Edmunds Answers



  • tony78 03/27/10 1:59 am PST

    Your mechanic ( relative) might be the worlds greatest guy but he might not have the equipment that the local mercury dealer will have to find a solution for you.

  • alaskanj 03/27/10 2:19 am PST

    Is this car kept in a heated garage? When was the last time the ECM was cleared of a check engine light? You dont have to fib or stretch the truth in here we are not with emissions in any way ( at least Im not)..... What is happeing with your OBD II scan test is as follows. There are monitors that are preset by the manufacturer and each manufacturer is different. There are certain enabling criteria must be met before a monitor can run during the OBD II drive cycle, including road speed,coolant temp, acceleration and deceleration, the key is to get the monitors to run....

    A monitor is used to look for malfunctions. Some devices are monitored all the time. Others are not checked until a component is activated under a predetermined operating condition. There are two types of monitors a CONTINUOUS MONITOR is on whenever the engine runs. The engine misfire monitor is a example of a continous monitor. Then there are NON-CONTINUOUS MONITORS that test a component once during each drive cycle. Example of nons are Catalyst efficienct, fuel system monitor, oxygen sensor monitor just to name a few.

    Ok now the reason I asked if it were garage kept is because some monitors will not run or be able to complete there monitor test because of certain temperatures..This is all part of that certain criteria I mentioned earlier..What you need to find out is which monitors have not completed for your vehicle and the only way to do that is with a scan tool or the emmissions people. Whatever you do dont clear any KEEP ALIVE MEMORY or codes otherwise you will have to start all over. Once you find out which ones they are come back in here and post them and I will try to help you with what needs to be done next. Otherwise there are so many possibiilties that it could be and I dont have time to list them all.

    You can reply back to this be clicking on the ANSWER this QUESTION tab ...............over >

  • plongley 03/27/10 2:57 am PST

    no, it is not. Kept outdoors. It is a second vehicle.
    I use this car as a back up. However, its useless to me if it doesnt pass the inspection.

    In response to Tony - my fiance has 20 yrs experience as a mechanic, works in a large shop and has the "equipment" - he has called a couple of his collegues and they didnt know either... [part of the issue is that when he plugs it into the state's computer system to run the inspecton it doesnt say which sensors are not ready... just "sensors not ready" and the car fails the inspection. The check engine light is not on, and hasnt been reset.

    He asked that I go on line and see what I could find. Like I said, we dont want to spend alot of money troubleshooting it.

  • plongley 03/27/10 4:26 am PST

    Ok, I understood what you posted about tempature. My brother drove it for a little over a 1/2 hour before he brought it over to him last time they plugged it into the inspection computer. I was told its not saying which sensors are not being read. I dont believe the engine light has been reset, but my alternator went and was replaced in July...I had to reset the clock & radio stations when that happeded... and then there was an engine sensor (he's not here to ask which one - it was not the o2 sensor though - I know that) in September because the engine would seem like it was suddenly shutting down for a second and then pick back up (while driving down the road,) replacing the sensor resolved that problem. Other than oil changes, brakes pads and tires, thats been the only recent work on the car.
    I put my subaru on the road in middle of January, and parked the mercury. I drove it a couple times for approximately 25 mile round trips during 6 week period I was not using it daily. I did start her at least once a week, and let it run for a bit, because it is outside and I didnt want mice or critters getting into it or for the battery to die. In March, the Subaru's CEL came on, it needs a new cat, so I was going to use the Merc while Subaru gets fixed, but now cant get merc to pass inspection which is now past due. I will ask him again for codes, but he has said to me twice that both the state computer and his tester are not providing codes for what is not ready. I have asked it more than once cause I dont understand it, I would have figure between one or the other he would be able to get some kind of read of whats not ready. Is there any one sensor that does this more frequently than the others? We live in upstate NY and its been between 3o to 70 degrees depending on the day during the past month or so..

    Will follow up when I talk with him in a couple hours.

  • tony78 03/27/10 9:59 am PST

    I am not sure Why you gave me a Thumbs Down.

    I only Tried to Help.

    I Did Not know that your Relative was your FIANCE.

    You Did Not Say That.

    Neither did you say that He worked in a large Shop.

    Or that he has the " Equipment ".

    The first time you asked this question, several days ago, you never mentioned that a Relative was trying to get it to pass inspection.

    As an Example : I understand How to do an alignment.

    And in an Emergency.

    I can do an alignment on my car.

    But I am Not going to go out and buy a $ 40,000 Dollar Alignment Rack.

    Sometimes, You Have to take your car to the guy that has the tools that will solve the problem.

    Here in Calif. , We have a Referee, When The Local Shop Can't Solve a Problem.

    ( and working at all of these shops are husbands, wifes, brothers, sisters and yes, Fiances)

    The vehicle owner will go to the referee.

    And 99.9 % of the time, He will Pass the car.

    I hope you find a Solution.

  • alaskanj 03/27/10 2:08 pm PST

    Ok since you had some work done on it and its a 97, I thinking when you had the alternator changed out is probably when everything reset. Im sure they had the battery disconnected for a bit while the alt was replaced. Now since it seems like its mostly been parked and only on short drives I would think that the EGR monitor or the catalytic converter monitor are the ones needing to be readied, your egr doesnt fully function till the vehicle is up to operating temp and the car is at cruise so take it out for a good drive and keep the throttle steady on the highway. The cat monitor is not fully functional till all the stored oxygen has been used up in the cat and if the cat is an older or one with higher milage that can take a little bit longer to achieve. Then there is the evaporative emissions leak check monitor that is temperature sensitive and fuel level sensitive, the temp and fuel level have to be at certain condition. I would try starting your vehicle on a day when its about 30 degrees out and make sure your gas cap is on good, your car is gonna have to put the tank into a vacuum to check for leaks and that would probably be the easiest and best time to do it. Also if you still fail the next time your at the emissions place have them test your gas cap and make sure it holds a vacuum, if I remember right they have a tool for that cause if it cant then the evap leak test cant be completed


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