What Are Partially Empty Catalytic Converters & How We Buy Them

Posted: May 26, 2022

The Team at RRCats is committed to servicing all your scrap catalytic converter needs.


What Is A Partially Empty Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic Converters have honeycombs inside of the canisters. That honeycomb is where precious metals like palladium, platinum, and rhodium are. When processing scrap catalytic converters for recycling, those precious metals are what are valuable. Sometimes due to the vehicle performance or the shipping of catalytic converters, could cause the honeycomb inside to break apart and even empty out from the shell. When that occurs, that is what we call a partially empty catalytic converter.

Partially empty catalytic converters could come from aftermarket, OEMs, or DPF units. These units all have someone in common if they are partially empty and that is material would be missing. While pegging down the exact reason why they are empty is not always easy to do- here are a few reasons that we have found over the years:

  • Car Accidents break materials up.
  • Clogged units gum up the insides and could break.
  •  Wear and tear
  •  Broken while removing them and had pieces fall out.
  • Overheating engines will cause them to overheat and slowly start to break apart.

How Do We Process Partially Empty Cats?

In this edition, we’ll talk about how our RRCats Team handles catalytic converters that are not 100% full. The first thing that we do when we receive a converter is to first make sure the honeycomb is 100% complete. We have our testing and checking recorded to ensure that if there is a problem we are able to share the video with you. That way if we receive your catalytic converter and there is a pricing change, we can show you how we received the package in the mail.

The last thing that we need is to have anyone question that their catalytic converter was full and we are always able to provide pictures and videos to help explain the problem.

See the Picture Example of a Partially Empty Cat Below:

If there are missing sections or it is broken into chunks we then need to figure out how much is missing and that percentage is taken off the quoted price. Let’s go over this more in-depth:

For example: If you are quoted $100 and there is 50% of the honeycomb missing you will get paid $50. Our team will contact you before any price changes are made.

How To Tell If You Have A Partially Empty Cat

  1. The easiest way to check is to use a dipstick (or another thin piece of metal) and slide it into the cat till it touches the honeycomb.
  2. When it touches the honeycomb you should put your finger on the end of the cat on the dipstick as a marking point.
  3. You pull the stick out and rest it on the cat with your finger marking how far it went into the cat before it touched the honeycomb. You then know how much of the honeycomb is missing.

When we quote Catalytic Converters at RRCats.com, we always make sure to let customers know if from the pictures we can see if they are missing and material that way it is not a surprise.

How To Get The Quickest Quote on Catalytic Converters

Allow us a chance to earn your scrap catalytic converter business.

Text or email your photos for a quote!


We at RRCats.com are grateful to have the chance to be your catalytic converter recycler.