OEM Catalytic Converters VS Aftermarket

This Blog will illustrate the difference between these two types of Catalytic Converters.


OEM Catalytic Converters

oem vs aftermarket

OEM stands for “ Original Equipment Manufacturer,” which means that the materials used to create the Catalytic Converter are from the automotive manufacturer. OEM Catalytic Converters have a denser load of precious metals like Rhodium, Platinum, and Palladium. The precious metal content is far greater than an Aftermarket Catalytic Converter because of the warranty requirements OEM parts must abide by. 

Since the manufacturer must load OEM Catalytic Converters with a higher dose of precious metals, the OEM converters are more expensive to purchase and have a greater return when recycling.

How to determine if your Catalytic Converter is an OEM:

All OEM Catalytic Converters have a distinct stamp. This stamp could be the manufacturer’s Logo followed by the serial number. Since the converters are built to last, the seal may collect rust or dirt over time, making the label hard to read. If that is the case, we recommend using steel wool to scrape the grit off the label until it is readable.

Aftermarket Catalytic Converters

“Aftermarket” refers to parts that are replacement parts to the original equipment. Aftermarket Catalytic converters are very cheap compared to the OEM converters because aftermarket part manufacturers do not have to meet the warranty standards before distributing them. OEM Catalytic Converters are designed to last the entire lifetime of your car if handled adequately. Aftermarket Catalytic Converters have no responsibility to survive that long, so they are made using cheaper materials.

Since the Aftermarket Catalytic Converters are not held to high warranty standards like OEM converters, the Aftermarket Manufacturers save costs by using less precious metals. Because less precious metals are applied to the converter, there is less filtration of toxic compounds from the vehicle’s engine. The minuscule amount of precious metals that will be found in these Converters make the recyclable value far less than the OEM Converters.

How to determine if your Catalytic Converter is an Aftermarket:

catalytic converterAftermarket Converters usually have a silver shield, and an arrow imprinted on it. Commonly the serial numbers on these converters begin with the letter “N.”

Now you know the difference in value between OEM and Aftermarket Catalytic Converters and how to identify each.

Edmund Schwenk

CEO/Metallurgist of PGM Recovery Systems “The single most important factor when you sell auto catalyst from used catalytic converters is the assay, not terms! Assay transparency is paramount! Many de-canners we speak to believe they are not getting correct assays on their material. Some have de-canned, shipped to other companies and received a little more than they could have sold their whole converters for in the first place.”Mission Statement: We at PGM Recovery Systems are providing information and transparency to the catalytic converter recycling industry in an effort to promote a value system of fair dealing. As a result of providing the industry with the proper tools to increase their profits, we are developing long-term relationships with suppliers.