle Complete. If possible perform the drive cycle twice and using a scan tool check for emission monitor readiness.