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Dodge Durango
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Emission Control Systems » On-board diagnostics
Monitored systems

OPERATION

There are new electronic circuit monitors that check fuel, emission, engine and ignition performance.

These monitors use information from various sensor circuits to indicate the overall operation of the fuel, engine, ignition and emission systems and thus the emissions performance of the vehicle.

The fuel, engine, ignition and emission systems monitors do not indicate a specific component problem.

They do indicate that there is an implied problem within one of the systems and that a specific problem must be diagnosed.

If any of these monitors detect a problem affecting vehicle emissions, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) will be illuminated. These monitors generate Diagnostic Trouble Codes that can be displayed with the MIL or a scan tool.

The following is a list of the system monitors:

  • Misfire Monitor
  • Fuel System Monitor
  • Oxygen Sensor Monitor
  • Oxygen Sensor Heater Monitor
  • Catalyst Monitor
  • Leak Detection Pump Monitor (if equipped)

All these system monitors require two consecutive trips with the malfunction present to set a fault.

Refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostics Procedures manual for diagnostic procedures.

The following is an operation and description of each system monitor :

OXYGEN SENSOR (O2S) MONITOR

Effective control of exhaust emissions is achieved by an oxygen feedback system. The most important element of the feedback system is the O2S. The O2S is located in the exhaust path. Once it reaches operating temperature 300 to 350C (572 to 662F), the sensor generates a voltage that is inversely proportional to the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. The information obtained by the sensor is used to calculate the fuel injector pulse width. This maintains a 14.7 to 1 Air Fuel (A/F) ratio. At this mixture ratio, the catalyst works best to remove hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the exhaust.

The O2S is also the main sensing element for the Catalyst and Fuel Monitors.

The O2S can fail in any or all of the following manners:

  • slow response rate
  • reduced output voltage
  • dynamic shift
  • shorted or open circuits

Response rate is the time required for the sensor to switch from lean to rich once it is exposed to a richer than optimum A/F mixture or vice versa. As the sensor starts malfunctioning, it could take longer to detect the changes in the oxygen content of the exhaust gas.

The output voltage of the O2S ranges from 0 to 1 volt. A good sensor can easily generate any output voltage in this range as it is exposed to different concentrations of oxygen. To detect a shift in the A/F mixture (lean or rich), the output voltage has to change beyond a threshold value. A malfunctioning sensor could have difficulty changing beyond the threshold value.

OXYGEN SENSOR HEATER MONITOR

If there is an oxygen sensor (O2S) shorted to voltage DTC, as well as a O2S heater DTC, the O2S fault MUST be repaired first. Before checking the O2S fault, verify that the heater circuit is operating correctly.

Effective control of exhaust emissions is achieved by an oxygen feedback system. The most important element of the feedback system is the O2S. The O2S is located in the exhaust path. Once it reaches operating temperature 300 to 350C (572 to 662F), the sensor generates a voltage that is inversely proportional to the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. The information obtained by the sensor is used to calculate the fuel injector pulse width. This maintains a 14.7 to 1 Air Fuel (A/F) ratio. At this mixture ratio, the catalyst works best to remove hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the exhaust.

The voltage readings taken from the O2S sensor are very temperature sensitive. The readings are not accurate below 300C. Heating of the O2S sensor is done to allow the engine controller to shift to closed loop control as soon as possible. The heating element used to heat the O2S sensor must be tested to ensure that it is heating the sensor properly.

The O2S sensor circuit is monitored for a drop in voltage. The sensor output is used to test the heater by isolating the effect of the heater element on the O2S sensor output voltage from the other effects.

LEAK DETECTION PUMP MONITOR (IF EQUIPPED)

The leak detection assembly incorporates two primary functions: it must detect a leak in the evaporative system and seal the evaporative system so the leak detection test can be run.

The primary components within the assembly are: A three port solenoid that activates both of the functions listed above; a pump which contains a switch, two check valves and a spring/diaphragm, a canister vent valve (CVV) seal which contains a spring loaded vent seal valve.

Immediately after a cold start, between predetermined temperature thresholds limits, the three port solenoid is briefly energized. This initializes the pump by drawing air into the pump cavity and also closes the vent seal. During non test conditions the vent seal is held open by the pump diaphragm assembly which pushes it open at the full travel position.

The vent seal will remain closed while the pump is cycling due to the reed switch triggering of the three port solenoid that prevents the diaphragm assembly from reaching full travel. After the brief initialization period, the solenoid is de-energized allowing atmospheric pressure to enter the pump cavity, thus permitting the spring to drive the diaphragm which forces air out of the pump cavity and into the vent system. When the solenoid is energized and de energized, the cycle is repeated creating flow in typical diaphragm pump fashion. The pump is controlled in 2 modes: Pump Mode: The pump is cycled at a fixed rate to achieve a rapid pressure build in order to shorten the overall test length.

Test Mode: The solenoid is energized with a fixed duration pulse. Subsequent fixed pulses occur when the diaphragm reaches the Switch closure point.

The spring in the pump is set so that the system will achieve an equalized pressure of about 7.5" H20.

The cycle rate of pump strokes is quite rapid as the system begins to pump up to this pressure. As the pressure increases, the cycle rate starts to drop off. If there is no leak in the system, the pump would eventually stop pumping at the equalized pressure. If there is a leak, it will continue to pump at a rate representative of the flow characteristic of the size of the leak. From this information we can determine if the leak is larger than the required detection limit (currently set at.040" orifice by CARB). If a leak is revealed during the leak test portion of the test, the test is terminated at the end of the test mode and no further system checks will be performed.

After passing the leak detection phase of the test, system pressure is maintained by turning on the LDP's solenoid until the purge system is activated.

Purge activation in effect creates a leak. The cycle rate is again interrogated and when it increases due to the flow through the purge system, the leak check portion of the diagnostic is complete.

The canister vent valve will unseal the system after completion of the test sequence as the pump diaphragm assembly moves to the full travel position.

Evaporative system functionality will be verified by using the stricter evap purge flow monitor. At an appropriate warm idle the LDP will be energized to seal the canister vent. The purge flow will be clocked up from some small value in an attempt to see a shift in the 02 control system. If fuel vapor, indicated by a shift in the 02 control, is present the test is passed. If not, it is assumed that the purge system is not functioning in some respect. The LDP is again turned off and the test is ended.

MISFIRE MONITOR

Excessive engine misfire results in increased catalyst temperature and causes an increase in HC emissions.

Severe misfires could cause catalyst damage.

To prevent catalytic convertor damage, the PCM monitors engine misfire.

The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors for misfire during most engine operating conditions (positive torque) by looking at changes in the crankshaft speed. If a misfire occurs the speed of the crankshaft will vary more than normal.

FUEL SYSTEM MONITOR

To comply with clean air regulations, vehicles are equipped with catalytic converters. These converters reduce the emission of hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. The catalyst works best when the Air Fuel (A/F) ratio is at or near the optimum of 14.7 to 1.

The PCM is programmed to maintain the optimum air/fuel ratio of 14.7 to 1. This is done by making short term corrections in the fuel injector pulse width based on the O2S sensor output. The programmed memory acts as a self calibration tool that the engine controller uses to compensate for variations in engine specifications, sensor tolerances and engine fatigue over the life span of the engine. By monitoring the actual fuel-air ratio with the O2S sensor (short term) and multiplying that with the program long-term (adaptive) memory and comparing that to the limit, it can be determined whether it will pass an emissions test. If a malfunction occurs such that the PCM cannot maintain the optimum A/F ratio, then the MIL will be illuminated.

CATALYST MONITOR

To comply with clean air regulations, vehicles are equipped with catalytic converters. These converters reduce the emission of hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide.

Normal vehicle miles or engine misfire can cause a catalyst to decay. A meltdown of the ceramic core can cause a reduction of the exhaust passage. This can increase vehicle emissions and deteriorate engine performance, driveability and fuel economy.

The catalyst monitor uses dual oxygen sensors (O2S's) to monitor the efficiency of the converter. The dual O2S's sensor strategy is based on the fact that as a catalyst deteriorates, its oxygen storage capacity and its efficiency are both reduced. By monitoring the oxygen storage capacity of a catalyst, its efficiency can be indirectly calculated. The upstream O2S is used to detect the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas before the gas enters the catalytic converter.

The PCM calculates the A/F mixture from the output of the O2S. A low voltage indicates high oxygen content (lean mixture). A high voltage indicates a low content of oxygen (rich mixture).

When the upstream O2S detects a lean condition, there is an abundance of oxygen in the exhaust gas.

A functioning converter would store this oxygen so it can use it for the oxidation of HC and CO. As the converter absorbs the oxygen, there will be a lack of oxygen downstream of the converter. The output of the downstream O2S will indicate limited activity in this condition.

As the converter loses the ability to store oxygen, the condition can be detected from the behavior of the downstream O2S. When the efficiency drops, no chemical reaction takes place. This means the concentration of oxygen will be the same downstream as upstream. The output voltage of the downstream O2S copies the voltage of the upstream sensor. The only difference is a time lag (seen by the PCM) between the switching of the O2S's.

To monitor the system, the number of lean-to-rich switches of upstream and downstream O2S's is counted. The ratio of downstream switches to upstream switches is used to determine whether the catalyst is operating properly. An effective catalyst will have fewer downstream switches than it has upstream switches i.e., a ratio closer to zero. For a totally ineffective catalyst, this ratio will be one-toone, indicating that no oxidation occurs in the device.

The system must be monitored so that when catalyst efficiency deteriorates and exhaust emissions increase to over the legal limit, the MIL will be illuminated.

    More about «On-board diagnostics»:

    Emission system

    Malfunction indicator lamp (mil)

    State display test mode

    Circuit actuation test mode

    Diagnostic trouble codes

    Diagnostic trouble code descriptions

    Task manager-gasoline powered engines only

    Monitored systems

    Trip definition

    Component monitors

    Non-monitored circuits

    High and low limits

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