Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1990 Toyota Camry Wagon smog issue

Will putting a catalytic converter into a non-California exhaust system make a car pass the California smog test? Does anyone have experience with this? Our Camry wagon had low emissions of all types EXCEPT NOx, and we found out it does not have a catalytic converter, having been bought in New York in 1990. Who knew we would still have this car when we moved to California!

Did you buy the Camry new? I’m surprised it does not have a catalytic converter. Did your car in the past pass a New York state emision test?

California emission standards are a lot tougher than those of other states. I’m not sure if a catalytic converter alone will get it to pass the California test.

Perhaps other posters can comment on this. Many people who move to California permanently sell their cars to avoid this hassle.

We’re beginning to realize that selling the car might be the best move. It is a great car for our teenage drum-playing son - not too fast, certainly not flashy, and the drums fit in the back! We bought the car in NY but moved immediately to Alabama where smog is not an issue lol.

I think you are on the right track! Our son played the drums as well and we gave him our old Chev Impala, which had a cavernous trunk. The Camry is a very safe and reliable car for young drivers.

IIRC this engine would have a Exhaust Gas Recirculation system. Since the OBD I system will not code for an EGR failure, the mechanic should go through the system; make sure the valve is lifting; that the passage is patent; the vacuum hosing is intact and isn’t leaking; any vacuum solenoid valves are working; and any thermovacuum switches are openning at the correct temperature.

If you truely do not have a catalytic converter, you probably will have a difficult time retrofitting one unless you transfer a lot of parts from a California sold car.

Hope that helps.