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1996 Legacy OBD-II not ready? Inspection?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 dromond

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:50 PM

So I've done some searching around on this topic (including a thread i started years ago about a similar issue for my other Subaru wagon) but am looking for some clarification.

The car is a 1996 Legacy L Wagon with 197K. The state of registration / inspection is Massachusetts.

The CEL comes on pretty readily and it is always code PD 420. (Yes, I know the catalytic converter.) The odd part is that even after resetting it several times and driving it for about a week or more (until the CEL comes back on) it only shows 4 of 6 readiness monitors complete. Specifically, the catalyst and O2 sensor are never complete.

I've heard that the 96' Subarus had this problem where every time the engine was turned off the monitors were reset, which seems to go along with my observations.

A) Is this true?
B) If I take this car to my local inspection station with only 4 of 6 readiness monitors complete, are they going to know about the problem with the 96' year (and have an exception) or are they going to stop the inspection right there and tell me to drive it for another week? This seems impossible, since they never seem to be fully ready with 6/6 complete.

thanks!

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:03 AM

I would suggest asking that question to your local subaru dealership. They should know. I'm not sure the inspection place will.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:50 PM

From what I've read, those two monitors don't ever reach the "ready" state on the older models. I'm pretty sure there was an exception for early OBD2 vehicles for emissions testing. The shop that performs the inspection should have access to the regulations concerning all of the readiness monitors for every car.

#4 dromond

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:31 PM

I've managed to answer my own question:



http://vehicletest.s...exemptions.html

OBD Vehicles Exempt from Readiness Checks

SUBARU 1996 ALL

#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:37 PM

Nice find. Like I said, the shop that does the inspection should (we can only hope) know which cars have exceptions.

#6 Bserk

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 07:01 PM

I cant speak for Mass., but here in upstate NY, we do NOT have a list of the cars that have exemptions to the monitor readiness test.(I am a NY state inspector at a Nissan dealership) We have learned by trial and error that some 96 and 97 Nissans are on that list as well, but we have to plug the car in and be prepared for it to fail inspection before we know. (of course, its nice information to have when you run into the next 'problem' vehicle of the same make and model) I first learned of the exemptions with my 96 Outback when I found it impossible to set certain monitors and in aggravation just plugged it in to get a 10-day extension. And I was surprised to find it passed with flying colors. This car had no issues and I was not trying to 'cheat', and a couple months later after driving it all over creation, I checked the monitor status with my scanner....and they were all set. So, it CAN be done. But it must take a long time and just the perfect driving patterns. Just thought I'd throw that out there... I am between Subarus again and just checked into the site to see whats new. Always in the market for a good Subie winter beater...

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 07:41 PM

I cant speak for Mass., but here in upstate NY, we do NOT have a list of the cars that have exemptions to the monitor readiness test.(I am a NY state inspector at a Nissan dealership) We have learned by trial and error that some 96 and 97 Nissans are on that list as well, but we have to plug the car in and be prepared for it to fail inspection before we know. (of course, its nice information to have when you run into the next 'problem' vehicle of the same make and model) I first learned of the exemptions with my 96 Outback when I found it impossible to set certain monitors and in aggravation just plugged it in to get a 10-day extension. And I was surprised to find it passed with flying colors. This car had no issues and I was not trying to 'cheat', and a couple months later after driving it all over creation, I checked the monitor status with my scanner....and they were all set. So, it CAN be done. But it must take a long time and just the perfect driving patterns. Just thought I'd throw that out there... I am between Subarus again and just checked into the site to see whats new. Always in the market for a good Subie winter beater...


You must have driven for a long time! I rode around for a week with a scanner on loan to me from our Snap on tool rep. Never got either of those to set in 500 some odd miles. :eek: That got me to digging around and found the general consensus was that they just don't ever set, but they didn't need to in order to pass. I would love to find the list of conditions required for those to set.

I'm surprised that the state doesn't give you a guide for cases like this. I guess that's the gummint for you. :lol:

#8 Bserk

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:05 PM

All I do have is the 'driving pattern graph' from Nissan's service manuals. And on 96, 97 cars, its like 'stand on your head, brake for 20 seconds, rub your tummy while accelerating, cruise for 20 miles....' Im exaggerating, but its just as unrealistic. On these early OBD II cars, its nuts what you have to do to set the monitors. Thankfully, the manufactures caught up with the regulations soon after. I recently had to replace a vent valve on my 03 Sentra before inspection.. I reset the 'evap gross leak' code and drove the car literally around the block and all but the evap monitors were set. In NY, you pass with one open monitor so I was done.




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