How We Determine Different Types of Catalytic Converters

Posted: January 3, 2023

Recycling Your Scrap Catalytic Converters

Let’s talk about some catalytic converters. When you bring your cats down to the yard, here is how we determine how to grade them.


How We Classify Your Scrap Converters

  • Shell/Cover – The shell or cover of the cat is the first thing we look at to determine what makes the cat is from. We are looking at the catalytic converter’s shape, size, and cutouts to see it inside.
  • Stamping on the Shell – Some cats have stamps or numbers on the outside. For example, Ford stamps most of its cats with its logo, and Toyota has a number system to help identify its cats.
  • Honeycomb – The honeycomb is inside the cat, where all the precious metals are platinum, palladium, and rhodium. We make sure it’s full. If not, it will be downgraded from a total cat and be valued much less.
  • The Shape of the Comb – There are a couple of different shapes the honeycomb can be, but the two most common are a honeycomb shape, and the other is a foil/wire, which is shaped like a fingerprint. The foil cats are always worth much less than a honeycomb cat.
  • Pre-Cats – Usually much smaller and have less good material inside. They can sometimes be connected to the same pipe as the regular catalytic converter.
  • Aftermarket Cats – These are 3rd party parts that are usually a cheaper option when repairing vehicles. These aftermarket parts will be valued less when you are looking to scrap them. They sometimes have a silver plate on the outside with an arrow.
  • Diesel Cats/DPF – These are classified differently than gasoline cats. A general rule is any diesel cat from 2008, and older is on the lower price scale due to a lack of precious metals inside. After 2008 they changed over to a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). These are easily identified by the numbers stamped on the shells and are much bigger than any gasoline cat.

When you are looking to sell your catalytic converter for scrap off your vehicle, there are a few things we consider when quoting your converter. We always ask for photos of serial numbers on the units and an overall photo of the unit from both sides, including looking inside.

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