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Old 05-14-2010, 02:39 PM   #1
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Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Hoping someone out there might have some Ideas how to get my son's car to pass emissions. Give me an old fashion Carburater engine and I can figure out any issue, but the wonderful ECU is driving us crazy. The car runs great, if they actually checked the tailpipe it would pass the levels, our problem is they plug into the computer and it says it's not ready so we fail.

Here's the story, short version. My son bought a 2003 Mustang V6. The Transmission went out so he decided to upgrade. Rebuilt the Trans, rebuilt 3.8 now it's a 4.3 with lots of goodies and a lot more HP. Took it to a Dyno shop and had it tuned. The car runs great.

Took it to emissions, they plugged it in and their computer says the emission controls are not ready. The car needs a drive cycle to reset everything. They told him to drive it a few days and try again. It's now been several months and 6 trips to emissions and same story. He's taken it to the dealership, they suggested replacing a couple sensors, we did but no change, the sensors were not bad. took it back and dealership says they cannot find anything wrong with the car. Took it to the dyno shop they can't find anything wrong. Everyone says to drive it. Well can't get anymore temp tags, there is a limit, so can't legally drive it.

The car has never had emissions checked before. We bought it from someone who lived in an area that did not require the check. We live near Phoenix, AZ that requires the car to pass emissions test to be licensed.

Any one have ideas/suggestions on how to get the emission controls to talk to the emission test computer?

Don't want to replace the ECU cause the car runs great so it's obviously working.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Damn, as I read that I was about to post the "Drive it around for while with different length trips and it should be ok"...but, sounds like you have that covered.

Do you have a hand held tuner for the car? It's sounding a lot like the 1000 DTC code isn't getting cleared by the drive cycles. It would be interesting to see if you read the codes if it in fact was still there.

I assume there aren't any bad codes to cause a check engine light or else the dealer or tuner would have picked up on those pretty quick.

So, I guess, do you have a handheld tuner for the car? And if so, read the codes and see if any are present at all.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I have the same problem with my GT when they tuned the car they shut off everything! I'd bring it back to the tune shop again and see if they would check the tune. Do you still have cats? I don't so I think that's why they turned everything off on mine. You could also just try putting the stock tune out of your handheld back in and see if that changes anything. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

That's a good point 67, some places check to see if codes are disabled from what I hear...that could definitely be the case. If it has an offroad mid pipe, the tuner definitely disabled the rear O2's which could be the issue.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I'll check for codes tonight, the check engine light is not on and the dealership said there were no codes.

The car has high flow cats. He upgraded to BBK ceramic headers and the Pypes dual exhaust. I tried making the wiring extensions for the O2 sensors myself but the dyno shop said the computer had trouble communicating with them. I added the proper wiring extensions and they are communcating now. That was one of the first things we tryed after the first emission failure. The car was driven daily about 3 weeks after we made sure the O2 sensors were working properly.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I think hes referring to the rear O2 sensors. If there are MIL's on it the reader the emissions testers have will tell them its not ready. It wont show in a dealer scanner etc, only during an emissions test.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I don't think you need the MIL eliminators if you have a custom tune.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

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Originally Posted by mxw1090 View Post
Hoping someone out there might have some Ideas how to get my son's car to pass emissions. Give me an old fashion Carburater engine and I can figure out any issue, but the wonderful ECU is driving us crazy. The car runs great, if they actually checked the tailpipe it would pass the levels, our problem is they plug into the computer and it says it's not ready so we fail.

Here's the story, short version. My son bought a 2003 Mustang V6. The Transmission went out so he decided to upgrade. Rebuilt the Trans, rebuilt 3.8 now it's a 4.3 with lots of goodies and a lot more HP. Took it to a Dyno shop and had it tuned. The car runs great.

Took it to emissions, they plugged it in and their computer says the emission controls are not ready. The car needs a drive cycle to reset everything. They told him to drive it a few days and try again. It's now been several months and 6 trips to emissions and same story. He's taken it to the dealership, they suggested replacing a couple sensors, we did but no change, the sensors were not bad. took it back and dealership says they cannot find anything wrong with the car. Took it to the dyno shop they can't find anything wrong. Everyone says to drive it. Well can't get anymore temp tags, there is a limit, so can't legally drive it.

The car has never had emissions checked before. We bought it from someone who lived in an area that did not require the check. We live near Phoenix, AZ that requires the car to pass emissions test to be licensed.

Any one have ideas/suggestions on how to get the emission controls to talk to the emission test computer?

Don't want to replace the ECU cause the car runs great so it's obviously working.
solution: Move to Florida and your problem is solved. lol
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

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I don't think you need the MIL eliminators if you have a custom tune.
not always true, the new diablosport tuners do not allow you to turn off the rear o2's hence you need mil
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Glad I got the old one lol...
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #11
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

LOL...the SCT and Delta Force tuners allow you to turn them off still. I'm not sure about the SCT, someone who owns one and has experienced emissions with them off should chime in, but I do know that Delta Force/Sniper allows you to turn them off without the "not ready for test" code.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I've got an XCal that let's me shut them off... pretty nice
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Chances are the rear 02s were shut off, but if disabled it wouldn't store a p1000 it would test back as not equipped... that's how it worked in NJ at least for my buick (I had that disabled, and EGR disabled).. then again might be different on the rustangs

If it is the P1000...
Depending on his driving style, could be that the monitors never complete all the conditions needed to trigger a monitor .. (IE some can have you accelerate briskly from a stop without going over 40 or going from 60 to 20 back to 60 mph, etc)

We've had this issue with the P1000 before.. typically older drivers, or drivers who never took their car out of the city, IE never went over 25 mph/etc (with the mod list I doubt your son has that issue) and all monitors have a certain procedure a technician can do to ready the monitor...
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #14
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Sounds like the rear O2 sensors are not getting hot enough. So what did you do with the exhaust? If it is dual then you need to H pipe it to get the rear O2's to get warm enough. See the computer thinks that the engine is still cold so it won't go into closed loop.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:10 AM   #15
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

If you turn off the rear O2 sensors in the tune you will get a not ready code. Try some MIL eleminators.
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Old 05-16-2010, 03:31 PM   #16
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

How was the car tuned? Do you have a chip or did the computer get flashed? If you flash a computer with some tuners you'll get codes that indicate the computer is having problems even though it's not. My car stores two codes about the computer having some problem (Sorry, I can't remember the codes) but it doesn't trigger the MIL.

Just a thought for your tuning shop.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:05 AM   #17
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

With my simple code reader it's not showing any codes. Is there a way to check the monitors are on with a code reader? The dyno shop uses a SCT computer, they said the custom tune is a chip that was added. they keep telling us everything is working, but I didn't specifically ask if each monitor was turned on.

the car has BBK headers with the Pypes dual exhaust, x pipe and high flow cats. Had to get wiring extensions for the rear O2 sensors.

We got a print out of the exact drive cycle requirements, the problem is the tags are expired so if we drive it we will get tickets.

He drove it daily about 1 month on the temp tag. It was a combination of country roads, city driving and freeway. I would have thought that would have hit all the cycles. My 21 year old son has a lead foot and this engine accelerates real nice so I'm sure very little granny driving was ever done, just when he was stuck in traffic.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #18
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Find a hook up and be done with it. I had the same issue but its now solved until Dec.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:16 PM   #19
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I'm going to say the problem lies in the tune or incompatible parta in the build. I need DTCs or the actual inspection form to be able to give u a direction. If two or more emission indicators or disable then you will fail eveytime. The test allows for two to classify as 'Not Ready' scan and post the printouts for me...i am a certified state inspector in louisiana and can give u a hand.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

so saleen ever let your buddys off with illegal mods?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:49 PM   #21
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

While I am still a certified inspector I do not inspect vehicles anymore. Oh, and also.....NO I WOULD NEVER EVER EVER DO THAT! ISN'T THAT ILLEGAL? OMGOSH!
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:06 PM   #22
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

There must be some shady shop were you could get the job done???
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:01 AM   #23
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I wish we could just take it to a shop in md. Here we go to VEIP where the state runs it. Sure you might run into a friend there or the inspector might just look the other way or be too lazy to check unless you throw a code. The worse part is some of them make you go into another room while the do it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:40 PM   #24
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

do what most of my friends do with offroad pipes
find some shady, ghetto shop and tell them that if they do ur inspection "super fast" theyll get some extra cash out of it lol
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:48 AM   #25
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

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do what most of my friends do with offroad pipes
find some shady, ghetto shop and tell them that if they do ur inspection "super fast" theyll get some extra cash out of it lol
OFT I always liked getting 'Fast' Tips.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #26
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

exactly
who doesnt liek a little extra cash lol
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #27
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

Well in AZ it's all state run shops, signs everywhere in the station letting you know you're not even allowed to talk to them. I make my son take everything to be inspected cause I always seem to find the idiots there.

Different subject but my emisison experiences get pretty rediculous. Spent an hour there one time with 5 different people looking at my truck. Not allowed to ask what's going on cause you would get accused of trying to bribe them. The only reason I found out what was going on is they finally called the manager over and he started laughing. They couldn't find the pvc valve on my truck. It was a diesel, they don't have a pvc.

Another one, failed because the computer wouldn't communicate. took it home plugged in the code ready, communicated fine. took it back to test, everything was perfect. Pretty sure the first tester just didn't plug it in all the way.

Anyway back to the issue with the 03 Mustang. the inspection paperwork has no codes or information at all. It only reads the monitor is not ready. Pretty much stuck with a large boat anchor for a while. Was going to try and get a waiver for emissions. They give you that 1 time if your car fails and you've spent more than 450 to fix it. Well can't get a waiver cause it technically hasn't failed. They can't test it because it's coming up as not ready. In az if 1 or more montors are not ready they can't test it, if they cant test it you didn't fail. They dyno shop charges my son $100 each time they plug it in to their computer and he's out of money.

I've got it down to specific things to check, but they all require it to be hooked up to the computer. Here's my list of things to check, let me know if you can think of other things to check
What temp does the computer read the engine as running at
What temp are the O2 sensors running at
Are the Rear O2 sensors communicating with the computer
Are the individual emission monitors communicating (I need help listing these, seems if I just ask if they are working they say yes, I need to ask for each specific monitor)
Is there any way for the SCT computer to tell me if the montors are ready.

One of the other things the emission place told us to check is a wiring issue. Possibly the computer is loosing power and reseting it's self. Do any of you know how we can check this. Is there any history or something in the computer that can tell us this.

The only issue we have had with the car is the traction control. Something was wrong with that sensor and was causing the traction control to come on when it was not needed. We turned it off, but I wouldn't think that would have anything to do with the emissions. Thanks for all your ideas.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:53 PM   #28
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

jesus man i feel so bad for u
i have never heard anyone have so much trouble dealing with emissions
and your not even in california lol
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:02 AM   #29
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

You need to bring the paper work with the systems that classify as 'not ready' and let the dealership completely check correct operation of the modules and parts. They will be able to diagnose the problems as they have all the proper equipment to communicate with the vehicle.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:23 AM   #30
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

The dealership has told us they can't hook their computer to it because we have a custom tune. I know that's not true, their computer can read the functions, but they refuse to touch it. We can't put the computer back to the stock tune because with all the mods I'm pretty sure it wouldn't run or if it did it would destroy the engine. I have a friend with a Snap on Ethos that can check it out this weekend. Hopefully he can get it figured out. I'm resorting to the backyard mechanic. The expensive dealership and dyno shops charge money to do nothing.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:27 AM   #31
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Re: Can't Pass Emissions, need ideas

I forgot you said you've already been there. Try out the snap on. Ford can still tinker with the computer custom tune or not, they just refuse to because of the liability.
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