California Catalytic Converter Laws - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-06-2009, 01:37 PM   #1
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California Catalytic Converter Laws

A bit of pain in the future for those of you in CA with older cars, and for the rest of you who don't live here, I guess you can be thankful. My CRX needs to pass smog tests this year and after a few pretests and troubleshooting, the cat needs to be replaced to pass emissions. That would be fine, but on Jan 1, 2009, the wizards in Sacramento passed a new law banning the majority of aftermarket catalytic converters. After Jan 1, a cat you can buy in the other 49 states cannot be sold to CA. Because of this, I went from buying one to fit my CRX that would have cost ~$275 to one at the dealer for $592. (and then add the new 10-11% sales tax, and the doubling of the registration fees to that!).

The new law also bans the sale of used cats, forces autoshops to verify that the old converter really needed to be changed, and the serial numbers logged. I'm all for clean air and can handle replacing the cat, but this seems pretty ridiculous. The link below is for the CA air resources board discussing the new law, and though I didn't spend more then about 15 minutes looking through there, the one thing I couldn't find is why they needed this new law. If there is some issue that the aftermarket cats do not have the quality the OEMs ones do, then the car wouldn't pass the emissions tests. Seems to me, another idiot on the state's payroll decided to create a new law that costs the tax payers more money, creates more govt spending enforcing therse new laws, and does nothing.

Thought I needed to vent some anger (or need to move soon), so thanks for reading.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermk...ftermktcat.htm
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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Do you think this is this also possibly an effort to encourage people to upgrade to newer (hopefully cleaner) vehicles? Does CA have any credits or taxes or anything else already to push that agenda? Just curious.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilian View Post
Do you think this is this also possibly an effort to encourage people to upgrade to newer (hopefully cleaner) vehicles? Does CA have any credits or taxes or anything else already to push that agenda? Just curious.
If it is, I don't know if encourage is the correct word. It may be part of the agenda, as banning cars beyond a certain age would certainly not be popular, but making older cars too expensive to fix is a way to do it.

CA smog laws are interesting, since if a car is over 30 years old it is finally exempt from the smog tests. So a 71 Buick would be allowed on the roads and I need an OEM cat to keep driving mine.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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I certainly don't advocate doing anything illegal but I know that some people would travel out of state and purchase one from a neighboring state and install it themselves. Having previously lived in California I know what damage lawmakers do. Remember they don't use older vehicles - they buy new ones at taxpayer expense every year or few years. (Who do you think pays their salaries to pay for their Hummers & such?)

California wants to clean up the air, but they ignore the fact that a "polluting" CRX puts out less POUNDS of waste each year than a properly tuned Hummer. The laws are out of touch with reality. The big new gas-guzzling SUVs do more damage to the environment than smaller older cars.

Personally I want to take a vehicle that came with no cat on it (say a 1973 Honda Accord) and turn it into, piece by piece, a CRXish vehicle, but do it in a way that it puts out no more pollutants without the cat.

The lawmakers also ignore the fact that the additives they mandate (at lobbyists' behest) pollute more than purer gasoline. Lobbyist is a legal word for someone who makes bribes constantly.

</rant>
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Its a federal law that prohibits the sale of a used converter. I tried to by a used one for my old Pontiac wagon eons ago and nobody would sell me one. I had an exhaust leak on the bottom of the cat. I ended up paying a welding shop $10 to crawl under the car and weld it shut.

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
California wants to clean up the air, but they ignore the fact that a "polluting" CRX puts out less POUNDS of waste each year than a properly tuned Hummer. The laws are out of touch with reality. The big new gas-guzzling SUVs do more damage to the environment than smaller older cars.
...and then there's the pollution caused by the energy used in disposing of the old car (it takes a lot of energy to recycle a whole car) and in building a new car (it takes a huge amount of energy to build and deliver a new car).
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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one key word and one key phrase were the highlights(or low point) for this "reasoning."...

"agenda" and "out of touch", enough said?
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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and "California".
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:07 PM   #9
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I totally agree with that HC... I always point out that maybe my buick doesn't get the mileage of a new car, but there also isn't the environmental impact of manufacturing a new car to deal with either. The average person would have had several new cars in the span that I have owned that car.

-Jay
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:01 PM   #10
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This worries me since I had to replace the cat on my car a few years ago. I got it online. There were no serial numbers or paperwork. I hope I dont get hassled at my next smog check.
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