Do All Cars Have Catalytic Converters?

Nov 15, 2021 03:43 PM EST | Staff Reporter

Do all cars have catalytic converters?

(Photo : Image by Noel Bauza from Pixabay )

Yes, almost every car made a few decades ago has catalytic converters in them. 

However, not all cars currently have catalytic converters in them. Today, the increase of electric cars on the roads is an amazing accomplishment. Electric cars don't need catalytic converters. 

However, many exotic cars still run on diesel fuel or gasoline - meaning they have catalytic converters installed. Also, every hybrid car does have catalytic converters in them (either plug-in models or non-plugin). Collecting these converters is still very lucrative, for they contain precious metals.

Keep reading to learn more about catalytic converters.

Can a Car Run Without a Catalytic Converter ?

Yes, it can. You can drive your car without a catalytic converter. If you are not driving an electric car and your car was designed to run with a catalytic converter, then it can be considered illegal (in some states and countries). Your car can run without this converter but it would most likely fail the emissions test. So it's not advisable to move without the converter.

As often, a catalytic converter is fixed on a car to filter all toxic substances from gases via the exhaust pipe. This may fail once in a while. It can also be blocked over time and need a replacement.

Do All Cars Have Catalytic Converters Now ?

Since 1975, catalytic converters have been installed in almost every gasoline vehicle in the USA. The powerful car part helps scrub out very harmful pollutants away from the exhaust pipe of a car. They reduce emissions that are dangerous to humans and the environment. The interior of catalytic converters has precious metals - platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Being a valuable gadget, several theft cases of catalytic converters have been reported, especially cars with the most expensive catalytic converters.

Most cars today run with catalytic converters. The only cars that are exempted from these gadgets are cars that run mainly on electricity. Cars that need to be plugged and recharged don't run on these converters. Also, cars or vehicles that don't run on diesel fuel or gasoline don't need catalytic converters.

Today, more electric cars are being produced. These are plugin cars and they're gradually catching up. Electric cars don't need catalytic converters. 

Some of the electric cars that don't use catalytic converters include Volkswagen e-Golf, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Audi E-Tron, Fiat 500E, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model S, Hyundai Kona EV, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq EV, Hyundai NEXO, Honda Clarity Electric, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Jaguar I-Pace, and Kia Soul EV.

Other cars powered by hydrogen don't use catalytic converters. These cars include fuel cell cars. Hydrogen burns well without causing any toxic pollutants. So cars that run on them don't require these converters. The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell model is a perfect example of these cars. It is currently on the market ( not in the United States for now). They will soon be readily available for mass purchase in the nearest future.

What Vehicles Have the Most Valuable Catalytic Converters ?

Cars that have the unit in the engine bay may not be too susceptible to theft. But the old models of some cars get more target. Why is this? The catalytic converters of older cars' models have more precious metals than what the new ones have.

So what vehicles have the most valuable catalytic converters? A recent study in 2020 reveals that the Ferrari F430 has the most expensive catalytic converter. Its catalytic converter was estimated to be worth about $3,770. Don't forget this, this Ferrari model needs to converts - making them worth up to $7,540 to run the car.

Another car with a valuable catalytic converter is the Lamborghini Aventador. Its catalytic converter worths about $3,120. This vehicle also needs to run with two converters - making them cost a total of $6,240. Anyone who can afford exotic cars won't have a problem replacing these converters.

Other vehicles with the most valuable catalytic converters include Jaguar, Porsche, and high-class Land Rover.

Most Stolen Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters have hidden gems in them. They contain valuable precious metals. These are easy targets for crooks. The most expensive cars and vehicles which use gasoline or diesel fuel have expensive catalytic converters. Few theft cases have been reported. 

When thieves steal these valuable converters, they often sell them at scrapyards. According to the Salisbury Police Department, it was reported that catalytic converters that were most stolen were from vehicles such as pickup trucks, Toyota Priuses, and Honda vans.

How much are some stolen catalytic converters worth? Here are few reports from the Sheriff Department, Orange County. At a metal recycler's site, a stolen catalytic converter could be sold for a few hundred dollars. In other places, the price can be a thousand dollars or more.

In Conclusion

Not all cars currently have catalytic converters in them. Only electric cars don't require these converters because they don't run on gasoline or diesel fuel. Also, fuel cell cars don't need catalytic converters because they run on hydrogen, which burns clearly. Usually, some car manufacturers have database of spent auto catalysts.

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