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Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Volvogurl
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Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by Volvogurl » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:55 pm

Hi, My '98 V70 (150,000 miles) just failed the California smog test (at 15 mph only--high NOX, passed at 25 mph) and my longtime Volvo mechanic ran the proper test (don't remember what it's called but OEM is part of the name) and he said the car needs a new catalytic converter.

The part from Volvo costs $1,100 plus about $150 for installation.

The Volvo mechanic, who has worked on my car for more than 10 years, agreed that the part is expensive and suggested that I take it to an independent muffler shop to get a quote for an after-market cat. I went to a place he mentioned that has a positive YELP rating and the owner told me that he can install a cat made by Carsound for $335 plus $100 for labor. It's guaranteed for 50,000 miles. I checked online and the part is legal in California.

When I went back to the Volvo mechanic, he was unable to provide clear advice as to which way to go. He said the aftermarket parts usually are not built to last whereas the Volvo part should last at least 10 years. I know he's not trying to just get my business because he actually suggested that I talk to the independent shop in the first place.

My question is, does anyone in California have experience with Carsound catalytic converters and do they work on 98 Volvo V70s? Do they last? The impression I'm getting is that aftermarket cats only last a couple of years. This is my only car and I want it to keep driving it for several more years.

I'm not a mechanic. I just own a Volvo.

Thanks,

Lisa



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MoVolvos
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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by MoVolvos » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:49 am

-
Hi Lisa,

If you are near Independent Volvo pick up 7 quarts of Swepco 306 15W40 from Antonio and a bottle of Swepco 503. Drive it a couple of hundred miles and retest. This should take care of it. A friend's older Benz sat for four years in his garage as it did not pass the CA Smog and with those two added he passed. The price is for reference as Pelican charges for shipping Independent is pick up.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/independent-vol ... lnut-creek

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/sho ... detail.htm

This worked for a forum member who tried it if the Catalyst is indeed somewhat out of spec. Yours should be OK still as it has not thrown any codes



Blessings,
BKM
-


Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
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rmmagow
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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by rmmagow » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:23 am

Try what BKM is suggesting or you can go to a car parts place and talk to them about Converter cleaner that you add to the gas. Drive the car with two tanks of treated gas, drive at good high speeds for a while. My old Mazda failed emissions for the same reason and passed after doing this kind of treatment. I had exactly that same symptoms, high NOX at low speeds. Because my Mazda is so old, they need to "sniff" the exhaust for the emissions test. After treatment it passed easily. The high speed helps get the converter nice and hot to help burn off buildup. I used some additive that said "guaranteed to pass", could have been a Lucas product. About 11 bucks a can I think.


1998 V70 AWD 228K - Daily Driver
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D - 197K Off Road For Now Brakes Failed
1998 S70 135K - FOR SALE
2003 GMC Sonoma - 114K - POS
1958 Mercedes Benz 220S 66K Original and never to be restored.
2006 Saturn ION 5-Speed - 150K Son's weird little easy to fix car

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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by cn90 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:05 am

Many years ago, I used "DEC" brand on my BMW. "DEC" is a very good brand.

However, I have heard Bosal good too:
http://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/PartDet ... amNumber=6

If you plan to keep the car for another 5-8 years, I suggest that in order to save you repeated labor costs:

1. Consider changing the Exhaust Manifold. My Exhaust Manifold went out at the Flex Pipe @110K miles.
For this part, I used Volvo genuine ($300 or so) and Volvo gasket.

2. Also the Exhaust Manifold mates into the Catalytic.
Just make sure you have the 4-bolt type.
At this area use also Volvo Gasket even if you use Bosal Catalytic.

If your car has never had a welding job there, your mechanic can install these for you as from factory, all these parts were put together by nuts/bolts, no welding.

3. At that mileage, the muffler may go any time, but this part can wait.

The KEY thing is: whatever aftermarket part (such as catalytic) you use, when it comes to gasket, use Volvo gaskets only!


-----------
The Exhaust Manifold DIY is below:

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... hp?t=40032


2004 V70 2.5T 100K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 110K+

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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by j_cd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:45 am

Not to be a smarty pants, but the OP is in California and the Eeuroparts cat linked to above is not legal for sale in California.

This is something I've been wondering about lately as well, since I I hydro'd cylinder 1 and my cat may be weakened from un-burnt fuel. I don't think any of the aftermarket Volvo parts houses ship catalytic converters to California. And since none of them are based here, we may be stuck with the dealer or scrap yards.



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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by cn90 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:11 pm

j_cd wrote:...the Eeuroparts cat linked to above is not legal for sale in California...
Thanks for pointing that out.
Smart California politicians at work LOL.

This ebay seller in L.A. sells DEC Cat for $478 incl. shipping.
However, if one lives is L.A., one can stop by this store and pick it up and perhaps save some $70 for shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DEC-VO93524-Dir ... 5298wt_959


2004 V70 2.5T 100K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 110K+

j_cd
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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by j_cd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:16 pm

Right arm, I was looking at a DEC cat on ebay just now as a matter of fact. Good call.



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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by rmmagow » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:20 pm



1998 V70 AWD 228K - Daily Driver
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D - 197K Off Road For Now Brakes Failed
1998 S70 135K - FOR SALE
2003 GMC Sonoma - 114K - POS
1958 Mercedes Benz 220S 66K Original and never to be restored.
2006 Saturn ION 5-Speed - 150K Son's weird little easy to fix car

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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by j_cd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:26 pm

I was going to mention Magnaflow... saw some Cal legal ones at summit racing, but when I checked their website just now it was frustrating. If I ever do a full turbo back exhaust, maybe I'll get a Magnaflow cat and have a local shop build a custom mandrel bent 2.5" downpipe for it.

Ah, I see the link you've provided has the whole assembly, California legal for around $750. Pretty sweet.
Last edited by j_cd on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Aftermarket vs Volvo Catalytic Converter for V70

Post by j_cd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:20 pm

Not to confuse the situation with overly technical info, but on those Magnaflow cats you'll notice the following quote:
Direct fit catalytic converter legal for sale in California under Executive Order (EO) number D-193-67. Before purchasing this product, please check the Executive Order at http://www.arb.ca.gov to verify whether this product is allowed for installation on your specific vehicle application.
This is the page you want.

https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/PartsSearchTool/CatalystSearchTool.aspx

Enter your year, make, model and engine size. The search will return a list of PDF documents. These are the executive orders, which are exemptions specific to each manufacturer of CARB approved aftermarket catalytic converters. The Magnaflows are listed under "Car Sound Exhaust System, Inc". For example, the number 446603 is listed on one of these pdf documents, and it's also in this ebay ad for a complete catalytic converter that fits my car.

www.ebay.com/itm/446603-1998-VOLVO-C70-2-3L-Magnaflow-Cali-Catalytic-Converter-/280900015473?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A1998%7CMake%3AVolvo%7CModel%3AS70&hash=item4166f21571&vxp=mtr#ht_6003wt_947

Walker is also listed, they're made in Michigan. I don't see DEC, but they must be under one of these executive orders. If you download or view the executive orders, scroll way down to Volvo, and there you'll find your year/model and which part is approved for it.

I hope that makes some sense. :mrgreen: Only in California. :twisted:



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