How much is a catalytic converter worth?

Have you ever wondered what makes a car so expensive? Essentially, it’s a sheet of metal wrapped around leather seats. Apart from the miracle of transport, affording a brand-new car will likely cost you an arm and a leg.

Summary

Scrap catalytic converters are generally worth between $100 and $1,500. The price you’re able to get for them depends on their condition and the model of the car. For instance, GM catalytic converters usually sell for $80-$310.

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So what exactly are you paying thousands of dollars for? Is it the marvel of engineering or the nuts and bolts that hold the entire structure together?

Well, it’s a combination of both. Even though you can’t deny the years of research and genius that went into manufacturing the modern car, there’s something more. The parts that make up a car range from ‘easily disposable’ to ‘quite difficult to get your hands on.

For instance, a spark plug may play a central role in fuel combustion. But its value only makes a considerable chunk of the car’s price tag. 

Mazda catalytic converter

Alternatively, a catalytic converter does exactly that. It’s constructed using precious metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium. So, a certain percentage of your vehicle’s cost reflects its price.

In addition to putting precious metals to use, it’s also referred to as a cat. So the next time we talk about selling your cat, we don’t mean your furry friend.   

Multiple other factors contribute to the cost of a vehicle. If you wonder how much is a catalytic converter worth, continue reading this article.

Before we jump into that, it helps to get an idea about the functions and importance of the converter.

How much is a catalytic converter worth?

While we’ve already concluded that a cat costs more than an average car part, we’re yet to determine its resale value. Much like your car, the converter’s worth depends on how you’ve treated it over the years.

You can earn a couple of hundred dollars off of it if it’s in good condition. Additionally, the numbers may climb depending on your car. 

Keep in mind that thieves are attracted to the value of this part, and you have to be careful once you park your car in the driveway. To prevent the theft of your catalytic converter, consider the following advice:

  • Park your car in the garage.
  • Set the alarm to triger once it detects vibrations.
  • Engrave your VIN number to the catalytic converter.
  • When away from home, park near bulding entrances.
GM catalytic converter

For instance, the Ferrari F430’s cat in good condition retails for around $3000. However, the average selling price for more conventional cars hovers in the $300 to $1500 range. Even if you sell your converter as scrap, you should only settle for $300.   

Jeep catalytic converter

What do catalytic converters do? 

The job of a cat is to provide value beyond your vehicle. Even though it forms an essential part of your car, its absence would make the planet suffer just as much. Before harmful pollutants leave your vehicle’s exhaust system, the cat converts them into less harmful emissions. 

Post-1975, all auto manufacturers were required to include a cat in their design. The converter dramatically reduces the damage caused to the atmosphere. Especially with better roads and cheaper cars, the environment needs to be looked after. 

The converter resembles a metallic box with two pipes. The input pipe allows the gas from the engine to flow in, while the output pipe allows the cleaner gas to pass out to the car’s tailpipe. 

Why are they valuable?

The job performed by a cat is highly important. Without a proper cleaning mechanism, your vehicle would suffer gravely.

But more importantly, you might no longer have a planet to drive a car on. However, you may wonder if the converter’s function solely makes it greatly valuable. We assure you there’s more to the story.

In addition to the complex mechanism, the converter’s composition makes it a well-sought-after item. Typically, the interior of a converter consists of a honeycomb structure and a monolith core.

Most installations can be brought together using ceramic or cheap material blends. However, the construction of a catalyst is bound to cost you a pretty penny. 

A catalyst speeds up the reduction process, breaking harmful gasses into less harmful emissions. For this purpose, only certain metals qualify.

Unfortunately, all the alternatives are equally expensive and rare. Typically, you will find several precious metals in a catalytic converter, such as:

  • Platinum
  • Rhodium
  • Palladium

Best models to scrap

If you’re in the market to get a good deal on a converter, it helps to know which one is topping the charts.

While all of them may use catalysts made of rare metals, some tend to be more valuable than others. For instance, you can’t compare a conventional Toyota cat to an over-the-top Lamborghini converter. 

So here’s everything you need to know about the best catalytic converters to scrap: 

2007 GM

Topping the chart at $1,475, the GM converter is a marvel of engineering and a remarkable investment. The 2007 model especially stands out from all other models due to the blend of metals it contains.

If you thought having one precious metal was impressive, you’d be delighted to find the 2007 GM converter includes three. 

With the combination of platinum, palladium, and rhodium adorning your converter, finding a better value for your money elsewhere is impossible. 

2010 Audi B8.5 s4 stock OEM

German cars are often described as the pinnacle of innovation and modern technology. Where the vehicles ensure your driving experience is nothing short of first-class and exceptional, the converter vows to provide value even after it’s been used for a couple of thousand miles. 

For an original converter, the reward climbs as high as $1,200. So even if you’re nearing the end of your auto manufacturer-installed converter, you can get a good deal off of it.

Whether you wish to invest in another original or another suitable piece is completely up to you. You’ll have the financial freedom to make whatever decision seems appropriate.   

2011 Toyota Prius OEM

As we head into a new age of technology, it becomes evident that petrol cars are a thing of the past. Soon we’ll all be driving fully-electric or hybrid cars, which is why models like the Prius are revolutionary.

Toyota Prius introduced the concept of a hybrid car in middle-class households. Even if you can’t afford a tesla, you’ll have a Prius to depend on. Some specifications of this care are included in the table below.

Engine1.8L L4 DOHC 16-valve + electric motor
TransmissionContinuously variable transmission
DriveTrainFront-wheel drive
Wheel Type15″ alloy wheels with covers
Parking Distance SensorIntelligent Parking Assist included

In addition to excellent customer reviews, the Prius is a gift that keeps giving. With a converter crossing multiple thousand miles, you will only be able to score a couple of grand.

However, this case is not true for a Prius cat. Even if your original converter has worked about 150,000 miles, it’ll retail for over $1000.   

Hyundai

Over a decade ago, Hyundai introduced a zombie survival mobile that could protect you from rotting, brain-hungry creatures. Even if you aren’t interested in a zombie survival kit, it’s undeniable that the auto manufacturer prepares for the worst outcomes.

The durability and fuel economy of the cars stand testament to their dedication to improving the user experience.  

In addition to the longevity and efficiency, Hyundai uses converters that retail for about $800. They maintain their value even after being used for over a thousand miles.

The converter is majorly constructed using platinum and rhodium. With such a rich blend of rare metals, you’ll never be on the losing team.  

2013 BMW N55

When auto manufacturers are over a century old, you expect nothing short of greatness in design and function. Luckily, BMW is a brand that fulfills your every last expectation.

Purchasing a BMW might be challenging, as it often costs you an arm and a leg. But it’s an investment that guarantees to justify its cost.  

You get a luxurious driving experience and over $750 back on the catalytic converter. A BMW converter will score you an excellent deal, regardless of how new or old. 

How much is mine worth?

After you’ve invested thousands of dollars in a vehicle, it’s natural to wonder just how much value it provides. There are multiple ways we can assess a vehicle’s benefits.

While some may choose fuel efficiency, others consider computing average repair and maintenance costs. But when you’re calculating a profitable return, it’s necessary to include the converter’s resale value. It often forms a significant chunk of the offered price. 

So here is what you might be able to get for your car, depending on the brand you’ve entrusted:

2020 toyota Supra Catalytic Converter

GM

GM catalytic converters are worth between $50.71 and $312.12.

Ford

Ford catalytic converters are worth between $47.82 and $911.73.

Honda

Honda catalytic converters are worth between $72.56 and $453.4.

Dodge

Dodge catalytic converters are worth between $57.79 and $1125.71.

Toyota

Toyota catalytic converters are worth between $76.09 and $487.86.

Chevy

Chevy catalytic converters are worth between $83.45 and $433.86.

Nissan

Nissan catalytic converters are worth between $52.71 and $355.91.

Chrysler

Chrysler catalytic converters are worth between $59.47 and $457.23.

BMW

BMW catalytic converters are worth between $83.77 and $912.2.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz catalytic converters are worth between $102.8 and $495.91.

Hyundai

Hyundai catalytic converters are worth between $74.49 and $393.24.

Kia

Kia catalytic converters are worth between $66.48 and $471.02.

Mazda

Mazda catalytic converters are worth between $80.54 and $467.71.

VW

VW catalytic converters are worth between $85.78 and $479.14.

Subaru

Subaru catalytic converters are worth between $82.74 and $451.34.

Jeep

Jeep catalytic converters are worth between $70.67 and $443.37

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi catalytic converters are worth between $70.88 and $468.45.

Volvo

Volvo catalytic converters are worth between $73.47 and $389.31.

Acura

Acura catalytic converters are worth between $89.46 and $201.05.

Audi

Audi catalytic converters are worth between $83.54 and $430.95.

Isuzu

Isuzu catalytic converters are worth between $81.54 and $322.43.

Lexus

Lexus catalytic converters are worth between $83.10 and $415.56.

GMC

GMC catalytic converters are worth between $90.12 and $316.52.

Infiniti

Infiniti catalytic converters are worth between $89.65 and $212.42.

Buick

Buick catalytic converters are worth between $78.28 and $420.27

Are diesel catalytic converters worth anything?

As soon as someone mentions diesel catalytic converters, a thick, gray smoke begins forming.

It’s no secret that diesel engines are notorious for heavily polluting the environment, which is why the role of a catalytic converter is all the more important here. However, that doesn’t add monetary value to the otherwise invaluable part. 

An active converter’s value is derived from the inclusion of precious metals. However, a diesel cat lacks exactly that. Your converter may function just fine without platinum, palladium, or rhodium catalysts. But it will fetch a different resale value. At best, you can get about $700 for a piece in excellent, almost brand-new condition. 

What Cars Have The Most Expensive Ones?

BMW catalytic converter

With most catalysts using rare metals, a converter is bound to yield a good amount. Depending on the material used and the design of the converter, some of the pieces hook in better bait.

VehiclePrice of catalytic converter
Ferrari F430$3,770
RAM 2500$3,460
Lamborghini Aventador$3,120
Ford F-250$2,800
Ford Mustang$1,500

For instance, you can purchase the Ferrari F430 catalytic converter for around $3,770. Adding to the list of extravagant spending, the Ram 2500 converter costs about $3,460, and the Lamborghini Aventador converter stands at $3,120. 

Where do people go to sell them?

Used 2017 mazda catalytic converter

Some people argue that you can’t replicate in-person shopping experiences on the web as the world moves towards digitalization.

They insist on the undeniable charm of a brick-and-mortar store. In some cases, that may be true. But the online market dominates any physical space regarding vehicle spare parts or scrap. 

The online marketplace might be your best option if you’re hoping to get a good deal on your catalytic converter without paying commission fees or involving an intermediary.

Multiple online platforms and social media sites allow you to advertise your product free of cost. You won’t have to pay the website to facilitate the deal.

An online spare part marketplace is ideal for you if efficiency and a good deal are the experiences you’re hoping to leave with.      

How much rhodium do they contain?

2002 GM catalytic converter

With rarity comes a responsibility to spend reasonably. If you welcome a scarce resource with arms open wide, the chances are soon. You’ll have to wage wars for it. So before an uprising begins, we need to understand just how much rhodium is used in making a cat. 

Depending on your vehicle, the rhodium percentage will differ drastically. A typical car requires no more than 3 to 4 grams.

However, the figure may double when you settle for an SUV or a sedan. Even with 8 grams in your converter, you may think that’s not a lot. But when you consider the rarity and price of the metal, the value becomes much clearer.      

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