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Old 06-10-2004, 09:32 AM   #1
Overdue
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Default Cats and PA emissions

I have a question that is probably state-specific. For that matter, it may even be county-specific. Anyway, I was wondering how emissions laws are structured. Do all vehicles (after a certain mfg. date, obviously) have to meet the same emissions criteria? Or does the criteria change from one vehicle to the next? Lastly, is there a catch-all phrase that says something like, "vehicle must have all factory installed emission control devices present"?

Just wondering if removal of one or more cats would cause me to automatically flunk inspection.
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:09 AM   #2
BeeGee
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As you say, it really depends on where you are (county to county). As well, the laws vary depending on when the car was manufactured...some older cars are "grandfathered" in, others require a visual or a sniffer, and if they are post '96 many locales have switched to an "OBD-II" check.

If I'm not mistaken, there's a federal law that makes it illegal to remove or tamper with an oem cat for a certain # of years after the car's build date which is inclusive of all cars. So technically, you could fail just on the basis of removing a cat. However, as mentioned above, some locales have switched to an OBD-II test and do not require the visual inspection.
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:31 AM   #3
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FWIW, i passed the philadelphia emmissions test w/ one high flow cat (Vishnu up, TB). You need to find a shop that does'nt put much emphasis on the visual inspection. I guess its a moot point now cause that was prob my last sniffer test, since my county is phasing in OBD-II. Funny thing is i can just go catless since the OBD-II test would be easier to pass with the right fixes.

Of course i'm not technically legal since my factory cats are sitting in my closet and not on my car.
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #4
Silverandscared
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Yeah i got my car inspected in Norristown with one highflow cat and my car passed inspection. I have the turboxs turboback and a catless uppipe. I don't think you should have a problem
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Old 06-10-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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Hey... I was in Norristown this weekend. My buddy just bought a house there, and I might move in, so that's good to know.
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Old 06-10-2004, 01:33 PM   #6
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I'm near that area as well. I have the TXS high flow and the up-pipe cat. I would have removed the up-pipe long ago if I was not worried about emmission testing. My understanding is that the high flow cat will become less effective over time and at a faster rate than the stock cat which means I might pass this year and then fail next year. The other solution is to get it inspected at the place that removes it which is what I plan to do.
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Old 06-10-2004, 01:57 PM   #7
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While removing your factory cats is technically illegal, I think if you have a high flow cat in place you are good even for a visual at most stations since they wouldn't know a factory Subaru cat from a high flow cat if their collective lives depended on it, much less the fact the WRX should have three, two of which aren't readily visible.
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Old 06-10-2004, 01:59 PM   #8
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Those were all helpful replies, since I currently live in Bucks county and will be living in Montgomery County by the time my next inspection is due. Y'know, there's also mention in our manuals about being exempt from emissions testing if the facility does not have an AWD dyno. Has anyone taken advantage of... uh, I mean, had the unfortunate occasion to use the loophole?
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Overdue
Those were all helpful replies, since I currently live in Bucks county and will be living in Montgomery County by the time my next inspection is due. Y'know, there's also mention in our manuals about being exempt from emissions testing if the facility does not have an AWD dyno. Has anyone taken advantage of... uh, I mean, had the unfortunate occasion to use the loophole?
The AWD dyno loophole is only applicable if they administer a sniffer test which is what they are getting away from with OBD-II.
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:18 PM   #10
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is there an awd dyno around the montco area? i am a new wrx owner in the Lansdale area =)
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:51 PM   #11
spit_heron
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Quote:
Originally posted by Overdue
Those were all helpful replies, since I currently live in Bucks county and will be living in Montgomery County by the time my next inspection is due. Y'know, there's also mention in our manuals about being exempt from emissions testing if the facility does not have an AWD dyno. Has anyone taken advantage of... uh, I mean, had the unfortunate occasion to use the loophole?
they just use a two speed idle test, mine barely passed
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
I currently live in Bucks county
Cool. Same here. Havent seen you around.....although I did see a Blue STi with gold wheels.

/threadjack
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:30 PM   #13
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Deebo -

I got mine inspected (UTEC + catless uppipe + TurboXS TBE = only one cat in midpipe) at the Sunoco on Sumneytown & West Point, no dyno, sniffer test, no problemos

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Old 06-10-2004, 07:45 PM   #14
deebo
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not too shabby... I live in upper gwynedd.. I only have one cat as well.. the stock third maybe I should check out the sunoco
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Old 06-10-2004, 08:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Jr.
Cool. Same here. Havent seen you around.....although I did see a Blue STi with gold wheels.

/threadjack
Hey guys where in Bucks County do you live. Im from Yardley. I have a 2004 Red WRX and my cousin has a 2004 Black STI
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:29 PM   #16
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my bro in law lived in yardley
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:48 PM   #17
punga
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In PA 96 up cars get the OBDII Scan test.Unless your in one of the 42 counties that get a emissions visual check. The OBDII looks for codes for a check engine light and the OBDII readyness flags.Which means if you have a CEL and reset the computer to try to pass the test IT WILL FAIL if the READYNESS FLAGS are not set.I can go into more detail of the PA tests and list what countys get what kind of test if you would like.But i don't have all the info in front of me right now.

J.C. the PA state and emissions inspector....my cars pass with out cats legaly

P.S. the awd can't dyno test it ...would be ok for pre 96 cars BUT it just gets a two speed idle test instead of the dyno test .So it's not exempt from geting emission tested.
Hint for PA.. under 5000 miles in one year (365 days to the date) are EXEMPT from testing no matter what year they are.
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Old 06-10-2004, 11:52 PM   #18
deebo
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pff 5000 miles in a year... ill have to ride my bike around .. ive had a CEL then i reset it but i did the cel fix do you think id pass ? i dont get the cel anymore
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Old 06-11-2004, 12:03 AM   #19
punga
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If the readyness flags are set then yes you will pass . Just don't reset it right before you go in to get a test . Readyness flags set when a certain test is passed and every part of the system being tested is working correctly.
The 5000 mile exemtion thing is kinda funny ..The 2500 miles i put on my 5.0 probally polutes the air more in a year then the 30000 miles a year (insert any car) ...But rules are rules it's exempt and no visual inspection for and exempt car .
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:31 PM   #20
jhpd22
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Default Readiness Flags

I have a Cobb AccessPort reflash and my computer was reset about a week before emissions and it won't pass. It hasn't had the proper "drive cycles" to reset the readiness flags. My mechanic got me a printout of the "drive cycles" that need to be done but it still isn't reset!!! (after I almost got killed doing the drive cycles!!) I guess I'll just drive it for another week (expired) to try to get it to reset the readiness flags!!
Anybody else had these problem.

BTW-I'm in Allegheny Co. and they're doing the OBD-II emissions testing.

Shawn
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Old 06-29-2004, 12:29 AM   #21
punga
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Shawn,
First how did you allmost get killed ? I'm guessing you were trying to do this on like a regular road not a highway.Most customers we tell to take the car for a pretty long drive. Like through stop and go traffic then go up the highway for a while and come back the same way they went. For example we are in the south hills right off of Rt 51 so we tell people to drive to uniontown and back . And most of the customers cars reset all the flags.Going step by step for the drive cycles is kinda hard to do .Do you know what flag isn't setting ? I can't really see the AccessPort reflash not letting a flag set but if i know what one or ones arn't setting i may be of some help.

J.C.
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Old 06-29-2004, 02:06 AM   #22
NewShockerGuy
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I am cattless and live in pittsburgh PA....lol Don't know if I will pass yet becaues I won't get my car inspected until june of next year... I have the CEL fix and my car hasn't thrown a CEL since I resetted my ECU after the install about a month back...

Emissions are stupid, I hate it! Kinda hoping I move down with my girlfriend down in hilton head South Carolina... they don't have emissions there

-Nigel
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:20 AM   #23
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Default Flags not resetting

JC,

I was up on 43 and it wasn't too bad until I was driving at 30 mph and people were coming up on me doing 85!!!! I originally had it tested/inspected last Wednesday. I drove approx. 150 miles until Monday the 28th and it still says evap. system not ready. I went out and tried the drive cycles (to the best of my ability) and still the same thing. The 150 miles that were put on originally were through the South Hills, stop and go driving and highway miles up to Cranberry so they varied greatly. This is just crazy that you have to go through all of this!!! Any help would be appreciated!!! What happened to the good ole days of throwing the sniffer in to the tailpipe of one of the other customer's cars that were sitting around!!!

Thanks,
Shawn
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:43 AM   #24
punga
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Shawn,
Ya it's not a good idea to slow down to 30 on 43.But the Evap flag normally is the last to set .There are a lot of factors that come into play for it to run the test for the evap system.Basic terms what it does for the test is pressureize the fuel tank and looks for a vapor leak.The easyiest way to let it run the test is to set the cruise control on the highway without a full tank of gas but not under a 1/4 tank.Pretty much 3/4 to a half .What the computer will see is a constant speed and enough fuel out of the tank so it can shut the vent and let the tank pressurize and see if the pressure drops.Too much gas or not enough gas it won't shut the vent . Hope this helps .

J.C.
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Old 06-29-2004, 03:56 AM   #25
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JC,

Thanks for the reply. I finish work at 6am so I'm going to fill the tank up to 3/4 and cruise to Uniontown and then straight to the garage. It is interesting to note that the gas cap passed the test but when I was doing the drive cycles, it through a MIL P0457 which is evap system leak-gas cap. Could be a problem with the evap system all together. If it doesn't pass tomorrow, I'll call Langston and take it out there. I'm sure the evap system is covered under warranty and I'll just have to pay for emissions.

Thanks again,
I'll post any results,
Shawn
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