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The Basics Of Catalytic Converters

Together with the Oxygen Sensors and other Engine Management components, the catalytic converter is a passive after-treatment device designed to reduce engine-out emission levels to meet an acceptable standard. This Emissions System works to reduce harmful emissions at the tail pipe. The catalytic converter contains two or more ceramic substrates, coated with a combination of Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium and a Ceria based wash coat, packed into a stainless steel housing. When placed in the right environment of heat (400°C) and proper air/fuel mixture the catalyst forces a chemical reaction reducing toxic gasses to less harmful ones.

New California Catalytic Converter Law
Effective January 1st, 2009.
CALIFORNIA VEHICLE APPLICATION CATALOG INSTRUCTIONS – It will no longer be based upon G.V.W. (Gross Vehicle Weight) and engine size. For California ONLY is the only approved method for determining the correct part number. It is illegal in California to select a catalytic converter for installation based solely on vehicle weight, engine size, physical shape, size, configuration or pipe diameter.

For California non-OBD-II vehicles, the application list will identify the vehicle based on the categories below:
(PC-1): Passenger cars with single or dual exhaust systems with one catalytic converter per exhaust bank.
(T-1): Light-duty or medium-duty trucks with single or dual exhaust systems with one catalytic converter per exhaust bank.
(PC-2): Passenger cars with single or dual exhaust systems with two or more catalytic converters per exhaust bank.
(T-2): Light-duty or medium-duty trucks with single or dual exhaust systems with two or more catalytic converters per exhaust bank.

  European Converter Example- See Image