A catalytic converter uses a set of catalysts to convert some of the dangerous gases produced by your car into benign substances. There are three primary metals that are used inside of converters as well as other materials.
- Platinum – Platinum is a precious silvery-white metal, It was first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century and is used in jewelry, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment, and industrial catalysts. It also happens to be one of the best metal for overall performance as a catalytic converter. Platinum can also be used as a metal that helps to negate the fumes and pollution coming out from the car’s engine and before it comes to exhaust to trap the bad particles, and through different ions, it will negate the negative effect on the environment.
- Palladium – Generally, is more expensive to use than Platinum, so it tends to be of a higher-end luxury item for catalytic converters.
- Rhodium – Used as a reduction component to help eliminate the fumes and then paired with palladium to help eliminate more of the toxins before it reaches the atmosphere.
- Ceramic or Metal Foil – This is what you see and is actually under the precious metals. The honeycomb type of pattern that you see throughout the catalytic converter. It is meant to have all of those openings and surface space in order to have enough opening to capture the harmful toxins.
- Metal Shield – They are generally steel on the outside, but can often be found as magnetic stainless steel.
Aftermarket vs. Original catalytic converter
When looking to sell a catalytic converter for scrap, knowing the year, make, and model is good, but so is the origin of it. If the catalytic converter you have has been replaced and you are looking to scrap the original from the vehicle, you can expect a higher price for scrap value. If you have an aftermarket catalytic converter (installed after factory construction of the vehicle), you can expect to get a lower price for scrap value.
NOTE: To identify an aftermarket catalytic converter, there should be a look for a shiny silver shield wrapped around the catalytic converter. Sometimes there will be an arrow on the shield which is there to direct the mechanic installing it which way the air flow is going through the exhaust system.
How To Know The True Price Of Catalytic Converter
One answer…impossible, the reason is that, Unless you have over a hundred catalytic converters of the same vehicle, all containing the same amount of material and are able to do an assay of those catalysts through a trusted processor otherwise it will be very hard to know the number of precious metals inside. Which is why scrap yards and catalytic converter buyers exist, to buy these cats you and hopefully, at a fair market rate.
The value price of catalytic converters per piece comes from different sources, and buyers doing large assays of the same type of cats, knowing what the recovery of precious metals will be from the inside, and then being able to use a formula based on the spot market pricing on the platinum, palladium, and rhodium markets to create a price.
PLATINUM PRICE IN USD – HISTORICAL PRICES
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Catalytic Converters ( December 18th, 2018, 11:27 am )
Metal/Material Current Price
Small Foreign Cat $70-$85/each
Medium Foreign Cat $90-$110/each
Large Foreign Cat $110-$215/each
Foreign Pre-Cat $28-$41/each
Domestic Cat $43-$55/each
Pre-Domestic Cat $21-$28/each
Small GM Cat $75-$88/each
Large GM Cat $82-$102/each
Regular Breadloaf Cat $78-$89/each
Small Chrysler Cat $52-$65/each
Large Chrysler Cat $70-$87/each
Ford Cat $61-$74/each
Ford Pre-Cat $20-$26/each
Bead Cat $20-$26/each
Diesel Cat $5.00-$250/each
Small Wire $11-$14/each
Large Wire Cat $34-$45/each
Wire Pre-Cat $7-$12/each