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Old 10-20-2019, 09:41 AM   #1
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Secondary Air System Monitor Incomplete!

Hey all -

It's like my car knows I'm trying to sell it and it is messing with me at every opportunity so I don't sell it.

Last week, got a flat tire AND a CEL on the way to showing it to a potential buyer. Fixed the flat, replaced the AOS to fix the CEL, good to go, right? No. It won't pass smog here in California because I still have two incomplete monitors. EVAP and Secondary Air are still showing incomplete on my OBD2 scanner. Yesterday I had catalyst incomplete as well, but that is gone now.

I've driven over 150 miles, followed all the ridiculous drive cycle instructions, done a mix of highway and city, but I still can't get these two monitors to complete. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Is there a different way to tackle this problem? There's an interested buyer with cash who wants to buy it tomorrow, but I can't sell it till it smogs.

Thanks for the help guys.

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Old 10-20-2019, 09:52 AM   #2
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I think SAI test happens at idle. Did you let it idle for at least 2-1/2 minutes?

It only does the EVAP test if your fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full, so check your fuel level.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Hey all -

It's like my car knows I'm trying to sell it and it is messing with me at every opportunity so I don't sell it.

Last week, got a flat tire AND a CEL on the way to showing it to a potential buyer. Fixed the flat, replaced the AOS to fix the CEL, good to go, right? No. It won't pass smog here in California because I still have two incomplete monitors. EVAP and Secondary Air are still showing incomplete on my OBD2 scanner. Yesterday I had catalyst incomplete as well, but that is gone now.

I've driven over 150 miles, followed all the ridiculous drive cycle instructions, done a mix of highway and city, but I still can't get these two monitors to complete. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Is there a different way to tackle this problem? There's an interested buyer with cash who wants to buy it tomorrow, but I can't sell it till it smogs.

Thanks for the help guys.
My experience with those two readiness tests is that they can take forever to complete. Even when I read upon drive cycles (which can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer). and tried to do them to the letter. Sorry I can't help with a quick fix
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:11 AM   #4
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I think SAI test happens at idle. Did you let it idle for at least 2-1/2 minutes?

It only does the EVAP test if your fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full, so check your fuel level.
Yeah I turned it on cold this morning and let it idle for about 3 minutes. The secondary pump is turning on (if I'm not mistaken, sounds like a vacuum cleaner) but it is still incomplete.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:12 AM   #5
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My experience with those two readiness tests is that they can take forever to complete. Even when I read upon drive cycles (which can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer). and tried to do them to the letter. Sorry I can't help with a quick fix
Arghhh!! I guess it's time to visit some friends in Sacramento..
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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I think SAI test happens at idle. Did you let it idle for at least 2-1/2 minutes?

It only does the EVAP test if your fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full, so check your fuel level.
My current understanding of the SAI test is that it happens in closed loop. When the ECU decides it is ready to test the SAI it turns on the air pump while in closed loop. the ECU then looks for a voltage drop to .200 millivolts at the pre cat o2 sensor within 2 seconds. This voltage drop is conformation to the ECU of the correct excess o2 in the exhaust in the correct time frame Thus the SAI is working properly.
If the ECU fails to see those changes it throws a SAI related code.

The SAI function in open loop at start up is to help the cats warm up faster and help burn off hydrocarbons.

This is my current understanding of how the SAI works and how the ECU tests it.

I have not researched the EVAP system yet so my understanding of it is damn little.

Last edited by blue62; 10-20-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:51 AM   #7
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I found these drive cycle instructions somewhere online and have used them successfully for my 97 twice.


Do you know what monitors are showing as not ready? If you have an OBDII reader you can plug it in and it will show you what monitors are not ready. I had a problem with my Oxygen sensor monitor and followed this drive cycle and it cleared..GOOD LUCK!


Below we outline the driving pattern you'll need to perform in order to get your Porsche's OBD-II emission monitors to become READY or COMPLETE. Perform the entire drive cycle. Completing only one portion of the drive cycle will not make the particular monitor which you're trying to make READY complete. The entire drive cycle must be performed every time you attempt the set any of the monitors.

Porsche 911 Drive Cycle - OBDII Emission Monitor Reset Procedure

Prior to starting the driving cycle ensure your Porsche's fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full. Also do not exceed 3,000 rpm or 60 mph during any portion of the drive cycle. Take extra caution when perform the Porsche drive cycle on public roadways. if you think you will be unable to safely perform the drive cycle please seek assistance from an experienced Porsche mechanic or smog check repair center.

A. Start your Porsche 911 and let it idle for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. This will allow the ECU to diagnose oxygen sensor aging; meaning the computer will be monitoring the oxygen sensor warm-up period and reaction to rising exhaust temperatures. During this period the ECU is also testing the Secondary Air Injection system.

B. Begin driving. Accelerate to 20-30 MPH and maintain your speed for 3 1/2 minutes. The ECU will be testing catalytic converter efficiency.

C. Next, accelerate to 40-60 MPH. Once again maintain steady speed, this time for approximately 15 minutes. The EVAP system is now being tested along with adaptation range (2) and the oxygen sensor (switching).

D. Decelerate and come to a complete stop. If equipped with a manual transmission, idle in neutral for 3 minutes. If equipped with an automatic Tiptronic transmission, idle in drive (D) for 3 minutes. Adaptation range (2) is now being tested.

E. Repeat steps B through D. Drive cycle complete.

I followed the instructions provided by the San Diego PCA Tech Advisor and it worked

Drive in 10 minute cycles 1400-2800 Rpm in 5-6 gear as slow as you can drive in light traffic.
If you stop or go out of RPM range the cycle resets the timer.
After 5-6 cycles you will probably have it.
For evap you must have 1/3-2/3 of a tank of fuel.
Start the car cold and let it idle for 10 minutes with lots of accessories on. (lights, A/C or heater)
Do the same at the end of the drive cycle.

It took 3 cycles of slow freeway driving to get it reset
I drove in 6th at around 58 MPH
People were looking at me oddly driving a Porsche so slow!
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:15 PM   #8
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I found these drive cycle instructions somewhere online and have used them successfully for my 97 twice.


Do you know what monitors are showing as not ready? If you have an OBDII reader you can plug it in and it will show you what monitors are not ready. I had a problem with my Oxygen sensor monitor and followed this drive cycle and it cleared..GOOD LUCK!


Below we outline the driving pattern you'll need to perform in order to get your Porsche's OBD-II emission monitors to become READY or COMPLETE. Perform the entire drive cycle. Completing only one portion of the drive cycle will not make the particular monitor which you're trying to make READY complete. The entire drive cycle must be performed every time you attempt the set any of the monitors.

Porsche 911 Drive Cycle - OBDII Emission Monitor Reset Procedure

Prior to starting the driving cycle ensure your Porsche's fuel tank is between 1/4 and 3/4 full. Also do not exceed 3,000 rpm or 60 mph during any portion of the drive cycle. Take extra caution when perform the Porsche drive cycle on public roadways. if you think you will be unable to safely perform the drive cycle please seek assistance from an experienced Porsche mechanic or smog check repair center.

A. Start your Porsche 911 and let it idle for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. This will allow the ECU to diagnose oxygen sensor aging; meaning the computer will be monitoring the oxygen sensor warm-up period and reaction to rising exhaust temperatures. During this period the ECU is also testing the Secondary Air Injection system.

B. Begin driving. Accelerate to 20-30 MPH and maintain your speed for 3 1/2 minutes. The ECU will be testing catalytic converter efficiency.

C. Next, accelerate to 40-60 MPH. Once again maintain steady speed, this time for approximately 15 minutes. The EVAP system is now being tested along with adaptation range (2) and the oxygen sensor (switching).

D. Decelerate and come to a complete stop. If equipped with a manual transmission, idle in neutral for 3 minutes. If equipped with an automatic Tiptronic transmission, idle in drive (D) for 3 minutes. Adaptation range (2) is now being tested.

E. Repeat steps B through D. Drive cycle complete.

I followed the instructions provided by the San Diego PCA Tech Advisor and it worked

Drive in 10 minute cycles 1400-2800 Rpm in 5-6 gear as slow as you can drive in light traffic.
If you stop or go out of RPM range the cycle resets the timer.
After 5-6 cycles you will probably have it.
For evap you must have 1/3-2/3 of a tank of fuel.
Start the car cold and let it idle for 10 minutes with lots of accessories on. (lights, A/C or heater)
Do the same at the end of the drive cycle.

It took 3 cycles of slow freeway driving to get it reset
I drove in 6th at around 58 MPH
People were looking at me oddly driving a Porsche so slow!
Thanks for the crazy detailed post! The monitors that are still not complete are secondary air injection and evap. I've done the first drive cycle, but so far only the catalyst monitor completed while doing that. I'll try the second one you mentioned as well.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:01 PM   #9
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A couple years back I went for inspection and those 2 monitors were incomplete and I failed. I had 30 days to figure it out. I had been getting a P0442 1 - 2 times in a year, thought it was loose gas cap, I just cleared it. So I did that diver routine several times to try and get the SAI to complete but it is almost impossible. I was running out of time and realized I needed help. So for the first time I took my car to a shop. They diagnosed as an Evap issue, due to history of P0442. Replaced the canister and valves. The Evap monitor now completed but SAI still did not. I went straight to inspection from the shop and I passed inspection. One monitor can be in incomplete state to pass in NJ. About 6-8 month later I noticed my SAI monitor was now going to Complete. So a month back I was due for inspection but now both monitors were routinely completing and I breezed through inspection. From my research it appears that the SAI may need the Evap monitor to complete plus going through those series of drive, idle routines.
Good luck
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:14 PM   #10
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My current understanding of the SAI test is that it happens in closed loop. When the ECU decides it is ready to test the SAI it turns on the air pump while in closed loop. the ECU then looks for a voltage drop to .200 millivolts at the pre cat o2 sensor within 2 seconds. This voltage drop is conformation to the ECU of the correct excess o2 in the exhaust in the correct time frame Thus the SAI is working properly.
If the ECU fails to see those changes it throws a SAI related code.

The SAI function in open loop at start up is to help the cats warm up faster and help burn off hydrocarbons.
Good information to keep in the memory bank. Thanks.

So, in that case maybe Speedyspaghetti should let it run a few minutes for it go into closed loop, and THEN let it idle for 2-1/2 minutes to do the SAI test?

Last edited by piper6909; 10-20-2019 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:46 PM   #11
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Good information to keep in the memory bank. Thanks.

So, in that case maybe Speedyspaghetti should let it run a few minutes for it go into closed loop, and THEN let it idle for 2-1/2 minutes to do the SAI test?
I am not sure what conditions have to be met before the ECU "decides" to test SAI readiness or operation.
I just know from research "how" the ECU tests SAI readiness or operation.

The more research I do on how OBDII is set up, how various sensors actually work, how the sensors are related to each other and OBDII as a complete system the more interesting it becomes.
I also find out I know less and less. LOL
Certain information on OBDII (probably more correct to say ECU operation) is difficult to find.

Last edited by blue62; 10-20-2019 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:58 PM   #12
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UPDATE TIME BOYS!

So I tried the method mentioned here http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/64722-tip-secondary-air-not-ready.html for cold starting, holding the car at 2-2.5k rpm in neutral and voila, the SAI is now complete!

Just need EVAP now.

Two questions:
1. Is EVAP necessary? I read somewhere that in CA I can still pass smog with the EVAP monitor incomplete.
2. If it is necessary, is there something someone has done that makes evap trip?

Thanks everyone... almost done with this nightmare.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:13 PM   #13
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UPDATE TIME BOYS!

So I tried the method mentioned here http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/64722-tip-secondary-air-not-ready.html for cold starting, holding the car at 2-2.5k rpm in neutral and voila, the SAI is now complete!

Just need EVAP now.

Two questions:
1. Is EVAP necessary? I read somewhere that in CA I can still pass smog with the EVAP monitor incomplete.
2. If it is necessary, is there something someone has done that makes evap trip?

Thanks everyone... almost done with this nightmare.
That's very interesting about the SAI
I have done no research on EVAP systems so sorry I can't help.
Glad to hear your making positive progress.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
UPDATE TIME BOYS!

So I tried the method mentioned here http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/64722-tip-secondary-air-not-ready.html for cold starting, holding the car at 2-2.5k rpm in neutral and voila, the SAI is now complete!

Just need EVAP now.

Two questions:
1. Is EVAP necessary? I read somewhere that in CA I can still pass smog with the EVAP monitor incomplete.
2. If it is necessary, is there something someone has done that makes evap trip?

Thanks everyone... almost done with this nightmare.
Great news on the SAI!

From what I've read on the EVAP, you need to have your fuel tank between 1/4 to 3/4 full. Then drive at a steady speed of between 40 & 60 mph. maintain steady speed for about 15 minutes.

I know some states allow for 1 incomplete test, but I don't know if CA is one of them.

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