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New rule on converters

Written by maryp posted on Saturday, September 6th, 2008

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The California Air Resources Board, affectionately called CARB, has recently approved new performance requirements of converters, (aka catalytic converters). The new regs also limits the types of replacement converters that will be available in our State.

A few highlights of the regulations in a very brief format:New aftermarket converters must bring vehicle emissions below standards for 5 years/50K miles, and also carry a warranty to cover parts and labor if replacement is necessary in that same time frame.

Aftermarket converters for newer vehicles must be compatible with OBDII catalyst monitors. This includes making sure converters won’t cause false catalyst fault codes, but at the time time, make sure the OBII system will set a catalyst fault code if the aftermarket converter fails.

One of the most important aspects for those who own older vehicles or have a project car: The new regulations adopted by CARB end the availability of certified used OE (Original Equipment), converters for CA registered vehicles. The formal rules are still being written, but this aspect of the rule took effect July 1, 2008. The reason, is that there is not a practical test method to easily test used OE converters of performance that most newer technology vehicle need to meet emission standards. The minimum efficiency requirement’s for the used converters cannot be set at a proper level that would ensure proper emission performance from repaired vehicles. In other words: No more used catalytic converters in California. (Don’t even think about it).

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