First of all, thanks guys for the input...I appreciate it.
Here's what I found out today:
From the Texas Dept. of Transportation:
I was quite fortunate in reaching the main emissions guy in Austin who had a few suggestions as to what was wrong with my car's emissions.
1. The muffler shop put the wrong type of catalytic converter on my car...a two "something" instead of a three "something" (I forget the word).
2. The new cat might have been contaminated or faulty.
From a pretty good mechanic:
1. See above answer #1.
2. The muffler shop could have put the cat on backwards.
From the muffler shop:
1. No, we put the right catalytic converter on there...and yes it was a three "whatchamacallit", too.
2. The catalytic converter we took off was completely hollow...it had NOTHING in it!
3. We put on a "universal" cat...it can't be put on backwards.
Here is what I don't get:
1. M.B. Doc, I don't know what EGR is or stands for...are those the pre-cats Steve was talking about?
2. If 16v's do have pre-cats, and they were working before WITHOUT the third lower cat, how come they stopped working when a new lower cat was installed?
3. If 16v's don't have pre-cats, how does putting on a new catalytic converter cause anything worse than NO CATALYTIC CONVERTER AT ALL???? My old catalytic converter was just a shell!!!
4. Mr. Moderator: Are you sure my cat would cost $2,000???? I looked up my specific model catalytic converter on several mercedes autoparts websites...they ranged from $100 - $300.
If the replacement 16v catalytic converter is $2000, how can anyone justify paying that much for one?
5. I watched the muffler guys remove my catalytic converter and replace it with an identical looking one...it wasn't smaller or different looking in any respect.
Last edited by Andrew; 11-05-2002 at 11:09 PM.