The History of Catalytic Converters

catalytic converters

Ever wonder what the history of your catalytic converters are, but you are too worried about ruining them by cutting them open? Let us tell you all about them today. Catalytic converters are standard on all cars that were made in the mid-1970s and were made to cut down on pollution from the automobile industry. Made with precious metals like platinum and rhodium “baked” into the catalytic comb, they are a very good item to scrap.

Catalytic converters, or “cats,” are one of the highest priced items per piece in the scrap metal world and, since the mid-2000s, have also become one of the highest stolen items. Because the catalytic converters are located underneath cars and trucks, many thieves have cut or ripped them out to sell to scrap yards for a high return and some quick cash.

Cats have precious metals baked into the comb; often, the comb is ceramic. It can be removed from the casing. However, it will significantly reduce the price and value of the material. When scrap yards classify and price the catalytic converters, they can quote the price based on the year, make, and model, reflecting the amount of precious metals that can be found once it is processed.

Catalytic Converter Theft

Many states are cracking down on catalytic converter theft by not allowing scrap yards to buy catalytic converters from the public unless they come with the title to the car that the cat is being sold off of. With such a high demand for precious metals inside the catalytic converters, it is tough to guess how the scrap laws will continue to affect the sales of cats to many scrap yards across the US. You can ask your local scrap yard if they will buy them and what the laws say.

I hope this helps give you a little better history and knowledge of cats! Scrap ya later!


Want to know what it takes and what to look out for when looking to scrap a catalytic converter? Hear what we have to say about finding a reputable buyer: