What Vehicles Have the Most Valuable Catalytic Converters?

Do you know that one of the most expensive things to replace in your vehicle is the catalytic converter? However, its high cost is because of the difficulty experienced in installing it, not necessarily the cost of the converter itself.

The high rise in theft of catalytic converters has raised concerns in many people on the kind of vehicles that have the most expensive converters to safeguard their vehicle well

This article will help you know what vehicles have the most valuable catalytic converters, why they are so expensive, and the top 5 cars with the costliest catalytic converters.

What Is A Catalytic Converter?

For many internal combustion engines, catalytic converters are a common thing. It is a device under your vehicle that controls the exhaust emitted as you drive. The catalytic converters use a catalyzing reaction to convert toxic pollutants into less toxic ones.

Any catalytic converter can be mistaken for a small muffler, but the internal components differ. One of its components, the honeycomb mesh plated in precious metals acts as a catalyst when toxic gases pass through the surface area before being converted into less harmful gases.  

catalytic converters


Though catalytic converters are primarily used in vehicle exhaust systems, they have similar applications in electrical generators, wood stoves, trucks, locomotives, forklifts, mining equipment, and motorcycles. In addition, these converters have helped many manufacturers comply with both environmental and safety regulations.

Where Is The Catalytic Converter Located?

The answer to this question depends on your vehicle. However, every car has its catalytic converter located under it (between the exhaust system region and the engine). Therefore, finding your exhaust system would not be a big issue if you can identify it. 

You should confirm the location of the catalytic converter under your car long before a replacement is due so that you can save time if you plan to do it yourself.

Which Catalytic Converters Are The Most Expensive?

The most expensive catalytic converters are not from a single-vehicle brand. For example, as of 2021, the Ferrari F430 has the costliest catalytic converter, with a price tag of $3,800 per converter. Aside from that, this Ferrari needs two such converters to function adequately, amounting to a total of $7,600 excluding the installation cost. These prices seem extreme, but not to Ferrari owners because if you can afford a Ferrari, you can afford one of these.

The second most expensive catalytic converter (per piece) is the Ram 2500, for a whopping $3,460. However, this vehicle needs only one, which brings it behind the Lamborghini Aventador, which requires two converters at $3,120 per piece, totaling $6,240 for full functionality.

The next in line will be the Ford F-250, which costs $2,804 per piece, while the Ford Mustang costs $1,500 among the list of the most expensive catalytic converters in the market. In general, the average price of catalytic converters ranges from $800 to $1,200 (per piece), depending on the car brand and model.

Important note

You should note that the prices mentioned in this session only cover the converter unit, excluding the cost of other parts in the exhaust system and installation or labor cost. All these should be considered before deciding to replace your catalytic converter.

Why Are Catalytic Converters So Expensive?

affordable catalytic converters


It is clear that even affordable catalytic converters are expensive to replace or repair due to the following:

Materials used

The metals used to coat the honeycomb mesh are expensive since only rare materials can meet this need for the exposed surface area to act as a catalyst that transforms carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. The suitable materials for this purpose are palladium, rhodium, platinum, and other metals in the same family.

Currently, platinum’s spot price is $1,135 (per ounce), while palladium costs $2,332. Rhodium is an indispensable metal in your converter because it helps reduce smog levels, though its price ranges between $10,000 and $21,000 per ounce.

This is why catalytic converters are tiny in size. However, there is a limit to the extent manufacturers can go if the functionality is not traded off to fulfill their purpose.

Engineering Technicality

affordable catalytic converters


Making a catalytic converter involves specialized knowledge. Both chemical and mechanical engineering experts must come together to produce one. Also, more experimentation needs to go into the pipeline to meet the climate change goal of producing greener gases.

So, any mistake while trying to improve the functionality of a catalytic converter can lead to more cost due to the rare metals involved. In addition, today, most people are returning to gas-powered engines in place of diesel. Hence, the high price of catalytic converters.

Theft

Increasing theft has led to an increase in demand for converters. As a result, more converters will be needed over time with the supply maintained, increasing catalytic converter prices.

Global Pandemic (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 international lockdown closed many mining facilities temporally, demand was increasing, and supply was static; hence this led to a higher price of catalytical converters than usual.

Top 5 Cars with the most expensive Catalytic Converters for scrap

1. Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

The Ford brand is known for its high-quality catalytic converters worth $1,500. This price is subject to inflation and other factors that affect demand and supply. Car brands and model have their specific catalytic converters, and most of them are within the range of $800 to $1,200.

2. Ford F250

Ford F250

Another Ford model F250 (pickup truck) is heavy-duty and large, requiring a high-quality catalytic converter to conform to the carbon emission standard. Its current price is $2,800, higher than the Ford Mustang.

3. Ram 2500

Ram 2500

This vehicle has a catalytic converter that costs as much as $3,460. It is also a pickup truck like the Ford F250 with a towing capacity of almost 17,350 pounds for the gas engines. However, this truck is not as flashy or exotic as its predecessors.

4. Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador

This model of Lamborghini comes with a high-quality catalytic converter price of $3,100. However, two of them ($6,200) are needed for full functionality. Hence, it ranks second in the top cars with the most expensive catalytic converters.

5. Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430

To date, the Ferrari brand has the most expensive catalytic converter, with its price at $3,800. The F430 needs two of these, thus amounting to $7,600. The Ferrari is one of the most expensive cars globally..

In addition to this list of the top 5 cars with the most expensive catalytic for scrap, Porsche, BMW, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and other models of Lamborghini also fall in this class.

Table of Some common car models and their catalytic converter prices

Find below some common car models with the catalytic converter prices for both new and used.

Car ManufacturerCar ModelCatalytical Converter price (New)Catalytic Converter Price (Used)
FerrariFerrari F430$ 3,800$1,300 – $1,800
RamRam 2500$3,460$1,000 – $2,100
LamborghiniLamborghini Aventador$3,100$1,100 – $2,200
FordFord f250$2,800$900 – $1,800
LamborghiniLamborghini Murcielago$2,699$450 – $900
FordFord Mustang$1,500$200 – $700
JeepJeep Grand Cherokee$1,374$251 – $400
ToyotaToyota Prius$1,200$400 – $600
LamborghiniLamborghini Gallarado$1,200$1,096
MercedesMercedes Benz S-Class$1,120$400 approx
MercedesMercedes Benz E-Class$840$200 – $300
FordFord Crown Victoria$400$79 – $120
VWVolkswagen Passat$319
AudiAudi TT S3$304.91$100 approx
HyundaiHyundai Accent$218
VWVolkswagen Touareg V6$189
NissanNissan Rogue$143$49 – $69
HondaHonda Accord 03 – 07$110

FAQ’s

What are the best scrap catalytic converters?

Platinum remains the best metal when dealing with catalytic converters. Though palladium also falls in the same class, it is reserved for luxurious catalytic converters because it is more expensive than platinum.

What is the value of a stolen catalytic converter?

Stolen catalytic converters are sold between $20 and $200 depending on the metal used. In addition, metal recyclers will resell rhodium for about $6,000 per ounce after extracting it.

What is the value of platinum in a catalytic converter?

Depending on the quality, the value of platinum ranges from $100 to $1,000 and around $600 for older vehicles. But, again, this depends on your car’s brand, model, and age.

What is the gold content of a catalytic converter?

Catalytic converters do not have gold in their composition; they all use platinum, rhodium, and palladium. As a result, precious metals are only between 0.2 to 0.5% of the total design, and the total ceramic weight is less than 1kg.

Wrapping Up

Having read through this article, you now know why the theft of catalytic converters is on the rise, the reasons for its high cost, and the materials responsible for it. Safeguard your car against any situation that exposes it to the risk of theft. Park your car in your garage or fence your driveway with security measures in place. You do not want to visit the repair shop anytime soon.

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