Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingExhaust System Catalytic Converter Price – Are They That Expensive?

Catalytic Converter Price – Are They That Expensive?

by Jordan Harris
Catalytic Converter Price

Are you trying to get rid of your old catalytic converter and do you want to learn the catalytic converter price? If that is the case and you want to learn the catalytic converter scrap price (or how to track the catalytic converter by VIN number), then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Catalytic converters are one of the components that are extremely essential when it comes to the ability of our cars to pass emissions testing. In the past, there were no catalytic converters. But nowadays they are mandatory and each car has at least one.

These components are specifically designed to tackle the harmful particles and prevent your car from producing a ton of pollutants into the air. For this purpose, they have to be made out of some precious metals that make them really expensive. But more on the catalytic converter price we are going to cover later on in the article.

First, let’s familiarize ourselves with the matter. Let’s learn what is a catalytic converter in general and why it is so essential. Then we will cover what makes catalytic converters expensive and how you can determine if you have a bad catalytic converter. Then we will cover the catalytic converter scrap price and learn how much money can you get for your used catalytic converter. So, if you want to learn more about this, follow along till the end because there will be a ton of things to cover.

What Is A Catalytic Converter?

Now before we dive into more complex stuff and learn how the catalytic converter works and the catalytic converter price (with some help from a free catalytic converter price app), let’s cover some of the basics and learn what is a catalytic converter in general. Not all people that are reading this article are familiar with this device so let’s make a small intro.

If you feel like you have the grasp, you can jump to one of the following chapters, if not, keep up with us for a while until we cover the basic stuff.

Nevertheless, a catalytic converter is a catalytic device that is installed on your car. This converter is an emissions device that controls the emissions on your vehicle.

This means that this converter converts the harmful particles into less harmful particles. Since there is no way to neutralize them completely but more on that in detail in the following chapter where we will cover how this catalytic converter works in depth.

What is important for you to know is how the catalytic converter looks and where is mounted. The catalytic converter looks basically like a small muffler, they are cylindrically shaped objects. But the mounting position will tell you a lot about its purpose.

Catalytic converters are usually mounted right after the exhaust manifold. They sit basically right under the firewall. The firewall is usually protected with heat shielding in order to prevent the heat from the catalytic converter to pass through inside the cabin. But what about the catalytic converter scrap price (including the Chrysler catalytic converter scrap price, as well as the Chrysler Town and Country catalytic converter scrap price and the 2005 Ford F150 catalytic converter scrap price)? More on that in a bit, let’s see how this component works.

How Does A Catalytic Converter Work?

Now before we cover the catalytic converter price as well as the catalytic converter scrap price (such as the Ford catalytic converter price). Let’s first learn how this component works in reality. What is the method of action behind the catalytic converter and what magic happens under the hood? Let’s elaborate.

The catalytic converter as we mentioned, is a device that is mounted onto your exhaust system. In fact, it is the first line of defense when it comes to battling these harmful pollutants (to find out more, check out our guide on does my car have a catalytic converter).

This device has a honeycomb-shaped structure (for more insight, check out our explainer on what is a catalytic converter and what does it do and how does a catalytic converter work, as well as what is a catalytic converter). So, when the gas from the exhaust passes through it goes into the process of catalyzing. This is basically a redox reaction that is done at atomic levels.

To find out more, check out our guide on what’s a catalytic converter made of and what is in a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter flows the harmful pollutants in it and converts them into something else that is less toxic but still deadly though.

This is why you should understand that you should never be in a room that is enclosed and the car to be running. Carbon monoxide is a really deadly gas if inhaled.

Nevertheless, the main thing in this process of converting the gases needs to be done the right way to be successful.

Meaning that the catalytic converter needs to get up to a certain temperature to work. If not, you will end up with a clogged catalytic converter sooner or later. And you don’t want that. Otherwise, you can diagnose this with a catalytic converter temperature test.

This means that you need to replace it and pay the catalytic converter price to get a completely new component or get a used one.

That’s why you need to make sure that you drive your car for longer distances and allow the car to get up to temperature in order to avoid these things. But what makes this component so expensive? Let’s find out.

What Makes The Catalytic Converter So Expensive

Now before we cover the catalytic converter cost. Let’s learn more about what makes these components so expensive in the first place. What does make them so attractive to malicious people who want to steal them from your car (and whether can I drive with a stolen catalytic converter, as well as the Hyundai Sonata catalytic converter theft, and the catalytic converter theft laws, as well as the signs of a stolen catalytic converter)?

Well, the short answer is, precious metals. Catalytic converters need to have certain levels of precious metals for the catalytic operation to be done on our cars. Without these precious metals, you will not be able to have a properly working converter. But what are these metals?

Well, these components have certain levels of platinum, rhodium, iridium, and palladium. This type of design was one of the early designs but overall, these components have not changed a lot during the long years of use.

The important thing for you to know is that this converter contains platinum (to find out more, check out our guide on how much platinum is in a catalytic converter). So, you don’t throw them away in the garbage if you have an old car. They could still be worth a lot of money if you sell them on the second-hand market.

This is why you need to know the catalytic converter scrap price and learn how much you can get out of your catalytic converter if you decide to sell it as a scrap metal (given how high the catalytic converter scrap value is). But more on that we will discuss later on in the article. Now let’s cover how many converters do you have, as you probably know, not all cars have one converter.

How Many Catalytic Converters Does A Car Have?

Now, before we cover the catalytic converter scrap price (such as the VW Jetta catalytic converter scrap price), let’s learn something about the number of catalytic converters that are on the car. As you probably know there is at least one of them in each car, that’s for sure, but is there more than one? Let’s find out.

On inline engines, meaning that if the engine has somewhere between 3 and 6 cylinders and these cylinders are lined up in an inline order, there is only one catalytic converter because there is only one engine bank.

On the other hand, engines that are in V configurations. Namely, the V6, V8, V10, and V12. These engines have two catalytic converters. But why is this the case?

Well, this is the case because there is only one catalytic converter per bank. So, two banks mean two catalytic converters.

Catalytic Converter Price

Having one catalytic converter on so many cylinders will really impair the gas flow and will cause the car to choke.

This situation is also known as backpressure. When there is too much backpressure and the gas flow is no good, the engine will simply try to stall on you. Not an ideal thing. So, engineers thought about this problem and they included two catalytic converters in order to reduce the performance loss from the engine under working conditions.

But what about the catalytic converter price? We will get to that in a bit. After we cover how you can tell if the catalytic converter is bad. What are the tell-tell signs of this? Let’s find out in the following chapter.

Bad Catalytic Converter Symptoms

Now as we cleared some of the basics of the catalytic converters before we dive into the catalytic converter scrap price. Let’s learn some of the symptoms that you will experience when the catalytic converter goes bad. What can you expect? Let’s find out.

1. Check Engine Light

Now before we dive into the catalytic converter scrap price, let’s cover the first symptom that will help you to determine if this component is destined for scrap.

And that is the check engine light. The check engine light is probably one of the most associated symptoms with this component. But a check engine light can mean a ton of things.

Catalytic Converter Price

The important thing for you is the codes that you will get when testing the converter. If you get codes that indicate problems with the converter, you know that this needs to be taken further and the problem has to be addressed.

Whenever there is a code, people just cut them off and sell them for the best catalytic converter price that they can get. But this isn’t the thing you want. You want to replace them if you want your car to pollute a lot less.

Not to mention another symptom that you will notice when it comes to the emissions. But more on that in a bit.

2. Rotten Egg Smell

The second symptom that will make you want to learn the catalytic converter scrap price is the problem with the rotten egg smell. So, what a catalytic converter has to do with rotten eggs?

Well, honestly, it has a lot between the two. They both contain a small amount of sulfur. This sulfur is the main compound that creates that rotten egg smell.

In gasoline, there is a small amount of sulfur that the converter is converting into something else that is less toxic.

So, whenever this device is not functioning as it should, the gases will escape into the atmosphere and make you notice this smell.

So, if you smell something like rotten eggs, it means that you need to address the problem as soon as possible. In this case, you will 100% need a new converter for your car.

This will be the case because the honeycomb structure inside of the device is torn to pieces and nothing can fix it except getting a new device and mounting it on the car. This is why you should make sure that the life of the component is in good condition and run it at the operating temperature very often.

3. Poor Acceleration

The third in our list of bad catalytic converter symptoms (you can learn more in our overview of can a bad catalytic converter cause a misfire and the 2011 Equinox catalytic converter recall) is poor acceleration. Whenever you have a clogged-up catalytic converter, you will face some problems with acceleration. But why is this the case, what does the converter has to deal with the acceleration?

Well, it has a lot to deal with. Whenever this device is clogged up. It means that there is an obstruction in the gas flow outside of the car.

And whenever there is an obstruction, this will create something known as backpressure. Also known as an air brake. It will basically prevent the engine from getting air from the intake because this air cannot leave the exhaust manifold.

This, in mild cases, can lead to loss of power. But in some extreme cases, it could ruin the whole performance of the car and make the car stall whenever you try to start the engine. In most cases, the honeycomb destructs itself whenever the car is ran like this for a long period of time.

This is why if your converter is so broken, the catalytic converter scrap price will be extremely low (to learn more, check out our explainer on what does a catalytic converter look like). Now let’s move to the last symptom.

4. Failed Emissions Test

The last in our list of bad catalytic converter symptoms that we would like to cover is the failure of the emission testing.

As you probably know when you register your car, you go through emissions testing. If the converter is broken, it will cause your car to fail the test.

The car will pollute a ton more than when this equipment was in proper working order. They will tell you to fix the problem and bring it back when you got things sorted.

Not everywhere is like this though, some states are looser when it comes to this. While some like California and New York are more strict and will happily fail your vehicle if it’s not performing as it should. So, make sure that you sort out the problem first. But what is the catalytic converter price? Well, let’s cover more on that in the following chapters.

Catalytic Converter Price

Now let’s cover more about the catalytic converter price. What is the cost of purchasing a new converter from your local dealership?

Well, the cost usually depends. It really depends much on the type of the car as well as how much expensive it is. The more expensive vehicle, the more expensive parts as you probably know.

Catalytic Converter Price

The average cost of a new catalytic converter is about $1,500 (as is the case with a 2000 Jeep Cherokee catalytic converter or a 2008 Lexus ES 350 catalytic converter). But there are also some that go high above this price and can reach up to $3,000 (this helps to explain why do people steal catalytic converters). This is why some people are stealing them and causing a lot of trouble for car owners. So, you need to make sure where you park your car if you want to avoid some of these crooks stealing your catalytic converter.

But let’s say that you want to sell your used catalytic converter (once you’ve figured out who buys used catalytic converters near me), how much you can expect to be the catalytic converter scrap price? Well, that’s what we are going to cover next.

Catalytic Converter Scrap Price Guide

Now as we covered everything we need to know when it comes to catalytic converters and the way how they work and also the price at which they can be purchased new. Let’s now create a catalytic converter scrap price guide for those who want to get rid of their converters.

In the following chapters, we are going to cover the most common vehicles that are out there and their scrap converter price. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

1. GM Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

First, let’s cover the GM catalytic converter scrap price. How much you can expect to sell this component from your old beat-up General Motors car?

Well, the costs really depend on the application and the year. The small ones can go in the range of about $150 and up to $250. The bigger ones go between $250 and $350.

2. Dodge RAM 2500 Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

The second that we are going to cover is the Dodge RAM 2500 catalytic converter scrap price. These cats are truck cats, meaning that they are more expensive.

But still, depending much on the year and age of the RAM 2500 that you have. For scrap, they usually go between $250 and $300.

3. Ford 5.4 Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

Another truck engine is the Ford 5.4 engine whose catalytic converter scrap price is about $350 on average. They can go high as $650 but they can also go low as $200.

The cost of the component is basically determined by the condition of the part and the value that it has.

4. Ford Torpedo Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

Now let’s cover the Ford Torpedo catalytic converter scrap price. If you didn’t know, these are a brand of converters that are used on Ford trucks.

The price for the Torpedo 3B is about $800 on average. For the regular, the cost is about $530 and the costs get lower and lower depending on the model.

5. Toyota Prius Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

But what is the Toyota Prius catalytic converter scrap price? The average scrap price is between $350 and up to $500 for a converter in good condition.

Not much considering that new, these go for over $2,000. Scrap prices are really low considering the real value of the component if it’s in mint condition.

6. Chevy Silverado Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

What is the Chevy Silverado catalytic converter scrap price? Well, similar to other truck converters that we covered.

They can be expensive. For the old models, they can go for about $250 to $500 for scrap if you are lucky. The newer the truck, the more expensive the catalytic converter.

7. Semi Truck Catalytic Converter Scrap Price

What is the semi-truck catalytic converter scrap price? First, let’s clear out that semi-trucks do not have regular cats. They use DPF type of equipment also known as diesel particulate filters.

The average scrap price for these is no more than $350.

Facts about Selling and Buying Catalytic Converters:

  1. Catalytic converter prices vary widely, but they often contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium that make them valuable.
  2. To find a deal, search for scrap catalytic converter buyers near you by entering your county into a search box, and filter by the location.
  3. Some featured members of the marketplace offer a catalyst buying service in specific areas (to learn more, check out our explainer on what does the catalytic converter do and what is a catalytic converter made of).
  4. You can create a listing on some marketplaces to sell your unwanted, old, or scrap catalytic converters and get paid to recycle them (once they know the Dodge catalytic converter scrap price).
  5. The marketplace allows you to compare prices in your own time to find the best local or national buyer for you.
  6. The three types of catalytic converters are a honeycomb, DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter), and metallic foil (steel).
  7. Diesel catalytic converters typically contain platinum and rhodium, while petrol catalytic converters contain palladium, platinum, and rhodium.
  8. Aftermarket catalytic converters (you can learn more in our explainer on the catalytic converter Isuzu NPR and the Crown Vic catalytic converter) are non-OEM units manufactured by third parties and are used to replace original units.
  9. Catalytic converters are recycled by cutting them open, breaking and releasing the biscuit inside, and then refining the contents into an extremely fine powder or dust to separate the precious metals.
  10. Anyone can sell their catalytic converters, including mechanics, accident repair garages, mobile scrap collectors, scrap dealers, and car breakers. Before selling, bring photo ID and bank details and consider delivering them to a licensed site to get a higher rate.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the catalytic converter price. We learned the basics of these components and their role.

Then we covered the symptoms that they show when they fail and we helped you to determine when is the time to destine them for the scrapyard. These include the rotten egg smell, the check engine light, and the poor accelerating performance.

Lastly, we have covered how much you can get paid if you want to sell them in the scrapyard. It is much better to sell them to the scrapyard than let them sit in your backyard and lose their value.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions

What Is A Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is an emission device that is installed on vehicles with internal combustion engines. This device basically converts the gases from toxic to less toxic through a special process. This is why these components need to be made out of special materials in order to perform their task at the best level.

What Is The Price For A Catalytic Converter

For a new component, the average cost is about between $1,500 and $2,500. For used converters, you can pay from $250 up to $1,000. While for scrap the costs are between $100 and $800. It really depends on what you are going after when it comes to this emission device.

What Is The Scrap Price For A Catalytic Converter

The scrap price usually goes between $100 to $800. The smaller ones usually are the least expensive while the bigger ones are more expensive. Scrap prices are low because the junkyards do not care much about the condition of the component. They only are after the average recyclable value for the component that you are selling to them.

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