Tips for Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft

March 1, 2022 7:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Auto theft is a rising problem across the country. Even when thieves don’t drive your car away, they can still do significant damage by swiping the catalytic converter. This filter system for your car’s exhaust is very valuable, as it contains precious metals. Those metals convert harmful exhaust into oxygen, nitrogen and other less harmful gases.

The theft of catalytic converters has been rising, as thieves will sell these off for cash. Catalytic converter replacement is expensive, so it’s a smart idea to take some precautions so that you’re not a target for criminals.

Park your car in a lighted area

As you might expect, criminals prefer to work in the dark. There’s less chance of them being identified or noticed when they’re stealing catalytic converters. Most victims have parked their cars in residential lots overnight. If you have to do this, find a well-lighted area that thieves are less likely to target. Adding a bright motion-sensor light on the car could also help dissuade thieves.

Etch the license plate number onto the catalytic converter

If a thief sees a number etched on the catalytic converter, they may move on to an easier target. Etching the license plate number onto the part makes it easily identifiable for law enforcement. Some police departments have partnered with auto repair shops to encourage this practice.

Add an anti-theft device

While these above tips will dissuade thieves from stealing a catalytic converter, here’s a step that will make it far less likely you’ll become a victim of theft. Have an auto repair shop build a metal shield around the vehicle frame to protect the part. You could also buy one of these shields online and affix it to the car yourself if you have familiarity with auto repair. This step will help guarantee that you won’t have to invest in expensive catalytic converter replacement.

Know which vehicles thieves target

The fact is that these criminals are savvy. They tend to go for catalytic converters on low-emission vehicles such as hybrids. That’s because these parts bring in more money, as they contain more of the precious metals thieves are seeking. They know exactly which hybrid models to target. Trucks and SUVs are particularly vulnerable as well because the excess ground clearance will make the thief’s work that much easier.

What happens if your catalytic converter is stolen

The unfortunate reality is that it’s easy to steal these parts. Typically, a thief just needs to go under the car and remove a few bolts or cut out the part with a reciprocating saw. By the time anyone has noticed what they’re doing, they’re already gone. If you’re a victim of this theft, call the police and then file an insurance claim.

You’re also going to need experts in catalytic converter replacement. The pros at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing are ready to help you. We’re a full-service automotive maintenance shop that’s been serving the community for more than two decades. Contact us today to find out more about our affordable rates.

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