How Much Does a Catalytic Converter Weigh?

Many materials in the scrap industry are evaluated by their weight. If you’re considering scrapping or recycling a catalytic converter, it’s natural to think that the weight is a major factor in its value. So, how much does a catalytic converter typically weigh?

A catalytic convertser’s weight varies by model, with some as light as 1 pound and others weighing over 10 pounds. Most units are about 7 pounds. However, the precious metals inside determine the scrap price. As a result, more weight doesn’t always equal a higher scrap value.

Recycling an old catalytic converter takes doing a bit of research. Unlike most materials in the scrap industry, heavier catalytic converters aren’t necessarily more expensive. Let’s discuss what actually affects the price of a catalytic converter and how you can estimate the potential scrap value.

Why Weight Matters Less Than You Might Think

Professional Mechanic Performing Car Undercarriage Inspection

Most individuals looking to recycle old catalytic converters believe the weight impacts the price of the unit, but this isn’t always the case. Most materials in the scrap industry are evaluated by weight, but catalytic converters are priced based on the precious metals inside the unit.

So, when scrapping a used catalytic converter, more weight won’t always yield more cash. What’s important is the weight of the platinum, palladium, and rhodium inside the unit. Different models have different amounts of precious metals.

That said, most catalytic converters weigh around 7 pounds, but weights fluctuate depending on the model.

You can use the list below to gauge the weight of your catalytic converter:

  • Small Breadloaf: 3-6 pounds
  • Large Breadloaf: 5-9 pounds
  • Bead Catalytic Converters: 10-16 pounds
  • Small Foreign Catalytic Converters: 1-5 pounds
  • Medium-Sized Foreign Converters: 3-11 pounds
  • Small GM Converters: 4-8 pounds
  • Large GM Catalytic Converters: 5-10 pounds
  • Exotic Converters: 2-12 pounds
  • Aftermarket Converters: 2-4 pounds
  • Torpedo Catalytic Converters: 5-15 pounds
  • Small Foil Converters: 2-3 pounds
  • Medium-Sized Foil: 3-8 pounds
  • Large Foil Converters: 4-10 pounds
  • DPFs: 3-16 pounds
  • Pre-Foreign Converters: 2-8 pounds
  • Pre-Domestic Converters: 2-8 pounds
  • Flow Catalytic Converters: 3-6 pounds

How Much of Each Metal Is in a Catalytic Converter?

Underbody of an off-road vehicle, SUV or off-road vehicle shows automotive engineering in detail with wheel suspension

The precious metals inside a converter is what makes them valuable for recycling and scrapping. As a result, the actual value of a catalytic converter depends on the precious metals found inside a unit. The three precious metals most commonly found inside a converter include platinum, rhodium, and palladium.

Remember that ultimately, these precious metals are commodities. Just like gasoline or milk, their prices fluctuate. It’s best to confirm prices through an online resource, like Markets Insider, for the most up-to-date figures.

With that in mind, each unit will vary, but here’s an idea of how much metal you can expect in a standard catalytic converter:

Platinum: 3-7 Grams

You can find roughly 3-7 grams of platinum in a standard catalytic converter. The price of precious metals is always changing, but platinum has a market price of around ~$740 to ~$1,060 per ounce at the time of writing.

Palladium 2-7 Grams

Palladium is another precious metal found inside catalytic converters and jewelry.

Most converters contain 2-7 grams of palladium. Prices constantly fluctuate, but palladium has a current market price of around ~$1,650 to ~$1,840 per ounce.

Rhodium 1-2 Grams

Rhodium is another precious metal found inside catalytic converters and jewelry. Rhodium is the most valuable metal inside recycled converters; most units have 1-2 grams.

Prices constantly fluctuate, but rhodium has a market price of around ~$11,350 per ounce at the time of writing this article.

What’s the Highest Paying Catalytic Converter for Scrap?

The scrap value of a catalytic converter depends on the amount of platinum, palladium, and rhodium inside the unit. Different models contain varying amounts of precious metals, so prices will fluctuate wildly.

One of the most recent high-end catalytic converters includes the Ferrari F430, which had a scrap value of around $3,800 in 2020. The Ferrari F430 has two converters, meaning the total scrap value is around $7,600 before labor costs.

Other expensive units include the Lamborghini Aventador, which also has two catalytic converters fetching roughly $3,200 per unit or $6,400 in total. A domestic converter with a high recycle value is the Dodge Ram 2500, with a scrap price of around $3,500.

Other Examples of High-Paying Catalytic Converters

Many catalytic converters can be sold for as little as $50 to $250, while other units can be scrapped for over $800. Several high-paying catalytic converters can be recycled and sold for scrap material, including some of the following:

  • Ford F-250: ~$3,300
  • Ford Mustang: ~$1,800
  • Toyota Prius: ~$800
  • BMW N55: ~$800
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer: ~$400

These are just a few vehicle models with high-value catalytic converters. These prices are estimates and will fluctuate depending on the current value of the precious metals. Labor costs and other charges can also affect the total resale value.

Some vehicles have two converters, so the model also affects the price.

That said, exotic and foreign converters will typically yield more scrap value than domestic units—but it always depends on the number of precious metals inside the unit.