Looking into getting an 02-03 WRX in CA, smogging concerns
Results 1 to 8 of 8

This is a discussion on Looking into getting an 02-03 WRX in CA, smogging concerns within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys, First off, let me thank you guys for being an incredible resource for info on these cars. I've ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2

    Question Looking into getting an 02-03 WRX in CA, smogging concerns

    Hey guys,

    First off, let me thank you guys for being an incredible resource for info on these cars. I've learned quite a bit just browsing these forums.

    I'm looking into possibly getting an 02-03 WRX by the end of the year (still waffling between the WRX and a MazdaSpeed Miata), and I'm looking for a car that I can drive daily, but is still capable of having fun on the mountain roads. I'll be looking into a bunch of suspension junk, but what I'm really concerned about is power mods, mostly because I live in CA and smog law sucks here. Basically, my question is this:

    How far can I go without making the car unsmoggable? Or rather, what can be reversed every 2 years so that the vehicle would pass smog?

    From the research I've done so far, one of the first things I'd like to do is get an aftermarket up pipe, to get rid of the catalytic converter. Doesn't this instantly make my car fail CA smog? Won't they notice a cat missing? Exhaust seems like it wouldn't be too hard to swap on and off every two years, but up pipes are a pain, aren't they?

    The plan is up pipe, downpipe, midpipe, catback, engine management, maybe intercooler. That's all. A nice sound, a bit more power, nothing too crazy. Turbo back can be swapped relatively easily, I don't think an intercooler will give me smog problems, right?

    Anyone in CA have any advice to beating the smog issues?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3
    I have an 03. I pass smog fine with aftermarket headers and uppipe. I just put stock turboback back on to smog.

  4. #3
    Dimensional Drifter Rambo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Planet Express
    Posts
    4,670
    I Support ClubWRX
    This doesn't directly answer your question, but on the topic of bugeyes vs. the MS Miata, I daily drive a WRX, and my relatives have a MazdaSpeed Miata. Unless you require AWD and/or the extra cargo room, I'd get the Miata. It's a really fun little car to drive, comes with a sublime 6-speed transmission, and you get that wave of turbo torque just like you do in the WRX. Stock power-wise, both cars are just about equal, and the engines have very similar driving characteristics in my experience.

    Not to mention, they're quite rare. Just my $0.02
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

  5. #4
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philly Area
    Posts
    5,902
    I'm with Isaac, if you don't need the practicality, get the mazda. It'll be much more rewarding in those mountains of yours.
    - Will
    First Mods: What to do and what not to do
    Current Car: 2014 Golf TDI
    Previous Cars:2012 WRB WRX Hatch, 2004 RSX-S, 1998 Grand Prix GTP
    "Isn't it amazing how smart you feel when you just aren't being stupid?"

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    This doesn't directly answer your question, but on the topic of bugeyes vs. the MS Miata, I daily drive a WRX, and my relatives have a MazdaSpeed Miata. Unless you require AWD and/or the extra cargo room, I'd get the Miata. It's a really fun little car to drive, comes with a sublime 6-speed transmission, and you get that wave of turbo torque just like you do in the WRX. Stock power-wise, both cars are just about equal, and the engines have very similar driving characteristics in my experience.

    Not to mention, they're quite rare. Just my $0.02
    It's that rarity that makes it a little bit harder to consider. I'm an old Miata guy, I've owned 3 in the past, and the MSM is frankly my first choice. However, they're not easy to find, and when you do, they're either expensive or red, which I think might be worse. I really want a factory turbocharged car, so the next best option is the WRX. Plus, I think the bugeyes are very pretty, always liked the look of them. I've still got a few months till it's time to buy, so we'll see how it turns out.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    CA, US
    Posts
    21,900
    I Support ClubWRX
    Doesn't this instantly make my car fail CA smog?
    i would hope so. The car is illegal. it may still pass smog though - and remain illegal. Google the new smog law.

    Won't they notice a cat missing?
    They should. They may not though because they don't know what to look for in the up pipe. The down pipe they'd see.

    The plan is up pipe, downpipe, midpipe, catback, engine management, maybe intercooler. That's all. A nice sound, a bit more power, nothing too crazy. Turbo back can be swapped relatively easily, I don't think an intercooler will give me smog problems, right?
    The car is illegal anywhere in the US. It may pass smog with a stock catback and EM or mechanical CEL fixes. Absurd but true.

    Anyone in CA have any advice to beating the smog issues?
    Don't buy a car without a smog certificate.

    From next year we do OBD2, visual. Makes it easier for polluting cars to pass. Idiotic measure IMO but it's done.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    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.

  8. #7
    Registered User WRXRayF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Ventura County, CA
    Posts
    76
    When I used to have my old 2003 smogged, the technician crawled all over the car looking at everything emissions related. He obviously knew what to look for on these cars.
    Ray
    2013 WRX Limited ISM
    2003 WRX Wagon (sold)
    2013 BMW X5 Diesel

  9. #8
    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    1,025
    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    From next year we do OBD2, visual. Makes it easier for polluting cars to pass. Idiotic measure IMO but it's done.
    Starting October is what my technician said. I too agree, AB2289 is a stupid measure.

    Posted from a fone.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •