One of the most common occurrences today is the theft of catalytic converters. These gadgets turn the dangerous fumes from the vehicle into harmless gasses for release to the atmosphere. It is a requirement for vehicles to have the system, which is usually located near the exhaust manifold.
Thieves look for catalytic converters as they contain various precious metals such as palladium, platinum, rhodium, and copper. They then sell the converters to unscrupulous dealers for $200 or more a piece, depending on the vehicle type and metals inside the converter. The cost of replacing a catalytic converter maybe four to five times the selling price of the stolen one. Damage to surrounding parts may raise the cost even higher.
What Vehicles Do Thieves Target?
Thieves tend to target vehicles whose catalytic converters are easy to access. These include SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and crossovers. They also tend to pick cars that have been left unattended for long periods, especially in poorly lit parking lots.
Ways to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
Here are a few things you can do to prevent catalytic converter theft from your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit parking lots as light works as a deterrent. You may install motion-activated lights that automatically turn on when one walks past them. Sudden lights make thieves flee.
- Park close to entrances of buildings or near roads for public parking lots. People who pass by can see your car in such parking spots, making it hard for anyone to work underneath it.
- Keep the vehicle inside your garage and keep the entrance locked (if you have one)
- Add a video surveillance system to your outdoor parking
- Install a security device that is converter-specific. You may also have the converter welded onto the car frame or have the car's VIN engraved onto the converter. This step allows you to track and identify it if it is stolen and found.
- Adjust the car's security system to activate when there are vibrations, such as those caused by lifting, knocking, grinding, or sawing
- Park your high ground clearance SUV between low profile vehicles so that it is hard for thieves to get underneath it
If you are an unfortunate victim of catalytic converter theft and need a replacement, give our auto repair shop a call today!