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EPA Catalytic Converter Requirements

Replacement Catalytic Converter Rules


In August 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new proposed guidelines for the construction, efficiency and installation of aftermarket catalytic converters. The EPA guidelines state that replacement converters may be installed only in the following situations:

  • The vehicle is missing a converter
  • A state or local inspection program has determined that the existing converter needs replacement
  • The vehicle is outside of OEM catalytic converter warranty coverage and a legitimate need for replacement has been established and documented. OEM catalytic converter warranties are typically 8 years/80,000 miles but can vary. Check your vehicle’s warranty documents.

The service provider must include the customer's name and address; the make, model, year, and mileage of the vehicle on the service invoice; and a stated reason for replacement. When a state or local government has determined that a converter is damaged or needs replacement, the service or repair facility must retain a copy of the written statement or invoice; when a proper state or local government representative has not verified the replacement need, the customer and a representative of the service or repair facility must sign a statement verifying that replacement is justified.

That statement is printed on the following sheet which is included in every converter carton.

Furthermore, the EPA has issued the following installation requirements:

  • The converter be installed in one of the three situations outlined above
  • The converter be installed in the same location as the original converter
  • The converter be the same type as the original converter (i.e., oxidation, three-way or three-way plus oxidation)
  • The converter be the proper one for the vehicle application as determined and specified by the manufacturer
  • The converter be connected properly to any existing air injection components on the vehicle
  • The converter be installed with any other required converter for a particular application
  • The converter be accompanied by a warranty information card to be filled in by the installer
  • Federal law prohibits removal or replacement of properly functioning OE catalytic converters

How to Find the Right Catalytic Converter

To ensure that you find the right Walker® Ultra® catalytic converter for your vehicle, consult the Walker part finder.

The content in this article is for informational purposes only. You should consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have questions relating to any of the topics covered herein. Tenneco will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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