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

Posted: July 29, 2020


The goal of the RRCats.com team is to make sure that you have all the information needed when scrapping your catalytic converters. This includes making sure you know how to identify what type of catalytic converter you have.

Common Questions We Receive Is:

Is My Catalytic Converter an OEM?

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

What Does OEM Catalytic Converter Mean?

Before we give tips on identifying an OEM cat, first it’s important to know what “OEM” means. “OEM” stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”.

This means the catalytic converter that was originally put on the vehicle or if it was replaced, it was replaced with the genuine catalytic converter from that original manufacturer. While it may make sense to get an OEM replacement catalytic converter, 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 that OEM Cats are worth more is because of the amount of precious metals that are found inside (Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium). The vehicle manufacturers use more of these precious metals, as opposed to the less-expensive alternative aftermarket cats. So that’s why when you replace broken catalytic converters, there is a huge 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 Stamp – This could be a logo, specific words for brand, or pattern of serial numbers.

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

When trying to tell if you have an OEM Catalytic Converter the first thing to look for is a stamp of the manufacturer. Typically they are by the serial number and it will be the name (Ex: FoMoCo – Ford Motor Company, Land Rover, Hyundai / Kia) or the emblem of the Manufacturer (This is common for Toyota Catalytic Converters – below).

OEM cats 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.

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

Tom explains why OEM Catalytic Converter is worth more then Aftermarket Catalytic Converters.

To get a quote on your Catalytic Converters: GET QUOTE

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