OBD II DRIVE CYCLES
For a system that is supposed to be standardized OBD II drive cycles are not. For what ever reason, each vehicle
The toughest monitors to set are the catalyst monitor and the EVAP monitor because these two monitors typically require the
most complicated drive cycles. Because there are so many different makes and model of vehicles, we cannot include all of the
individual drive cycles in this reference program. For vehicle specific details, you should consult the OEM service literature or
applicable technical service bulletins.
Many drive traces have "prerequisites" (conditions that must exist) before they will run or set a diagnostic trouble code. The
ambient temperature may have to be above a certain degree, or the vehicle may have had to sit for a certain period of time
since it was last driven.
For example, some vehicle manufacturers require an eight hour cold soak period before it will run the EVAP monitor. The PCM
has a timer that keeps track of how long the vehicle has sit since it was last driven. If it hasn't been a full eight hours, the EVAP
monitor won't run until the required time period has passed.
Test driving a vehicle in an attempt to get all the monitors to run is best done with two people: one to drive and one to check
the readiness status on a scan tool. Don't try to drive and read a scan tool at the same time or you may find yourself making an
unplanned trip to an emergency room.
As a rule, driving on flat terrain will set the monitors more quickly than driving on hilly terrain. You should also accelerate
gradually rather than flooring the throttle, and brake smoothly (don't slam on the brakes). Aggressive driving won't speed up
the process and may actually delay the setting of some monitors. It takes time so be patient.
If you are having problems getting a monitor to run, remember that some monitors are load sensitive. Shifting to a lower gear
or disengaging overdrive may reduce the load just enough so the monitor will run.
Extreme ambient temperatures (100 degrees F or higher) may also inhibit some monitors from running. Your only option here
is wait until the weather cools to run your drive cycle.
If a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive vehicle is being run on a dyno or road simulator, follow all the usual safety precautions
such as making sure the vehicle is properly tethered or chained down, the parking brake is set (front-wheel drive only), the
non-drive wheels are chocked, and no one is standing in front of the vehicle. A floor fan may also be required to help cool the
radiator for sustained high speed operation. Note: Four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles
cannot be run on a dyno unless they can be operated in a two-wheel drive mode.
UNIVERSAL DRIVE CYCLE
There's really no such thing as a universal drive trace that works for all vehicles, but this one may work if you don't have the
official OEM drive cycle:
1. Start the vehicle and wait until the engine has come to normal operating temperature before you start your test drive.
2. Find a flat, straight section of road and drive the vehicle 45 mph for about 10 seconds, then gradually slow down to about 30
mph for 10 seconds, then gradually accelerate back up to 45 mph. Repeat this cycle ten times.
3. After the last cycle, cruise at a steady speed of about 40 mph for about 1 minute, then accelerate quickly up to 55 mph and
hold at 55 mph for about 3 minutes. 45 mph. The total test drive should take at least 12 to 15 minutes.
LA-4 DRIVE CYCLE
For those who love driving in stop-and-go traffic, the LA-4 Drive Cycle is another you can use that to hopefully set all the OBD
II monitors. This driving cycle is best done on a dyno that allows you to follow a driving trace displayed on a monitor. By
carefully matching the vehicle's speed to that on the trace, you can accurately simulate LA stop-and-go traffic. Or, you can do it
the old fashioned way and do a mix of stop-and-go with some highway driving to create the right conditions to set all the
monitors. Click on the burton below to see the LA-4 Drive Cycle.
GM OBD II DRIVE CYCLE
General Motors has a relatively simple drive cycle that runs a total of 700 seconds (a little over 11-1/2 minutes). Click on the
buttons below to see the drive cycle and read the instructions.
FORD OBD II DRIVE CYCLE
Ford takes top honors for having a nearly impossible driving cycle. The test drive runs 2650 seconds (over 44 minutes!) Click
on the buttons below to see the drive cycle and read the instructions.
TOYOTA/LEXUS OBD II DRIVE CYCLES
Toyota/Lexus has created separate drive cycles for each of their major system monitors. Click on the button below to read the
Toyota/Lexus drive cycle.