It is rarely a surprise when car owners do not know what a catalytic converter looks like or where it is located until it is missing. Before I go into how much they cost and what cars have the most expensive catalytic converters for scrap, let me share some basic information with you.
Catalytic converters are generally expensive. Their major responsibility is reducing emissions from any car’s exhaust system. Due to their expensive nature, they are an easy target for thieves or people who cannot afford to replace theirs immediately.
Moving forward in this guide, I will help you understand what a catalytic converter is, its location, cars with the most expensive ones, and essential maintenance tips.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is a small and muffler-like component designed to minimize and filter emissions from the exhaust system of any car. Although the device is quite portable, its interior is unique.
Internally, a catalytic converter usually comes with a honeycomb mesh coated with special metals like palladium. These unique metals help with making toxic fumes less toxic and maximizing surface area.
Also, check the exhaust unit if you want to know where your car’s converter is. It should be located somewhere between the exhaust manifold and the muffler.
If your converter has not been replaced, it should be welded to the exhaust system. Replacements, on the other hand, come clipped near the exhaust system.
Why are Catalytic Converters So Expensive?
Catalytic converters might look small but are rightly expensive because of what they are made of. Converters are primarily made of chemical catalysts that purify the exhaust system of any car.
For example, converting nitrogen oxide to nitrogen and oxygen is no simple process. This is why not just any element can be used as a catalyst.
Rare elements such as palladium, platinum, rhodium, and other special metals are the best candidates. The only downside to this is that they are expensive and usually cost upward of a thousand dollars.
The pricey nature of this material results in how expensive catalytic converters are. To make them more affordable, car manufacturers try to reduce the number of special metals they use.
What Cars Have the Most Expensive Catalytic Converters for Scrap
Getting a new catalytic converter is rarely a cheap operation. Nevertheless, their price is also highly dependent on the type of car.
So what cars have the most expensive catalytic converters for scrap? Here is a list:
1. Ferrari F430
The Ferrari F430 is an expensive ride with pricey components. This includes its catalytic converter which may cost up to $4,000 or more.
You will also need two of these to replace this Ferrari converter perfectly. That is almost $8,000 or more.
2. Ram 2500
Aside from the very expensive converter in the Ferrari F430, that of the Ram 2500 is next. Depending on your store of choice, it may cost up to $4,000 or more.
However, the large, rugged pickup truck only needs one running converter.
3. Lamborghini Aventador
The Lamborghini Aventador sits third because it costs nearly $3,500 per unit. However, like the Ferrari F340, this supercar also requires two converters.
This implies you will spend close to $7,000 to replace the converters.
4. Ford F-250
The Ford F-250 is another large pickup truck with a very expensive catalytic converter. Depending on the make, this four-wheel can have one or two converters.
An original converter for this truck can cost up to $3,000 in some cases. On the other hand, aftermarket converters are cheaper and may be sold for less than half of this price.
Their output can, however, not be compared to Ford-made converters.
5. Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is not quite exorbitant and is relatively affordable for an average baller or someone who enjoys top-down trips. The average price for its catalytic converter is about $1,500.
The luxury car only requires two converters.
Common Issues with Catalytic Converters
Catalytic converters usually last for a very long time. However major issues they face include contamination, overheating, and physical damage. These issues ideally result in sluggish engine performance and an eventual breakdown.
Another problem is theft. What these thieves are after are any special metals or catalysts I discussed earlier. They steal these contents and sell them to metal dealers in the black market.
Aside from this problem, when a catalytic converter is bad, these are symptoms to watch out for:
- Reduced acceleration
- Slow engine performance
- Emission of thick and dark smoke
- A rotten egg smell from the exhaust.
- Too much heat under the vehicle.
Note: some of these symptoms may also be tied to other portions of the exhaust system.
How to Maintain a Catalytic Conductor
Catalytic converters truly have a long life span. However, they can become problematic if you do not maintain or use them carefully.
Here are a few tips you should take note of regarding converters:
- Always take it slow on a bumpy road to avoid too much ground impact on the converter. This can disfigure the ceramic of the converter.
- Never use low-grade or lead-plated fuel. This fuel type causes lead poisoning and reduces the efficiency of a converter. Instead, opt for fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
- Engage in regular servicing. When servicing, inspect the converter for cracks or weird noses and decide if it needs a replacement.
- Always check your injector nozzles for clogs. Clogs result in misfiring and direct unburnt fuel to the converter. This can damage the converter or even set your car on fire.
- Avoid driving over a deep pool of water regularly. Catalytic converters operate at a high temperature, hence, regular contact with water may cause them to contract and break.
What cars are most targeted for catalytic converter theft?
Exotic rides like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and hybrid cars like Toyota Prius are the likely target due to the pricey nature of their catalytic converter.
Cars manufactured after 1974 can also be targeted because they have more special metals inside their converters.
What is the hardest car to steal a catalytic converter from?
There is no hard car when it comes to stealing a catalytic converter.
Just that American brands like Ford, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge usually have less valuable converters not be fancied by thieves.
What does a car sound like without a catalytic converter?
When a car is missing its catalytic converter(s), you will notice a strange, loud, or roaring sound upon ignition. This sound gets louder when you accelerate.
Catalytic converters are generally expensive. In fact, it is safe to budget at least $1,500 for any replacement procedure, regardless of the car. This is because they feature special and powerful metals like rhodium to be effective.
These metals are also known as chemical catalysts and are what most thieves are interested in (not the container). If they are not stolen and well maintained, these converters can last more than 10 years.
If you notice weird symptoms related to your car’s exhaust system at any point, I advise you to consult a car specialist. This is because catalytic converters are too expensive to toy with.
I hope you found this article helpful. When you charge your car battery for an extended period of time (perhaps hours), the temperature of your converter rises. To avoid this, please see my guide on how long it takes to charge a car battery by idling.
Thanks for reading.