A drive cycle is a set of conditions under which a vehicle must be driven in order for the vehicle to complete its emissions self-checks. As a vehicle completes its drive cycle it gathers data from its sensors under different conditions, this data allows the engine control module to determine whether its emissions control systems are working properly or not.

The drive cycle is designed by the manufacturer to represent "normal" day to day driving and will be different for each vehicle. 

Note: The steps below cover the most common drive cycle requirements and should be used as general directions only, for the exact steps for your vehicle refer to your factory service manual.

Before attempting to complete a drive cycle you must first ensure that there are no confirmed or pending codes as they may prevent self-tests from competing:

  1. Let the vehicle sit long enough for the engine to cool off fully, ideally over night but at least several hours
  2. Start the engine and let the vehicle idle until warmed up fully to operating temperature
  3. Drive around town in stop and go traffic at varying speeds
  4. Drive on the highway holding as steady a speed as safely possible for extended periods (e.g. 60 mph for 5-10 minutes)
  5. Allow the engine to cool fully (overnight if possible)
  6. Start the engine and drive immediately, without waiting for the coolant to warm up.