Readiness monitors are commonly-misunderstood components of modern vehicles that may determine the success or failure of emissions inspections. Making sure your vehicle is prepared for its inspection includes the knowledge that its readiness monitors are truly “ready” to go.
Modern vehicles are largely computer-controlled. They include readiness monitors that are designed to self-test the emission control systems. These monitors perform a dozen or so system tests and/or routines.
Before bringing your vehicle to an Air Care Colorado station for an emissions inspection, it’s always best if your vehicle has been fully prepared. Think of it like tests you took in school. Did you study? Success or failure is often a result of preparation!
You don’t need to be a repair technician or an automotive engineer to prepare your readiness monitors for an emission inspection. The best way is simply to DRIVE YOUR CAR! If you’re taking care of your vehicle by following the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule and have had it serviced prior to the emissions inspection, simply drive it normally a few times over the course of a few days before heading to a station.
Depending on the vehicle, simply completing a driving cycle or two to allow the monitors to complete their routines and “reset” is enough. It’s a lot like your personal computer: sometimes, it needs to reboot!
Your owners’ manual also may include manufacturer-specific procedures to help determine if the required monitors are set to “ready.” Examples may include making sure there are no illuminated indicator lights, checking to see if you have enough fuel in the vehicle and completing a certain number of drive cycles.
In the end, don’t sweat it! A little preparation goes a long way toward ensuring a successful inspection. Plus, you’ll be extending the life of your vehicle and protecting our environment. That’s a win for everyone!