Every day we get calls from customers wanting the cheapest converter we have for their vehicle. We all want to save money when getting our vehicle fixed...but shopping for the cheapest catalytic converter might just turn out to be a very expensive experience.
What determines the cost of a catalytic converter is not the outer steel of the case or the piping attached, it is the substrate (the guts or inside) of the converter. Inside a converter is a ceramic substrate, similar to a loaf of bread. This substrate is coated from the factory with a liquified mixture of platinum, palladium, rhodium and cerium. These are classified as precious metals and very very expensive. Example...On the metals market today Rhodium and Platinum are almost the same price as Gold!
The amount (total grams) of this substance or "wash coat" as it's called, determines the eventual pricing of converters. The more wash coat the better the the converter performs and the more likely it will KEEP THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT OFF! The less wash coat the less efficient the cat will work and the likelihood is the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT PROBLEM WILL SOON RETURN!
Factory converters come with 70+ grams of precious metals coating on the substrate. This is an overkill of coating but you must remember factory converters carry an 8 year or 80,000 mile warranty. Catalytic Converters from Discount Converter, Ltd. all carry a minimum of 45+ grams of precious metal coating on the substrates. This is basically an overkill also of wash coat for an aftermarket cat, but it keeps the check engine light off and keeps your peace of mind!
Many suppliers on the web today sell off shore manufacturered cats, from China or Korea, etc. These converters have minimal precious metals content thus making them nice and cheap, but here's the bad news...they don't work!! Unfortunately this does not only apply to foreign made converters, there are manufacturers in the states that skimp dramatically on the amount of wash coat. It does make their converters cheap but again how will they perform is the real question? Remember, the less wash coat of precious metals the more likely the check engine light will come back! If you're buying an aftermarket cat you might want to ask the question of just how much wash coat it might contain?
So now we get back to "if you're looking for a cheap catalytic converter". Chances are you will surely find one on the internet that is cheap...but will it do the job and will you be buying another one again real soon? Any small savings you might have achieved originally can become real expensive down the road!
We at Discount Converter have been in business on the web since 1997 and cater mostly to dealers and auto repair shops. Our prices may not always be the cheapest but we do know our converters are of the highest quality in the industry and more important, will do the job they are intended to do! If you should have any questions about this or about catalytic converters in general please give us a call...we'd be happy to talk with you!