Catalytic converters are one of the most valuable parts you can sell in an older vehicle. Although many people looking to repair a catalytic converter will purchase new ones, I know how tempting it can be to head to the scrap yard to find the part.
Catalytic converter prices vary greatly depending on whether you purchase used or new. But which type of converter makes the most sense? I like to look into scrap prices before buying brand-new parts, but it’s good to know your options. So, if you’re in the market for a new cat, let’s dig into the Ford F-150 catalytic converter scrap prices and the difference between new and scrap.
What Is a Catalytic Converter?
Before I get into the intricacies of catalytic converter pricing, let’s take a moment to review what a catalytic converter is. Sure, it’s a crucial part of your truck’s emissions system. But what does it do?
Simply put, your Ford’s catalytic converter makes your truck run a lot cleaner. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of all cars and trucks is that they produce many harmful gases. Scientists and car manufacturers discovered decades ago just how toxic exhaust could be. Thus, the catalytic converter was born.
The catalytic converter is an exhaust component that converts harmful engine hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water. These gases are far less toxic than your engine’s carbon monoxide and other gases.
How Much is a Catalytic Converter Worth on a Ford F-150 – New vs. Scrap Value?
Catalytic converters are pretty pricey due to the precious metals they contain and everything that goes into making them. So whether you’re looking to buy a new one or go for scrap, you should be prepared to fork over a hefty sum. Ford F-150 catalytic converter scrap prices can still be pretty hefty.
I’ve outlined some prices below to estimate what to expect when pricing out converters. Consider these prices if you’re in the market for a catalytic converter or want to sell one from your old F-150. Also, you might want to brush up on your haggling skills to get the best price, whether you’re buying or selling.
New Catalytic Converter
A brand new catalytic converter for your F-150 will put a $1,500 dent in your wallet. Many drivers prefer to have new parts in their vehicles, which makes sense. However, if you’re pinching pennies or want to do your part by recycling, a scrap cat will do just fine.
Scrap Catalytic Converter
Typical market prices for a Ford F-150 scrap catalytic converter range from $250 to $800. The scrap price will depend on where you purchase it, whether it was an OEM or aftermarket converter, size, and condition.
How is the Scrap Price Determined?
When a recycling company or scrap yard gets a catalytic converter, they may check out a few factors to determine a fair scrap price, or they’ll pay you based on the weight of the converter. They may ask for the following:
- Serial number
- Condition of converter’s exterior
- Condition of the cat’s interior
- F-150 model year
A scrap yard or reseller will also consider whether the part is OEM or original. Despite the similarities between OEM and Ford parts, Ford converters can cost quite a bit more as they usually contain more precious metals.
What Makes a Catalytic Converter Valuable?
A catalytic converter is a crucial part of your F-150’s emissions system. However, what makes a catalytic converter valuable is the components that make it work. Specifically, the precious metals and extensive research and regulations create them.
The metals contained in a cat converter are rare and valuable. Unfortunately, since they’re so rare, they significantly drive up the converter price. You’ll find one or more of the following four metals in a catalytic converter:
Although catalytic converters are in every modern vehicle, they’re complex pieces of equipment. Due to their complexity, they require specialized skills to produce. Those skills come with a higher salary, which gets reflected in the part’s price.
As carmakers become more environmentally conscious, researchers will continue to find new ways to make catalytic converters more efficient. Of course, as any scientist will tell you, that progress costs money.
Catalytic converters undergo several stringent certification processes before they’re put to market. In California, that process is overseen by CARB, which stands for California Air Resource Board. Unfortunately, the extensive testing adds to the cost of the part.
In addition to CARB certification, the United States has strict standards that all converters need to meet. Those standards require more considerable investments from car and parts manufacturers.
What Type of Precious Metals Are in a Catalytic Converter?
Why do people steal catalytic converters? That is because rhodium, palladium, and platinum are the three precious metals you’ll find inside these devices. Unsurprisingly, they’re also one of the biggest reasons people steal catalytic converters.
Inside your cat con, you’ll find a honeycombed structure covered in metal. Thieves who steal converters remove that metal and sell it. It’s a complicated process but worthwhile to criminals.
Palladium is one of three valuable metals you can find in catalytic converters. It’s not as rare as rhodium or platinum, but it’s rare enough that thieves will risk arrest to remove it. On average, you’ll get anywhere from 2 to 7 grams of palladium from a single catalytic converter.
Rhodium is one of the most expensive metals in a catalytic converter. It’s highly resistant to poisons, which is why it’s so useful in an emissions system. A converter will usually have 1 to 2 grams of rhodium.
Platinum is a ubiquitous yet rare precious metal. Although you’re most likely to find it gracing a jewelry case, many manufacturers use about 3 to 7 grams of platinum in their catalytic converters.
Cerium is the fourth rare metal in a Ford F-150’s catalytic converters. It’s less rare than the other metals but has a high price tag due to mining costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing or selling used car parts can be a frustrating process. So, if you’re considering buying or selling an F-150 cat, here’s some more information to help you.
Does the Ford F-150 have 2 catalytic converters?
Many of Ford’s vehicles have two catalytic converters, including the F-150. The truck has a converter in the front end that does the work that a standard cat does in other vehicles. The back-end converter further processes any leftover hydrocarbons before they hit your muffler.
How can you find the best F-150 scrap price for a catalytic converter?
Knowing how to find the best scrap price for a Ford F-150 catalytic converter is crucial when repairing or selling.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a listing of scrap prices available online for most yards. Your best bet is to call a few different scrap yards to see if they’ll give you a quote or check online to see if they’ll email you estimates.
Sometimes you can find private sellers who’ll negotiate a fair price and can be found on online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook. Determining how much a catalytic converter’s worth on a Ford F150 also depends on whether it is new or scrap value.
How can you dispose of a catalytic converter?
If your catalytic converter is past its prime, you should dispose of it properly. You can find recycling companies that will take your converter, and, of course, you could try selling it to someone who’d mine the metal out of it.
Where can you buy a catalytic converter?
Long ago, your only options for a catalytic converter were an automotive shop or a scrap yard. Fortunately, once the internet came about, a new world opened. Now, you can go online and compare converter prices from all over. You’ll be able to find scrap, new, and aftermarket catalytic converters easily online.