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1999 Forester L
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in CA and I may have to replace my catalytic converter. If I travel outside of state and put a cat on that is NOT approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and return to CA, is that technically illegal? Also, are non-CA cats more likely to fail the CA emissions test?

Thanks.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Do you think any smog station really cares? They'll stick a mirror under your car for one second to make sure there's a cat there to complete the visual. And why would the cat be more likely to fail the sniffer? By that logic, all cars from out of state that are now registered in CA would be mysteriously failing their smog tests.
 

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1999 Forester L
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Do you think any smog station really cares? They'll stick a mirror under your car for one second to make sure there's a cat there to complete the visual. And why would the cat be more likely to fail the sniffer? By that logic, all cars from out of state that are now registered in CA would be mysteriously failing their smog tests.
No, I didn't think testers would care or bother to look. I just thought it just might increase the probability of failure, especially if your engine is older. So I wouldn't expect ALL out of state cars to fail CA emissions test, but I wouldn't be surprised if a significantly higher fraction of them do, compared to CA cars. I just thought people might have some sense -- anecdotal or quantitative -- of how much more you're likely to fail.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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I'm in CA and I may have to replace my catalytic converter. If I travel outside of state and put a cat on that is NOT approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and return to CA, is that technically illegal? Also, are non-CA cats more likely to fail the CA emissions test?

Thanks.
Not an expert on CA emissions laws, how ever I am going to have to say a non-CARB Approved replacement cat would most likely be frowned upon.
Question is, how do they know? If the inspector sees a new cat/s on the exhaust do you have to show proof it is legal?

Are non-CARB cat more likely to fail a sniff test on a CARB approved vehicle. Doubt it, but who knows.
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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To be honest, I've never seen a smogger check the CARB certs for the cat as long as it passes sniffer. I bet they are the same, but cost more because the CARB cert costs so much money. On some cars they are not though, namely older Toyota Corollas. The O2 sensors are actually in different places as well in those cases.
 
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