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Old 08-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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problems involving emissions, OBDII....

Alright,

Some of you may remember me buying my 96 SE Manual (184k) almost 2 months ago now. I bought it from a guy who moved here to Arizona from Minnesota and since it's from out of state the vehicle has to be run through emissions even if it had already passed in another state a month prior to selling it (I guess it's so they can get it in the state system?). First thing I actually did was replace the AC compressor since the AZ heat was coming quick. Then after that it was off to emissions. I was pretty confident with it, the car was solid. So here's where all my problems begin....

The car was rejected for an OBD II "NOT READY."
-Catalyst-------NOT READY
-EGR-----------NOT READY
-EVAP System--NOT READY

Now from what I was told you can still have two of the systems not ready and still pass emissions. I have no codes, no pending codes, nothing.

So anyway the guy at the emissions place told me I need to complete the drive cycle. Little did I know how difficult this would be. Refer to the link for the drive cycle.

http://www.lyberty.com/car/drive-cycle_maxima.html

I tried doing the drive cycle on my own after about 500 miles have been put on the car. Went again and still was rejected from the emissions place. Waited a week later, drove it some more then went again. No luck. Another week and 3-3 day tags and a 30 day tempory tag later, STILL no luck. At this point I'm at about 2k miles since I've owned the car. So I bit the bullet and took it to someone. I ended up taking it to Tech1Auto here in Peoria since it was a highly recommended shop. I talked to the shop owner, Fred, who has had expirence with specificaly the 96 maxima. He mentioned these cars have a very strict monitor system but at the same time he's been very successful with getting the monitors to run by doing the drive cycle by himself.

Anyway, He quoted me about $300 to get everything running. (OUCH) He had it about a week and HE had no luck. He mentioned that one of my O2 sensors was really sluggish, almost not working. So he repalced it and that didn't help. He suggested taking it to the Emissions Lab in Tempe. So I went to go pick it up and my bill was almost $700!!!

-$60 for a rental
-$50 for fuel (87 FTL!)
-$265.42 for O2 sensor
-$300 for labor

So I asked him why I should pay $700 for a problem not fixed? Since Fred was a nice guy he took off the $300ish in labor. He did do a full inspections on my car and found some problems with it. I'll be taking it back to him to get those fixed to give him a second chance. He also mentioned that my odometer stopped working while he had it (go figure)

Here's some maitenance problems he found
-oil change needed
-3-part fuel service suggested (due to miles)
-Left outer CV boot torn
-P/S fluid flush (due to condition)
-both license plate bulbs are out

So off to the emissions lab. I talked to two of the techs there. They hooked up the scanner. Found no codes, temps are fine, everything seems fine except the monitors aren't....computing? They're stumped. EMISSIONs techs don't know whats wrong with my car with an EMISSIONS related problem! haha. I've been in contact for a week now with one of the techs I talked to, Alex, really nice guy. He's been trying to do some research for me and help me with a solution.

Since only one more monitor needs to run and referring to the link of the drive cycle I provided here, the EGR system seems easiest since it's only the first 3 steps. Going off track for a second, let me ask this: The O2 system (Heated and sensore) is, in fact, ready according to my emission rejection sheet. Why would the O2 be ready but the EGR not ready? From what the emission guys told me, you have to complete the steps in order. Meaning the EGR pattern should've been complete in order for the O2 sensor to be ready.

So, here's my next step. I'm getting ready to go complete steps 1-3 on my own. Then I'm going to take it to an emissions facility close by my house. If I get rejected again, I'm going back the main emission lab facility in Tempe and I'm not leaving until there's a solution because this is a load of BS.

Please help me out here guys. thanks

Kevin
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilia View Post
Alright,

Some of you may remember me buying my 96 SE Manual (184k) almost 2 months ago now. I bought it from a guy who moved here to Arizona from Minnesota and since it's from out of state the vehicle has to be run through emissions even if it had already passed in another state a month prior to selling it (I guess it's so they can get it in the state system?). First thing I actually did was replace the AC compressor since the AZ heat was coming quick. Then after that it was off to emissions. I was pretty confident with it, the car was solid. So here's where all my problems begin....

The car was rejected for an OBD II "NOT READY."
-Catalyst-------NOT READY
-EGR-----------NOT READY
-EVAP System--NOT READY

Now from what I was told you can still have two of the systems not ready and still pass emissions. I have no codes, no pending codes, nothing.

So anyway the guy at the emissions place told me I need to complete the drive cycle. Little did I know how difficult this would be. Refer to the link for the drive cycle.

http://www.lyberty.com/car/drive-cycle_maxima.html

I tried doing the drive cycle on my own after about 500 miles have been put on the car. Went again and still was rejected from the emissions place. Waited a week later, drove it some more then went again. No luck. Another week and 3-3 day tags and a 30 day tempory tag later, STILL no luck. At this point I'm at about 2k miles since I've owned the car. So I bit the bullet and took it to someone. I ended up taking it to Tech1Auto here in Peoria since it was a highly recommended shop. I talked to the shop owner, Fred, who has had expirence with specificaly the 96 maxima. He mentioned these cars have a very strict monitor system but at the same time he's been very successful with getting the monitors to run by doing the drive cycle by himself.

Anyway, He quoted me about $300 to get everything running. (OUCH) He had it about a week and HE had no luck. He mentioned that one of my O2 sensors was really sluggish, almost not working. So he repalced it and that didn't help. He suggested taking it to the Emissions Lab in Tempe. So I went to go pick it up and my bill was almost $700!!!

-$60 for a rental
-$50 for fuel (87 FTL!)
-$265.42 for O2 sensor
-$300 for labor

So I asked him why I should pay $700 for a problem not fixed? Since Fred was a nice guy he took off the $300ish in labor. He did do a full inspections on my car and found some problems with it. I'll be taking it back to him to get those fixed to give him a second chance. He also mentioned that my odometer stopped working while he had it (go figure)

Here's some maitenance problems he found
-oil change needed
-3-part fuel service suggested (due to miles)
-Left outer CV boot torn
-P/S fluid flush (due to condition)
-both license plate bulbs are out

So off to the emissions lab. I talked to two of the techs there. They hooked up the scanner. Found no codes, temps are fine, everything seems fine except the monitors aren't....computing? They're stumped. EMISSIONs techs don't know whats wrong with my car with an EMISSIONS related problem! haha. I've been in contact for a week now with one of the techs I talked to, Alex, really nice guy. He's been trying to do some research for me and help me with a solution.

Since only one more monitor needs to run and referring to the link of the drive cycle I provided here, the EGR system seems easiest since it's only the first 3 steps. Going off track for a second, let me ask this: The O2 system (Heated and sensore) is, in fact, ready according to my emission rejection sheet. Why would the O2 be ready but the EGR not ready? From what the emission guys told me, you have to complete the steps in order. Meaning the EGR pattern should've been complete in order for the O2 sensor to be ready.

So, here's my next step. I'm getting ready to go complete steps 1-3 on my own. Then I'm going to take it to an emissions facility close by my house. If I get rejected again, I'm going back the main emission lab facility in Tempe and I'm not leaving until there's a solution because this is a load of BS.

Please help me out here guys. thanks

Kevin
I hope they used vaseline cuz it sounds like some real hardcore screwing to me.


I would think your ECU is done for and you could grab one from a yard for about $100. As a member of the board I'm not really sure why you didn't start this thread a long time ago, I wouldn't think that after 2k miles your diagnostic system still wouldn't be ready


Honestly, I think your throwing way too much money at these 'nice' losers who probably know that your system just needs to be replaced and are just taking you to the hole like Kobe Bryant ....


oh yea, search may have saved you some serious dough. Sorry dude
http://forums.maxima.org/search.php?searchid=660286
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Damn, I prob need to get some money to do all that...
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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Here is Fred's write up on the service done to my car:

"Advanced Device Failure Testing: Continuous Monitors will not Run to Completion

Performed a computer scan analysis. All parameters scanned were normal for the current operation conditions. We scanned for current and pending diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). There were no DTCs stored in the computer's memory. We scanned the non-continuous monitors and all ran to completion except the EGR monitor, the EVAP Purge monitor and the Catalyst Efficiency monitor. The car was driven according to Nissan's drive cycle procedure while we continually checked the non-contiguous monitors for completion. We also drove the car on four different occassions for an extended drive in an attempt to complete the Catalyst monitor as we have been very successful in getting the 96 model year Maximas to complete the Catalyst monitor in this manner. During one drive cycle, we noted that the B1S1 oxygen sensor was switching very slowly in comparison to the B1S2 oxygen sensor. The B1S1 sensor was replaced and 3 more drive cycles were driven (one extended and two normal).

At this point, we recommend that the customer drive the car an extended trip of at least 200 miles while driving the car at 65 MPH in 4th gear maintaining great than 3k RPM. Once this is done, it is suggested that the customer bring the vehicle back to us for a re-scan of the non-continuous monitors."

comments?
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Eaze View Post
I hope they used vaseline cuz it sounds like some real hardcore screwing to me.


I would think your ECU is done for and you could grab one from a yard for about $100. As a member of the board I'm not really sure why you didn't start this thread a long time ago, I wouldn't think that after 2k miles your diagnostic system still wouldn't be ready


Honestly, I think your throwing way too much money at these 'nice' losers who probably know that your system just needs to be replaced and are just taking you to the hole like Kobe Bryant ....


oh yea, search may have saved you some serious dough. Sorry dude
http://forums.maxima.org/search.php?searchid=660286
I thought it could've been a bad ECU. Nobody else seems to think so and paying $100 on a used ECU scares me. Seems like I'm setting myself up for a jailtime shower fun. Thanks for your comments.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
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If you have no engine codes you could jus pay a private facility to pass you. Thats how my 83 benz passed inspection
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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So now I have a whole new world of problems. I went down to the emissions lab, the main one located in Tempe. Went to talk to Alex, he then told me to pull my car around. As I'm walking to my car I see smoke coming from underneath the hood. I'm like WTF!? overheating?! I open the hood and to my surprise I see a small flame right down by the alternator about the size of a fist. I ran and asked for a fire extinguisher and put it out. After looking over where the fire was we found that it came from the wire harness that goes from the alt to the passenger side headlight right where it connects to the alt. We peeled back the piece that covers the wire and there some white corrision type powder. He said it looks like it's battery acid. I had AAA come take it back to a shop.

So wow, maybe my car is going to be an electrical nightmare. Come to think of it, the stock Bose headunit display will flicker/blink or just not come on but I have heard of these headunits going out after time. I think I'm done with this car.

The car did start right back up just fine. Idle was fine and even the battery light wasn't on. I just didn't want to risk driving it.
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Just can't figure out how to break the motor

Last edited by maximilia; 08-25-2009 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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If your gonna keep bringin it to shops it sounds like you could buy 3 max's by the time your done. So either have an orger in ur area help you out or sell it to someone on the org
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Damn, I prob need to get some money to do all that...
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:48 AM   #8
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The flaming alternator was a common problem, Nissan actually recalled them a while back. The white powder was most likely the fire extinguisher product.
I think you really need to take that car on an extended trip somewhere in order for the systems to complete their cycle and indicate a ready status.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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UPDATE:

First, I got the alternator replaced as well as the harness. I then called Nissan and my car doesn't fall into the recalled maximas with the flaming alternator. So when I get time next week I'm going down to my local dealership to bicker and see what comes of it. Probably nothing but oh well.

Now, I remember when I was first trying to diagnose my problem I would turn the key in the on position, where all the dash lights come on to see if maybe my service light was out. I remember not seeing a service engine light come on. I thought maybe there'd be a code, well, got it scanned and no codes as stated in my first post, so I didn't think anything of it. So, just now it popped back into my head. I went out to my car and put the key in the on position just for the heck of it and to my surprise BOOM, there was the check engine light shining bright!

So, since the alternator was changed I'm sure the battery was disconnected so that would reset the ECU and require the drive cycle to be completed again and therefore, no codes would show until this cycle was complete, am I right?

Could this mean that POSSIBLY my ECU wasn't getting the power it needed or am I just too hopeful?
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:46 PM   #10
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Ok, you have a 1996, the CATALYST DOES NOT need to be ready to pass emissions. As for the other ones, it sounds like the shop just screwed you out of money. The EVAP and EGR won't be ready til you take the car out on the highway, turn car off, get back on the highway. After that all should be fine. You said before the check engine light wasn't on when key was turned to ON or ACC, maybe the screw on the ECU wasn't turned back to the left?
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE Sz View Post
Ok, you have a 1996, the CATALYST DOES NOT need to be ready to pass emissions. As for the other ones, it sounds like the shop just screwed you out of money. The EVAP and EGR won't be ready til you take the car out on the highway, turn car off, get back on the highway. After that all should be fine. You said before the check engine light wasn't on when key was turned to ON or ACC, maybe the screw on the ECU wasn't turned back to the left?
Actually 96-2001 i think it is can still have 2 systems not ready, doesn't matter which ones. I did some reading up and the EVAP and CATALYST are the hardest ones to set. Since my O2 is ready, I would just do the EGR cycle since it's the first three steps and the easiest.

I didn't think to look at the screw on the ECU, I'll check that thanks.
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Just can't figure out how to break the motor
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:36 AM   #12
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so it looks like I was RIGHT. I took my car to get tested for emissions and it passed so easily! Turns out that because of the bad harness my ECU wasn't getting the power it needed to complete the monitors. I can finally drive my car without outdated tags.

Now it's time to get the front wheel bearings replaced and driver side axle.

Oh and ALL the monitors are running. EVAP/EGR/O2 Sensor/O2 Heater/CATALYST.

and there are no codes or pending codes
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:12 AM   #13
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jesus dude, i hope you learned something from all this!!! i know you did your best, but, search and teh org are your friends!!!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilia View Post
Here is Fred's write up on the service done to my car:

"Advanced Device Failure Testing: Continuous Monitors will not Run to Completion

Performed a computer scan [...]
I like how he threw the word "advanced" in. Sounds to me like just going for some joy rides and hoping the monitors come ready - what device failure testing was actually done? If the O2 was switching slowly, you would've gotten a code (P0133 maybe) - that just sounds like a throw-in because they really didn't find anything or fix the problem.

In all seriousness, buying an OBDII scanner for 50 bucks would save this and future trips to that shop.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:14 AM   #15
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so you replaced the harness?
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max ride 41 View Post
jesus dude, i hope you learned something from all this!!! i know you did your best, but, search and teh org are your friends!!!!
yes I did learn something from this, and searching didn't help because with everyones problems involving OBDII rediness, there were no solutions. I had actually read another thread just at random (it was about someone having a starting problem or something) and someone mentioned "maybe your ECU isnt getting the power it needs." That's when the whole thing about the SES light not on and then coming on after replacing the alternator when key is engaged in the ACC position. So the alternator catching on fire helped me solve my problems. Not "driving for an extended period time" and all and SERIOUSLY, did no one look at that link I provided in my first post? Here it is again....

http://www.lyberty.com/car/drive-cycle_maxima.html

From what I read, 96 and 97 Maximas were a pain to get the monitors to run.

and guys, I'm all about search, hence why I have so little post and been with the .org for 4+ years. Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate people trying to help me out with this nightmare I just went through but all in all, I don't think this problem could have been solved without the alternator catching fire. I'm sure the dealer could have found this problem, but only god knows how much I would've dumped into this car.

Again thanks guys for your input.

kevin
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Just can't figure out how to break the motor
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:31 PM   #17
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This problem COULD have be solved if you checked your ECU or attempted to replace it...




Too bad nobody recommended that

Jk
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Damn, I prob need to get some money to do all that...

Last edited by B_Eaze; 09-05-2009 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #18
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my ecu was fine
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:58 PM   #19
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I'm just messing with you. I thought you meant ECU harness. Glad you got it taken care of
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Damn, I prob need to get some money to do all that...
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:18 PM   #20
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so, again, what did you do to fix it???
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:30 AM   #21
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the alt. caught on fire. caused by a short in the alt harness, replaced both. It's not for sure but I'm pretty sure that the alt harness wasn't allowing enough power to the ecu? I'm not very inclined on the electrical part of the vehicle, but that's my guess.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:50 PM   #22
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This is a known issue with 96 and 97 Maximas. I'm in the same situation where I can't get my ECU to get into the "ready" state for testing. After a bit of searching, I found the TSB regarding the problem and the detailed driving pattern required to get all five systems ready for testing. Go to Nissanhelp.com and sign up for a free account. Then go here and download TSB NTB98-018c. I just downloaded it and I'm waiting to get down to half a tank of gas (because part of the process is filling up with exactly 4 gallons of gas). This is not an easy task to do and I don't have a CONSULT diagnostic tool so I can't get the instant engine load readings that are required during the drive. Good luck to anybody that tries. I will post my results after I've tried it.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:50 PM
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