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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Catalytic converter options for California car

My 06 has been getting the sporadic rotten egg smell when going uphill and the sides of the car have an exhaust smell. I assume this to be a clogged CAT issue, though no CAT errors are appearing.

What are my options for a California car? Is it strictly Volvo?
 

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My '09 does that, too. I think it's a result of poor combustion, for whatever reason. It happens when the cats are overheated. My VIDA shows no codes for engine or peripherals, ever., yet the stink happens often when on the gas going uphill.
One poster, with an XC70, IIRC, reported back that he fixed his by replacing the fuel filter. I'll get around to that, sometime, since I hate the smell of gasoline, just to give it a try. I don't see how a fuel filter could cause it without generating at least fuel pressure codes, but what the hell? It probably needs doing, anyway.
My 740 did it regularly, too, but always passed Cal smog, so the cat wasn't FUBAR.
Still never figured out how the smell gets inside the car, when exhaust doesn't. :confused:
 

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Assuming all the maintenance and known age/wear parts have been changed/fixed, this just might be normal for an aged vehicle. If the cats are bad, then it will be bad all the time and should throw a code.

I finally found a good video that helps explain if you there is a cat efficiency issue and how to check with the pre and post cat O2 sensors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CflIvd5VOoA
 

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I finally found a good video that helps explain if you there is a cat efficiency issue and how to check with the pre and post cat O2 sensors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CflIvd5VOoA
Thanks for that, it really helps clear up the purpose of the multiple O2 sensors and converters. Bottom line, it appears, is that no fault code no problem.
I do a lot of stop and go in-town driving, AND I live on a steep hill, so I get the stink even when arriving home, sometimes. I'm going to follow up on this, but after a freeway jaunt, the other day, I felt that the stink didn't happen as much. Maybe even not at all. I only use premium un-leaded, before anyone asks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that, it really helps clear up the purpose of the multiple O2 sensors and converters. Bottom line, it appears, is that no fault code no problem.
I had a high mileage Nissan that was not throwing any codes, but I had the egg smell, loss of power, etc. It finally failed the sniff test in California when they still did the tail pipe test. Took the car to a smog shop and they found the CAT had melted and clogged. The shop said they have seen several CAT failures with no codes, so it's not uncommon.

As for my XC90, just returned from a trip in LA. Again got the rotten egg smell and loss of power while climbing the Grapevine. But this time, a knock also accompanied the other symptoms. I did only use regular gas on the return trip, don't know if thats what caused the knock, but I've used regular before without any issues.

As for a CAT replacement; I started looking but so far no luck. I tried a couple of local muffler shops and was told to go to Volvo dealers. Magnaflow lists some CARB compliant CATs on their website for the S60, S80, etc, but the EFN #s don't match the XC90. Not sure if they will work, but I am going to email them for info. The Magnaflow CAT system is $650, the CAT alone is $375.
 
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