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Failed Smog Test

2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder Fails Due To Incomplete Emission Monitors

Summary: 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder: has failed smog test 2 days in a row because of a recent battery disconection 2 weeks ago. Ive put over 400 miles on the car since. I thought the SOP is to drive the vehicle 50-75 miles for electronics to reset.

Details: I am from a state which doesn't require smog testing. I am new to this aspect of vehicle registration renewal. 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder: This vehicle was in storage for approx. 3 years. 2 weeks ago. I took it out of storage. Prepared it for road operation by connecting a battery and changing fluids etc.Intending on renewing the registration with California DMV ASAP. After prepping the vehicle for the road. I drove it 20 miles that day, 70 miles the following day then 347 miles the day after. Now 2 weeks later. The Spyder has failed smog tests 2 days in a row. at 2 different smog stations. According to both smog stations. The vehicle has simply not been driven for enough miles since battery reconnection??? After the first failed test 1 day ago.Tech said to drive the vehicle to a lake about 20 miles away and back and then the Spyder will be ok to test the following day. So I did exactly that. Putting 44 more more miles on the car that afternoon. The next morning I went to another smog location for the retest due to available times. That test also failed. According to the tech. It failed for the same reason. I need help understanding is the root to my dilema. I thought the SOP after battery reconnection is to drive the vehicle 50-75 miles for electronics to reset. How can I personally know when my automobile electronics have reset so I can finally test this vehicle without wasting another $50 on a failed test because of electronics not yet reset. Could there be an aspect to resetting electronics in the car that isnt working correctly? How can I test these things myself? Thank You~


Having replaced/re-connected the battery on your Toyota MR2 has caused its emission monitors (also known as readiness flag) to erase. 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, not including the EVAP monitor, your MR2 cannot 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; though the State of California does intend to remove this exemption in the near future. In order to make the monitors ready for the smog check you'll need to drive your MR2 through what is known as a Drive Cycle.

As the smog technician suggested, 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 Toyota MR2, be followed.

How To Get Your Toyota MR2 Sypder Emission Monitors Ready for the Smog Check

Notice: Take extra caution when performing the drive cycle on public roadways. This particular drive cycle is very complex and requires many stops, starts and slow downs. It is best performed on a dynamometer. Perform the drive cycle at your own risk. If you feel you may be unable to perform the drive cycle below safely, please seek assistance from a reputable smog check repair station or Toyota dealership. A smog repair certified center will be able to perform the drive cycle on a dynamometer, eliminating the need to drive your car on streets and freeways.

Preconditions: (Make sure you have between 1/4 and 3/4 fuel in the gas tank. The EVAP test will not run while your Toyota MR2 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. Begin the drive cycle from a cold-start; having allowed your vehicle to sit overnight. Note, the secondary air injection monitor will require a cold-start in order to initiate.

Toyota MR2 Drive Cycle(Engine Class 2AZ-FE)

A. Start the engine and allow it to idle for 10 minutes or more.

B. Drive the vehicle at 43-56 mph or more for 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to maintain engine speed between 900 and 3,200 rpm.

C. Stop the vehicle and allow the engine to idle for 3 to 5 minutes.

D. Repeat steps B and C once.

E. Drive the vehicle at 40 mph to 55 mph for 3 minutes.

F. Drive the vehicle 35 mph to 45 mph for 7 minutes.

G. Stop the vehicle and turn off the engine. Release the pressure in the fuel tank by removing and then reinstalling the fuel tank cap.

H. Start the engine and as soon as safely possible begin driving at approximately 45 mph for 5 minutes.

I. Drive the vehicle at approximately 25 mph for 15 minutes, and include a minimum of two stops for approximately 30 seconds each.

J. Stop the vehicle and allow the engine to idle for 2 minutes.

K. Drive the vehicle at 25 mph or more for at least 50 seconds. Make sure your engine speed is above 900 rpm.

L. Stop the vehicle and allow the engine to idle for 40 seconds or more.

M. Perform steps “K” and “L” ten times.

If readiness status of all monitors do not switch to “complete,” ensure preconditions are met, turn the ignition switch OFF, then repeat steps “A” through “M.”

posted by SmogTips Support 09-20-2021 01:04 PM

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