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1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
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1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby S70 Scott » 11 Jan 2011, 03:51

Hey, everyone. I'm pulling my hair out trying to get my 1999 S70 to pass the California smog test. Emissions aren't the problem. It's the stinking computer. Several months ago I disconnected the battery to clean the posts, and when I did that it reset all the computer monitors.

1500 miles later, three of the monitors -- the catalyst, evaporative, and oxygen sensor -- still aren't ready. I can have 2 "unready" monitors, but not 3.

My mechanic tells me the car isn't throwing any codes, so there's nothing to fix. I just need to keep driving it. Specifically, there's a 30-step drive cycle that will reset all the monitors (he gave me a copy), but it's been impossible to complete in Los Angeles traffic. Meanwhile, the DMV tells me that due to new legislation they can't extend my registration any more than 1 day and that the car is now illegal to drive.

So I'm not allowed to drive the car because it's not registered . . . but I have to keep driving it to get it registered :(

Faced with that, I took the car to the dealer this week and asked if I could pay them to complete the drive cycle. This morning, they called back to say they had to do the following before they could reset the monitors: replace the battery cables ($450), replace the main relay ($60), replace the evaporative valve ($90), and clean the throttle body ($220).

For those of you who know what all goes into resetting a monitor, does this sound plausible? Could these issues really being causing the monitors to remain unready? Seems odd, especially when the car isn't throwing any codes.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby jblackburn » 11 Jan 2011, 04:20

Some of those may be things it needs, sure, but with the exception of the EVAP purge valve, none of them will keep it from achieving a 'ready' monitor. Again, there are no codes for that, so I would ask "why?"

$450 for battery cables is absolutely ridiculous.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby JRL » 11 Jan 2011, 04:30

Cables cost about $170 retail and they really are a good 2+ hours ro install
The B+ cable is a SOB to install
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby S70 Scott » 11 Jan 2011, 05:04

Speaking of the battery cables, is there any chance a voltage drop across the positive cables could cause the ECM memory to be erased . . . which would continually reset the monitors and never allow them to set?

Also, shouldn't this throw a code?
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby jimmy57 » 11 Jan 2011, 06:12

yes, you could be onto something there. The cable between + terminal and the relay/electrical box is a problem area too. Check V drop between + post and the stud with nut you'll see on inboard side of the relay/electrical box by master cylinder while cranking engine. Low voltage to ECM won't set a code reliably but can cause monitor status dump as well as fuel trim memory dump.

The common denominator of those items not completing is a completed driving trip. The Oxygen sensors aren't cleared until a constant part throttle drive at steady load for something like 12 minutes (the sheet you have probably has the exact time) and catalyst diagnostics aren't happening until ECM is happy with O2 sensors, Evaporative only ocurs when the others are good and then you pull up and idle engine for 3-4 minutes to assure time to complete the tank pressure testing.
The 96 -98 are the SOB's to get monitors to trigger on and the best way to hurry those is a drive at high load to get catalysts and O2 sensors burned clean from lots of town short tripping and then to drive the prescribed "trip". ANd then you let car set overnight and do it again the next day as two checks have to be complete for monitors to pass. That car could have one complete so one "trip" and a visit to the CARB check might do it. Surely a receipt if you got one, from the inspection station with a fail would make the constables happy for the out of registration thing.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby 850gltvlvownr » 04 May 2011, 03:12

Is this also true with 1997 850GLT? I replaced the engine coolant temperature sensor 3 months ago and erased code P0117. Also, a loose connector to the turbo wastegate solenoid threw a P0243 code. After fixing the connection and erasing the code, the check engine light no longer came on. There were no pending codes. However, the monitors have not run since. Where can I get the procedure to follow to make the monitors to run? By the way, I am using an Innova 3100 Code Reader.

Thank you in advance.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby VCA » 04 May 2011, 03:43

The drive cycle for a 1999 S70 is (this is straight from VIDA):

Driving schedule:
    Start the engine
    shift gear selector to drive
    accelerate gently to 1500–2000 rpm
    drive for 5 minutes at 1500–2000 rpm
    run the engine at idle speed for 70 seconds
    drive engaged, air conditioning (A/C) off
    drive for 6 minutes at 1500–2000 rpm
    run the engine at idle speed for 40 seconds
    drive engaged
    air conditioning (A/C) off
    drive for 5 minutes at 1500–2000 rpm
    run the engine at idle speed for 50 seconds
    drive for 5 minutes at 1500–2000 rpm
    Engine brake from 4000 rpm to approximately 1300 rpm a few times.

Note! Do not use the accelerator pedal (AP) during engine braking.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby 1998T5 » 10 Jul 2011, 01:34

I have been going through this issue since January 2011. My 1998 S70 T5 would not pass smog either. First off, I had a check engine light that would come on and ,secondly, I had an issue with the computer stating it was not ready whenever the technician would plug it in and test it. The check engine light turned out to be a relay that a Volvo specialist replaced after trying to change a couple of valves in the emisions system. The valves may have been bad, but that didn't solve the check engine light until he replaced the relay. Still, even after all that the computer would not re-set because it will not check all parameters. Three or four of the parameters still come up as not ready even after all driving cycles have been completed. I even tried a replacement EMU without any luck. Luckily that did not cost me as much as I was quoted originally. It turns out that these model year Volvos (from around 96-99) have a glitch in the computer check/set system. These cars can be legally tested without checking the computer check/set system. The State of California will accept a passing test, however, you must find a smog technician that is aware of this issue with these Volvos. I finally just got my car to pass without any further work and without the computer being "ready" or reset. Some smog test and repair facilities are aware of this issue. Even the dealers are aware and can attempt to "repair" the glitch in the computer system. I was told only the dealer has the equipment to do this, but that it is a 50-50 shot that is successful. But since the state doesn't care if the computer says it is ready or not, then why waste time and money?? All of the above information is based on my experience with my Volvo and from information that was told to me by a very trusted Volvo specialist and a trusted smog test/repair/auto repair shop. These two shops/specialists treated me very well and helped me solve my long, drawn-out smog test problem. I hope that this will help others.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby tjts1 » 02 Oct 2011, 08:13

BUMP
Here is some additional information from the EPA you can bring to the technician smoging your car if its running into readiness issues.

APPENDIX D
Manufacturers Known to Have OBD Readiness Issues

1996 Volvo 850 Turbo - Vehicles will clear readiness at key-off. There is no reprogramming
available for this line of vehicles. These vehicles should be scanned for MIL illumination
without regard to readiness status.
Volvo Technical Service Bulletin #SB 2-23-0056.

1996-98 Volvo vehicles (excluding 850 Turbo) - These vehicles may have a high degree of
“Not Ready”for catalyst and evaporative monitors due to a “trip based” design. Volvo has
provided driving cycles in its service information to allow monitors to operate. These
vehicles should be treated as other non-problematic vehicles.
Volvo Technical Service
Bulletin #SB 2-23-0056

http://www.epa.gov/OMS/regs/im/obd/r01015.pdf
Ambitious but rubbish
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby JRL » 02 Oct 2011, 11:47

Someone had told me this info was around somewhere but this is the first time I ever read a copy of that..
Thanks
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2006 XC70 White only 61,000 miles. New daily driver.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby Matty Moo » 02 Oct 2011, 13:38

I've seen that brought up before, supposedly they're supposed to waive you on that.

At times I'm puzzled why they still do emissions testing. Sure, there are some polluters out there, but the majority of the cars on the road put out next to nothing of what a typical car from the 70's-80's did.

We haven't had it in MI in years, but never had safety inspections. At times I wish we did have safety, you see people driving things that have no business being on the road.
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby JRSC EP3 » 09 Oct 2011, 20:49

I was having the same issue with my 98 V70. After 300 miles of driving, the monitors were still in not-ready mode according to my two different OBD-II scanners. I finally decided to just take it to a smog place so they could fail it for me and I could get a temp operating permit. The smog tech did the test and said it passed the "functionality" test even though none of the monitors were ready. He said it was the first time he's ever seen a car pass even though none of the monitors were ready. I didn't question it! I had the paper saying it all passed and was on my way out the door with a huge grin on my face! So like the OP noted, some shops might just pass you even if the monitors aren't ready!
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Re: 1999 S70 vs. California Emissions Test

Postby donis222 » 22 May 2013, 20:36

California emissions v. Volvo:

I fix Volvo's in my back yard. I have encountered this drive cycle problem many times. After much hair pulling, I found a SMOG Tech that told me certain era Volvos did not need any drive cycle 'ready' indicators.
To read about this solution search CA, DMV, (Schedule, or Appendix) J. This was instituted as there were so many Volvos with the same problem. It instruct the tech to override the question. I believe that all 1996, 97, 90 series and 850s are included. There are more as my 960 was passed with 4 not ready codes. The above SAS problem with the O2 sensor explains why there is no readable O2 voltage until that problem is fixed.
I brought a copy of the rules with me, but the Tech knew(he is a Volvo fan).

OBD II did not begin with no flaws.

I don't know about other States, but the "J" list looks to me like it came from the Feds.
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