4 Ways To Prepare Your Catalytic Converters for Scrap

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Know How To Recycle A Catalytic Converter for Scrap

If you had a catalytic converter replaced on your vehicle and you’re looking to make some money with them for scrap value, there are some things you should know. Knowing what to do when recycling a catalytic converter for scrap is essential. There are a few basic and simple steps to remember when preparing your catalytic converters for scrap.

1. Know Your Information About Catalytic Converters

What kind of vehicle is your catalytic converter from? Knowing the vehicle’s year, make, and model can be easy for you and the yard you are looking to sell it to. Not only will you have the information needed to ask for a comparative quote, but the yards will have a better idea of what kind of catalytic converter you have. This will help everyone involved get a fair price for the catalytic converter.

Also, it is beneficial for you if you want to research online for what they could be worth in scrap. Sometimes catalytic converters also have a serial number outside the shell, which can be sent to the team at RRCats.com. Serial numbers on the converters help RRCats determine the number of precious metals inside the converter for scrap value.

Boosted Catalytic Converter Prices at RRCats

2. Aftermarket or Original Converter? – Makes A Big Difference In Prices

aftermarket vs. original catalytic converter

When you are looking to sell your catalytic converter for scrap, knowing the year, make, and model is good, but so is the origin of it. If the catalytic converter 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 the factory construction of the car), you can expect a lower price for scrap value.

There is a price difference because of the precious metals inside. Many precious metals clean the air through the catalytic converter, making it worth the money. Factories have specific standards and regulations when creating catalytic converters with suitable materials. However, aftermarket manufacturers do not. Therefore, fewer precious metals are inside the aftermarket catalytic converters, resulting in lower scrap prices for aftermarket cats.

What Is An Aftermarket Converter?

Look for a shiny silver shield wrapped around the catalytic converter. Also, quite often, there will be an arrow on the shield, which is there to tell the mechanic installing it which way the airflow is going through the exhaust system. Read more about the signs from RRCats.

What is an OEM Converter?

This will vary based on your year/make/model. But the team at RRCats can help you with more details. Check out this pricing guide with pictures and a brand catalog for catalytic converters.

Suggested Reading: How Do Catalytic Converters Work?

3. Don’t Take The Honeycomb Out Of Your Catalytic Converter

catalytic converter honeycomb

When you look inside the catalytic converters, you will see a mesh-like structure. That is called the honeycomb, which filters the exhaust fumes of your vehicle by different reactions between the other precious metals inside. The honeycomb is where the precious metals ‘live,’ and many inexperienced scrappers immediately want to remove the honeycomb from the shell of the catalytic converter. This is a BIG no-no.

Never Remove Honeycomb from Converters

When you remove the honeycomb from the shell, it will be nearly impossible for the scrap yard to identify the type of catalytic converter you have. By keeping the body on, your scrap yard can locate the kind of vehicle it’s from and pay you for the right amount of precious metals that will be recovered when it is processed. The honeycombs all look the same, but depending on the cars they are from, they haven’t different values of precious metals inside. The easiest way for yards to identify that is to see the outside of the catalytic converter with the honeycomb inside.

Suggested Reading: 3 Things To Avoid When Scrapping Converters

4. Cut The Exhaust Pipes Off Your Scrap Car

When you are prepping your catalytic converter for the scrap yard we mentioned above, do not remove the honeycomb, but you also want to make sure you keep the shell of the catalytic converter on. However, on either end of it are the exhaust pipes. These can be removed and cut as close to the shell as possible. Usually, the exhaust pipes can be removed with a Sawzall. By cutting off the exhaust pipe, you are giving the yard less work to do, and they will be able to provide you with a more clean catalytic converter price. The exhaust pipes on the catalytic converter are made from steel and will be cut off anyway, so prepping it for your yard will make you more money.

Finding A Good Scrap Yard & The Best Prices for Catalytic Converters

Most scrap yards buying catalytic converters can provide this information when you ask for a price quote. If they don’t ask or suggest some of these tips, it may be a good idea for you to look around elsewhere. Also, it is a good idea to shop around for a few price quotes; they all should be within the same range of prices. If there is a big difference, either above or below the average costs, that should throw up a red flag.

Boosted Catalytic Converter Prices at RRCats

If Prices Are Much Higher For Your Catalytic Converter

If the price is much higher, that is good, but consider this. The yard may have the wrong serial number or price quote they are giving you; when you arrive at their yard, you could be disappointed. Or some yards may give you a much higher price at their yard to get you in the door and pull the price down when they buy it, in which you may say, “Well, I’m already here. Minds well sell it.”

If Prices Are Much Lower For Your Catalytic Converter

If you get quoted a price much lower than the other yards you’ve spoken to, it could be a warning that the scrap yard may not know what they are discussing. They may not know to classify the catalytic converter correctly and, therefore, may not be the place you want to visit.

When you are ready to bring your catalytic converter in for scrap, remember that you want to do some work ahead of time to ensure you are preparing it correctly and you have checked with local scrap yards for their prices. Remember what we always say, if it quacks, it’s probably a duck. Use wise judgment when selling your catalytic converters for scrap.


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