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2007 Honda Civic failed inspection

Hello, I just purchased a 2007 Honda Civic with 97k miles on it for a little over 6 grand. I took it to get an inspection sticker and the mechanic told me to drive the car for 100 miles and bring it back to the shop (readiness reading failed). It had something to do with the battery I believe. The drive from the dealership to get the sticker was under 10 miles so maybe the car wasn’t warmed up enough. Has this happened to anyone, and if I get a reading like this, should I return the vehicle? Thanks!

You should tell us what state you’re in. I’ve lived in California and New Mexico. I’ve only been tested for emissions. Other states do more extensive tests. I don’t know what a ‘readiness reading’ is.

The emissions testers recommend warming the car up first. I have a 31-year-old carbureted vehicle so my engine is different.

I don’t know if the exact drive cycles needed are public information, but I’m sure you’ll need to drive more than ten miles. Try to mix highway and city drives of different lengths at different speeds. You’ll just need to keep stopping back to your mechanic (unless you want to pick up a cheap code reader on Amazon to check the status yourself).

There’s a decent chance that the seller cleared some codes just before selling you the car to hide them from you. That would cause a readiness issue like this.


The readiness monitors haven’t been reset for the vehicle to pass inspection.

In order to reset the readiness monitors, the vehicle has to go thru a drive cycle.

It may take more than one drive cycle to get all the readiness monitors to reset.


If the codes have been cleared, or the battery has been removed or the voltage of it has dropped low enough, your emissions codes are not ready to read. each sensor may have different criteria as to how often the car self tests that emission component.

In NY State you can have one system not ready to read and still pass inspection as long as the check engine light is not on. Two systems not ready is OK for a 96 model.

In my area , both Advance and Autozone will test your car =s readiness monitors for free so you will know if you can take it for inspection.

I know you can Void a sale ic CA if a car has not been smogged before a sale and in MA you can void a sale if the car fails inspection. I am not aware of any other state where you can void a sale on a used car.

It’s possible the seller disconnected the battery to keep the check engine light from coming on if there’s an emissions issue with the car.

But it’s also possible that the car sat on the lot for so long that it discharged the battery and they had to jump start it before you test-drove it. The first possibility is nefarious. The second happens all the time.

In some states (like California where I live) the CEL needs to be “off” to pass inspection. Some owners – rather than figuring out what’s causing the CEL to be on — will just disconnect the battery just before taking it in for the test. Disconnecting the battery will turn the CEL off. The problem is the computer knows this scam, and “tells” the inspector that the battery has recently been disconnected. What the computer actually says is the “CEL readiness monitors aren’t complete”. Then the technician will tell you to drive the car until they are complete, otherwise your car won’t be able to pass the inspection. In fact they usually won’t even start the test if the readiness monitors are incomplete. Scam averted. So that’s what you have to do. How to do it, that’s not always so simple. In general the more driving you do and the more varied driving condition you drive with, the quicker the job will be done. In some cases the fuel tank has to go through a transition, like from half full to 1/4 full. Or from full to 3/4 full. It varies car to car.

If the CEL comes back on, don’t disconnect the battery, b/c otherwise you’ll have to go through this all again. Instead take it to a shop to get the diagnostic codes read. If you disconnect the battery all the information the shop needs to do the diagnosis and repair will be erased.

I’ll give it another inspection on Monday and see if anything changes. The cars been sitting in the lot for 2 months now so that possibly had something to do with it not passing.

How is it a scam if a car legitimately needs a new battery . . . because the old one finally failed . . . and then you take the car to get smogged the next day, and maybe if you’re not a car guy, you don’t know about the readiness monitors?

Have you talked to the place you bought the vehicle ? Many states have a cooling off period during which you can return the vehicle is it does not pass inspection .

It passed inspection this time. It could’ve been a new battery they put in or the computer had to refresh everything. Thanks for the help!

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This is a regular 2007 Civic, not a hybrid, correct?

And congratulations on getting it through inspection the second time around :+1:

Batteries often have a date code on them, in the form of a sticker . . . for example 5/18 would mean the battery was manufactured in May of 2017


Nope not a hybrid.

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Of course that’s not a scam, no disagreement. Here’s what I said.

That doesn’t apply to all owners.