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Clearing the Not Ready indicator - Catalytic Converter

I have a 2002 Acura RSX/S in which the Not Ready is indicated for the catalytic converter. Therefore, it won’t pass California smog. I don’t know how to clear this and make it “ready”. All other indicators are in the ready mode. There are 135,000 miles on the vehicle.

I tried driving about 25 freeway miles without traffic in the following conditions:
10 minutes at any speed. Then 3 cycles of 30 seconds in 5th gear between 50-62 mph followed by 1-2 seconds of closed throttle (which I took to mean, foot off the accelerator). It had no effect. The engine light still blinks 5 times upon key in start position (without turning over engine) before the engine light goes out.

I could use a solution instead of being forced to purchase a new catalytic converter. Is it possible some sensor is bad and not the catalytic converter?

Is the Check Engine light on?


It blinks 5 times and turns off. Then I start the car.

I won’t be able to solve your problem, but I can maybe offer a little explanation. Fed law requires the engine computer monitor cat performance all the time the engine is on, & turn the check engine dash light on when it thinks the cat isn’t working to emissions requirements. If power is interrupted to the engine computer for some reason, like if you remove a fuse or disconnect the battery, then that confuses the engine computer about whether the cat is working or not. So it sets one of it’s software “readiness monitors” to “not ready”, meaning that it has some work yet to do before it can decide one way or another on the cat functional performance. The emissions folks won’t pass a car with that monitor set to “not ready” for obvious reasons …

How to get it to go from “not ready” to “ready” can indeed be an enigma. the computer software requires the car to go through various types of driving, like at 55 mph for one mile, 35 mph for one mile, etc. I’m just making that up as an example of course. What the requirement are on your car, that’s something best to ask at the Acura dealership. That’s what I’d suggest, visit there at a time when they aren’t overly busy. Somebody there should be happy to look that information up. I mean in case nobody here has access to that information. Best of luck.

BTW, replacing the cat wont’ solve the readiness monitor problem. It will still have to complete the readiness test. Replacing the cat might make it take longer in fact.

Thanks! I’m going to do some freeway driving tonight when the traffic is light. If that doesn’t work then I’ll phone an Acura dealer.

I drove the car about 65 miles round trip without turning off the ignition - about 63 of those freeway miles. Apparently that worked. When I got home I disconnected the Garmin and turned off the fan, headlights, and radio and any other electrical. I shut off the engine and put the key at the start position. The engine light turned on for maybe 10-15 seconds and then shut off without blinking. According to some other posts if the engine light doesn’t blink and just turns off, that means all the indicators are in the ready mode.

On an RSX blog someone posted that driving at least 10 miles under cruise control will put the indicators into the ready mode. So that was part of my drive as well. Can’t say for sure if it were the miles driven or diving at least 10 miles with cruise on - or both - did the trick. Huge relief…

Sounds like you have things under control there OP. On my Corolla the check engine light comes on w/the key in “on” but the engine not started. It turns off about 10 seconds after starting the engine. But other manufacturers do it differently. The purpose for turning the light on briefly during the start-up procedure is so you can tell the check engine bulb is working.