How Much Does A Catalytic Converter Cost?


A Catalytic Converter is a device which converts harmful gases into harmless gases using a catalyst. The catalyst used is generally a mixture of precious metals. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are mostly used as catalysts. The catalyst converts hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water, carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen gases. A vehicle’s catalytic converter cost may range between 400$ to 3000$ depending upon the quality and brand.

The exhaust gases of a vehicle contain three harmful substances-

1-Hydrocarbons (produced due to unburnt gasoline)

2-Carbon monoxide

3-Nitrogen oxides

Why Should One Get a Catalytic Converter?

Having a catalytic converter installed in your vehicle is mandatory in most countries. Emission and smog tests are conducted before issuing a driving license. As such, one who does not have a catalytic converter may not be able to get his driving license. Secondly, catalytic converters reduce air pollution in the city and ensure that a city’s air is breathable.

The lifespan of a Catalytic Converter

The lifespan of a catalytic converter ranges between 70k and 100k miles. Regular maintenance and checks can prolong the life of a catalytic converter. A person’s way of driving his car and the usage of his car also have a bearing upon the lifespan of a catalytic converter.

Why are Catalytic Converters Susceptible to Thefts?

Catalytic converters use precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium as catalysts, which also makes them a target of thieves. Thieves steal them for the precious metals inside them. Instances of the stealing of catalytic converters are very common.

Certain precautions can be taken to prevent the thefts of catalytic converters-

  • Cars should not be parked overnight in the open. They should be either parked in a garage or patrolled car park.
  • -One can fit special alarms that go off whenever a catalytic converter is tampered with.
  • One can also use extra protective cover or bolts to deter the thieves.

Location of Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters require temperatures as high as 426-degree celsius for their functioning. Hence they are placed as close as possible to engines.

Effectiveness and Other Issues

Catalytic converters reduce the immediate air pollution but do not eliminate it. Catalytic converters also require high temperatures for their functioning. First catalytic converters needed 10-15 minutes to start while the new ones need just 2-3 minutes to warm up and start. Catalytic converters also contribute to the release of greenhouse gases. While most of the nitrogen oxide is converted into nitrogen and oxygen, small quantities are released as nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is again a greenhouse gas.

The catalytic converter cost in markets is not very high, but its maintenance and repair need to be done regularly, which may add to the costs.

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