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Old 02-13-2018, 12:19 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 2,042
Just had surprising bad news from the smog shop

They said it had the wrong catalyic converter. I didn't know they cared as long as the emissions were ok.
We bought the car about a year ago from a used car dealer, we bought a car from them before with good results.
So now I get to learn about MB cats in California. Can anybody teach me?

The car is a 2000 C280 with almost 100,000 miles on it.

5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:45 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Eastern TN
Posts: 20,834
Yes, another California-ism but I think a handful or other states have the same rules. Replacement cats need a tag visible when installed that indicates California compliance. I had a similar problem, car failed smog visual because of perfectly functioning but not California compliant cats. MB sells rebuilt compliant cats for a reasonable price but not even the MB dealer will guarantee $150-200 core refund until they ship the old cats to some central warehouse for verification. Wrecking yards won’t sell used cats. Luckily I found a private car being dismantled and got the two cats I needed complete with pipes, flanges and O2 sensors for $150. Since they looked and were original, no problem passing. I think your car has 4 cats.

98 E320s sedan and wagon
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:44 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 3,077
Jim, FYI our local MB dealer sold me a new catalytic converter assembly for our 1998 E320 for $344 with the old core. Since your current catalytic converter assembly is aftermarket, it may not be an acceptable core at a MB dealer. It's a shame that used car dealer routinely cut corners to make a buck. That is why used car dealers have the stereotype poor reputation.
Fred Hoelzle
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:58 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 3,525
Has to be "CARB" cat. Magnaflow does CARB complaint cats that seems to be good for about 6-8 years and are relatively inexpensive.

2016 Monsoon Gray Audi Allroad - 21k
2008 Black Mercedes E350 4Matic Sport - 131k
2014 Jeep Wranger Unlimited Sahara - 62k
2003 Gray Mercedes ML350 - 122k
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