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has anyone had any problems with putting headers on their car? i called a few places and they say every cobalt they installed headers on got in trouble because of emissions....wtf? any truth in this?
 

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That's because CA does a visual inspection too. You can past OBDII or tail sniffer. If they see any part of your emission NOT being OEM, you failed.

If you must have a header, can you do the work yourself, so you can put it back later? Or are you willing to pay to put it back for emission testing? That can be exepnsive to put-on, take-off, put-on.

Counter Point: You don't need emission testing until the car is 5 years old? Not sure on that part of CA law. So you have some time to enjoy it.
 

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ya i could do it myself....but theyre such a pain in the ass id rather take it somewhere...thats fine about takin them on n off cause im not plannin on keepin my car til 2011. i just wanted to make sure it wasnt hurting my engine
 

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I'm a Cobalt owner for two weeks and only looked under the hood once, so excuse me for not knowing. Maybe (you) other can chime in. The Cobalt should have at least two O2 sensors. I see the first one is on top. One of them is the one that measures (controls) the air/fuel mixture. As long as that one is not messed with, your engine should be fine. I also recall the header and first cat is seperate, so replacing the header should not affect emission, unless you do the "race" setup, where you do remove that cat. Now if I could only recall where that first O2 sensor is, before or after the cat. I guess I need to look over the car this weekend.
 
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That's because CA does a visual inspection too. If they see any part of your emission NOT being OEM, you failed.
How is that even possible? Isn't the racing/tuning scene in CA absolutely huge? No headers? No cat-backs? Does everyone just ignore the law and pay someone off to pass it or what?
 

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How is that even possible? Isn't the racing/tuning scene in CA absolutely huge? No headers? No cat-backs? Does everyone just ignore the law and pay someone off to pass it or what?
First, cat back is cat back. So you are not messing with "emission stuff", just sound. Play within the rules. Some of the older cars only have one cat the newer one have two, four, etc. On some cars, the cat is part of the header. So when you remove the header, you also remove the 1st cat. When I had my 06 Sentra SE-R, that was the case. Header = no pass, end of story. So most guys swap it out just before inspection, and swap back. With one cat, it was actually enough to pass tail pipe test, if you let it warm up.

I don't recall the timing of the laws or testing date. Most newer cars don't need emission test until X years. And the older cars may not fall under the same rules. Over time, there will be less and less older cars, so the new rules sort of becomes the norm.

P.S. Being "Green" also has become real big in CA too.
 

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