Auto - what advanced scan tool does this?

After having an emissions issue fixed on my girlfriend’s 2013 and having the engine light turned off, I still won’t be able to pass NY state inspection until it is driven through a “drive cycle”, or it is re-set with an advanced scan tool (not your every day cheapie OBD II Scanner) accorfing to this:

Anyone know what this tool is called? It would be nice to have a tool that makes a car ready for inspection without having to go through a drive cycle.

that’s not possible. you can reset a PCM and clear codes, but you actually have to drive the car long enough for all of the OBD monitors to report ready for test.

It is possible. Dealerships charge to do this. The service adviser at the VW dealership quoted me somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to do this.

I’m guessing the device is either expensive or it’s a time consuming procedure or both, but I’d like to know what tool it is that does this.

I suspect that the guy at the dealership either misinformed you or you misunderstood what he told you.

Duckster, the link in my OP had similar directions. I’m looking for the “advanced scan tool” as described in the quote in my OP.

This sounds like something I had to deal with this past summer.

Check engine light on. <<shudder>>
$800 repair job (replaced the carbon particle cannister). :mad:
Check engine light off.
But still had an exhaust system alert that had to be cleared.

Mechanic tells me to drive for 50 miles or so, then come back to check again.
Done. Alert still there.

Long story short, I ended up driving from S. F. Bay Area beyond Reno and back (which I was planning to do anyway that week) before it cleared itself up.

(Oh, did I mention that there was a smog check looming on the horizon. Really gotta get that fixed! Yes, it passed the smog check.)

Why? Inspection is overdue for the car and he quoted me a price that would make the driving unnecessary and he would also have the car inspected and ready to go when I picked it up. I didn’t misunderstand that. The existence of such a tool is also mentioned in the link I provided.

Cool story, bro.

Regardless of the story an ‘advanced scan tool’ is likely referring to a scan tool with bidirectional controls. Expect to pay somewhere between $500 and $5000 (I’ve even seen them higher depending on what you need them to do) for something like that.
Just about every youtube channel by a car guy has something to say about them. ScannerDanner is probably your go to guy when it comes to scan tools. IIRC, he did a video or two with EricTheCarGuy about just this subject.

As for the alert not clearing. I agree with others. Every car I’ve seen, after being reset, needs a full drive cycle before it will pass a smog test. “About 50 miles” is likely just what the mechanic said since it’s probably about right. But look up what your car requires. They generally have to go through a very specific set of conditions to be a ‘drive cycle’. For example, a random drive cycle I found on line is:
1)gas tank 30-70% full
2)Car must sit (off) for 8 hours with the ambient temp under 90 degrees F
3)Idle for 3 minutes
4)Several miles of city driving, 25 mph, a few times up to 35 and multiple [complete] stops
5)55-60mph for 5 minutes
6)Coast down from 55 w/o using the brake (so the transmission can downshift on it’s own)
7)More city driving
8)Idle for 3 minutes

That was just a general list, your car will have a specific list that you can probably find on the internet. It seems like a lot to do at once but over the course of a week or two you’ll do it without even realizing it and/or the car will have pre-programmed workarounds for things that you don’t happen (ie if you don’t drive on the freeway or roll through stops). Mechanics will also have set routes that they’ll take that they know will trigger a drive cycle so they can continue their testing.
I’ve watched a ton of youtube mechanic videos over the years and never seen any of them discuss an ‘advanced scan tool’ that can trick the car into thinking it’s gone through a drive cycle. Just about all of them, even the cheap $15 ones can turn off the CEL, but not tell the car it’s gone through a drive cycle.

TL;DR, look up the make/model/year of the car and see what a drive cycle entails and do that. Then take it back in. Don’t waste your money on a bidirectional scan tool.

The last part of your post seems to disagree with the first. Why are you mentioning this $500 to $5000 scan tool with bidirectional controls “for something like that” if it doesn’t do what I’m asking for?

From your own link, they’re not just resetting something. They’re manually testing all the monitors without driving the car. Look for the Snap On Microsan.
Keep in mind, as far as I can tell, your car will still only pass the smog test if all the tests pass. In which case, it’s not that you can buy this, reset everything, get it tested and then do it again next time.

ETA: If there is something wrong, even if you reset it, it can throw a code that doesn’t turn on the light (yet) and still cause you to fail the test).

I don’t know how much more time you have or if you have to pay each time you have it tested (we don’t in Wisconsin), but I’d consider running it through an actual drive cycle, and then some, and bring it back in before I’d spend money trying to trick anyone.

I agree with Joey_P here.

Typically, you cannot really press a button or use a tool to make it seem as though it went through a drive cycle. You have to do it. Once reset, the computer must “build” the data from all the sensors again, so the inspection place can get an accurate reading. Just drive the car 15-20 miles a few days before the test, on and off the expressway or interstate, some city traffic and you should be fine. If the CEL triggers, your best bet is to get the issue fixed. Sorry, there isn’t really a way around it. Whatever code comes up on the OBD scanner can be looked up and you can order the parts on RockAuto and do it yourself(youtube or haynes manual) if you want to save a lot of money, depends on the issue of course.

I understand that. I used that word in the OP because what tool function I was looking for was followed in the quote right after that.

I’ll check it out. Thanks.

I understand that too. Like I said in the OP, I had the issue fixed. The dealership replaced a pipe related to the Secondary Air Injection System.

Trick anyone? I’m not trying to trick anyone. According to the quote in my OP, the tool just makes it so the driving isn’t necessary. It doesn’t make it so a car that needs an issue fixed pass inspection without actually having the issue fixed. I’d like to know about this tool for general knowledge, not because I want to spend over $500 to avoid a few long trips or trick anyone.

See OP. I had it fixed.

Diagnosing isn’t that simple. An OBD scanner will point you in the direction of an issue, but it won’t tell you what part to replace. More diagnosing is needed after getting a code. There are a lot of parts involved in the code I pulled.

Although the general warranty has expired for this vehicle, certain pollution issues are covered for a lot longer, so there was no charge (although they attempted to claim I wasn’t covered at first and I had to fight for it).

Oops, sorry.

Out of curiosity, what code did you pull, if you don’t mind sharing?

Attempted to claim you weren’t covered… ahhh if i had a nickel and all of that.

Yes, the mechanic told me that resetting required some elaborate drive cycle that he would have to do, but he wouldn’t tell me the details so I could do it myself. He also suggested the simple driving 50 miles or so. It was after that failed, he suggested driving it even farther. The trip to Reno and back did it. If it hadn’t, then he would have had to do the drive cycle for me, at some uncomfortable expense to me.

Do single-engine airplane pilots/owners have to deal with shiite like this?

Possibly that dealer has a treadmill that he puts the car on for 25-50 miles?

I’ve heard that Volkswagen is pretty experienced at dealing with pollution control equipment on a treadmill.

Former VW dealer tech here. There is no treadmill and the scantool is a program installed on a normal laptop these days. You connect it to the car and let it idle. Then you command the scan tool to “set readiness”. The computer will display a check list of different systems that need to be tested. The computer will automatically adjust the RPM and fuel mixtures necessary to test each one in order and check them off with a green check mark or a red x. Takes about 15 minutes

P2432. The part I needed:

The adviser on the phone told me the part was $169. I looked it up when we were speaking and I told him it’s $135 on VW’s website. He then told me that it must be from a different state. :dubious: He also quoted me a total of $663 for part plus replacement. It was after some investigating that I got that total down to $0.

Validation! :slight_smile:

Thanks, Willcross. Do you remember what this program is called and if it’s something that is made available to everyone, or is it something the car manufacturers keep to themselves?