By converting pollutants into harmless gasses, catalytic converters are intended to serve as a first line of defense against dangerous exhaust emissions. These are valuable items to steal and resell because the technology utilized in these emission control systems contains several precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium. Catalytic converters theft is increasing across the nation. This anti-pollution equipment can be stolen in a matter of minutes. The valuable metals it holds can be sold to scrap metal dealers for hundreds of dollars.
Over 14,500 catalytic converters were stolen nationwide in 2020, and that number increased to 50,000 in 2021, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). According to State Farm, the nation’s largest motor insurer, nationwide claims for stolen catalytic converters totaled 43,219 from July 2021 to June 2022, a 109% rise over the same time the year prior. The rise in catalytic converter thefts has already prompted state legislators throughout the nation to act, and the NICB is monitoring more than 150 pieces of legislation that have been approved or are being considered to stop these thefts.
Well, in this article, we’ll be looking at how to prevent catalytic converter theft. But before we get to that, we’ll be looking at why thieves target catalytic converters and signs that your catalytic converter has been stolen.
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Alright then, let’s get to it!
Why thieves target catalytic converters
Thieves target catalytic converters more frequently because of:
- The price of precious metals used in catalytic converters in the current market
- Unreliability of catalytic converter tracking
- The simplicity with which an experienced thief can remove a catalytic converter
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converters can currently be sold to recyclers for as little as $50 or too precious metal merchants for as much as thousands of dollars per ounce (NICB). Modern catalytic converter types include significantly more precious metals than earlier ones, giving thieves a better and more alluring chance to make quick money.
Read more: What you need to know about catalytic converter theft
Signs that your catalytic converter has been stolen
The following are some signs you’ll notice when your catalytic converter has been stolen:
- An increase in exhaust fumes or strange exhaust smells
- When you accelerate, the car makes a loud roar that gets louder.
- Lack of exhaust regulation results in uneven or sputtering acceleration.
- inspection failures or check engine lights
- Missing components under the car that lead to the muffler
If you only looked at your car, you might not be able to tell that your catalytic converter was stolen, but the moment you start the engine, you will. Your car will produce a loud roaring sound when the catalytic converter has been taken, and the sound will increase louder as you press the gas pedal. As you change your speed, your car can also create a sputtering sound or you’ll notice it’s not moving smoothly. A catalytic converter that has been stolen might be identified by an increase in exhaust or by the way the exhaust smells.
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How to prevent catalytic converter theft
To prevent the theft of your catalytic converter, consider the following suggestions:
- Use a closed garage, reposition your car often, or park in well-lit places near exits for the general public.
- Install an anti-theft device.
- Put cameras and motion-activated lights in your parking area.
- The catalytic converters in hybrids, SUVs, and trucks are valuable or easily accessible, so be aware if your vehicle is a likely target. If you etch your license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your catalytic converter, it may be possible to notify a scrap yard that it was stolen and facilitate owner identification.
- To prevent potential buyers, paint your catalytic converter; some local police agencies even provide free painting services.
The first step in avoiding catalytic converter theft from happening to your car is understanding when it might be a target. You can prevent thieves from targeting your car by adhering to these safety precautions.
Read more: Catalytic converter theft prevention: Tips for car owners
The easiest way to check your catalytic converter:
Catalytic converter theft prevention FAQs
Does spray painting your catalytic converter prevent theft?
You can make a visual deterrent to warn thieves to leave by spraying bright paint. Moreover, this paint alerts recyclers and law enforcement to dig more deeply for serial numbers or other identifiers. By prominently identifying your catalytic converter, you can prevent theft from ever occurring.
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What cars are most likely to have catalytic converters stolen?
The following are cars that are likely to have their catalytic converter stolen:
- 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado.
- 1985-2021 Ford F-Series.
- 2011–2017 Chrysler 200.
- 2001–2021 Toyota Prius.
- 1989-2020 Honda Accord.
- 1997–2020 Honda CR-V.
- 1990-2022 Ford Econoline.
- 1987–2019 Toyota Camry.
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What is the best catalytic converter theft deterrent?
The CatClamp® offers numerous layers of security and features that the competition simply cannot match. It is by far the best-engineered and most versatile converter lock on the market. The CatClamp® is the first converter lock to be granted a patent, and for more than 10 years, users have found it to be 99.9% successful.
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How can you lock a catalytic converter?
Install an anti-theft device.
They include a steel shield that covers the catalytic converter, a locking cable device that fastens the converter to your vehicle, or a cage constructed of rebar or other tough, hard-to-cut steel.
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How do I protect my car converter?
The simplest answer is to park your car out of sight when it’s not in use. Keep your automobile in a garage if you have access to one. If you don’t have a garage, attempt to park your car somewhere with good lighting or where you can put a security camera.
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How does a car react when the catalytic converter is stolen?
Because a stolen catalytic converter will cut off the muffler, the automobile may start louder than usual. Moreover, the vehicle will lack acceleration and look less responsive than usual. Also, the filthy exhaust that is now leaving the car may be emitting a bad smell.
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Will a car run without a catalytic converter?
An automobile can theoretically run without a catalytic converter. This, however, is not a viable long-term solution.
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Will I know if my catalytic converter has been stolen?
When your car starts up, you should be able to determine whether the catalytic converter has been taken because the exhaust will probably sound significantly louder. Do not drive your automobile after the theft has been discovered. Instead, make arrangements for a repair by calling your insurance company and the police station closest to you.
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What are the 3 most leading failures of a catalytic converter?
Most catalytic converter failures occur in one of three categories: overheated, melted, or broken converters.
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How long does a catalytic converter last?
A new catalytic converter should last for about 10 years, though the precise lifespan can vary, much like with most other car parts. It is worthwhile to examine the condition after 50,000 miles because mileage and engine tuning might affect an item’s durability.
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How many catalytic converters are in a car?
The majority of cars only have one converter, however, those with dual exhaust systems typically have two. Some cars additionally feature more converters than the two that are typically needed to meet pollution requirements.
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Park in well-lit spaces near main entrances, routinely change your vehicle’s spot, or park in a closed garage. Install a theft-prevention device. Put cameras and motion-activated lights in your parking area. To deter buyers, paint your catalytic converter; some local police agencies even provide complimentary painting services. That is all for this article, where we looked at how to prevent catalytic converter theft. We also looked at why thieves target catalytic converters and signs that your catalytic converter has been stolen. I hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!