How Do I Know If I Have an OEM Catalytic Converter?

Posted: January 3, 2023

What is an OEM Catalytic Converter?

It can be very expensive if you are repairing or replacing your vehicle’s catalytic converter on your vehicle. When this is the case, you can resell the replaced catalytic converter for scrap value and make some money back from what repairs costs. The higher-priced converters are going to be OEM or Original Equipment Manufactured. RRCats offers Free Shipping on OEM converters, but how do you tell if you have one?

Is My Catalytic Converter an OEM?

We are regularly asked if my Catalytic Converter is OEM. We have a few things to look for when you identify your catalytic converter and if it’s an OEM.

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Is Mine OEM?

What Does OEM Catalytic Converter Mean?

Before we give tips on identifying an OEM cat, we must know what “OEM” means. “OEM” stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.”

This means the catalytic converter that was initially put on the vehicle, or if it was replaced, was replaced with the genuine catalytic converter from that original manufacturer. While getting an OEM replacement catalytic converter may make sense, most people do NOT do that because it can be a very costly repair compared to an aftermarket catalytic converter installation.


Why are OEM Catalytic Converters More Expensive?

The main reason OEM Cats are worth more is the number of precious metals found inside (Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium). Vehicle manufacturers use more of these precious metals instead of the less-expensive alternative aftermarket cats. So that’s why when you replace broken catalytic converters, there is a massive difference in price from an OEM to an aftermarket cat.


How To Identify An OEM Cat

Two Ways To Identify If You Have an OEM Catalytic Converter

Look for a manufacturer’s stamp, a logo, specific words for the brand, or a pattern of serial numbers.


The Welds will be Cleaner – When looking at the welds along with an OEM catalytic converter, the edges of the welds along the cat will be cleaner and less-messy looking.

The manufacturer’s stamp is the first thing to look for when determining if you have an OEM Catalytic Converter. Typically, they are by serial number. It will be the name (Ex: FoMoCo – Ford Motor Company, Land Rover, Hyundai / Kia) or the manufacturer’s emblem (Common for Toyota Catalytic Converters – below).


The OEM catalytic converter welds will be cleaner because they were produced by the manufacturer and installed on the car during the build. Most aftermarkets have messy welds because they are installed by a repair shop, and getting it on is more important than how the welds look.

Many OEM units will have the manufacturer’s logo or full name spelled out on the cat. This helps you to know that it was not an aftermarket unit, and if you do not know what type of car it came off, this will also help. Many teams will help you see what makes it come off of, which will help you determine if it is OEM or not.

Suggested Reading: How Do I Know If My Catalytic Converter is Aftermarket?


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