Does My Car Need a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic Converter

Vehicles in general all run on a similar sort of system. You have an engine, a transmission, and of course, an exhaust system that emits all of the gases and pollutants that come from the combustion that is involved inside of your engine.

Although vehicles are much more complex than the simple breakdown that we just gave you, they all rely heavily on catalytic converters to ensure that any emissions that come from the vehicle are as harmless as possible.

British Columbia is known for being a very clean energy-forward province and has always made reducing emissions a priority. When your vehicle doesn’t have a catalytic converter, the emissions that leave your vehicle are not nearly as clean as they could be.

But does that mean you NEED to have a catalytic converter in order for your vehicle to run properly? Read today’s blog post to find out!

What Does a Catalytic Converter Do?

The main job of a catalytic converter is to regulate exhaust system emissions on any given vehicle. Its primary function is to convert toxic gases and various other pollutants created by your vehicle into less toxic gases so that they can be emitted in a much safer manner than if emitted without a converter.

Previously, BC was famous for implementing and enforcing mandatory AirCare on all insured vehicles throughout the Lower Mainland annually (some less often, depending on the age of the vehicle).

Many vehicles failed AirCare due to the fact that they were missing a catalytic converter, or because theirs was malfunctioning.

Catalytic converter filtering exhaust

Although that wasn’t the only reason that vehicles failed AirCare tests, it was one of the most prominent ones.

Does My Car Have to Have a Catalytic Converter in BC?

BC Car with Catalytic Converter

For anyone who has an aging vehicle, you probably have already noticed some unwanted rust or corrosion on the under carriage of your car. Although rust is a pain in the you-know-what, it can also lead to a whole host of other problems mechanically on your vehicle. And when it comes to the catalytic converter, rust can be catastrophic.

Once your converter starts to corrode, the toxic fumes that it is meant to reduce can easily escape, which means your vehicle is now leaking harmful emissions. But what about if your catalytic converter is stolen? Do you have to replace it in order to drive on British Columbia roads? The answer is yes, you do. British Columbia requires that all vehicles have a catalytic converter in order to operate on BC roadways.

In fact, the Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Warranty Regulation prohibits the sale of a motor vehicle by car manufacturers is there are any known, past, or present defects on the catalytic converter that have not been rectified by the car company.

Furthermore, not having a catalytic converter on your vehicle will not only be harmful to the environment, but it will also be much louder as the gases aren’t being filtered properly.

Cash for scrap cars in Vancouver

Additionally, anyone driving behind you will know that you don’t have a catalytic converter on your car. So, unless you want a Notice and Order, make sure you keep it on your vehicle, and replace it if it’s been stolen.

How Much Does a Catalytic Converter Cost to Replace?

Replacing a catalytic converter

The cost of the average catalytic converter varies, as does the cost of the labour that is involved with doing the actual replacement. It all depends on the type of vehicle you drive, the type of catalytic converter that you require, and the labour that it takes to remove the old one (if it’s still there) and install the new one.

According to AutoZone, there are 2 specific types of catalytic converters on vehicles:

1. Two-way catalytic converters

They primarily convert carbon monoxide (CO) into carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxidize unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) into water (H2O) and CO2. Two-way converters are generally found in older vehicles, many of which are still on the road today.

2. Three-way catalytic converters

These are more advanced and can also reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, converting them into nitrogen gas (N2) and oxygen (O2). Three-way converters are used in most modern vehicles and are more effective at reducing overall emissions.

Typically, a catalytic converter replacement will cost anywhere between $400 – $2,500 on a car. However, when you are replacing a catalytic converter on a larger vehicle like a truck, van, or large size SUV, you could be looking at up to $4,500. This is one of the reasons we buy so many scrap vehicles that are in need of a new catalytic converter.

At More Cash For Scrap, we happily buy vehicles with or without the catalytic converter, whereas many other scrap car removal companies in the Lower Mainland do not. We don’t care if you still have your old converter but need a new one due to malfunction.

Or, if your catalytic converter was stolen and your car simply does not have one at all.

Random car parts

We’ll offer you MORE cash for scrap cars with or without the catalytic converter than any other junk car buyers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters?

For anyone living in the Metro Vancouver or Fraser Valley areas, you probably heard about the rash of catalytic converter thefts that were taking place week after week throughout the Lower Mainland. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a catalytic converter is, you have probably already asked why people were stealing them to begin with.

A catalytic converter is an essential part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. This vital component contains various precious metals that are worth a lot of money when recycled or sold to salvage yards, junk yards, or auto wreckers.

However, after the rash of thefts came to light via Global News, CTV News, and CBC News, the British Columbia provincial government implemented measures to help reduce the amount of catalytic converter thefts.

Someone stealing a catalytic converter

Going forward, anyone who wants to recycle or sell a catalytic converter to a local scrapyard, will have to provide photo I.D., and advise the car recycler of where the catalytic converter came from.

Do All Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals?

Yes, because the combination of metals inside of the converter are what is responsible for the filtration of toxics gases. However, the main metal required for a catalytic converter to function properly is platinum.

On average, a vehicle’s converter will have approximately 3-7 grams of platinum in it to help reduce emissions as much as possible. However, vehicles like newer hybrids have a higher amount of platinum in their catalytic converters because they are noted as clean energy vehicles, and the primary purpose of hybrids is to reduce emissions.

The increased amount of platinum, as well as other precious metals, puts hybrid vehicles at a higher risk for catalytic converter theft in Metro Vancouver. And in a city that runs on almost as many clean energy vehicles as non-clean energy vehicles, hybrid owners need to be aware that they could be targeted.

Are People Still Stealing Catalytic Converters in Vancouver?

Yes, they are still being stolen from many Vancouver residents. Despite all of the efforts of our provincial government, thieves haven’t backed off very much from stealing catalytic converters in Metro Vancouver. However, due to the increased difficulty in recycling them, catalytic converter thieves are selling them online through various different platforms, and even on the black market now.

Since the BC government stepped in to help stop the thefts, the price of a catalytic converter online now has actually increased, which was the opposite effect that the provincial government was hoping to have on the catalytic converter thefts. This is because the risk of being caught with or selling a stolen catalytic converter has greatly increased in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Many people sell their vehicle because the catalytic converter has been stolen, and they are very expensive to replace on virtually any vehicle. However, when your vehicle is older and has other mechanical issues, replacing the catalytic converter is hardly practical. That’s why many people sell their vehicle to More Cash For Scrap instead.

Cash for Cars without Catalytic Converters

We Pride ourselves on paying the most cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, regardless of what components or parts are missing. This includes the catalytic converter.


Many scrap car removal companies will ask you if your vehicle still has the catalytic converter, because if it does, they can offer you more money for your car. At More Cash For Scrap, however, we always pay MORE cash for scrap cars, even if it doesn’t have the catalytic converter.

While not having a catalytic converter on your vehicle will impact how much cash we can offer you for your scrap vehicle, it doesn’t mean that your vehicle is worth nothing at all. Even if other scrap car removal companies are trying to convince that it is!

If you’d like to find out what your vehicle is with, regardless of whether or not it still has the catalytic converter, give our scrap car removal team a quick call. We are always happy to make instant cash offers right over the phone or even by text.

How Much Is My Vehicle Worth?

Every junk vehicle that we buy in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley has an entirely different value because they all have a different reason for being scrapped. This is why we take the time to get all the details about your vehicle, to make you a great offer that will make you want to scrap your car for MORE cash with More Cash For Scrap.

Provide our scrap car removal specialists with the make, model, year, condition, and location of your car. Then, let us know if there are any enhancements or improvements that have been made that could increase the value of your vehicle.

Once we have all of the information, our scrap car buyers will make you an instant cash offer on your car, truck, SUV, or van. If you accept our offer, we’ll dispatch our free scrap car removal service to come collect your car that very day. Our driver will then pay you cash in hand right on the spot. It’s that simple!

What Types of Scrap Vehicles Do We Buy?

We believe that scrapping a vehicle should be a very simple and straight forward process. However, not all scrap car removal companies accept all vehicles in any condition. But we do!

We are always looking to buy:

  • Scrap cars
  • Scrap trucks
  • Scrap SUVs
  • Scrap vans
  • Scrap buses & campervans

Whether your vehicle has mechanical issues, electrical problems, is collision damage, or is missing the catalytic converter, More Cash For Scrap will offer you MORE cash for scrap cars than any other scrap car removal company in the Lower Mainland. We always pay MORE!

Scrap Your Car with More Cash For Scrap Today!

Cash for Cars

If you’d like to find out what your vehicle could be worth, give our scrap car removal team a call. We offer our scrap car removal services 7 days a week, from 7:00 AM-11:00 PM, and even work on many statutory holidays.

We strive to live up to our name every single day by always paying MORE cash for scrap cars than the other guys. If you’d like a quick and easy way to scrap your car for the most cash in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, scrap it with More Cash For Scrap. We always pay MORE!

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About the Author: scrapcar

Since 2005, we've specialized in turning our customer's scrap cars into quick cash. We buy vehicles in ANY condition and with ANY issues. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. If you want MORE cash, same day free junk car towing, and a reliable scrap car buying service, you want More Cash For Scrap.