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Old 06-18-2020, 10:36 AM   #1
Payback45
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Default Virginia catalytic converter laws

Im looking to add some after market exhaust and I was wondering what the VA Cat requirements are to pass inspection/emissions test.


Also, same question for mufflers, are they required by law/inspection.


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Old 06-19-2020, 08:11 AM   #2
piratius
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It's somewhat dependent on the shop/inspector. I've had inspectors that failed my Grimmspeed catted downpipe, and some that are fine with it. The letter of the law says the car needs to have the same number of catalytic converters in the same locations as the factory exhaust.

For cat backs, the inspection station shouldn't care, as long as it's not straight piped. Cops, on the other hand, can give you a ticket at their discretion for any car that sounds louder than factory. The only issue is that it's all subjective - I got dinged for a "double loud exhaust" in Falls Church by a cop for an Invidia Q300, which is supposed to be one of the quietist cat backs available for the 08-10 wrx. I've seen glasspacked trucks go past cops without a second glance, so it might have more to do with tone of the exhaust than total volume.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
Detslider
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The VA Safety Inspection Manual is worth reviewing.
https://www.vsp.virginia.gov/downloa...01%202019).pdf

Specifically page 104.

19VAC30-70-310. Air pollution control system or device.
C. Inspect for and reject if:
3. The emission control system or device on motor vehicles manufactured for the model year 1973 or for subsequent model years is not comparable to that designed for use upon the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment.
Any new or used after-market catalytic converter installed on a vehicle after December 31, 1987, shall meet and be installed in accordance with specifications established by the Environmental Protection Agency. A catalytic converter so installed shall be identified with a visible, permanent, nondestructible label or stamp which will identify the manufacturer, vehicle application and month and year of manufacture. The label shall be in accordance with the following format:
a. New converters - N/XX/YYYY/ZZZZ
b. Used converters - U/XX/YYYY/ZZZZ
N - New converter designation
U - Used converter designation
XX - Manufacturer code issued by EPA
YYYY - Numerical designation of vehicle application
ZZZZ - Month and year of manufacture (i.e. - 0188 for January, 1988)
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:19 AM   #4
Homemade WRX
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Yes you need a cat and yes you need a muffler.
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:28 PM   #5
Detslider
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technically you can pass the VA State inspection without a muffler but it'll still be illegal to operate on the road.

19VAC30-70-300. Muffler, exhaust system and trailer venting.
"NOTE: If a vehicle is inspected that does not have a muffler, the inspector should explain to the customer that although the vehicle will pass inspection without a muffler, it is a violation of state law for the vehicle to be operated on the highway without it."
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:04 PM   #6
Lt. Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detslider View Post
technically you can pass the VA State inspection without a muffler but it'll still be illegal to operate on the road.

19VAC30-70-300. Muffler, exhaust system and trailer venting.
"NOTE: If a vehicle is inspected that does not have a muffler, the inspector should explain to the customer that although the vehicle will pass inspection without a muffler, it is a violation of state law for the vehicle to be operated on the highway without it."
I remember when the SRT4 Neon's first came out- the local state troopers were giving inspectors a hard time at the dealerships!!
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:43 PM   #7
KillerBMotorsport
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I believe it must remain OEM for 10 years. Manufacturers have to cover the cat for 10 years IIRC. After that point there are many variables; federal, state, and local. You need to dig into them all if you want to know exactly what you can do according to law.

Although, it's all HIGLY subjective based on where you bring it and how ambitions the tech is. Where we are I've brought stock, aftermarket cat, cat-less, EWG, Side exit EWG, and never had an issue.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:38 PM   #8
rexbanner
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After years of my inspection place passing me with whatever cat I had on the car, they failed my 2020 safety inspection (not emissions inspection), because my cat did not have an EPA code stamped on it.

The station confessed that VA DEQ has been coming down hard on shops that have been skirting emissions regulations.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detslider View Post
technically you can pass the VA State inspection without a muffler but it'll still be illegal to operate on the road.

19VAC30-70-300. Muffler, exhaust system and trailer venting.
"NOTE: If a vehicle is inspected that does not have a muffler, the inspector should explain to the customer that although the vehicle will pass inspection without a muffler, it is a violation of state law for the vehicle to be operated on the highway without it."
That's funny because Fiat 500 Abarths come from the factory without a muffler, (and sound fantastic).
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
After years of my inspection place passing me with whatever cat I had on the car, they failed my 2020 safety inspection (not emissions inspection), because my cat did not have an EPA code stamped on it.
How do they check? The place I go to never even puts the car on a lift.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:38 AM   #11
crisco555
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do your grandkids (and mine) a favor and always use a catalytic converter. if you want performance there are other ways to get it. if your cat is truly the limiting factor in your next 10 HP, get a racing cat.

my 2 cents.
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Old 09-04-2020, 11:47 AM   #12
bobca222
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VA changed the aftermarket exhaust catalytic converter details at the beginning of 2020. An aftermarket cat that is not registered? will not pass.

I needed to replace my cattted Invidia downpipe as it was not compliant. Mach V crafted one for me, connecting a legal cat with a non-cated downpipe.

That passed inspection last month.

If anyone is interested in a catted Invidia downpipe, let me know. I have one sitting in the garage...would sell it at 40% retail.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:52 PM   #13
atikovi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobca222 View Post
I needed to replace my cattted Invidia downpipe as it was not compliant.
How did they check? The last time I had a VA emissions inspection they just plug into the OBD2 connector.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:06 AM   #14
Kawabuchi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobca222 View Post
VA changed the aftermarket exhaust catalytic converter details at the beginning of 2020. An aftermarket cat that is not registered? will not pass.

I needed to replace my cattted Invidia downpipe as it was not compliant. Mach V crafted one for me, connecting a legal cat with a non-cated downpipe.

That passed inspection last month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atikovi View Post
How did they check? The last time I had a VA emissions inspection they just plug into the OBD2 connector.
Definitely interested to know more about this- my inspection not due until Feb, but would rather get working on this early.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:11 PM   #15
bobca222
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Default Update Discussions with Dan @ Mach V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawabuchi View Post
Definitely interested to know more about this- my inspection not due until Feb, but would rather get working on this early.
After I initially upgraded my downpipe, I was discussing this topic with Dan from Mach V. They were doing my Stage 2 tune at the time. Dan told me that the option people were using was to swap the original downpipe back in, get the car inspected, then swap the upgraded one back in. Mach V will do this for you.

I still have my OEM downpipe, if anyone is interested in it.

What I have done now, based on later discussions with Dan, is to purchase a new non-catted Invidia downpipe. Mach V then cut it, & welded in a VA legal cat. That revised/upgraded downpipe is what I use now, & my STI passed VA inspection at the dealer in July.

So, not only do I have an OEM downpipe available, I also have a catted Invidia downpipe if anyone wants it. It won's pass a VA inspection, but it is good in most states.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:24 PM   #16
Payback45
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Will all aftermarket catted downpipes fail inspection in VA?
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:28 PM   #17
atikovi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
Will all aftermarket catted downpipes fail inspection in VA?
Not if they don't check. The place I go for inspection never puts a car on a lift.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:35 PM   #18
Payback45
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PMd you
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:45 PM   #19
JP Chestnut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobca222 View Post
What I have done now, based on later discussions with Dan, is to purchase a new non-catted Invidia downpipe. Mach V then cut it, & welded in a VA legal cat. That revised/upgraded downpipe is what I use now, & my STI passed VA inspection at the dealer in July.
Loose cats are pricey. That sounds like an expensive solution.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:21 PM   #20
Payback45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atikovi View Post
Not if they don't check. The place I go for inspection never puts a car on a lift.


So are you saying that all aftermarket catted cats will fail if they put it in a lift and take a look?
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:02 PM   #21
atikovi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payback45 View Post
So are you saying that all aftermarket catted cats will fail if they put it in a lift and take a look?
No, I don't know anything about that. I'm just saying the place I've had inspections in the past at, have never raised the car so even if it had no cat, it could pass.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:41 AM   #22
bobca222
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Default VA Catted Downpipes & Inspection

From what I was told, they would all fail, based on the new law. If you have an under the table inspection agreement with someone, that might help you.

So your options are to get a catted downpipe with a certified/licensed cat, as Mach V made for me, or do the downpipe swap each year using your OEM downpipe for inspection days.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:45 AM   #23
bobca222
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Default VA Inspection & Cated Downpipe Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
Loose cats are pricey. That sounds like an expensive solution.
It was not cheap. It cost more than Mach V swapping out my upgrade for my OEM, then swapping it back after inspection. I think the breakeven is at year 2, but don't quote me on that.

I recommend that you go to the source on this. Ask Mach V for options & quotes.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:49 AM   #24
Kawabuchi
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Thanks for the info!

The place I take mine has never put it on a lift, though last year's safety inspection was done by a new guy, so not sure how he does emissions inspections yet. I guess I'll find out in February! If that fails, I'll definitely be giving Dan a call to discuss it, as well as some other fun upgrades
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:43 AM   #25
bobca222
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Default Response to @Kawabuchi

@Kawabuchi - good luck. If it does not pass, you can do the swap to OEM.
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