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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, first time poster, thanks in advance for your collective wisdom.

2006 2.5L 5speed Outback
Test group: 6FJXX02.5NVD

Been driving with the MIL on for the last 3 months, ignoring the P0420 I've been getting. As of yesterday, can barely make it up hills on the freeway, so I think the time has come to replace the cat.

Called an exhaust shop, who informed me that no aftermarket cats were produced for this vehicle, and would I would need to buy a Subaru cat. Specifically, that I could purchase an aftermarket cat that would fit, but it would fail CA smog due to mismatch (of what sort, they were unclear on). Hoping this is erroneous information.

Can I drop a Dorman cat, part #673-864, into my car and pass CA smog (providing everything is working after install)? Or would it fail if I don't buy from Subaru directly?

Thanks for your advice.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Have you tried looking at subaruonlineparts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried looking at subaruonlineparts?
Hey Richard, yes, but the parts I found there look to only have a front and rear cat. And while it says it should fit a 2006, I believe my model has a 3 cat setup. But good suggestion regardless - I will give them a call and dig deeper. Although the price is about the same as purchasing from the dealership. :(
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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Not many aftermarket parts meet CA emissions standards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not many aftermarket parts meet CA emissions standards.
Fair enough. My question may be better restated as, "Has anyone installed an aftermarket Dorman cat part #673-864 in their subaru and then had it successfully pass CA smog?"
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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I just checked AutoZone and set the local store to me here in CA.

It came up with a Dorman CARB approved cat that has to be ordered in store but they are available. I expect Pep Boys and O'Reilly's to be the same.

$450ish for an 06 OB.
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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I just checked AutoZone and set the local store to me here in CA.

It came up with a Dorman CARB approved cat that has to be ordered in store but they are available. I expect Pep Boys and O'Reilly's to be the same.

$450ish for an 06 OB.
I stand corrected.

I just looked on rockauto and low and behold, they even had the same Dorman unit. It's carb approved and that must be the difference because it's listed as the only carb approved unit but all the others specifically state "not legal for sale for vehicles licensed in ny or california"
Nice find!
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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De nada.
 

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I would be looking for what killed the cat. You can replace the cats, the whole Y-pipe assembly, and still have a problem. And if you buy one side and not the other without knowing which is causing the problem, you're back at square one.

I suggest you read through my thread, P0420 Diagnosis (link in my signature) and start checking things. Otherwise your new cats will be crap cats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would be looking for what killed the cat. You can replace the cats, the whole Y-pipe assembly, and still have a problem. And if you buy one side and not the other without knowing which is causing the problem, you're back at square one.

I suggest you read through my thread, P0420 Diagnosis (link in my signature) and start checking things. Otherwise your new cats will be crap cats.
I completely agree with your rationale. In my case, I'm not a mechanic, nor have I got access to a place to work on my car myself. My mechanic asserts that if I swapped out the cat, the next one should last another 13 years. In line with your thinking, I doubt that very highly.

Given my lack of mechanical expertise, I haven't got much to go off of. I've got a P0420, loss of acceleration and loss of power climbing hills, and I know that I'm burning about 1 quart of oil every 3-4 tanks of gas. With what I've managed to piece together, my guess is that oil is being shot out thru the cat and that's what's caused the P0420 and reduced performance. Why exactly, I'm not entirely sure? Could that be symptomatic of a failing head gasket (there are no visible oil leaks from the engine - my mechanic was amazed by this given the mileage on the original head gasket (156k), but occasionally do smell slight smell of burned oil after a long drive)? I'm sure there are a number of other potential reasons. I read through your post, but am not familiar enough with the reasons you listed to make an educated guess.

Funds are definitely a factor in getting to the bottom of things, so I can't give my mechanic free reign to investigate and diagnose - at least not without being as informed as I can be.

So I'm #1, trying to figure out the most economical means to replace the cat, which I'm pretty sure is toast. Then #2, I've got to get to the bottom of what fried the last one. Getting to the bottom of that might occur before or after replacing the cat.

I'm pretty sure the current cat is dead. My question to you then is - in trying to diagnose what killed it: Am I better off asking my mechanic to check on some of the items you listed in your post FIRST? Or to swap out the cat first, so that we can essentially autopsy it, which might tell us about what killed it in the first place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just checked AutoZone and set the local store to me here in CA.

It came up with a Dorman CARB approved cat that has to be ordered in store but they are available. I expect Pep Boys and O'Reilly's to be the same.

$450ish for an 06 OB.
Yeah, that's the one I was looking at. It's about half the price of buying one from Subaru, so I guess I might order one up, ask my mechanic to fix whatever he thinks fried the current one, and then hope it passes smog and stays that way for a while. Thanks.
 

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I'm pretty sure the current cat is dead. My question to you then is - in trying to diagnose what killed it: Am I better off asking my mechanic to check on some of the items you listed in your post FIRST? Or to swap out the cat first, so that we can essentially autopsy it, which might tell us about what killed it in the first place?
If your tech is willing to do it right, give him the list. Have him read through the thread. There have been plenty of post on there that showed it wasn't the cat(s). There are also post showing that the cat was bad and then what caused it.

If he knows how to read a car's data stream and knows what he's looking for, then he should be able to find what caused the problem fairly quick. It won't take several hours of diag time. You don't even need the data from the rear O2 to see what's happening with engine performance. So find first or find after.
 

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2006 had a "unified" exhaust setup (unlike the 2005 Cali v. Federal stuff). The main/front converter is part of the whole assembly/manifold.

While it looks like Dorman is the only one with a CarbEO number, how does a Cali inspection verify the converter compliance? Subaru has a "serial" number on the external shielding, but usually due to the age, it's unreadable. Plus, you'd have to train every inspector on how to find/ID each converter. (I'm not an expert on CA emissions testing).

I think they restrict shipping a "non-Carb EO" part to discourage non-Cali parts installation. Unless you have to verify ID on the converter, I'd say have a Federal unit shipped to a border address and drive it home. The Federal units will pass onboard testing (no CEL) and tailpipe testing.
 
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