How Do I Know If My Catalytic Converter is Aftermarket?

Posted: January 6, 2022

Our Team at is always here to service your scrap catalytic converter needs, this week we are going to give you information on how to identify Aftermarket Catalytic Converters. We are regularly asked how to tell the difference between aftermarket and OEM catalytic converters. Have you asked yourself, “How do I tell if I have an aftermarket cat?”. Hopefully, we can help answer your question.

Common Characteristics of an Aftermarket Catalytic Converter:

  • Silver Shield
  • Arrow on Shield
  • Serial Numbers Starting with “N”

Aftermarket parts manufacturers aren’t held to the same standards, though some requirements were stiffened in 2009, so the precious metal content in the aftermarket catalytic converters is often much less than that of the original factory equipment. The lower precious metal content means that the aftermarket converter holds less value than an original manufacturer’s unit when you are selling it for scrap metal.

An easy way to identify aftermarket versus OEM converters is through appearance.

If the catalytic converter has a silver metal casing on it with an arrow, that typically means that it is aftermarket. The arrow indicates the proper installation direction based on airflow.

Common Letters on Aftermarket Catalytic Converters:

Aftermarket catalytic converters are often one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to catalytic converter quoting. Many people have been able to find aftermarkets and then get the unpleasant surprise of finding out the units have little to no value overall.

These aftermarket cats have just enough PGMs inside of them to have a positive impact on emissions, but not much more than that. These units are made as inexpensively as possible so they can be more affordable for the 2ndary market but their scrap values decrease significantly when it comes to selling them for end-of-life.

Some of the serial numbers you would look for that will help you quickly identify Aftermarket converters are:
  • Makers: NCE, Bosal, MagnaFlow

Watch Below To Help Identify Catalytic Converters

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