('09-'13) 2011 - does non-CA emissions catalytic fit on CA-emissions? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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2011 - does non-CA emissions catalytic fit on CA-emissions?

So, in November I bought a 2011 Forester with some issues. "Some issues" was the understatement of the year. Leaky valve, more than two thousand bucks to fix, only to blow a piston rod three months later . . . nine hours away from home. Rented a U-Haul truck & trailer and brought it back. Picked it up on Monday after an engine swap.

Second issue on the To-Do list is the catalytic (the first/manifold one). Got the dreaded P0420 code, and after who knows how many years with a leaky valve, I'm sure the cat and rest of the exhaust is all fouled up. Was looking at prices, and when I put in the VIN, that's when I found out I have a California emissions car, which means the price automatically goes up two or three hundred dollars.

I understand that the components inside are different to meet the emissions specifications, but since I live in Michigan, there are no emissions checks of any kind, and if I can avoid spending more, I would love to. Anyone know whether there is any difference between the fit of CA and non-CA converters?


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 08:38 AM
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Yes, Michigan is one of 23 states that do not, or do so in a such very limited manner as to be meaningless, enforce Federal EPA and CARB emission control regulations once a vehicle is first sold new. This situation and the Rolling Coal Movement make the whole matter of VW's self created Dieselgate so very much ironic.


That being said, it is in violation of Federal Law to tamper with any emission control systems - period. It, therefore, would be illegal for a Dealer or Aftermarket supplier, even in Michigan, to sell non-CARB compliant emission control parts, new or used, to then be installed on or used on a vehicle that was built originally EPA /CARB compliant. Tampering or removing any labels that state the vehicle is EPA / CARB compliant is also illegal.


This may prove useful:


Bosal Catalog | Bosal USA - OE Exhaust Systems and Catalytic Converters

Direct-Fit | Bosal USA - OE Exhaust Systems and Catalytic Converters


Last edited by karlaudi; 05-23-2019 at 09:02 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:30 AM
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@liciarothermel the fitment would be the same. The specifications are different, but that's not an issue if you're not in California or other States that require California emission standards.

Here's an example of some for sale on RockAuto.com.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I read that some cat converters can have minor design differences that prevent them from being an exact fit, but could not for the life of me find whether the Forester's was different or not.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlaudi View Post
That being said, it is in violation of Federal Law to tamper with any emission control systems - period. It, therefore, would be illegal for a Dealer or Aftermarket supplier, even in Michigan, to sell non-CARB compliant emission control parts, new or used, to then be installed on or used on a vehicle that was built originally EPA /CARB compliant. Tampering or removing any labels that state the vehicle is EPA / CARB compliant is also illegal.
Hmmmmm... how would the seller know who is buying what part for what car? If you're required to put in a VIN, that makes sense, but Rock Auto, for example, sends you straight from the shopping cart to the payment page. There is a disclaimer on both the front converters, but the restrictions are always for CA, NY, and Maine:

EASTERN CATALYTIC 41209 Manifold Converter; ECO II - Front; (Not Legal For Sale Or Use In The State of California; Not Legal in NY or Maine For Vehicles With California Emissions)

WALKER 16689 Ultra Manifold Converter - Front; Additional Parts Needed:31613 (2), 31369; (Not legal for sale or use in the state of California, Restrictions may apply in other states like NY and ME)

I know that without emissions checks, we in Michigan can get away with a lot, but the idea here is not to do something illegal or contaminate the environment left and right (otherwise, I'd ignore the P0420 entirely). But to go from $400 to upward of $1000 is... ouch.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:43 PM
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@liciarothermel ,

With Respect. I understand the challenge of budget restrains and owning a car. It is one of the reasons, in my youth, I sought an accredited college automotive service technician education. But to the matter at hand.

The parts supplier will no doubt have a disclaimer about the suitability of parts written somewhere noting also the customer's responsibilities. The owner is ultimately responsible for vehicle's compliance.


When I posted the BOSAL Link I realized that there was an interesting "Loophole" that did not exist, to my knowledge, when I had a BAR Smog License in my native California. Quality vs. Price and "Universal Cat" vs. "Direct Fit" issues aside, what these parts suppliers are saying, if I understand correctly is that, IF, a State requires cars purchased NEW within their state to be both Federal EPA & CARB Compliant and enforces post new purchase CARB / Californian Bureau of Automotive Repair "Smog Check" requirements, then the parts in question must be CARB compliant if the car was delivered from the Manufacturer as CARB Compliant.

The question would be if, regardless of the reasons for doing so, a CARB Compliant vehicle has its CARB Compliant exhaust emission controls removed during the course of repairs and replaced with EPA approved parts that are not CARB Compliant, would the vehicle then be out of compliance if it where ever resold or registered in California, NY, or Maine? The answer seems to be yes, based on the the information provided by the suppliers you have noted and on BOSAL's website too. Yet it appears, you do not have to be CARB compliant in your State, even with a CARB compliant vehicle. Though it is inferred, smog inspection or not, that you must remain Federal EPA Compliant.

Aftermarket CARB Approved replacement catalytic converters must have a minimum warranty of 5 years / 50,000 miles. After January 1, 2009 CARB approved catalytic converters are required to not only have proper and existing EPA labeling, but will now also include a CARB Approval Number and the Manufactures' part number and production date.

For further information about Aftermarket Catalytic Converters and CARB requirements, please see the attached link:


https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/aftermarket-catalytic-converters


Good Luck!
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Last edited by karlaudi; 05-31-2019 at 06:24 AM. Reason: typo
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlaudi View Post
@liciarothermel ,
With Respect. I understand the challenge of budget restrains and owning a car. It is one of the reasons, in my youth, I sought an accredited college automotive service technician education.
. . .

Yet it appears, you do not have to be CARB compliant in your State, even with a CARB compliant vehicle. Though it is inferred, smog inspection or not, that you must remain Federal EPA Compliant.
Interesting that you mention your auto service tech training. I actually signed up for a basic auto mechanics class in college, but ended up dropping it after the professor made some very misogynistic comments and made it clear that he was a fan of American cars and anyone thinking otherwise was less than intelligent (and might have a hard time getting a good grade). The auto mechanics program closed very soon after, and I didn't have the chance to try to take another class. Might look into the certificate offered at a nearby community college. :)

Anyway, that was very helpful info; thanks for taking the time to reply again.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:26 PM
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@liciarothermel ,

I attended that college automotive program in my native San Francisco Bay Area between 1981-1985 and BMW North America's program in 1987.

Most of my professors where good 'ole boys who loved push rod V-8's. Including the head of the Department. In my early mid 20s at the time, I was one of the older students having left the Navy in 1979. They were some of the most progressive thinking guys I ever met, then or now. They liked me because I liked fuel injection and German cars. As the elected President of the student run Auto Tech Club I proposed we have a booth at the Winter Women's Art & Crafts Fair at the San Francisco Women's Building. They said yes without reservation. At the time I lived only a block away with my photographer girlfriend, who would photograph the events there for other reasons. We even had a woman that graduated the year before I started the program help out.

We got nearly zero response from women attending the event. A group called Tradeswomen, were mostly in the building trades. Only their gender prevented me from calling them stuck in the past redneck trades guys, such was their behavior against us. In their view, being a carpenter was better paid and took less tools to buy and time to learn. That was still a time when Unions had the power in the building trades to set working conditions and pay scales in the residential building trades for both union and non-union employees.

My professors just expected the students to work hard at mastering the craft, if they went through the whole program. We had night classes for consumers who wanted to work on their own cars. One of my professors said that they were training students for an industry that did not want them. That would prove true in the 80s, 90s and 00s, though somewhat has changed now. Sadly, most of those professors have since passed away and the young ones, then, have recently retired or will soon in the coming years. The program is still going strong, though.

Some of the top engineers and mechanics you will find working for Volkswagen and Audi, here and in Europe, are women, even on factory racing teams. This is true of other European companies too.

If you need help finding or picking a school let me know.


Regards!
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