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Old 02-17-2019, 09:38 AM   #1
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CEL and monitors problem - Need some advice please!

I'll try to be brief...

I'm in California and need to smog my '01 Boxster. I go to get it smogged but it says that the Catalyst monitor isn't ready. I call my awesome mechanic and he tells me how to do a drive cycle to clear it. I do that and it works BUT I pop a CEL P0420. So I clear it but that makes things worse. Sure, it cleared the CEL but now my pocket scanner shows that I have three monitors that arenít ready (Evap., Secondary Air, and Catalyst).

I call my mechanic and he says, ďYeahÖclearing the codes will do that.Ē He tells me to not start over by disconnecting the battery, etc. but to just do another drive cycle. Iím wasnít able to do a full drive cycle for about 4 days and in the meantime, Iíve cleared 2 monitors just with normal driving and Iím just back to Catalyst.

Itís Sunday morning and very light traffic, perfect for doing another drive cycle. Iíve got the car on cruise control for 55 mph and I havenít gone more than 2 miles when I pop a CEL. When I finally finish my drive cycle, I check my scanner and now itís showing CEL P0420 and P0430 but now all the monitors are cleared. I canít win. I havenít cleared the CEL codes because, well, that didnít work last time.

My mechanic is on vacation for a week and I need to get the car smogged before the end of the month in 11 days. Any ideas what I might be able to do?

I think I may need new spark plugs, maybe new coils, or maybe new O2 sensors. Itís been awhile since any of those have been replaced. BTW, the car has 135,000 miles on it.

Any advice and direction would be very much appreciated!
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:03 PM   #2
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You can pay your reg fees online without the smog cert. They won't send you the tags until you clear up the issues, but you won't get a ticket for driving with a suspended registration. Vacuum leaks can cause all sorts of issues. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:41 AM   #3
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You can pay your reg fees online without the smog cert. They won't send you the tags until you clear up the issues, but you won't get a ticket for driving with a suspended registration. Vacuum leaks can cause all sorts of issues. Good luck.
Help me understand this... You can pay your fees online... absent the smog. They won't send you the tags until the smog has been completed. So... if you paid the registration... are driving around... absent valid tags... you won't get a ticket?

Paying the registration absent the smog means you won't pay late fees. Absent the smog, registration is incomplete, I didn't finish my pursuit of a JD so... tell me how that registration works. In detail. Thanks.
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Last edited by Starter986; 02-18-2019 at 03:44 AM. Reason: I don't need a reason
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:06 AM   #4
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You can pay your reg fees online without the smog cert. They won't send you the tags until you clear up the issues, but you won't get a ticket for driving with a suspended registration. Vacuum leaks can cause all sorts of issues. Good luck.
Where is this true? Certainly not in my state.

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Old 02-18-2019, 09:44 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=maytag;589220]Where is this true? Certainly not in my state.

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CA, I did the same thing when my clutch went out faster than I thought it would.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impboy View Post
I'll try to be brief...


I think I may need new spark plugs, maybe new coils, or maybe new O2 sensors. It’s been awhile since any of those have been replaced. BTW, the car has 135,000 miles on it.

Any advice and direction would be very much appreciated!
Service interval is 60k for spark plugs on 01. If you don't know when they were changed this would be the first thing I'd do.

The OBDII has a two trip detection logic. Meaning a code is stored as pending on first trip then sets the MIL on the second trip. Probably why the readiness monitors status changed but the codes popped 2nd trip after clearing.

PS About those plugs, make sure the engine is stone cold before attempting to remove, AND if they have been in for an excessive amount of time they could have carbon buildup. If they don't unscrew easily then loosen and tighten alternately to try to minimize thread damage in the aluminum heads, don't just unscrew with a bigger wrench.

Last edited by 911monty; 02-18-2019 at 10:18 AM. Reason: PS
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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911monty - that makes sense to me too. I bet it's been at least 40k miles since I've changed plugs. I've done it before, including the tubes so it's a good place to start.
Thanks for the advice!
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