CARB Legal in California
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This is a discussion on CARB Legal in California within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Okay guys i'm really looking for information. Looking to upgrade for more power - IF I upgrade my WRX2012 aftermarket ...

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    CARB Legal in California

    Okay guys i'm really looking for information.

    Looking to upgrade for more power - IF I upgrade my WRX2012 aftermarket FMIC and Turbo, will it pass smog in California?

    IF so, what brand do you recommend?
    2012 WRX PPB sedan
    Foglights installed, Arm-rest extension installed. Upgrades: Eiback F/R sway bar, Kartboy endlinks F/R, Cusco lower chassis brace, COBB AP stage 1 map.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr2012WRX View Post
    Okay guys i'm really looking for information.

    Looking to upgrade for more power - IF I upgrade my WRX2012 aftermarket FMIC and Turbo, will it pass smog in California?

    IF so, what brand do you recommend?
    Logically, it should not.

    To be sure, contact the manufacturer directly and ask specifically if their products are CARB legal. If they are not, express disappointment and move on.

    Although you may pass a smog check with a bunch of mods if the tech is asleep at the helm, by rights you shouldn't.

    Kudos for asking about CARB. I love clean air.
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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Slow down slugger...

    Where do you stand now? What mods do you currently have if any? What are your goals here?
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    Bone stock. No mods with almost 15K.

    My goal is to get more power without worrying about not passing SMOG in California. I don't want loud noises that will attract cops around, too many of em where I live.
    Last edited by Mr2012WRX; 02-13-2013 at 03:25 PM.
    2012 WRX PPB sedan
    Foglights installed, Arm-rest extension installed. Upgrades: Eiback F/R sway bar, Kartboy endlinks F/R, Cusco lower chassis brace, COBB AP stage 1 map.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Catted downpipe, keep the stock catback, and a Stage 2 tune. Have a nice day.

    You'll get 25-30% more power, a much smoother powerband, and a ****-eating grin on your face
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
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    I don't think ANY downpipes are CARB legal, this includes catted ones.

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    No, none are I don't think. However this gets to pass/no pass as a question. The new req's only dictate an OBDII check -- as much as I find this appalling the powers that be somehow feel this is sufficient. With a downpipe one has a fighting chance, and if one is willing to pollute/ignore laws/etc. then keeping the correct DP will solve the problem every 24 months.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    I still want info on my original question. Does anyone know IF aftermarket TURBO and FMIC can pass smog?
    2012 WRX PPB sedan
    Foglights installed, Arm-rest extension installed. Upgrades: Eiback F/R sway bar, Kartboy endlinks F/R, Cusco lower chassis brace, COBB AP stage 1 map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr2012WRX View Post
    I still want info on my original question. Does anyone know IF aftermarket TURBO and FMIC can pass smog?
    This is a different question to whether they are CARB legal.

    I can't imagine them being CARB legal. I can, though don't like to, imagine them passing smog. Again, by rights, they should not.

    As to whether anyone knows: yes. The makers know. Ask directly and specifically. You will need an exemption number and sticker for each part.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Howdy Neighbor. I'm in Roseville/Sac. To answer your question:

    Legally no. There are not currently any CARB approved TBE nor aftermarket turbos. If you want to be 100% above board, the answer is NO plane and simple.

    Reason being:

    Changing the Down Pipe which unlocks a lot of the power gains to be had, also houses your CAT's. With any newer OBD 2 car on sale in CA, the only CAT's that are approved, are the factory originals. If they ever wear out, you need to buy more factory originals. Period.

    Any part from the exhaust ports on the engine to the back of the CAT's needs to be CARB approved for use in that specific vehicle to be legal.

    Playing in the Gray:

    Now since the Carb approval process doesn't break down components to a specific VIN and only models like "Subaru Impreza WRX" you could probably get away with swapping the factory STI components (turbo, downpipe, ECU or tune, etc) on and make it pass muster.

    How do people live in CA and modify their vehicles?:

    Easy. You are not required to Smog a vehicle in CA (some exceptions) except at time of sale, or after your vehicle is 6 years old. After your vehicle is 6 MY old, it is required to be smogged every other year.

    So people buy a new car, put the goodies they want on, save their stock stuff, drive around for 6 years happy, put the stock stuff back on, smog it and repeat.

    Since most people don't keep cars 6 years, most if buying new, never have to smog them.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: Saw you wanted FMIC as well.

    The FMIC is a pretty gray area. Technically speaking you are allowed to change components between the MAF and the TB without issue. Since the FMIC is in that area, you should be fine. However some techs may hassle you. My car passed visual at 2 different smog shops last summer with my extra giant TMIC in place. The smog techs at both shops scoured over the exhaust like I had hidden golden nuggets though.
    Last edited by 06wrx4me; 02-13-2013 at 04:33 PM.
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    Carb legal does not equate passing smog...okay.

    So is there CARB legal aftermarket parts that will pass smog? If hinting there isn't.
    2012 WRX PPB sedan
    Foglights installed, Arm-rest extension installed. Upgrades: Eiback F/R sway bar, Kartboy endlinks F/R, Cusco lower chassis brace, COBB AP stage 1 map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr2012WRX View Post
    Carb legal does not equate passing smog...okay.
    Sorry, the other way: passing smog does not always equate CARB legal. It should but you can get lucky, the guy can be blind, high, etc.

    So is there CARB legal aftermarket parts that will pass smog? If hinting there isn't.
    By definition all CARB legal aftermarket parts will pass smog. You will need a sticker and an exemption number.

    People smog cars with parts that have no business being on them, including turbos. However, this is by exception and is not the rule.

    Incidentally, did you buy your car new? If so why are you worried about smog until 2016 or so? (Keep in mind your car can be checked if stopped, and if found illegal it's $$$).
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    SD_GR-I got pulled over once with my RSX - S and and the Cop wanted to know my CARB sticker number. So I hated the expenses that associated fixing my ticket. I appreciate your response.

    06WRX - you gave me a thorough response. Exactly the kind an info I needed being a newbie. Thanks.
    2012 WRX PPB sedan
    Foglights installed, Arm-rest extension installed. Upgrades: Eiback F/R sway bar, Kartboy endlinks F/R, Cusco lower chassis brace, COBB AP stage 1 map.

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    Registered User wrx1234's Avatar
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    The reason people keep mentioning aftermarket downpipes and not answering your question is because getting a FMIC and a turbo and nothing else is a waist of time and money. The stock VF52 can pretty much do the same as any aftermarket turbo if you are not adding the supporting mods. While a smaller turbo will help you spool up faster i don't think those are the gains you are looking for. A more efficient turbo might spool up slightly quicker and hold boost longer you will run in to a road block with your injectors and downpipe. The stock downpipe will hamper gains as will the stock fuel injectors. Thats why peoples first answer is your downpipe will not pass because it's expected that you will support an aftermarket turbo with the basic mods.
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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrx1234 View Post
    The reason people keep mentioning aftermarket downpipes and not answering your question is because getting a FMIC and a turbo and nothing else is a waist of time and money. The stock VF52 can pretty much do the same as any aftermarket turbo if you are not adding the supporting mods. While a smaller turbo will help you spool up faster i don't think those are the gains you are looking for. A more efficient turbo might spool up slightly quicker and hold boost longer you will run in to a road block with your injectors and downpipe. The stock downpipe will hamper gains as will the stock fuel injectors. Thats why peoples first answer is your downpipe will not pass because it's expected that you will support an aftermarket turbo with the basic mods.
    +1

    Before this response beat me to it, my question was going to be: Why are you so dead set on a turbo and FMIC? If you have been doing your research you would know that those are not good first mods. My suggestion, as many others have in this thread, is start off by going stage 2. This is a downpipe, which you should consider getting a catted one since you are concerned about beating the system, and a stage 2 tune. If you still want more power after that, then you can consider turbos, but you will at least have already gotten one of the major supporting mods done.
    - Will
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