Question about 2003 Pontiac Grand Am

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What is a "drive cycle"

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A drive cycle is basically the computers way off checking all of the systems to make sure that they are operating noramally, it checks to make sure under certian conditions that everything is reading and working the way it is supposed to.... for example as you are at a steady speed it makes sure that the oxygen ssensors are switching between rich and lean and not stuck to one value or the other. Also it checks to make sure that your emissons systems are purging and venting the fuel vapors like they are supposed to and not loising them to the atmosphere/ like the gas cap being left off...
These are the steps that would have to be followed to complete the drive cycle alot of times they need to be done more than once before they will all completely pass.

A complete driving cycle should perform diagnostics on all systems. A complete driving cycle can be done in under fifteen minutes.
To perform an OBDII Driving cycle do the following:

  1. Cold Start. In order to be classified as a cold start the engine coolant temperature must be below 50°C (122°F) and within 6°C (11°F) of the ambient air temperature at startup. Do not leave the key on prior to the cold start or the heated oxygen sensor diagnostic may not run.
  2. Idle. The engine must be run for two and a half minutes with the air conditioner on and rear defroster on. The more electrical load you can apply the better. This will test the O2 heater, Passive Air, Purge "No Flow", Misfire and if closed loop is achieved, Fuel Trim.
  3. Accelerate. Turn off the air conditioner and all the other loads and apply half throttle until 88km/hr (55mph) is reached. During this time the Misfire, Fuel Trim, and Purge Flow diagnostics will be performed.
  4. Hold Steady Speed. Hold a steady speed of 88km/hr (55mph) for 3 minutes. During this time the O2 response, air Intrusive, EGR, Purge, Misfire, and Fuel Trim diagnostics will be performed.
  5. Decelerate. Let off the accelerator pedal. Do not shift, touch the brake or clutch. It is important to let the vehicle coast along gradually slowing down to 32km/hr (20 mph). During this time the EGR, Purge and Fuel Trim diagnostics will be performed. ( on a gm this is when it also relearns the crank sensor calibration, which is used to identify missfires)
  6. Accelerate. Accelerate at 3/4 throttle until 88-96 km/hr (55-60mph). This will perform the same diagnostics as in step 3.
  7. Hold Steady Speed. Hold a steady speed of 88km/hr (55mph) for five minutes. During this time, in addition to the diagnostics performed in step 4, the catalyst monitor diagnostics will be performed. If the catalyst is marginal or the battery has been disconnected, it may take 5 complete driving cycles to determine the state of the catalyst.
  8. Decelerate. This will perform the same diagnostics as in step 5. Again, don't press the clutch or brakes or shift gears.

Posted on May 24, 2011


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the drive cycle that is most common to GM vehicles is the following;

1. cold start vehicle and allow to warm up to driving temperature, then set a load on the engine, ie. turn on radio and A/C MAX and headlights.
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