Monday, March 06, 2017

The saga of me, my Acura and the Sensor Stimulation

Whenever the woman is in town, or we take a trip through South, I crank this thing up. Normally, I just sits in the backyard, getting dented by the acorns shooting down from 100 y old oak trees, or corroded by bird poop bombs. I do 1750 mi/year. Is that excessive? I really do not care about these 4-wheeled contraptions at all.

Well, it turns the tires are programmed to dry rot even if you do not drive them. Good for tire makers, bad for environment.

Came back to Atlanta after a few months away, drove to Miss Daisy and back, and the front right tire developed a leak. Asked my car doctor what to do, he told me to go to a tire place, and ask them with a firm manly voice to remove the nail that seems to be in my front right tire. Otherwise, he said, they will stick you a new set of tires, priced for housewives. Hmm, there seems to by dry rot here? he added thoughtfully... Well, my car doctor is prescient. I went there, dressed as a man, and with the firm voice asked the man to pull that nail and patch the tire. The man came back with a big, half-moon grin: "dry rot!", and $920 later I was four new tires, pumped to different over-pressures, richer.

Now that Acura had gotten my attention, I took it for emissions test across the road from the Midtown Tire in Toco Hills. There I was greeted by a young man, 18-20, of Indian subcontinent extraction, who seemed fresh on the job and was learning it step-by-step, by watching it on YouTube, or something like it, in-between steps. After some twenty minutes, he told me that my sensors were not sensing, and sent me off to drive 50 mi before coming back. Now I was nailed - he had my $25, and he had me in the Georgia MVB systems as partially failing the emissions test, so I could not just drive off to the next guy and get tested again.

Having done meaningless 53 mi over the weekend, I drove all the way back to Taco Hills for the Emissions Test 2.0. I was greeted by a sprightly redneck from Duck Dynasty (are we sure these guys are not Moslem fundamentalists?) who tried again, and then gave me a long sweet tale about what a sensor really wants. Basically, sensors (at least to guys who do emission tests) are more mysterious than women. They might want a hour at 70 mi/h, then down to 60 mi/h, then .... Their algorithms are unknown. He sent me back to the road, for more sensor stimulation.

Or, as the manual so helpfully explains: "certain `readiness codes’ that must be set in the on-board diagnostics for the emissions systems. These codes are erased when the battery is disconnected, and set again only after several days of driving under a variety of conditions."

My bike mechanic Godchile pipes in: "Ah, Duck Dynasty youth - what they are referring to is a Drive Cycle. You need to fulfill a certain number of these.
There is some variation among vehicles but these might do the trick. Its a maddening pain in the ass by the way:, . What kind of Acura? Year? Model?"

Acura TSX 2010 sedan 2.4L I4 MPI, 201 HP, Torq 172.

So now I'll drive to New Orleans and back, see whether that does the trick:)

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