Stu cats

How to Earn Top Dollar Scrapping Catalytic Converters

Under the car

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is a device which reduces pollutants in exhaust emissions and is most commonly found on cars. It has the important job of reducing the harmful effects of toxic exhaust fumes like carbon monoxide, on the environment.  It’s also an item that can be sent for scrap metal recycling if its broken or no longer works and you’ll find it installed somewhere between the rear muffler and manifold on the underside of your vehicle.

You may remember (if you’re old enough), how there would be trucks driving down the highway with dark plumes of smelly smoke streaming out of their exhausts.  It was awful to be stuck behind one of these vehicles in gridlocked traffic when you had no way to escape.  Thankfully, these days are in the past as it is now mandatory for catalytic converters to be installed during the manufacture of new vehicles

Which parts of a catalytic converter do scrap metal recyclers buy?

We’ll buy the whole catalytic converter from you “as is” whether its rusted and irrespective of the brand of car it comes from.

Inside the catalytic converter is a honeycomb type of structure that the exhaust runs through.  We call this honeycomb structure the “biscuit”.  The biscuit has catalysts that react with the exhaust fumes and it’s the chemical reaction between the catalysts and the exhaust emissions that changes the gasses emitted to less harmful ones.

It’s this biscuit inside a catalytic converter that a scrap metal recycler like Endless is interested in buying. The biscuit has metal inside which are also the metals acting as the catalysts in the cleaning process.

Cat inside

Will I get more money for my catalytic converter if I take it apart?

You’ll actually get paid less for your catalytic converter if you try to take the biscuit out of the housing when you want to sell it to a scrap metal recycler as scrap.  This ceramic honeycomb housing the metal is very fragile and can easily crack or break when you try to remove it.  The value of the honeycomb to a metal recycler is reduced if it is broken or cracked because metal can be released from the inside or fall out and its difficult for the recycler to know whether this has or hasn’t happened.

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What you do need to do to make sure you get an accurate valuation and get paid the best price for your catalytic converter is to remove both ends of the exhaust so we can have a look inside and let you know if it’s a half cat or a full cat. Visit one of our branches and one of our experienced graders can assist you and give you a quote.

Under the car 2

What is a half cat and what is a full cat?

A half and a full catalytic converter refer to the size of the biscuit inside the cat.  We’ll call your catalytic converter a “full” cat if the biscuit inside the cat is more than 25 cm long and we’ll grade your cat as a “half” is the biscuit is less than that. That’s why it’s important to remove the exhaust ends so we can have a good look inside.

Do you buy catalytic converters from diesel engines?

Diesel engines have what is known as a DPF or Diesel particulate filter.  We will buy them for recycling so you can definitely bring them in, but they are not as valuable as catalytic converters.  They are similar in shape and look but are sometimes larger and if you look inside you will see a difference.

The DPF allows the signature “black smoke” of a diesel engine to be turned into the white exhaust smoke which then travels through the catalytic converter to be broken down further.

Selling your old or broken catalytic converter

Catalytic converters are, as a rule, an expensive component of a car to have to replace, so if you find yourself having to replace yours, take some comfort in the fact that they can be recycled and that you’ll get paid some decent dollars when you do.

If you’re unsure or need any advice, reach out and one of our friendly team members will be able to assist you with any questions.  For more information on how we pay for scrap catalytic converters, visit our pricing page.