Why cant Auto Recyclers sell used Catalytic Converters ?

We get a lot of calls from our customers wanting to purchase a “used” catalytic converter for their vehicle and unfortunately we always have to say no. So i thought i would explain some of the details as i understand it to help answer this commonly requested part.

There were several Clean Air Acts set up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and i could not find the specific Statues on this, but several that i did find read as follows.

EPA considers it a violation of the policy to install a used converter from a salvage yard or sell it for reuse unless it has been properly tested and labeled. Similarly, it is a violation to install an untested used converter brought in by a customer, even if the customer insists that the used converter came off his/her vehicle.

Salvage or junk yards also would be considered liable for causing tampering if they sell converters that have not been tested or do not meet the requirements outlined in the policy and if the converters are subsequently installed by parties named in the Clean Air Act as prohibited from tampering.

So following these guidelines, very few Salvage yards have the equipment to test them and the tampering laws that a salvage yard mite face keep them from even considering it. What we are able to do with the ones we remove is to sell them to licensed core buyer or smelter to be recycled as there is a market for the precious metals that are inside them. We do not purchase them, we only handle the ones we recycle ourselves.

What we at NNAWG recommend if your vehicle needs a new cat is for you to visit your local auto repair or exhaust shop and they will have the contacts to get you a reasonably priced new replacement catalytic converter.

Thank You!