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General Smog Check

Failed Because Can’t Read the Numbers on the Catalytic Converter

I can’t read/see the numbers on the cat converter on my car. Is there any other way to get those numbers? I took my car in for a smog check and it passed all the engine tests, but the last part of the test required the numbers on the catalytic converter to be visible but the numbers are impossible to read due to them being scraped off at some point in the life of it. Is there any other spot I can look for the number? The tech at the smog station suggested I replace it just for the numbers. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Unfortunately the catalytic converter's executive order (EO) and model number must be visible in order for it to pass the smog test. There is no other method of retrieving the CAT numbers except from the catalytic converter directly. Having the number(s) scraped off technically renders the catalytic converter as "tampered"; automatically causing the inspection to fail.

Without the CAT numbers visible a smog technician has no way of verifying whether or not the catalytic converter was designed to be used on your vehicle. As such, the vehicle can not pass a smog check. To remedy the matter, you'll be required to purchase and install a California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved catalytic converter designed for your vehicle's year, make, and model. The CAT may an aftermarket or original from the vehicle's manufacturer. More then likely you will spend much less with an aftermarket OEM approved catalytic converter.

posted by SmogTips Support

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