New for 2014: Catalytic Converter Regulations

New emissions regulations have taken effect that require shops to install OEM, or OEM-equivalent, catalytic converters and certified emission compliant systems.

For example, effective Jan. 1, 2014, in the sate of New York, shops are now required to install either OEM or “Aftermarket Catalytic Converters” (AMCCs) that are certified to meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions standards.

Installing even a used catalytic converter could result in fines of up to $500 for the first offense, and upwards of $26,000 for subsequent violations.

It’s a complex issue that the folks at MagnaFlow have taken the lead on, having redesigned their replacement catalytic converter systems and certifying them for use in the three current “zones” of regulation: Federal, California (CARB), and New York compliance, which is now quite similar to CARB regulations.

“We’re working to help customers find the right replacement converter for their customers’ applications, regardless of where they do business,” said MagnaFlow’s Kathryn Reinhardt. “That’s why we’ll release constant updates on specific model fitments on a monthly basis to help dealers select the right converter for their location and application.”

MagnaFlow’s catalytic converter selection can be found here.

Retailers and service shops need to know what regulations are required in each state and what type of emissions system the vehicle has. For vehicle emissions information, refer to the OEM emissions certification tag on the vehicle or check with an authorized dealer or service center.

Bottom line: You need to check with your state regulators to ensure regulatory compliance and that you have selected the correct type of converter to meet the regulations in effect where you are selling and/or installing the system.

Among the different types of catalytic converters there are OEM, Heavy-Metal, or Standard Grade catalyst, and pre-OBD-II and OBD-II compliant.

Catalytic converters are then divided between direct fit or universal fit. Depending on the application and the intended use of the vehicle, you may want to consider if the particular exhaust system needs a certified catalyst or not.

As for the performance of the MagnaFlow direct fit catalytic converters, they utilize high-quality stainless steel construction on both the casing and flanges. OE-like functionality and fitment, and a “better flow” design.

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