Mazda Protege Fails Inspection

11 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda Protege Fails Inspection
Mazda Protege5

Questions and Answers

Mazda Protege Fails Inspection

Q. I need car advice: I have a 1996 Mazda Protege that I can’t get inspected in North Carolina. It keeps showing four different readiness codes as not ready. I’ve taken it to four different places including the Dealership.

The dealership hooked it up to diagnostics and couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

A couple days later the check engine light came on. It was misfiring. Then I replaced the plugs and wires. The light hasn’t come back on and it’s been about two weeks.

This was when I took it to be inspected for the fourth time.

Again they came out and told me that the readiness codes weren’t ready. I’ve called the DMV and they’ve recommended having it inspected by a world-wide machine. I called the business that has one of these machines and he said I just need to drive it longer.

He then recommended me getting the drive cycle for my car and follow it to a T. I can’t seem to find this on the internet. Can you help with the drive cycle or any other recommendations?

Thank you,


A. I may be missing something here, but I never heard of Drive Cycle as they refer to it. And the Readiness Codes they refer to has me confused also. While I’m not the brightest bulb in the marquee, I think in close to 40 years I would have heard of them.

It would be interesting to know what these four codes are. If they are referring to an OBD-II DTC, then it should be fairly simple to find out what the problem is and get it fixed.

If your dealer can do the State Inspection, (which I believe they are in North Carolina) something to consider is to take it to them for inspection and tell them you will pick it up after it passes.

Added 8/21/03

I just read your article titled Mazda Protege Fails Inspection. I feel for Kristen who cannot get her vehicle ready for an inspection.

The On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) system of the vehicle is used for the emission test for 1996 or newer vehicles in North Carolina. In order to have an emission test, the vehicle must be ready. That is, all of the supporting Readiness Monitors must be in a ready state. (North Carolina does allow two monitors to be not set and still allow the 1996 vehicle for testing.)

A vehicle can have up to eleven supporting monitors: Misfire, Fuel System, Component, Catalyst, Heated Catalyst, EVAP System, Secondary Air, A/C System Refrigerant, Oxygen Sensor, Oxygen Sensor Heater and EGR. In order to set these monitors, a vehicle must be driven in a manner to set these monitors as ready.

A few days of normal around town or highway driving usually is sufficient to set the monitors. Auto manufacturers have designed their OBD monitors to become ready if the conditions of their drive cycle are met. There are several publishing houses that provide these drive cycles for a cost.

However, the dealership should be able to provide or at least drive the vehicle to set the monitors. If monitors are not setting even after conducting the drive cycle to a T, something could be wrong with the OBD-II system or one of it’s components. A dealership should be able to diagnose the problem and repair it.

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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