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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2006 GP base.
So I checked with a shop for prices and I was told my car needs an OEM cat. It has to be vehicle specific otherwise it can fail smog. Can't be aftermarket. Even a California compliant will not work because it has to match my vehicle. What?? I checked with my smog guy and he says that is correct. I even called the state BAR and they confirmed it too. Since GM no longer makes cats for my GP I have to wait 7-10 days to hear back from a state referee with a list of approved cats. It's always something with california. 馃槖
 

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Shops and inspectors will always shy to the safest bet, ignoring logic and reality of cost/availability.

If you buy a cat that's got a CARB approval and passes the sniffer, you're good. That's the point of both of those things existing. Millions of cars have had to do this by now, and are on the streets.

The ones on Rock get a bit pricey ($862 or $1469), but if you can still find a place that still stocks the Magnaflow 456017 or 456019, you'll be able to get it for ~$580-650. Not great selection, but if for some reason you really have to change the cat, that seems to be the choices I see.
 

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Sorry for the late reply.
EFN 6GMXV03.8044
Appreciate the help for sure.
Ah OK yea yours is a SULEV - Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle

The others are ULEV - Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles
Or a LEV - Low Emissions Vehicle

Did you get a list of approved CATS? They will usually give you an underhood BAR referee sticker as well so future smog inspectors will know the one you have on there is acceptable.
 

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Shops and inspectors will always shy to the safest bet, ignoring logic and reality of cost/availability.

If you buy a cat that's got a CARB approval and passes the sniffer, you're good. That's the point of both of those things existing. Millions of cars have had to do this by now, and are on the streets.
Inspectors cannot use thier own judgement or common sense to bypass the rules the CARB and BAR have put in place. That is what the SMOG referee is for.

In this instance , because it is a SULEV, the aftermarket does not make a CAT for that because they cant make one as efficient as the OEM did. Either that or it was such a small number of vehicle made with that engine there is not enough of a market to produce the tooling to build them. What also compound this is the CATs from the factory on SULEV are so good they last upwards of 15-20 years. And many times by they time they need a replacement the cars are about ready to come off the road due to age. And if they are in a non emissions check state they get the lesser cats installed and pass the inspection that only checks for a check engine light, not looking at the actual part.. In CA the actual part needs to be replaced with a part that performs the same, not just gets you by a test.

Further in CA after model year 2000 vehicle no longer get a tail pipe emissions test. Everything is tested through the vehicles OBD system. So the vehicle will tell the state if it passes. All that is left is a visual test to confirm the correct parts are present. And in this case that would be impossible to pass because there are none made anymore. Millions of cars did not get SULEV engines. In 2006 they were a definite minority of engine choices.

Anyone ever seen any productions numbers on that ?
 

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I'd get with a decent repair shop in the area (probably a different one to be sure) that knows the applicable laws inside and out. We're just going to be spitballing here on the internet, but if the shop's but is on the line, any service manager worth their salt will be read up on what they can/can't do.

If it winds up being too expensive, or you keep hitting a wall, might be time to make some choices. Not sure what got you started on this needing a cat business in the first place... random pre-inspection? Have them put the sniffer on 1st to see if it'll still pass, before sending you down a rabbit hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah OK yea yours is a SULEV - Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle

The others are ULEV - Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles
Or a LEV - Low Emissions Vehicle

Did you get a list of approved CATS? They will usually give you an underhood BAR referee sticker as well so future smog inspectors will know the one you have on there is acceptable.
I did get a list of approved CATs from CARB....but that was after I was told by CARB that an inspection had to be done first. My car is leaking coolant. The shop believes that is what damaged the CAT...it's not the OEM CAT on the car right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd get with a decent repair shop in the area (probably a different one to be sure) that knows the applicable laws inside and out. We're just going to be spitballing here on the internet, but if the shop's but is on the line, any service manager worth their salt will be read up on what they can/can't do.

If it winds up being too expensive, or you keep hitting a wall, might be time to make some choices. Not sure what got you started on this needing a cat business in the first place... random pre-inspection? Have them put the sniffer on 1st to see if it'll still pass, before sending you down a rabbit hole.
California doesn't do randoms...not in my county anyways. It did pass the biannual smog back in March. Than my car started acting kinda weird. First the famous rotten egg smell, than lost a bit of noticeable power, than it would kick sometimes on takeoffs, than lost some MPGs, than boom, engine light. All that within a week. Than ran the code...P0420. The shop said everything checks out good. The symptoms mentioned above is because the CAT seems to be clogged by the leaking coolant.
 

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Leaking coolant doesn't have squat to do with a cat, more than likely the intake manifold gaskets 99% of these need replaced/upgraded to aluminum ones. You might want to take your business down the street. Also, post a pic of the cat next chance you get, and we can confirm what's there.

You're dealing with a mess of info, from here and in person, but some basic clarification can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If a head gasket is leaking into the cylinder then forced into the cat and leaking from the cat joint then they cat really is not the main problem. But it can be an issue. THink they threw a cheap aftermarket cat on there just to get it down the road.
I think so. I mentioned earlier that it passed the biannual smog. My mistake. I bought the car in March...that's when it was smogged and passed. Maybe the seller just slapped on a CAT to sell it. It was the best W-body I could find for the money. No regrets on the purchase. Just more problems than I was hoping. But no biggie.
 

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My "Jump To Conclusions Mat" is much less utilized than some folks here, and I'm still waiting for actual info/pics on the issue.

There'd be a huge, noticeable HG leak on a car that doesn't tend to blow HG's due to a very stable iron block/heads system. However, they do have a near 100% failure rate of the original plastic intake gaskets at the coolant ports.

I'm glad you folks just joined up to start discussing 3800's, but I'm trying to make sure people don't run off spending money in all directions on cars that barely deserve it without proper troubleshooting. Information sharing on the internet is a matter of realizing only part of the story gets across, and suggestions tend to come from limited personal experiences. The struggle comes with trying to get things square and figured out/solved despite this disconnect. I'm seeing it here and trying to ensure the OP observes/shares enough to get appropriate answers that get him rolling clean, again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My "Jump To Conclusions Mat" is much less utilized than some folks here, and I'm still waiting for actual info/pics on the issue.

There'd be a huge, noticeable HG leak on a car that doesn't tend to blow HG's due to a very stable iron block/heads system. However, they do have a near 100% failure rate of the original plastic intake gaskets at the coolant ports.

I'm glad you folks just joined up to start discussing 3800's, but I'm trying to make sure people don't run off spending money in all directions on cars that barely deserve it without proper troubleshooting. Information sharing on the internet is a matter of realizing only part of the story gets across, and suggestions tend to come from limited personal experiences. The struggle comes with trying to get things square and figured out/solved despite this disconnect. I'm seeing it here and trying to ensure the OP observes/shares enough to get appropriate answers that get him rolling clean, again.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood


Let me know if this picture will do. 馃槈
 

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You say that like the convo above didn't warrant some clarification. I tend to have to remind folks on here that it's difficult to decipher what's said in a post/read into it by a reader vs. what may actually be the issue hidden in the situation.

If you recently passed a smog test, what is the actual problem? Why was someone under the car, again?

If this is going to be a recurring issue for you, why not sell it to someone in a state that's not going to be as inconvenienced by it, and pick up an equivalent car to press forward? Does it stink, yes, but you're obviously going to be spinning in circles discussing this issue for weeks rather than resolving it in some manner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You say that like the convo above didn't warrant some clarification. I tend to have to remind folks on here that it's difficult to decipher what's said in a post/read into it by a reader vs. what may actually be the issue hidden in the situation.

If you recently passed a smog test, what is the actual problem? Why was someone under the car, again?

If this is going to be a recurring issue for you, why not sell it to someone in a state that's not going to be as inconvenienced by it, and pick up an equivalent car to press forward? Does it stink, yes, but you're obviously going to be spinning in circles discussing this issue for weeks rather than resolving it in some manner.
If I sold the GP and pick up another, it's a repeat of the same problem. While I was looking for a W-body, it was engine lights and bad CATs. Even some dealer ships couldn't sell because of bad CATs. And private sellers had crappy W-bodies with high miles and engine lights. This GP I got was the best one I could find. All original. Private sellers either had aftermarket rims, spoiler, broken power seats, no AC, expired tags, the list goes on. This one was none of those. And I drove about 145 miles to get it. Knowing more about these 3800s gets me better on how to repair. It's got a gasket leak somewhere. I'll take care of that than I'll do the CAT and see where this goes.
 

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Right on. I would just get square on what your options are, so you can determine the most cost-effective route.
 
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