How To Recycle a Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is an essential part of an automobile. A catalytic converter is responsible for changing harmful gas emissions such as hydrocarbons into the less toxic substances water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Catalytic converters are made from precious metals platinum, palladium and rhodium so recycling them is advisable.

  1. Know when to change your vehicle's catalytic converter. Of course, you have to ascertain first if your vehicle's catalytic converter is damaged and is beyond use. One good indicator would be dark gas emissions when your vehicle is running. Substrates and rust particles also indicate a catalytic converter's poor condition. Also, vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on them are the most likely candidates for a catalytic converter replacement. If you are not quite sure how to go about the assessment, then have it checked by your local mechanic.
  2. Know where the catalytic converter is located. Cars that have been manufactured in the 80's will surely have catalytic converters. Have the car owner's manual with you if possible to help you in identifying the parts of your vehicle. If you do not have it, then contact your car's local dealer for a copy of the manual.
  3. Uninstall the catalytic converter from the overall exhaust system. Having the correct tools and equipment is essential for this project. Raise the car above the ground first using a floor jack. Properly secure the vehicle with jack stands before you go ahead and lower the floor jack. Go underneath the car and pinpoint the catalytic converter. Spray a liberal amount of penetrating oil onto the clamps; nuts and bolts that connect it to the overall exhaust system. Use the correct type of ratchet or wrench to loosen all of these connectors afterwards. You may need to hammer or even saw the clamps, nuts and bolts loose especially if these are coated with thick rust or salt particles. Just make sure that you know your way with these tools to avoid any accidents. Lastly, break the metal clamp connecting the device to the air hose loose to finally uninstall the catalytic converter.

Now that you have removed the catalytic converter from your vehicle, then you can readily contact salvaging facilities in and around your area.. Most salvaging facilities will pay a modest amount for a scrap catalytic converter. Since this is the case, then it will be worthwhile to look for those with the most competitive pricing. You can even check related websites for this purpose. These online resources make identifying location of salvaging facilities easier. Some even provide tools to help you compare buying rates for various scrap metals such as catalytic converters.


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