Chapter Three - On Board Diagnostics II - Inspection Procedure

   3.05.00 On-Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) Emissions Inspection
         03.05.01 OBDII General

The primary vehicle emissions analyzer certified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is capable of performing all emissions tests required by the Texas I/M program applicable in the area (county) for which it is certified. With few exceptions, On-Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) is the primary method of emissions testing model year 1996 and newer vehicles.

In the Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) and Houston/Galveston (HGA) I/M areas, the primary analyzer is capable of performing the On-Board Diagnostics (OBDII), Acceleration Simulation Mode 2 (ASM2), and Two-Speed Idle (TSI) tests. The majority of the stations are equipped with full-service analyzers capable of performing all the required emissions tests, except those stations with OBD-only waiver.

In the El Paso and Travis/Williamson (EAC) areas, the primary analyzer is capable of performing the On-Board Diagnostics (OBDII) and Two-Speed Idle (TSI) tests. Public OBD-only stations are not authorized in these I/M program areas.

This chapter describes the procedures used by the certified inspectors in performing the On-Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) emissions inspection on vehicles in counties with an I/M program using OBDII testing.

         03.05.02 OBDII Protocol

On-Board Diagnostics Second Generation (OBDII) is a computerized system required on 1996 and newer model year vehicles (GVW 8500 lbs. or less). When an emissions control malfunction is detected, a dashboard light illuminates, displaying one of the following: "Check Engine," "Service Engine Soon," or the international engine symbol. If the OBDII system detects a problem, a corresponding diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is stored in the computer's memory. During an emissions inspection, the analyzer plugs into the diagnostic link connector, checks and downloads stored information from the emissions related components to identify those that are not working properly. Inspection failures occur when there is a malfunction with the OBDII equipment including the on-board computer, related wiring, or when an emissions related component has failed, causing the vehicle's exhaust emissions to be one and a half times the vehicle’s certified emissions level as determined by the manufacturer. In this manual, the term OBD shall refer to the second generation of this system, generally referred to as OBDII.

         03.05.03 Station Requirements For OBDII Testing

In addition to all equipment required to perform safety inspections, all inspection stations performing On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) emissions inspections must also have a minimum of the following:

1. An emissions analyzer with a gas cap tester certified by the TCEQ to perform at least OBD testing.

2. A designated telephone line dedicated solely to each analyzer in the program.

3. An adequate supply of printer supplies.

4. All required analyzer manuals.

5. A business arrangement with the Texas Information Management Systems (TIMS) contractor to obtain a telecommunications link to the Vehicle Information Database (VID).

Note: If the inspection station fails to pay its data link fees to the contractor, the analyzer will be locked out from any further inspections until the problem is resolved.

         03.05.04 Testing Data Collection

All certified emissions inspection stations must report the results of emissions testing, since the collection and reporting of accurate vehicle emissions testing data is of significant importance to the inspection and maintenance (I/M) program.

Each analyzer is allowed a certain number of off-line inspections since occasional telephone line problems may occur. After restoration of the telephone link, the off-line data will be sent to the VID. However, when the analyzer exceeds the off-line inspection limit, the analyzer will be locked out from any further inspections until the problem is resolved. Failure to reestablish the telecommunications link to the VID will result in either suspension or revocation of the inspection station license.

   03.10.00 Certified Inspectors

Only certified inspectors who have completed training with either DPS or a DPS approved outside training school and received a certified vehicle inspector access/ID card (scan card) may perform vehicle emissions testing.

   03.15.00 OBDII Testing Applicability

OBDII emissions testing will be performed in the following counties:

1. Brazoria,

2. Collin,

3. Dallas,

4. Denton,

5. Ellis,

6. El Paso,

7. Ft Bend,

8. Galveston,

9. Harris,

10. Johnson,

11. Kaufman,

12. Parker,

13. Montgomery,

14. Rockwall,

15. Tarrant,

16. Travis, and

17. Williamson

OBDII emissions testing is performed on all motor vehicles that are:

1. capable of being powered by gasoline (except motorcycles),

2. model years 1996 and newer, up to vehicles two (2) years old, and

3. presented for annual safety inspection, or

4. required by state law.

Note: Examples of “required by state law” are:

1. Department of Public Safety directs that a vehicle receive an out-of-cycle emissions test,

2. vehicle requires an emissions test on resale, or

3. public college or university requires emissions testing prior to issuance of a school parking permit.

OBD emissions inspections will be performed on other vehicles, as the Department of Public Safety shall direct.

The term two (2) years old refers to a vehicle upon the expiration of the initial two-year inspection certificate, or any time the vehicle is presented for inspection or required to be inspected, during the year when the date of manufacture indicated on the manufacturer’s federal certification label is greater than two years. In the event the federal certification label is not present or legible, the first month of production of the model year shall be used as the date of manufacture.

   03.20.00 Inspection Certificates

The following inspections will be entered into the analyzer at all certified OBDII emissions inspection stations:

1. Safety only,

2. Two-year Safety (new car and light duty trucks),

3. Safety and emissions,

4. Emissions only,

5. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (commercial inspection for windshield or trailer), and

6. Trailer/Motorcycle.

The department approved “OBD Safety and Emissions Certificate” will be issued to vehicles passing the safety and OBD emissions inspection, including any 1996 and newer vehicle which defaults to a tailpipe test to complete the inspection, with the following exception: vehicles qualifying under DPS rules for a “unique emissions-test inspection certificate.” These vehicles are exempt from the annual safety inspection or not required to be emissions tested at the time of the safety inspection. Specifically, a unique emissions-test only inspection certificate may be issued to:

1. Federal Vehicles (not registered in Texas). Federal government or quasi-governmental agency vehicles that are primarily operated in affected counties, but do not display Texas license plates, are exempt from the annual safety inspection; however, they shall be required to comply with all vehicle emissions requirements.

2. Out-of-State Registered Vehicles (for out-of-state registration purposes only). Vehicles registered in another state, that requires an emissions test for registration purposes in that state, may be emissions tested and issued a unique emissions–test-only inspection certificate.

3. Commercial Motor Vehicles Requiring an

Emissions Test. A motor vehicle requiring a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Inspection, that meets the definition of a “designated vehicle,” must pass an emissions inspection and display a unique emissions–test– only inspection certificate on the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, immediately above the registration certificate, prior to receiving a commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificate. The commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificate must be issued within 15 calendar days of the issuance of the unique emissions-test-only inspection certificate. The inspector shall not remove the unique emissions-test-only certificate when the new commercial inspection certificate is issued.

4. College Students Away from Home.

a. A vehicle registered in an affected county, operated by a college student, that was issued a safetyonly inspection in a non-affected county, and who upon return to the affected county requests an emissions only inspection.

b. A vehicle registered in a non-affected county or out of state, operated by a college student, where the public institution of higher learning is located in affected county and requires vehicles to be emissions tested as a condition to receive a permit to park or drive on the grounds of the institution.

5. A vehicle with valid inspection certificate, either safety only or safety and emissions, directed by DPS to undergo an emissions inspection (usually as a result of DPS on-road emissions testing).

6. Only the fee for the emissions test will be charged for an emissions test performed on the vehicles listed above.

NOTE: All unique emissions-test-only inspection certificates expire at the same time the safety-only inspection certificate expires or the last day of the month indicated on the back of the certificate and year indicated by the hole punch on the unique emissions-test-only inspection certificate, or whichever comes first.

   03.25.00 OBDII Inspection Details

         03.25.01 General

The primary method of emissions inspection for gasoline powered vehicles,1996 and newer model years, is through the use of the vehicle On-Board Diagnostic system.

1. All gasoline powered vehicles model years 1996 and newer, with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 8500 lbs. or less, are required to have an OBDII system. The OBDII system on these vehicles, with few exceptions, is emissions testable by means of a Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC).

2. Exceptions.

a. Non-Communication. Any vehicle GVW 8500 lbs. or less that fails to communicate with the OBD software, both full service (ASM/OBD/TSI or OBD/TSI) and OBD-only analyzers, will be tested using the applicable tailpipe test. The full service analyzer will default to the appropriate tailpipe test as directed by the analyzer software. Where the OBD-only analyzer is authorized, the software will notify the inspector to direct the vehicle to a full service station for a tailpipe test. The test will abort, no fee is charged, and the inspector will direct the customer to a full service station.

b. Excessive Monitors Not Ready. Certain vehicles, but not all, of specific makes and model years chronically have excessive (more than two) “not ready” monitors. These vehicles will not pass an OBDII emissions inspection and are authorized to default to the applicable alternative tailpipe emissions inspection. Where OBD-only inspection stations are authorized, the station may attempt inspection of these vehicles since they may pass the OBDII test. However, if the vehicle fails for this reason, the test aborts, no fee is charged, and the vehicle driver is directed to a full service station (ASM/OBD/TSI or OBD/TSI) for the appropriate tailpipe test. These problematic vehicles will be listed on a DPS notice required to be displayed on each station’s display board. Contact your local DPS representative with any questions regarding this procedure.

3. Tampering. The OBDII Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) on all gasoline powered vehicles, model years 1996 and newer with a GVW of 8500 lbs. or less, must be useable and accessible for the emissions inspection. If obstruction and/or readily apparent tampering prevents use of the DLC, then the vehicle must fail the inspection – do not use an alternate tailpipe test.

4. Vehicles, GVW over 8500 lbs. Gasoline powered vehicles, model years 1996 and newer, with a GVW of 8501 lbs. and greater, are not required to have an emissions testable OBD system with a DLC.

5. Oversized vehicles. Vehicles too large to fit into a standardized inspection bay will be inspected utside the building as close to the analyzer as possible, in an area approved by a department representative.

         03.25.02 Order of Inspection

1. Prepare the OBDII analyzer for testing.

Note: Gas cap calibration is required every 24 hours.

2. Scan the inspector ID card and enter the inspector pin number, then select the type of inspection to be performed from the menu on the analyzer.

3. Follow the screen prompts, answering questions and entering required data.

a. The inspector must enter all required information as accurately and correctly as reasonably possible. Incorrect information may cause inaccurate test results.

b. Any vehicle information displayed on the analyzer screen that is incorrect will be corrected by the inspector before continuing to the next screen.

4. Conduct a complete safety inspection, if required.

5. Conduct a complete emissions inspection as prompted by the analyzer. The inspection sequence will be displayed on the analyzer screen and must be followed.

6. MIL illumination check. With ignition key in the “OFF” position, connect the OBD test lead into the diagnostic link connector (DLC).

a. If the vehicle has a GVW of more than 8500 lbs., from the menu choose “connector cannot be located.” Only perform the OBDII Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illumination bulb check.

b. With key in the “ON” position and the engine off (KOEO), the malfunction indicator lamp must illuminate. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, the MIL will be a dashboard light that displays “Check Engine”, “Service Engine Soon” or the international check engine symbol.

c. With key in the “ON” position and the engine running (KOER), the MIL indicator light must turn off.

NOTE: Refer to Chapter 5 for 1996 Mercedes Benz vehicles.

7. After the MIL illumination check, press “continue” to download data from the vehicle’s OBDII system.

a. If the emissions analyzer fails to communicate with the OBDII system on a vehicle, GVW 8500 lbs. or less, then it will default to the alternative tailpipe emissions inspection.

(1) The emissions analyzer’s program, depending on the county (I/M area) or the characteristics of the vehicle, will default to either the Acceleration Simulation Mode or Two-Speed Idle test. Insure vehicle information has been correctly entered and follow the program prompts.

(2) Where use of the OBD-only analyzer is authorized, the inspection will be aborted. The entire inspection will be recorded as an abort and the station will not charge a fee or collect any inspection fee. The vehicle must be inspected at an inspection station equipped to perform the applicable tailpipe test.

b. If a vehicle identified by TCEQ and DPS as having a problem with “Excessive Monitors Not Ready” fails for this reason:

(1) On the OBD-only analyzer, where authorized, the test will abort and, at NO CHARGE, direct the customer to a full service inspection station equipped to perform the applicable tailpipe test (ASM or TSI).

(2) On the full service analyzer (ASM/OBD/TSI or OBD/TSI), the vehicle will fail if the MIL is commanded “ON” and a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is stored, or if the vehicle does not pass the MIL illumination bulb check. If those conditions are not present, but the vehicle has more than two monitors set to “not ready,” then the analyzer will default to either the ASM or TSI tailpipe test. Insure vehicle information has been correctly entered and follow the program prompts.

(3) All other vehicles will pass or fail the OBD inspection using standard OBD emissions testing procedures.

8. Gas Cap Testing. Every gasoline-powered vehicle from 2-24 model years old will be checked for presence of a gas cap and then tested by a department approved “gas cap testing device” to determine if the gas cap is defective. The following vehicles are exempt:

a. Antique vehicles.

b. Slow-moving vehicles.

c. Motorcycles.

d. Vehicles operated exclusively by a fuel other than gasoline.

e. Vehicles newer than two (2) years old and older than 24 years old.

A. Inspection Procedure.

a. Conduct daily calibration check of gas cap testing device.

b. Check for presence (all gas caps must be present).

c. Check for correct type of gas cap(s).

d. Remove gas cap(s) and test using an approved testing device. (Gas cap present but not testable will not be cause for rejection.)

e. Any gas cap(s) failing the initial test will be tested a second time to verify failure.

B. Inspect for and reject if:

a. Vehicle not equipped with required gas cap(s).

b. Vehicle not equipped with proper type gas cap(s).

c. Gas cap(s) fails both tests.

9. Emissions test results, MIL status, DTCs, and readiness monitor results are automatically recorded.

10. If the vehicle meets all inspection requirements, the appropriate certificate will be issued. Record the complete certificate number issued (all letters and numbers) in the analyzer data record.

NOTE: Vehicles 1996 and newer which default to the ASM or TSI test will receive an OBD inspection certificate.

11. The inspector must give a copy of the test results to the motorist. The inspector conducting the test will sign the test results. Additionally, if the MIL is illuminated, the diagnostic trouble codes and an alert statement based on the reason for failing the OBDII inspection will be printed.

Texas Transportation Code, Section 548.053, states “if an inspection discloses the necessity for adjustment, correction, or repair, an inspection station or inspector may not issue an inspection certificate until the adjustment, correction, or repair is made.”

If a vehicle fails any other item of inspection, the inspector shall enter the reason for rejection in the space provided on the rejection receipt by typing it in while the rejection receipt is displayed on the analyzer or by handwriting it in after the rejection receipt is printed by the analyzer. The inspector shall verbally explain the reason for the rejection and mark a large “X” on the back of the certificate currently displayed on the vehicle.

A vehicle presented for re-inspection within 15 days, not counting the day of inspection, will be inspected using the re-inspection menu only.

The inspector shall provide the motorist whose vehicle has failed, the following:

1. Rejection receipt (VI-7),

2. Emissions test results signed by the inspector conducting the test (VIR),

3. Vehicle Repair Form (VRF),

4. Brochure “What to do if my vehicle fails the emissions test”, and

5. A list of Recognized Emissions Repair Facilities of Texas.

   03.30.00 Fees

An emissions inspection fee may be charged for those vehicles requiring the vehicle emissions inspection. This fee is in addition to any fee charged for conducting the standard safety or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations inspection. Refer to Chapter 5 for current fees.

1. If the inspection is aborted due to one of the following reasons: loss of oil pressure, loss of coolant or overheating, fuel system leak, excessive engine noise, or other safety problem, and the appropriate reason is checked on the screen, the entire inspection will be recorded as a failure and the station will be allowed to collect the entire nspection fee.

2. If the inspection is aborted due to one of the following reasons: no inspection required, analyzer problem, or other equipment failure, and the appropriate reason is checked on the screen, then the entire inspection will be recorded as an abort and the station will not be allowed to charge or collect any inspection fee.

3. If the inspection is aborted due to non-communications by an OBD-only analyzer, the inspection station will not be allowed to charge or collect any inspection fee.

   03.35.00 Reports

The station’s inspection log/report will be printed automatically each Monday morning by the analyzer or may be printed at any time on demand.

NOTE: The inspection station is not required to mail the inspection log/report to DPS in Austin; however, the station is required to maintain a copy of the log/report for one year from the date of printing. Inspection stations performing “new car make ready” inspections resulting in the issuance of two-year inspection certificates will retain the log/reports including these inspections for a period of two years.

   03.40.00 Analyzer Lockouts

Notify the local Texas Department of Public Safety Vehicle Inspection Office for lockouts resulting from:

1. State lockout,

2. State disk drive tamper,

3. TAS cabinet tamper,

4. Maximum inspections without communications, or

5. Exceeds maximum number of OBD inspections (Public OBD-only stations, where permitted).

Notify Gordon-Darby for lockouts resulting from:

Failure to pay communication fee to VID contractor.

Notify the analyzer manufacturer for lockouts resulting from:

1. Disk failure,

2. Hard drive failure,

3. Internal clock failure, and

4. Gas cap calibration failure.

   03.45.00 Approved Equipment

The following is a list of currently approved vendors of OBD testing analyzers.

1. ESP:

Model 10400-57 (ASM/OBD/TSI)

Model 10400-59 (OBD-Only, Large cabinet)

Model 10400-60 (OBD-Only, Small cabinet)

Model 10400-63 (OBD-Only, FCIS cabinet)

2. Snap-On:

Sun model EEEA110 (ASM/OBD/TSI; any letter designation may follow model number)

John Bean model EEEA116 (ASM/OBD/TSI; any letter designation may follow model number)

Model EEEA134A (OBD-Only)

3. Worldwide:

Model EIS-5000 (ASM/OBD/TSI)

Model EIS-6000

Note: OBD-only analyzers may only be used with approval of the Department.