My Car
Find Parts
What's New?

Catalytic Converters: Can I delete them and still be legal?

Let's get straight to the point: removal of catalytic converters is not legal on any road vehicle at all, from a federal-law standpoint. In many states, this statement is true, even being irrelevant if you are going to replace the cat with another converter, regardless of it being the same style or a high-flow version. So, you remove and install the cat from your vehicle completely at your own risk (yes, the law may prohibit you from physically removing the cat, just to put it right back on again! They really want you to leave it alone.).

Will your vehicle pass emissions inspection without a catalytic converter? Maybe, although it is not supposed to be able to. This depends on local testing procedures. In many cases, if there is no engine light on the dash and all readiness checks are passed, the vehicle will pass. However the vehicle could fail a visual inspection if a cat was found to be missing.

Our recommendation is, if you are going to mess with the cat on your car, do it on your track-toy that doesn't see street use. Cars where you are looking for maximum performance won't shine on the street anyway, so why risk committing a felony for a few extra ponies? It's a dramatic statement to say that you are committing a felony, but in fact you are.

Also, check with the local laws. Some states or counties have laws varying on this subject, and it could be that these laws would protect you from federal law enforcement.

As with anything, it pays to do just a bit of homework before modifying your vehicle. You may determine your own risk of benefit versus consequence.


Thomas Miller
07-29-2015 08:22 PM at 8:22 PM
Yep, it's Illegal in California to remove or modify the catalytic converter. So putting on a header (which will delete the cat(s) will be "illegal. I think this law is an infringement on my rights, but whatever. State inspections are every two years, therefore, many people put the header on for two years, keep the stock manifold, and switch it when it's time for the inspection. Also, some have been known to put cat heat shields at the cat locations when they are being inspected. If the visual is a quick look under the car with a mirror, you *may* get away. (I do not condone this though!)

Leave A Comment

The ability to post urls has been disabled by the site administrator.