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Old 09-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
RedWRXwagonN
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Default Clogged catalytic converter problem

Hey guys,

I recently got my car inspected, and the mechanic told me my catylitic converter was getting clogged (The front i think he said). He advised me to get new ones, or else it would cause a lot of damage in the near future. I think this is a common problem, as i have heard a lot of guys on here having their cats breaking up, and destroying their turbos.

Are these problems the same?


I'm pretty sure this is common. Could anyone give me some advice on this, or steer me in the right direction? I appologize if this has been asked 100 times.

My car is a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback

Thanks!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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If he's talking about the 1st cat, which is in the uppipe, just replace the uppipe with a catless one. There are a number of different manufacturers offering them.

Invidia seems to be a popular choice but it doesn't have a flex section like the OEM unit.

You don't need the 1st cat. The STi's didn't come with them.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Won't i not pass inspection with that?
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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you will need the restrictor/a tune though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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No you will be fine, even if they do a sniffer test. The cat in the up pipe is just a "pre-cat" and it really doesn't do ****. It is known to break apart and ruin the hot side impeller on the turbo though. The real catalytic converters in your car are in the downpipe, there are two of them and they do all the filtering and scurbbing of the emission gasses.

A new up pipe is 50-100 clams. This was the very first thing I ever did to my car, this and a down pipe. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty read a few of the DIYs on the forums and di it yourself, it's fun and you will learn a lot about your car.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayman4312 View Post
you will need the Resistor/a tune to erase your check engine light for the sensor you will be removing out of the up pipe though.
Fixed
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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The resistor is just a $0.10 2.2k Ohm piece, I think? It's covered ad naseum here if you search. You just jam it in the harness plug and put tape over it. Though a proper tune can remove the code via the ECU, and give you a nice power boost...

A catless uppipe will net you also a faster spooling car, with almost 10HP gained in the end.

It's a win win. Fix your car, and gain power..
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavid2002 View Post
Fixed
Thnx. hard on mobile.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWRXwagonN View Post
Hey guys,

I recently got my car inspected, and the mechanic told me my catylitic converter was getting clogged (The front i think he said). He advised me to get new ones, or else it would cause a lot of damage in the near future. I think this is a common problem, as i have heard a lot of guys on here having their cats breaking up, and destroying their turbos.

Are these problems the same?


I'm pretty sure this is common. Could anyone give me some advice on this, or steer me in the right direction? I appologize if this has been asked 100 times.

My car is a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback

Thanks!!
The 2004 is a wagon not a hatchback. Also, get a high flow cat for the rear part of your DP. Perrin has a nice one, they are pricey but worth it. An oem cat will not be cheap, so go with high flow.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #10
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I have a catless uppipe i bought a while ago, but never installed.

So, does anyone in New York know if their cars passed inspection without a cat in their uppipe? I really don't want to go tuning my car, as i don't really want to go spending more money. I LOVE my car, but i don't really feel like tinkering with it, just want to fix this problem as cheap as possible.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:12 AM   #11
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You will have ZERO issues passing NYS inspection with a catless UP.

While it's a good idea to ditch the UP cat, that mechanic is full of crap and was looking to bend you over.

Clogged cats cause poor performance and CELs. Without those symptoms, there's NO POSSIBLE WAY that greasemonkey could tell you they're getting "clogged" without visually inspecting them by removing the UP and DP.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWRXwagonN View Post
So, does anyone in New York know if their cars passed inspection without a cat in their uppipe?
Look at it this way:
The STis didn't come with a cat in the uppipe, and they pass inspection, unless no one owns an STi in NY

Change over to the catless UP you have, do the $0.10 resistor mod tevia-boy mentioned, do any other engine mechanical performance upgrades you want to do now, and then get a new tune.

The resistor mod will "trick" the ECU to thinking the UP is still there, so you won't ahve to have any CELs shut off. The hardest part about doing the resisitor mod is getting the resistor. By that I mean you have to get up off the couch and go to the store.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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Haha alright thanks everyone. I was just worried, because my uncle told me that if you remove a cat, the inspection will be off, bc they will notice my emissions are different than the stock subaru wrx. I guess they are just comparing my emissions to a NYS standard. I was under the impression they compare my emmisions to what a 2004 subaru impreza wrx is supposed to have.

I think i will just get a mechanic to install the uppipe i already have. Do i need a tune if i am just doing that mod? Keep in mind, i want this car to last me as long as possible (200k miles is what my goal is). Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #14
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There are emission standards, but those standards are not so specific that there is a specific set of standards per each individual make/model/year.

Emission standards have a range of set values for a range of model years for all cars.

2004 and up, the cars were much more sensitive to even simple changes. I'm sure someone has the specific answer
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWRXwagonN View Post
Haha alright thanks everyone. I was just worried, because my uncle told me that if you remove a cat, the inspection will be off, bc they will notice my emissions are different than the stock subaru wrx. I guess they are just comparing my emissions to a NYS standard. I was under the impression they compare my emmisions to what a 2004 subaru impreza wrx is supposed to have.

I think i will just get a mechanic to install the uppipe i already have. Do i need a tune if i am just doing that mod? Keep in mind, i want this car to last me as long as possible (200k miles is what my goal is). Thanks!
If you do not do the resistor mod- you get a CEL and then you will not pass inspection. For these cars they just do a OBDII ready check. As long as everything is in ready status and no CEL you pass. NYS can have a visual inspection if they wanted to, but most would just look for the cat in the rear and you would be OK. I asked my mechanic and he says no one does a visual anymore, just plug in and check.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
You will have ZERO issues passing NYS inspection with a catless UP.

While it's a good idea to ditch the UP cat, that mechanic is full of crap and was looking to bend you over.

Clogged cats cause poor performance and CELs. Without those symptoms, there's NO POSSIBLE WAY that greasemonkey could tell you they're getting "clogged" without visually inspecting them by removing the UP and DP.
^^^^^^^^This^^^^^^^
Radio Shack sells the resistors for like $0.60 for 5. I picked some up and never did the mod since having the car tuned.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:16 AM   #17
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Would any mechanic do this for me?
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by RedWRXwagonN View Post
Would any mechanic do this for me?
Some mechanics might not, since they would be removing an emissions device. IIRC, that's against federal law. However, I'm sure you can find a shop that will do it.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #19
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Some mechanics might not, since they would be removing an emissions device. IIRC, that's against federal law. However, I'm sure you can find a shop that will do it.


That's the problem. I am all set to go, but i don't want to do this myself. How long does it usually take? I doubt my mechanic will do this, but i have an appointment with him tomorrow. I don't really trust some mechanic i don't know to do this. Does anyone know a reputable mechanic who would do this for me?

Could i pay someone to do this?
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #20
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Just throwing this one out there.... But how do you know its not one of the other two catalytic converters? I do believe that a catless uppipe is awesome, but you don't seem too big into modding your car. So just a heads up, if you replace the cat, and you still have a problem... you still have 2 other catalytic converters....
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWRXwagonN View Post
That's the problem. I am all set to go, but i don't want to do this myself. How long does it usually take? I doubt my mechanic will do this, but i have an appointment with him tomorrow. I don't really trust some mechanic i don't know to do this. Does anyone know a reputable mechanic who would do this for me?

Could i pay someone to do this?
1) post in your local forum to find a local who will do this for you cheap

2) post in your local forum to find the reputable Subaru performance shops who will do this less cheap, but with peace of mind / guarantee if it leaks they'll fix it.

Your mechanic may or may not do it. He will certainly not know the resistor trick to get around the CEL an uppipe without the EGT gauge will throw, whereas any Subaru performance shop will likely have a whole roll of these resistors and will put one on for you when they install the uppipe.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jthatch12 View Post
Just throwing this one out there.... But how do you know its not one of the other two catalytic converters? I do believe that a catless uppipe is awesome, but you don't seem too big into modding your car. So just a heads up, if you replace the cat, and you still have a problem... you still have 2 other catalytic converters....
Being post-turbo these are subjected to much less extreme conditions than the up-pipe cat. Pre-turbo cat is rather famous for breaking up and killing turbos. Post turbo cats rarely have such issues.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #23
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Being post-turbo these are subjected to much less extreme conditions than the up-pipe cat. Pre-turbo cat is rather famous for breaking up and killing turbos. Post turbo cats rarely have such issues.

I know this. But what I'm saying is that rarely does not mean that it can't happen. I would advise the OP to confirm what cat is the issue before replacing the uppipe.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:13 PM   #24
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Thanks guys! I posted on my local subaru website, but havn't heard a response. I will try to contact a few shops to see what they say.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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I would advise the OP to confirm what cat is the issue before replacing the uppipe.
Most would advise he remove the stock uppipe and replace it with a catless one ASAP, regardless of whether it's causing problems at the moment. The cat in the UP was a last minute emissions add-on for the US market (to pass the cold start emissions test in particular)... What an awful, terrible idea. Now it's just a problem waiting to happen, with added crappy spool and response characteristics as a constant side-effect. Oh yea, worse gas mileage too. This should be a mandatory first mod for any EJ205 car.
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