Guide on How To Pass NJ Inspection with Check Engine Light

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 08:27 pm

If you want to learn how to pass NJ inspection with check engine light or how to drive after ECU reset, then this post is for you.

The ECU is the electronically controlled unit of the vehicle. ECU reset is using the OBD2 scanner to scan the computer interface of the car and to know if it is free of virtual faults. The results of the OBD2 scan are transmitted in codes shown by the sensor. The sensor shows “ready,” “not ready” or “not applicable” monitors.

The “ready” monitor implies that the reset is successful and all is virtually well with the vehicle. The “not ready” monitor is a negative response that connotes that the vehicle is still problematic. The “not applicable” monitor says that the device is not diagnostically compatible with the scanner.

Let now look how long to drive after ecu reset for an inspection.

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How many miles to drive after resetting check engine light for inspection

This mostly applies to vehicles that were manufactured in the years prior to 1996 in the U.S. Typically, after the ECU reset, a drive of 50 to 100 miles is enough to trigger the ready monitor. 

Meanwhile, it is not just about driving to ready the sensor monitors for inspection. The drive should be in cycles.

According to the OBD2 manual, an average OBD2 drive cycle consists of the following: A cold start of coolant below 122 degrees F; about 10 minutes of warm-up and idleness of the engine; after this, you have to speed off at 55mph without turning the air conditioning on; you should cruise on at 55mph for three minutes and then decelerate to 20mph; after this, speed off again, this time at ¾ throttle and then the second cruise at 60mph for five minutes; and lastly, decelerate again without applying the clutch or brake pedal.

This provides you a comprehensive guide on how you can cover miles after an ECU reset and how to pass nj inspection with check engine light which I am kick off with.

How to Pass New Jersey Inspection with Check Engine Light On

The State of New Jersey vehicle inspection laws demands that your passenger vehicle be tested for emissions once every two years.

Although in some places, the law grants safe passage to an illuminated check engine subject to certain conditions, smog tests are a biennial legal priority for a vehicle in New Jersey.

To pass the inspection, you would have to fix the vehicle’s Onboard-Diagnostic-Systems and ensure that the monitors are in a “ready” state.

Wiping off the codes to falsify the vehicle condition is frowned upon and would be detected by the State’s inspection service.

Also, watch this video for more tips on pass check engine inspection.

How Long to Drive after Resetting Computer to Pass Emission Test?

Passing the emission inspection is the prerequisite for a vehicle to be registered as roadworthy in many places.

The emission inspection test assesses the emission control capability of the vehicle and resets the computer interface.

The vehicle is tested with an OBD2 scanner, with the results are displaced in trouble codes and the OBD2 monitors displaying the ready status. Reads this article for some of the Best & Affordable Bidirectional Scan Tools to use.

The fee of an emission test varies across the U.S., and in New York, for instance, the emission inspection fee is $27.

Now, how do you know if your vehicle is ready for an emission inspection after a reset? Well, the average miles to be driven after a computer reset of your vehicle to pass an emission test is between 50 to 100 miles.  Vehicles complete about 11 system tests and this depends on the model, manufacturing, and year of the vehicle. Once a test is completed, the monitor pops up as “ready” or not. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stipulates that vehicles of year models between 1996 and 2000 can have up to two monitors in “not ready” mode, while vehicles of year models 2001 to date are not allowed to have more than one monitor in “not ready’ mode.

In other words, to pass an emission test, the status of your vehicle must comply with these EPA guidelines. 

After resetting the computer of your vehicle, the monitor may still be not ready, owing to several reasons.

One possible cause is that your vehicle was recently repaired and had its diagnostic trouble codes cleared.

It could also be that the battery terminals were recently disconnected or the vehicle’s software is not compatible with the diagnostic scanner or there are, yet, undetected problems that the check engine light have not warned about.

To reverse this, your vehicle has to be driven around and cover miles in cycles.   

Let now quickly look at how to drive after ecu reset

How to Drive  After ecu Reset

After any changes to your car ECU system, have to reset your car of which driving the car for while after the reset becomes mandatory in other to ECU to relearn your driving pattern.  And how you drive after an ecu reset is to drive hard for few minutes like 5 to 15 minutes and then you can start driving your normal way of driving. This enables the ecu to learn your driving behaviors to program the system correctly following your driving pattern.


In the end, it follows that the check engine light does automatically get turned off after repair.

The process may, however, take a longer time than a manual option, and there are reasons why a vehicle’s check engine light may not be automatically turned off after repair.

When this is the case, the steps to take have been exhaustively discussed in this piece. Also, how long you can drive with your check engine light on, depends on the urgency levels of the problems at hand, and the ways to discern the depth of seriousness of the issue have been explained.

Covering about 50 to 100 miles after resetting your ECU or engine should be enough to put your vehicle back in normalcy.

And in New Jersey, your vehicle could only pass the emission inspection if the OBD monitors are displayed to be in readiness. 

Next Read for you: How to Read & Reset Check Engine Light Jeep Wrangler

Also, read this How to Reset Electronic Throttle Control Manually Chrysler 300

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