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Discussion Starter #1
I have to get my 2011 STI smogged again (first time was two years ago). It's running a stage 2 protune with Invidia turboback catted exhaust and an AEM cold air intake and no other engine mods. 3 years ago the secondary air valves failed, so i installed plates to block the system and then had my tuner delete the ~20 associated CEL codes that would be triggered by the air pump not turning on (i removed the air pump relay but left the entire system, including busted valves, on the car) from my stage 2 protune map.

In 2017 the car passed smog without issue and i did not have to remove the downpipe and replace it with the stock pipe (which i still have, luckily). This morning, I took it to a place in Oakland to get a smog check and the guy passed the visual inspection but his machine wouldnt connect to the database, so he couldnt test my car. I guess his machine is broken and he cannot afford to fix it so cannot retest my car. So i went to a different place in Hayward and the technician noticed my Invidia downpipe. He was kind enough to abort the test so that it didn't show up as a failure, but he was younger and clearly knew about aftermarket parts.

Now i am wondering if i should try a third place in Oakland to see if they notice the downpipe (it's now a 50/50 chance) or if i should just suck it up and put the stock downpipe back on. I dont mind replacing the cat for the test but this is my concern: if i reflash to my stock map it does not have the secondary air injection CEL codes removed, so the PCM will throw tons of codes and the car will fail because of that. My other option is to keep the protune map on the car as it is and just physically swap the downpipe for the test.

So my question is, would it work if i simply put the stock cat/downpipe back on the car without reflashing and drive the car very carefully to the smog shop for the test, or will i need to reflash to stock (which would require somehow programming out those CEL codes from my stock map). I've heard that a stage 2 tune will work with a stock cat for this purpose but am not positive.
 

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Certainly don't want that. I will just swap out the stock cat but still want to know if i can safely run the stage 2 map with the stock cat, just for a few hours to do the test.
to get a good answer, call cobb.. but i wouldnt run my car with mismatched hardware and tune..

or see if you can get an etune that will do what you want.. i understand that could cost 300$, but its better than breaking something or getting ref'd.
 

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you'll be fine running the Stage 2 map with stock downpipe for a few hours.

it won't hurt anything. Drive like a normal person, get smogged, get registered, put old downpipe back on.

Fucking california.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! My tuner confirmed just now that it should be fine, just keep it below 4k. California's smog test for 2000+ vehicles is quite simple: just a visual inspection, CEL functionality, and OBD scan to confirm no codes and all readiness monitors complete so as long as I dont throw a code on my way, it should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well, i swapped the stock downpipe, drove very carefully to smog shop, passed the test and came home and swapped it again. Not a terrible amount of work to be done once every two years so i am OK with that.
 

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Their have got to be some friendly smoggers in Bay Area. I’m going to run into this next year. I bought my 2018 new, but from out of state to save $6K.

This means I don’t get the 6 year exemption. I wish I had done my homework up front.

I have headers, up pipe, and downpipe, so I’m a little worried, as well.

I have some time, so I will be asking around, a lot!
 

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You may be okay as long as you swap back to the stock downpipe. The undertray covers the header pretty well. I doubt they'll care as long as the catalytic converters and other emissions equipment is there.
 

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Do they put the car on a lift? How do they do the visual inspection?
Not to my knowledge. I think they just use mirrors if they really want to check for your cats.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/2017_Smog_Check_Manual.pdf
No special tools or equipment, other than a flashlight and mirror, are required and no raising, hoisting, or lifting of the vehicle is required.

Catalytic Converters
Smog Check Inspectors must check that all required catalytic converters (CATs) are
present and appear to be properly installed. This includes making sure there are the correct
number of CATs, that they are installed in the original location(s), and that they have no
tampers or defects. A change in the number of converters is only acceptable when it is
allowed pursuant to an EO exemption.
I've heard of people passing with an aftermarket catted downpipe because the inspector didn't do a visual check and/or care. But that's not something that I would risk since it'll go in the system if you fail and they're likely to be more strict the next time around.
 

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It's sad that emissions isn't actually about clean air. If it passes the sniffer, is it not "clean air"? Lulz...
It's all about making money and ruining our fun :lol:

An aftermarket kit could be developed.. lets say a better catalytic converter, flex fuel kit, and tune that would produce cleaner emissions.. well you'll still fail a smog inspection since the company didn't pay CARB to certify their product for use in California.
 

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I've had 1 visual done on an older car a few years ago. He just took a mirror and looked underneath to count how many cats I had.

my car passed the sniffer test too.
 

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It's too bad that no one makes an aftermarket downpipe with 2 oem-like heat shields similar to the old MadDad downpipe. I'm sure there's some aftermarket heat shields that could be adapted.

 
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