Federal Autocat Blog


You hear about catalytic converter theft all the time. As the price for precious metals increases so does the theft of scrap catalytic converters.  The question to ask is what can you do as buyer to avoid buying stolen scrap catalytic converter.

What makes this difficult is that as a stolen catalytic converter looks exactly the same as one that is not?  The only exception is if it from a new car, the converter will not have that “worn” or  “rusted”. So , this will be a huge sign.

So, if you can’t tell from the converter, what can do?

You can never really eliminate buying stolen converters. However, you reduce the rick. The first step is to know your customer base.  By working with reputable companies/people, this will go a long way to buying legitamate converters. 

However to grow your business, you will want to take on new customers. So, the first step is to record their name, address and phone number. Also, you should take a copy of their driver’s license. If a person is unwilling to do this, this will be a great sign that something is not right. 

After gathering the basic information, the most obvious step is look at the amount of converters the person is selling and the mix of converters that you are buying from them.  Remember, each converter purchase should have mix of different categories. Here is what a typcial purchase mix should look like


If the amount of converters are small and of the same type, this also can be a sign that something is not right.

So, at the end , the risk of purchasing  stolen catalytic converter can never be eliminated but it can reduced.


Posted in Catalytic Converters | 2 Comments

Converters- It really is a shell game

How should  I send in my converters with the shell or without?

This is a question that is frequently asked.  In all scrap catalytic converters, the monolith is surrounded by stainless steel. This outer coating is commonly referred to as a shell or can.


When the converters are cut, this process is referred to as “Decanned”. The monolith is referred to as “loose”.

As a buyer, you will sell your converters that are in the shell by the unit. For the decanned, this will be sold by the pound.  So what is the better way to sell your scrap catalytic converters.?

It is recommended that you sell your scrap catalytic converters in the shell.  The advantage is the converter is identified by the shell.  From the novice to experienced buyers, the sorting of converters is done by looking at the whole converter for a particuliar shape or vehicle ID.

Without the shell, the buyer can do two things.  One is to estimate the price per pound. The second is to sample the material. There are key disadvantages to  both. Since the buyer is estimating, there is a great chance that he or she will use a conservative price. As a result, you will be paid less than if you had sold it in the shell.

For sampling material, you probably get equal value. However, the sampling process can be lengthy, so you will not get your money on a timely basis.

There are some advantages to sending decanned material. The first is the freight costs which are cheaper since there is not a steel case to send.  Second, the steel can be sold for additional profits. The first advantage of lower freight costs usually do not apply as the company you are buying from will pay for the freight costs. The second advantage of selling the steel will require tools and time to cut the steel. In addition, if not done properly, this can damage the monolith

The benefits of a bigger and quicker payment with selling whole converters greatly offset  the benefits of freight and steel for decanned material.

So, sell your converters with the shell and use that extra time to focus on learning the categories and your customer.



Posted in Catalytic Converters | 9 Comments

Ceramic vs Foil- Is there really a difference?

It is a common question that is often asked ” What is the difference between a foil and ceramic converter”

To start there are three types of scrap converters: Beads, Foils and Ceramics.  The foils are also referred to as wires.

There are differences that help to identify each category. The first difference is in the inside of the converter.

The bead converter contains a canister of loose pellets.

Both the foil and ceramic converter contain the standard monolith in the inside of the shell.

The big difference is in the style. The foil converter monolith looks like a swirled sheet. The monolith is wrapped through the steel

The ceramic converter monolith looks like a block. On the top of the block, you will find a standard pattern. The most common types are intersecting lines similar to a tic tac toe board. A second type is triangles

The second difference is the type of vehicle.

The bead converter was the first type of converter. This was exclusively in vehicles prior to 1980. Since the 1980′s, the bead converter was replaced by ceramic and foil converters. While both categories are in all foreign cars,  the foil converter is only in Chrysler cars in the domestic category. The ceramic converters are in all domestic converters.

In addition, the foil converter are slightly heavier than the ceramic converter.

In terms of price, there is not a standard guideline on which category is higher. This depends on the type of converter.



Posted in Catalytic Converters | 2 Comments

Aftermarket or chamelon

As many of you know, the aftermarket is a replacement converter for the original catalytic converter of your car.  While the aftermarket is a replacement, the scrap recovery price is much lower than original part. This scrap price paid can vary from 50% to 95%. The percentage of aftermarkets that you buy can be up to 20% of your purchase. So with the high volume and low price, it is very essential that as a buyer you know the difference.

In recent years, the ability to differentiate aftermarkets from original parts has become increasingly difficult.  The aftermarket converters companies are now making these very similar to the original parts.

However, there are two key items that can help you make the right choice.

The first is on the outside of the converter. On the converter shell, it will have a tag with a part number on it. If that converter is the original part, there will be a logo or some type of reference to the original company.

The second is on the inside of the converter. On the inside, the monolith will display a more whitish color for an aftermarket.

Both of these factors can be used as tools when deciding what to pay for a unit at the time of purchase.

Posted in Catalytic Converters | Leave a comment

Show me what you got

There are other factors that help choosing  your scrap catalytic
converter and it all centers around three components: Cash,
Delivery and Answers.

Let’s start with the first: Cash. It does not do you any good if
your converter is worth $100 and you never get the $100. So, when look for a
scrap converter company makes sure they are reputable. It helps if the company
has been in business for awhile or part of larger company.


This should give you confidence that they will pay you $100 or
dare to dream: $1 million dollars!!

With delivery, you are looking for convenience. You want to have
the option of delivering your converters or having the company pick them up in
a timely basis. Of course, it would help to have someone foot the bill.

The item is answers. As a buyer, you will always have questions.
As you get more experienced in scrap catalyst materials, your questions become
more complex. A good example is basketball. Once you learn the basic skills:
dribbling, passing and shooting, there are more complex items such as the pick
and roll, the screen and maybe defending Kobe Bryant. The point is that you
want your scrap catalytic converter company to be readily available to answer
all of your questions from basic to complex.


So like Kobe Bryant, you want a well diversified scrap converter
company that can do everything.






Posted in Catalytic Converters | 2 Comments

What can we do for you

Besides, identifying the basic converter categories, the catalytic
converter recycling company you select can help identify the value of a
specific scrap catalytic converter.


If you are car junkie, you know that each year there is a different model of your favorite car. In addition to different models, there are different categories of cars
such as SUV’s, mini-vans, hybrids and cross-overs.

With changes to cars and stronger emission laws, the scrap catalytic converter is always changing.

More importantly to you, the value in catalytic converter pricing
is always changing.


Posted in Catalytic Converters | Leave a comment

Your Future starts right now

So, you have taken the first important step in “Going Green”
by buying scrap catalytic converters. By doing so, you are saving the world
from the dangers of aboveground mining.
So, now you need to ask yourself, “How can buy more

In the movie “The Karate Kid”, Danny Larusa found the
perfect teacher/mentor in Mr. Miyagi. As a new buyer or experienced buyer, you
need to find your Mr. Miyagi which is an experienced catalytic converter
recycling company.  A great catalytic
converter recycling company is a company that not only gives you the most money
for your converters but also helps you develop the long term future of your

The biggest factor to look for when finding the right
company is experience and longevity.

The length of experience will help in their knowledge of scrap catalytic converters. The category of catalytic converters is very broad and diverse. With stricter emission controls always coming into play, the category is increasingly growing. The biggest
challenge is to the casual eye, all converters look very similar. So, to a
novice, a large foreign converter looks the same as an aftermarket.  Making that mistake can cost a buyer a $100-$150 loss just on one converter.  So,
the company that you choose will help you in the short term and the long term.

The longevity of the company indicates that this company
knows what they are doing.

Great for the EARTH but great for you.

Posted in Catalytic Converters | 3 Comments

How to discover if you really have a Picasso?

So, how do you get to know your catalytic converter? You have look at catalytic converter like how you would shop for a car or television. First thing that you would do is explore your options. Take your converter to many places to see if which one will offer you the best price for your scrap catalytic converter. While the best price is one of the most important factors in choosing a company.

There is another factor to consider: THE FUTURE. The catalytic converter recycling company that you choose should be able to pay a competitive price but also help grow your business so that you can buy smarter.

So always think top dollar but also think can I be a long term player in the scrap catalyst material world.

Posted in Catalytic Converters | 9 Comments

Grading: Is a converter really like a Picasso?

The second most popular item you hear in scrap catalytic converter buying is grading. The first, of course, is price. However, the two go hand in hand.

How can that be?

Picture a child trying to sell lemonade at .25 cents per cup but his first customer says that’s just water so I will pay you only .05 cents per cup

Now replace the lemonade and water with large foreign and a small foreign and welcome to the world of catalytic converter grading.  In art, where beauty is in the eye of the beholder… the value of a catalytic converter is defined.

How do you understand grading?

Understand your converter.

Posted in Catalytic Converters | Leave a comment

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