Q: My catalytic converters need to be replaced

asked by on May 17, 2016

Ok, so my cats are bad. Would it be better to have an X pipe installed or just replace the cats? I'm military, therfore my truck is registered in Iowa. So I don't have to follow California regulations for smog or any of that stuff.

My car has 124755 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in.

First of all, removing a catalytic converter is illegal in all 50 states. They are federal emissions items, and there is a very stiff fine for removing or tampering with them on a vehicle that will be operated on public roadways. Second, I understand that that because the truck is registered in Iowa, you don’t technically need to meet the California smog requirements, but you should certainly try to if possible. The environment is already in pretty rough shape, partially due to emissions from personal vehicles. The vehicle is also designed to operate properly with the catalytic converters. If you remove the cats completely, your car may not gain any power, and will set a check engine light due to the missing cats, which can put your truck in a reduced power limp mode. You would have to have a full custom exhaust built that is suited to optimize flow with no catalytic converter, then would have to have the engine control module retuned for a race only mode where the cat delete is built in. If you opted to do all this work, then your vehicle would be completely illegal for use on public roadways, and any shop that did the work could be subject to a stiff penalty as well. Third, if you ever try to sell the truck, it would need to be in one of the few states that has no emissions checks at all. Most states look for the presence of a catalytic converter, and without one the truck cannot be registered by the new buyer. So you would have to sell it back in Iowa.

My suggestion is to replace the cats with an OEM equivalent part or better, and if you want better sound or slightly better performance, opt for a nice cat back system for you truck. You can have a qualified professional, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home or work and replace the catalytic converters for you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

How do I turn off the AdvanceTrac system?

Your truck is equipped with an AdvanceTrac system. The AdvanceTrac system is designed to keep your vehicle steady but when stuck, turning it off could be to your benefit. To turn of the AdvanceTrac system. Press the stability control...

My f150 bogs down to about 400 rpms when I put in reverse or drive and instantly goes back to normal idle

I would recommend having the transmission fluid flushed and replace fluid. The solenoids may need to be replaced if they are sticking.

How do you fold down the rear seats in a 2012 Ford Escape?

Your car is equipped with folding rear seats. This provides a great deal more room for carrying larger items or lots of cargo, at the cost of eliminating seating in the back. Here’s what you need to do: Make...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You’re a Caterer
If If you are in the catering business, you need a reliable vehicle that will provide you with what you need to transport your food, linens, and other supplies. Generally speaking, you're better off buying gently used, because you will...
Industry News for Automotive Techs: October 29 - November 4
Toyota and Getaround's smartphone key, future McLaren cars, DMCA car hacking, a fire at Ford's headquarters, and Chevrolet's SEMA 2016 show cars.
The Top 5 Selling Cars in Delaware in 2012
Delaware Delaware offers a variety of weather, which means drivers have to be prepared for both the mild and the treacherous. In previous years, the best-selling vehicles have included the Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V, along with the Toyota Camry....