Catalytic converters were developed in 1950 as a response to environmental pollution issues by the growth of the automotive sector. In the middle of the 1970s, they were already put on to a conveyor to install on most vehicles on the road. Serving as a shield against the exhaust they eventually require replacement as any other automotive part. Nowadays, most drivers know how expensive is the replacement, but not many know that you can save money on purchasing a new catalyst by selling a worn-out unit. In this guide we explore the market revolving around catalytic converters, noting their value after use and explaining their operation.

What Does a Catalytic Converter Do?

A catalytic converter serves to clean the car exhaust from pollutants. It features a honeycomb structure, which is a ceramic core in modern vehicles that contains catalysts, namely: Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium. These metals are coated by a tiny layer on the surface of the core to participate in redox reactions aimed at decomposing CO, HCL, and NOx pollutants into harmless water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. As the exhaust manifold releases, it leads into catalysts where all of that occurs under high temperatures.

How Long Catalytic Converter Last?

Typically, a catalytic converter serves about 100,000 miles. This depends on many factors such as car operation conditions, fuel quality, and car maintenance. With good car maintenance, fuel, and favorable operating conditions the catalyst may extend its service time by a half.

How Do I Know if My Catalytic Converter is Faulty?

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If you often see the “Check Engine” indicator blinking on the panel, this could mean that the converter is failing. But a more obvious sign of failure is decreased engine performance, as the failing catalyst starts blocking the exhaust emission which leads to engine power loss. Besides, rattling noises, gas smell, or excessive heat may also be signs of failure. If that occurs, inspect your car on the service and see if it requires a replacement.

How much do catalytic converters cost and why?

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The price for catalytic converters varies on multiple factors. At first, there are different types of catalysts. They can be DPFs (Diesel Particulate Filters) that mainly serve to filter out diesel engine soot, they cost less than three-way catalysts that are designed for gasoline-powered cars. And there are also OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket catalysts. Original ones will be more expensive in accordance. Based just on these factors the price varies from $100 to $2000 and even more for some high-end and expensive car models.

What is an Aftermarket Catalytic Converter?

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Aftermarket catalysts are made by third-party companies that serve as replacements for worn-out OEM cats in vehicles. Aftermarket catalysts may offer different performance features but usually, they meet the emission standards and sometimes even exceed OEM catalysts if made for specific models. The drawbacks also exist for aftermarket catalytic converters, as such you may get compatibility issues. They are usually cheaper compared to OEM catalysts as they do not have to meet the warranty standards on distribution.

How much are catalytic converters worth for sale?

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If your catalytic converter fails, it is time for replacement. But do not rush to purchase a new one, because you can save money by selling your old converter in the form of scrap.

To understand how much is a scrap catalytic converter worth we need to consider specific factors. The mentioned OEM and Aftermarket catalysts may influence the cost, the same as the car make or engine power, however, here are two main pricing factors that include all of that:

  • Pt, Pd, and Rhodium - the platinum group metals (PGM) content mainly define how much a catalytic converter costs. These are precious metals that have applications in various industries such as medicine, jewelry, and catalyst manufacture.
  • Overall turnover for PGM is reflected in the precious metal exchange with quotes. This features supply and demand across the industries at a time and needs to be considered.

Precious metals are hard to find in nature and develop their deposits as well. This is why catalysts are worth so much even in scrap. Having so many applications increases the demand and the price in accordance which is reflected in the exchange. So, how much can you get for a catalytic converter? To get the actual figures, the precise XRF analysis should be performed over the scrap sample on recycling. Price estimation is possible during the sale, which we discuss in the next paragraph.

How to Sell Used Catalytic Converter?

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There are different approaches to selling used catalytic converters. You can opt for scrapyards, which is convenient, as most regions have a local one. Or you can use online platforms such as AutoCatalystMarket. Selling catalysts to scrapyards may issue price disadvantages due to their local turnover being small compared to the online market’s coverage. Besides, illegal activities concerning stolen catalyst sales also take place in scrapyards which may cause you inconveniences.

To know how much for a catalytic converter, use AutoCatalystMarket following these simple steps leading to a deal:

  1. Identify your catalyst by a serial number usually embossed on its body.
  2. Put this number into the site’s search bar.
  3. Get the price quotes for Pt, Pd, and Rh.
  4. Choose your region in the ‘Buyers’ section and get a list of licensed buyers.
  5. Ship your catalyst and get paid after the recycling is done and the value is revealed for PMG content via XRF analysis.

Our trusted buyers take care of the recycling and give you a fair offer on the deal. All you need to do is get rid of external pipes, pack your catalyst, and ship it to the buyer company.

AutocatalystMarket allows you to buy or sell catalysts online and get remote price assessments, which is a convenient way to make a business like that. Here you get a library boasting over 25,000 units ranging from DPF to Three-way catalysts with price lists and images that help you to identify your cat along the serial numbers.