I've been asking the local muffler shops and they all point me to the Honda Dealer. I was trying to avoid paying near $1000, but looks like i have no other option.
No, aftermarket Catalytic Converters in California pretty much never receive a C.A.R.B. stamp. Not Magnaflow, not Flowmaster, not any companies. Here in California you have 2 options, replace the Cat with a direct O.E.M. replacement or go illegal. You wont have to pay $1000 for the Cat, but an O.E.M. will run you around $600 if you order from this site: http://www.hondapartsnow.com/online/Page... (#4, Part # = 18160-P2P-A00) I tried searching for a cheap C.A.R.B. converter for my friend but I couldn't ever find one, we just went with OEM. I suggest you also try to find out what may have caused the catalytic converter to fail, otherwise the new one could also fail soon in the future. If you decide to cut it cheap and get an "illegal" one, it'll have to be replaced with a C.A.R.B. Cat before the next smog and you'll have to watch out for California's new "sniffers" that look for "polluting" cars (Usually white vans/suvs/trucks with a white trailer attached around free way ramps and one way streets). You'll also have to watch out for checkpoints with dyno's set up. Just another downside to living in California, dealing with their ridiculous emissions standards. The annoying thing is seeing that every single cat is 49 state legal with the exception of Cali..... Edit: The junkyard as mentioned is a good idea, but most junkyards pull the converters off and strip them down for all the metal inside then trash what's left, in large quantities the metal inside a converter is worth a lot. I suggest you join Honda forums and look around. A lot of times people will sell any extra parts they have or parts directly off their car after a theft recovery or an accident - usually pretty cheap too. Like http://www.hondamarketplace.com/ for example. Edit: @ Alexander M: They are concentrated in the Inland Empire area, mainly in Ontario due to all the street racing. Also in East and some parts of South LA. Just Google "CA roadside smog". It's not statewide...yet - I doubt CA has the funds to make it into a bigger thing though. The dyno's are becoming more rare though, I haven't seen one in a long time now. Used to be like this: Rare but they are out there. I thought it was all BS too until I saw one of the roadside smog testers set up on an on-ramp to the 10 West near Covina.