Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

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Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

His_Stigness
So the other day I tested a 2007 Accord, 2.4, CA car. I noted the test group, entered into the OIS, went through the inspection. I checked the cat, saw it was aftermarket, got the numbers. I pull it up and the EO test group and the vehicle test group didn't match. So I looked up the car in the catalytic converter database and here is where things got weird.

The vehicle test group wasn't even listed in the database. I haven't personally run into this before so I was confused, especially since the label said it was a CA car. But this car was a shop customer, so I logged out and called them. I did some quick research, emailed the ARB and I found out the following information:

The car was a SULEV certification, and I remembered some Hondas with a SULEV don't have aftermarket catalytic converters available, so the converter that was on there was wrong and I should have failed it.

However, the shop took it to another smog shop who is known to pass anything (and has been cited before). But here is where the local Ref comes into play.

Apparently the new Ref is friends with the owner of this other shop, and the ref was present when this Honda came to him. He told him, in this sort of situation, JUST REMOVE THE LABEL. That way you only verify the information in front of you.

When I heard this I honestly couldn't believe it. So I called the help line and the local field office to see what their recommendation is if a car comes in without a label. I couldn't answer that as I've never had an aftermarket cat missing the underhood label.

They of course told me it depends, but it boils down to this:

Send it to the Ref. The Ref should then tell the customer to try and obtain a new underhood label. If the dealer can obtain a new one, great. If they can't, then you can proceed and just match up the information available.

But what the local Ref said is not only insane, it's just wrong, and I can't believe HE is overseeing other smog technicians.

I told this whole story to another smog test, and he busted up laughing when I told him what the Ref said. He really couldn't believe it.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

His_Stigness
Crap, I forgot I should add other shit I've heard about this local Ref.

Apparently he won't take in a customer unless the car has FAILED at another smog check. So even though the BAR says to send everyone to Ref when you have a question, even if it's not something they think you should fail it for, you should still send it to him. But this jackass will turn people away unless we fail the car. So now apparently local techs have to fail a car that otherwise shouldn't, and risk getting a visit from the BAR, all because this Ref doesn't want to do any work.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

BasicTech678
His_Stigness wrote
Crap, I forgot I should add other shit I've heard about this local Ref.

Apparently he won't take in a customer unless the car has FAILED at another smog check. So even though the BAR says to send everyone to Ref when you have a question, even if it's not something they think you should fail it for, you should still send it to him. But this jackass will turn people away unless we fail the car. So now apparently local techs have to fail a car that otherwise shouldn't, and risk getting a visit from the BAR, all because this Ref doesn't want to do any work.

suck it up and play ball, no label pass. customer dont care about what's technically supposed to happen. they will not go to the reff, if you fail it the reff will pass it then they will ask for money back. i dont see bar coming after one of their own ( reff) in this case. yes its not right but no you cant do anything about it.

control what goes on in your own shop, if you dont like what you see punt it to avoid the headache

and as far as the reff visits most need a fail. unless its stuff like parts locater or hardship extensions.

if you didnt install the cat i wouldn't worry to much. as long as your not the one ripping off labels and putting the wrong cat you will be fine.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

none
In reply to this post by His_Stigness
None of the referee stations will look at a car unless it has failed first anymore as far as I know. I had a car with an engine change that the Ref said they won't look at until it fails. I thought that was odd.

Without being present for that conversation with the ref and the other shop I can't really comment on it but that is one car I would rather not be in the middle of. I try to avoid getting married to these kinds of messes anymore and hope they just go to another shop.

Good judgement comes from experience. And experience? Well that comes from poor judgement.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

No One
In reply to this post by His_Stigness
I understand your anger, but sometimes some cars cant get the label. As for dealer only cats, most cars will have a "sulev" label somwhere. Hondas usually have a label on the engine. On those i see the SULEV removed with after market CATS installed that will get the FAIL and then sent to the ref.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

defective
Honda will have ULEV on the valve cover and most likely the back quarter windows too.  You can also research the engine block casting number - F23A4 for example.


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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

BasicTech678
defective wrote
Honda will have ULEV on the valve cover and most likely the back quarter windows too.  You can also research the engine block casting number - F23A4 for example.


yes some have them on all the glass windows. either etched like below or with a sticker
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

none
Those a ULEV though and there are aftermarket cats available for those. The original post was about a SULEV Honda.
Good judgement comes from experience. And experience? Well that comes from poor judgement.
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

No One
none wrote
Those a ULEV though and there are aftermarket cats available for those. The original post was about a SULEV Honda.
A sulev will also say sulev
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Re: Aftermarket cat doesn't match? The Referee says to just remove the underhood label

defective
I dont remember if they have SULEV on the quarter windows.  Whats to stop somebody from chucking the plastic cover though?