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We've owned this 2004 MDX for 10 years. Bought it with 50K miles and selling it with 140K miles. Best car ever. About a year ago we got a check engine light on. Turned out to be small evap leak. Our independent acura mechanic told us it would cost about $800 to fix and probably not worth it. He resets the light whenever we get oil changes and then it pops back on a few days/weeks later.

My wife and I are selling the car. I listed it and explained the check engine light and have been totally upfront about it.

Here is my question. I really hope one of you Mdx'ers can help me out. I'm selling the vehicle to a woman that was in an accident and needs a car ASAP. She's waited two days and is going to meet me at mechanics shop tomorrow at noon to have him check it out and do the deal.

I just realized in the state of california, when you sell a car, you need to have it smoged first. My initial plan was to go to mechanics first thing tomorrow, have him reset CEL, go get smoged, then return to mechanic to sell car with smog cert.

But then I started reading and figured I could pull the battery cable to reset the Cel and drive straight to smog shop and then to mechanic to sell. However, if I pull the battery cable, with that reset the whole system and then i need to drive it for a few days so it does a full cycle and will be able to be smoged?

This lady really needs the car tomorrow at noon, so I need to figure out a solution tonight or in the morning.

please help!
RojoMdxer
 

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The SMOG facility should connect their computer to your MDX and will check your OBD-II I/M readiness. If the monitors do not report "Okay/Ready" then the facility will not continue the test, and will instruct you to drive around a while (to allow the self-tests to complete) and come back.

EVAP is one of the systems that must pass before the readiness monitors are set.

I'd be concerned that your MDX is never completing the I/M readiness process. If that is the case, then you won't pass SMOG unless you find a shop... that takes a case of beer... you know...

Good news is that you can have YOUR mechanic check the I/M readiness monitors after he clears your codes/CEL. If they're set, then go get that SMOG check! If they're not set, then a legit SMOG shop won't pass you.
 

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For those of us that might have or get the same code and aren't pressed for time, can you elaborate on the probable cause and fix that your mechanic mentioned? Maybe we can also help with generating alternative, quick fixes. Thanks and good luck!
 

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FWIW, most states will allow one (some two) readiness indicators to be in the "not ready state" and still pass your inspection. I'm not sure about California (the state that tends to be anal to the nth degree about emissions), but it's worth checking the local DMV website to see if you can get by with one indicator not ready. Keep in mind that pulling the battery cable or resetting the error codes DOES reset ALL the readiness indicators, so you will have to drive quite a while to get them back online.

The most common failure for the Evap system is a simple bad gasket on the gas cap. It's certainly worth checking, since it will take all of a few seconds, and fixing it couldn't be easier or much cheaper.

You need to get the OBD codes read to see if it might point you to the problem area - might be simple to figure out with the codes in hand. You can get 'em read free at most auto parts stores (or you can buy a really inexpensive OBD reader, or better yet, get a Bluetooth OBD "dongle" and load the Torque Pro (or similar) app on your smartphone.
 

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FWIW, most states will allow one (some two) readiness indicators to be in the "not ready state" and still pass your inspection. I'm not sure about California (the state that tends to be anal to the nth degree about emissions), but it's worth checking the local DMV website to see if you can get by with one indicator not ready.
Good call. I assumed that any readiness monitor not complete/ready would cause a fail... but it turns out California will allow ONE monitor to be not-ready and still let you pass. Coincidentally, for vehicles model year 2000 and newer that one monitor is EVAP.

So, OP: You should be fine, assuming EVAP is the only issue, and you have your mechanic reset it immediately prior to your SMOG test.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/BAG_OBD_Monitors_10.21.16.pdf
 

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Good to know that CA will let someone get through inspection with the Evap system "not ready". I would suggest not resetting anything immediately before the test though - doing so sets all the readiness indicators to not ready, and they take some time (and driving) to get back to ready status. There are plenty of threads on how to do a drive cycle to do this, but if the Evap is the only system that's showing not ready, it sounds like CA will pass it.
 
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