Catalytic Converter theft is an ongoing problem right now. In the past 2 years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of catalytic converters being stolen from cars in the US. In fact, just last year, the number of stolen catalytic converters was four times as much as those in 2019. Which is an alarming figure. There are numerous reasons why catalytic converters are being stolen in the hundreds. One of the main reason is that they are very easy to remove from cars. Let’s have a look at what can be done about catalytic converter theft.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is a device installed on the underside of your car, just before your exhaust pipe. Its job is to take the fumes from the car’s engine and convert them into non-reactive or harmless gases that won’t cause pollution or global warming when they are released. Therefore, not only do they manage to keep the car’s exhaust system clean, but they also reduce pollution to a greater extent.
Why are Catalytic Converters Stolen?
Since they are located just before the exhaust pipe, catalytic converters are the easiest to access. They require a spanner or pipe cutter to be removed. You can just slide under the car and open the bolts to the device. You can also cut the pipe from both ends and whisk away the converter. This barely takes 2-3 minutes, which is why it is also difficult to catch the thieves.
Catalytic converters contain certain precious metals, which are more valuable than gold. These metals include palladium, platinum, and rhodium. It is because of these elements that catalytic converters are so expensive, and also why thieves steal them. There is a high demand for second-hand converters. This gives thieves the incentive to steal them and sell them for as high as $3,000 to second-part dealers or metal scrap dealers.
How to Detect Catalytic Converter Theft?
If your catalytic converter has been stolen from the car, you will find out about it as soon as you start your car. Since the converter is installed in between the exhaust pipes, removing it would cause a big gap in your exhaust system and the silencer. As soon as the engine starts, it will generate a loud roaring sound that you might never have heard before. Upon inspecting the underside of your car, you will be able to detect that your converter is gone.
How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft?
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to prevent leaving your car unattended in desolate and dark spaces. If you park your car outside, make sure there is adequate lighting. This is so that no one can sneak underneath the car. Most people get security lighting installed, and some also invest in burglar alarms or CCTV cameras. However, the best way to go about it is to buy and install an aftermarket casing that completely shields the catalytic converter.
This brings us to the end of our blog on catalytic converter theft. Hopefully, you have a better idea of why catalytic converters are being stolen. If you think your car is at risk, make sure to take all the safety measures, so that you can save yourself thousands of dollars.