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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my check engine light came on: P0456 ("Evaporative Emission System Leak Detected (very small leak).") This happened shortly after I filled up with gas, so I probably didn't tighten the gas cap enough.

I got the code cleared, but, of course, it's not cleared internally yet. And, it's the 8th of the month, and my tag expires at the end of the month. What do I need to do to get the code to clear internally (assuming it was just the gas cap issue) so I can pass inspection? Some places I read said you have to drive 50-100 miles. Other places said you have to drive a certain number of cycles. Still other places said unhooking the battery for several hours would clear the code internally.

I work at home so I don't commute, so I'm basically going to have make special trips over the next few days just to make sure I put enough miles on the car. I'm looking for any advice on what I should do.

Also: if someone hooked a scanner up to the car, would they be able to tell whether there are any internal codes that would prevent the car from passing inspection (even though the check engine light on the dashboard is out)?

Thanks!

2003 Dodge Caravan SE, 3.3L
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For future reference, most states will give you an extension if you have an emissions issue.
Thanks for the info! My concern isn't so much with getting a fine, it's with my car getting towed. See, at my apartment complex, they contract with a towing company that comes through once a month and scans license plates, and any cars that are out of registration are towed. So even if the state gave me an extension, it would still show an expired tag in the system. Unless you mean that the state would give me an extension in their system, so that my tag wouldn't so as expired by a plate reader, which would be great if that's the case!
 

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Do you get a P1684 code too? P1684 and P0456 showing up together, out of the blue, can be a glitch. My 2002 DGC use to have that happen, the odd time, mainly in the Fall. Never required any fix. I believe it also happened with the Jeep, at least once.

Any gas fumes? A hairline crack in top of fuel pump assembly can cause P0456 intermittently, becoming more frequent over several months.. Parking uphill with a full tank of gas, may reveal it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you get a P1684 code too? P1684 and P0456 showing up together, out of the blue, can be a glitch. My 2002 DGC use to have that happen, the odd time, mainly in the Fall. Never required any fix. I believe it also happened with the Jeep, at least once.

Any gas fumes? A hairline crack in top of fuel pump assembly can cause P0456 intermittently, becoming more frequent over several months.. Parking uphill with a full tank of gas, may reveal it.
No, no other codes. No gas fumes. I did get a full tank of gas, but I wasn't parked uphill. I do remember though that I didn't bother turning the gas cap three times as recommended when I closed it. Not sure if that's it, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For future reference, most states will give you an extension if you have an emissions issue.
I just checked, and, yes, my state does have that. So thanks again for the tip. Noticed they also have a "low mileage exemption" for those that fail emissions both times, but drive less than 5000 miles a year. I only drive about 2500, so it seems I would qualify for that as well.

But hopefully it's not a persistent issue. Still, it's good to know about these. Thanks!
 

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I got the code cleared, but, of course, it's not cleared internally yet...
Calm down, the sky is not falling...
If you cleared the code with a reader or by pulling battery cable, it's cleared in PCM.

You can check for any generic OBD-II codes by doing "key dance" (ignition Lock-Off-On-Off-On-Off-On within 3-4 seconds without starting engine)

Further, your van has emissions monitor readiness indicator - if you turn the key to run position and wait ~5 seconds, after bulb check, check engine light will either start to flash or will go out and stay off. Flashing means it's not ready for emissions test, off means it's ready.

You don't need to drive for hundreds of miles, you have to complete 3-5 drive cycles where you start a cold engine and drive until it reaches normal op. temp.
You may also need to wait for fuel level to drop below half tank for it to perform leak down test.

22 days is plenty, don't panic :)
 

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You may also need to wait for fuel level to drop below half tank for it to perform leak down test.
I believe the EVAP leak down test is performed between 3/4 tank and 1/4 tank so it will take a bit of time/gas to get to the monitor readiness test.

You can go to your state's testing requirements to determine if you can pass with one or two monitors not ready (may vary by model year).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You can check for any generic OBD-II codes by doing "key dance" (ignition Lock-Off-On-Off-On-Off-On within 3-4 seconds without starting engine)
If the mechanic cleared it with a reader then it should be cleared, right?

Further, your van has emissions monitor readiness indicator - if you turn the key to run position and wait ~5 seconds, after bulb check, check engine light will either start to flash or will go out and stay off. Flashing means it's not ready for emissions test, off means it's ready.
If I understand what you're saying correctly, you're saying that if the check engine light works as it usually does (comes on for a moment and then goes out) that means it's ready for emissions test? I mean, it's doing that now, right after the mechanic cleared the code. That doesn't seem that that's enough time for it to be ready.

Also: if someone hooked up a reader, would that indicate whether or not the car was ready for inspection? Or would it just indicate that there are no codes?

You don't need to drive for hundreds of miles, you have to complete 3-5 drive cycles where you start a cold engine and drive until it reaches normal op. temp.
So just drive until it reaches normal temperature and that's it?

You may also need to wait for fuel level to drop below half tank for it to perform leak down test.
That's unfortunate. I actually was at 3/4 of a tank, but topped it off so I'd have enough gas without having to touch the gas cap. 🙁

22 days is plenty, don't panic :)
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I believe the EVAP leak down test is performed between 3/4 tank and 1/4 tank so it will take a bit of time/gas to get to the monitor readiness test.
That's unfortunate. I just topped off the gas tank so I wouldn't have to worry about messing with the gas cap until this was resolved.

You can go to your state's testing requirements to determine if you can pass with one or two monitors not ready (may vary by model year).
I found out that my state allows extension of time for emissions issues. So I may do that.

Also found out that I could qualify for a low mileage exception (less than 5000 miles a year) where if I can't get it resolved after the second test, they'll allow it to pass. But hopefully it won't come to that.
 

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I found out that my state allows extension of time for emissions issues. So I may do that.
They do allow extensions from a failed test but they may require proof of repair from a repair shop for a retest. Basically they need to test first before giving an extension. For example, here in Illinois you need to show a shop repair bill to get a retest and over $400 in repair costs in order to get a 1-year exemption if it does not pass.

Your state may vary.
 

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Post the extension in your window and contact the towing company to make sure they don't tow the vehicle.

I'd also apply for the mileage exemption, and as long as the van runs OK and since you drive so little, I'd forget about the code.

Of note, I have the mileage exemption for both my vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They do allow extensions from a failed test but they may require proof of repair from a repair shop for a retest. Basically they need to test first before giving an extension. For example, here in Illinois you need to show a shop repair bill to get a retest and over $400 in repair costs in order to get a 1-year exemption if it does not pass.
Yes, Texas, where I live, requires a test, at least $100 worth of repairs, and a retest to get a one-year waiver. But that's only if you drive less than 5000 miles a year (which I do).

I was mistaken about what I wrote in my previous reply about them granting an extension of time. I reread it more carefully, and the time extension is only for low-income people, and it's for one year. So, not a general time extension for emissions.

Well, I guess I'll just start driving my car around a bunch, and take it into the shop next week hopefully and see what happens.

Do you know if a code reader would indicate whether or not a car has performed all needed tests to pass inspection? Or does it just show if there are any failed tests? Would be good to be able to stop at AutoZone or wherever and have them check before I take it into the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Post the extension in your window and contact the towing company to make sure they don't tow the vehicle.
Actually, I was mistaken about the extension. Read it too fast. It's a low-income extension for one year for emissions issues, not a general extension for emissions issues. Bummer.

I'd also apply for the mileage exemption, and as long as the van runs OK and since you drive so little, I'd forget about the code.
Well, first, I need to drive it enough to get the OBD to perform all necessary tests so it can pass inspection (assuming there are no outstanding issues). That's my priority at this point.

Once that's done, and I bring it back to the shop, if there is still an issue, then I'll look to have it repaired. (The low mileage exemption only applies if first spend at least $100 on trying to repair the problem, and do a retest afterwards.)

Hopefully there won't be an issue, or it'll be one that's easily repaired. But, if not, then, yeah, there's always the low-mileage exemption. But, unfortunately, I have to try and get it repaired first.
 

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If I understand what you're saying correctly, you're saying that if the check engine light works as it usually does (comes on for a moment and then goes out) that means it's ready for emissions test? I mean, it's doing that now, right after the mechanic cleared the code. That doesn't seem that that's enough time for it to be ready.

Also: if someone hooked up a reader, would that indicate whether or not the car was ready for inspection? Or would it just indicate that there are no codes?
Almost, turn ignition key to Run/On position without starting the engine, dash lights will do "bulb check" (come on and turn off). Now wait ~5 seconds and see if check engine light starts flashing - if it does not, you're good to take it in for emissions test.

A very basic code reader probably will not show monitor readiness, a half decent scan tool will.

No codes = no malfunction detected. It does not mean all emissions monitors have completed their test(s) successfully...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Almost, turn ignition key to Run/On position without starting the engine, dash lights will do "bulb check" (come on and turn off). Now wait ~5 seconds and see if check engine light starts flashing - if it does not, you're good to take it in for emissions test.

A very basic code reader probably will not show monitor readiness, a half decent scan tool will.

No codes = no malfunction detected. It does not mean all emissions monitors have completed their test(s) successfully...
Ah, OK. Thanks for clarifying! I will try this this morning. Since I just had the code cleared yesterday, and haven't driven it much, I expect to see the check engine light to start flashing. That will tell me I'm doing the test right.

Thanks again.
 

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Ah, OK. Thanks for clarifying! I will try this this morning. Since I just had the code cleared yesterday, and haven't driven it much, I expect to see the check engine light to start flashing. That will tell me I'm doing the test right.
I'm lazy, so just linking to a previous message. OBD2 Scanner Recommendation? 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan All of the cheap (and not cheap) ODB2 scanners I've seen will read the "readiness state" of the various emissions tests. Sometimes it's in the menu as "MIL Status." Which is not so obvious.

I would definitely check if your testing allows one or more codes to be "not ready." In IL, depending on the year, you can have one or two in the not ready state. I had a subaru w/ an intermittent evap code. To pass emissions, I would reset the check engine light/clear the codes. Then drive until most of the tests were "ready," then drive to the test site before the evap code would fail. Passed several years that way.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Almost, turn ignition key to Run/On position without starting the engine, dash lights will do "bulb check" (come on and turn off). Now wait ~5 seconds and see if check engine light starts flashing - if it does not, you're good to take it in for emissions test.
Hey, it worked! LOL I have to admit, I was half doubting that it would be that easy! They actually built something in the car that makes it easy to see what's going on!

(Wish list: have the car blink a certain number of times based on the percentage of tests still remaining -- e.g., 10% or less, 1 blink; 10-20%, 2 blinks; etc.)

So now I feel relieved that I can take steps to drive around and know when I've driven enough. And if I don't have a check engine light at that point, then I'm good to go!

So, thanks again for your assistance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm lazy, so just linking to a previous message. OBD2 Scanner Recommendation? 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan All of the cheap (and not cheap) ODB2 scanners I've seen will read the "readiness state" of the various emissions tests. Sometimes it's in the menu as "MIL Status." Which is not so obvious.
Thanks! But since now I know that the dash will tell me if all tests are complete, I shouldn't need that to read the readiness state, right?

I would definitely check if your testing allows one or more codes to be "not ready." In IL, depending on the year, you can have one or two in the not ready state.
Yes, found out that in Texas, for a 2001 or later car, I'm allowed one Not Ready code. But how would you know if there's only one code that's not ready, as opposed to two or more?
 
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