In recent years, thefts of catalytic converters have become more common, making many drivers worried that they could be targeted. According to the State Farm claims data, the catalytic converter theft has been increased almost 300% from 2020 to 2021.
Whether you run a cargo or trucking yard, auto salvage or recycling lot, or have left your vehicle unattended at night, you are probably familiar with the increase in catalytic converter theft globally in 2020.
However, the economic trend does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. According to economists, because of the green initiatives to reduce emissions, prices of these precious metals will continue to go up after 2021. If you want to protect the assets of your business, your employees, and your valuable assets, then don’t leave it to chance.
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Why Do Thieves Always Steal Catalytic Converters?
Now, Let’s talk about what exactly is the appeal? Upon scraping, the precious metals that are in the converter have a high value per ounce. Also, these metals are easy to steal. That is why catalytic converters have always been on thieve’s target. Furthermore, depending on the size and condition of the part, the catalytic converter price can be around $200 each when scraping.
Catalytic Converter Theft And How To Safe Yourself?
Though no one likes to think about their catalytic converter being stolen, the unfortunate truth is that it can happen to almost anyone (unless you’re driving an electric vehicle as they’re off the hook). In this blog, you will get all your answers about catalytic converters and how to keep your investment safe.
- Why would anyone steal your car catalytic converter?
- What is a vehicle catalytic converter and how does it work in your car?
- List down the types of vehicles that might have a higher risk of catalytic converter theft?
- How to protect your catalytic converter from being quickly stolen from a theft?
Why Would Anyone Steal Your Car Catalytic Converter?
It might seem strange to steal a catalytic converter from an exhaust system, but the precious metals that include platinum, palladium, and rhodium in these converters are worth a lot of money. The unfortunate truth is that the thieves are well aware of this fact, which is why they sell stolen catalytic converters to less-than-reputable recyclers.
Catalytic converter theft also involves the high cost of replacement for vehicle owners. If the thieves don’t cause any other damage to the vehicle during the “removal” process, then a replacement factory catalytic converter can easily cost $1,500 or more.
In case you do need to replace your vehicle’s catalytic converter, there are aftermarket alternatives that are available for less than factory replacement. But quality and longevity may not always match factory converters.
What Is a Vehicle Catalytic Converter And How It Works?
A catalytic converter is a device that converts toxic exhaust pollutants into less harmful ones, which has been widely used on gasoline engines since the 1970s. In a vehicle, the exhaust gases from its engine are fed directly into a catalytic converter, which is usually shaped like a canister or a small muffler, to eliminate toxic pollutants before the exhaust leaves the vehicle. In this process, platinum chemically reacts with carbon monoxide, converting it into less harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen.
Generally, most cars have a catalytic converter located between the exhaust manifold (where exhaust gases exit the engine when it is being combusted) and the muffler (a device located at the tailpipe that reduces heavy engine noise). You may find that your vehicle has more than one catalytic converter, such as a V8 engine with a dual-pipe exhaust system. In addition, each vehicle application is different, so the location and quantity of the catalytic converter in the exhaust system can vary.
List Down The Types Of Vehicles That Have a Higher Risk Of Catalytic Converter Theft
At this point, you might be wondering whether your car catalytic converter is at risk of being stolen or not. As catalytic converter theft could happen to anyone at any time. Some of the vehicles are on the thief’s target mostly.
As hybrid vehicles are designed to be less polluting than conventional gasoline cars, they are often stolen catalytic converters. Thus, hybrid vehicles tend to feature higher-quality catalytic converters, containing more precious metals in the process.
The other targeted cars for converter theft are SUVs and pickup trucks. Due to their higher ground clearance than a car, car-jacking thieves can easily slide under a car and remove the converter without jacking up the vehicle. Even some catalytic converters aren’t even welded in; they are simply mounted with bolts and cannot be removed with electric tools.
How To Protect Your Catalytic converter From Being Stolen From A Theft?
- Whenever possible, park in an area with good lighting.
- If there is a garage, keep your car parked in the garage with the door closed when it is not in use.
- Always park your car near the building entrance or nearest access road whenever you are about to park in a parking lot. It is because of the increased number of pedestrian in those places.
- Attach security devices to the converter, making stealing more difficult.
- Tune the security system on your car so it is activated by vibration. If a thief tries to cut off the converter, then the alarm will activate.
- You can also benefit from video surveillance around your garage or driveway if you can afford it.
- Make sure your VIN is engraved onto your catalytic converter in case it’s stolen.