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According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), there are laws and rules to follow when replacing your catalytic converter. The rules and laws are strict and should always be followed. And though the laws vary from state to state, the federal guidelines stay the same. Businesses that ignore these guidelines can face fines and/or the loss of its business permits and licenses. The EPA has the ability to shut down the business for non-compliance to these laws, rules and guidelines.
If you take your vehicle to a muffler shop or exhaust shop to get the catalytic converter removed,(without another being installed), by law the shop can't help you or perform the work because no vehicle is allowed on the road without a catalytic converter. If you're already missing the catalytic converter, they still may not help you for fear of losing the business license or being shut down. Most states require an emissions inspection now and a vehicle without a catalytic converter will not pass this inspection. Most federal guidelines state that replacement converters may be installed only in the following situations:
1. A state or local inspection program has determined that the existing converter needs replacement
2. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1996 must have more than 50,000 miles and a legitimate need for replacement must be established and documented
3. In cases of OBD Il-equipped vehicles (1996 and later), the O.E. manufacturer's 8-year/80,000-mile warranty must have expired and a legitimate need for replacement must be established and documented.
(Note that Federal law prohibits removal or replacement of a properly functioning O.E. converter).
Some muffler shops or exhaust shops will replace a perfectly working converter for profit, even thought the law states otherwise. Other laws and guidelines state:
1. It is installed in the same location as the original
2. It is the same type as the original (i.e., two-way, three-way, three-way plus air/three-way plus oxidation)
3. It is the proper model for the vehicle application as determined and specified by the manufacturer
4. It is properly connected to any existing air injection components on the vehicle
5. It is installed with any other required converter for a particular application
6. It is accompanied by a warranty information card to be completed by the installer. These laws and federal guidelines are put into place for a reason.