Well California gives yet another reason for Car Guys to Flee.

11:37:00 PM

A short time ago I wrote about the benefits of California's amazing roads, and how they alone were enough to keep me in California. Well they are pushing it again, a law that slipped by me in just came to my attention when I member of a local X1/9 club I bother from time to time pointed out that he could not pass smog the safe and legal way because he could not locate a OEM factory replacement Catalytic Converter for his vintage 1970's X1/9. Since his car did not have a Government Approved Aftermarket Catalytic Converter on the smog-Nazi's list he cannot effectively replace his cat on his car. This also makes high performance catalytic converters illegal, as well as aftermarket exhaust systems that change the diameter or placement of the catalytic converter. In stead of being able to have a wide range of replacement catalytic converters in stock that could be used on many vehicles, installation shop now must install a OEM or "approved" converter. Before the shop would take the vehicles weight, engine type and displacement, and exhaust pipe size. More over regulation by the California Air Resources Board.

Here is a copy of the law below.

* NEW LAW DATE: Effective January 1st, 2009
* LAW CODE: California Vehicle Code Section 27156 & 38391
* WHO THE NEW LAWS EFFECT?: Manufacturers, Installers and Resellers of New Aftermarket Catalytic Converters.

General Guidelines:

VEHICLE APPLICATION CATALOG INSTRUCTIONS - Application look-up will no longer be based upon G.V.W. (Gross Vehicle Weight) and engine size. Application look-up is the only approved method for determining the correct part number. It is illegal to select a catalytic converter for installation based solely on vehicle weight, engine size, physical shape, size, configuration or pipe diameter.

For non-OBD-II vehicles, the application list will identify the vehicle based on the categories below:

(PC-1): Passenger car single configuration. (View Diagram)
(T-1): Truck single configuration. (View Diagram)
(PC-2): Passenger car dual configuration. (View Diagram)
(T-2): Truck dual configuration. (View Diagram)

DETERMINING SINGLE AND DUAL CONFIGURATIONS - A single configuration refers to vehicles with an OEM catalytic converter configuration consisting of a single catalytic converter per bank.

A dual configuration refers to vehicles with an OEM catalytic converter configuration with two or more catalytic converters inline per bank.

IDENTIFYING NEW AFTERMARKET CATALYTIC CONVERTERS - As of January 1st, 2009, what you need to look for to ensure you are selling, buying or installing California LEGAL catalytic converters:

The body should be clearly labeled with the following:
# A.R.B.- EO Number: (example: D-193-88)
# Part Number: (example: 34015)
# Date Code: (example: 0109)
# Directional Flow Arrow
# 1/2" Tall Numbers
# Must Be Visible From 5ft. Away


New Aftermarket Catalytic Converters
As of January 1st, 2009, What You Can and What You Cannot Sell/Required:

(A) The vehicle is specifically included in the vehicle application list for which the new aftermarket catalytic converter has been exempted;

(B) The vehicle is more than 7 years old or has more than 70,000 miles on its odometer;

(C) The vehicle is beyond the coverage of the OEM catalyst warranty period (which can vary from 7 years or 70,000 miles to as high as 15 years or 150,000 miles).2 Installers may reference the vehicle owner’s manual/warranty booklet or contact the vehicle manufacturer or its representative to verify the applicable OEM catalyst warranty;

(D) The vehicle has a legitimate need for replacement of the existing converter that has been established and documented by the installer on the repair invoice. If the OEM converter is present, the installer must make a determination that it is not functioning properly before acting to replace it;

(E) The exempted new aftermarket catalytic converter is installed in the same location as the OEM catalytic converter it is designed to replace. The front face of the installed catalytic converter shall be no more than three inches further upstream or downstream in the exhaust from where the front face of the OEM catalytic converter was located. The installation may not alter the location, position, or orientation of oxygen sensors upstream and downstream of the catalytic converter(s);

(F) The exempted new aftermarket catalytic converter is installed on a one-for one catalytic converter (not substrate) basis;

(G) The exempted new aftermarket catalytic converter is installed with all other required catalytic converters (no consolidation of catalytic converters, nor addition of extra catalytic converters is allowed); and

(H) A warranty card has been filled out by the installer, signed by the customer, attached to the repair invoice, and a copy returned to the manufacturer.

(I) Installers shall keep documentation regarding the installation of the new aftermarket catalytic converters including all of the above information. This documentation shall be made available to ARB or its representative as provided for in title 13, section 2222(b)(8). All such records shall be maintained for four years from the date of sale or installation of the catalytic converter.

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