Why are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

In recent news, you might have heard about parts being stolen off of cars, trucks, and vans for profit. One of the most prolific components stolen is the catalytic converter. So, what is this tempting part, and why is it being stolen off of our cars?

Casey’s Team in Sterling, VA, has some knowledge to drop below.

What is a catalytic converter?

Sometimes referred to as “cats,” catalytic converters change harmful substances in a vehicle’s exhaust gas into less harmful substances. The component itself comprises precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.  These metals have high dollar values that are worth salvaging and recycling. Sadly, those same benefits make them a prime target for theft.

How are catalytic converters stolen?

Surprisingly, catalytic converters are incredibly easy to steal in Sterling, VA, and its surrounding areas. A thief will quickly slide under the vehicle, use a power saw, and cut it out of the exhaust line. It can take less than 4 minutes from start to finish.

Which cars are targeted for catalytic converter thefts?

Those at the highest threat are hybrid vehicles. The valuable metals degrade when pulling pollutants out of the exhaust gas, and hybrids have lower emissions than a vehicle that runs solely on gasoline. The metals tend to be in better shape for resale.

For that same reason, newer gasoline-powered cars are also at a higher risk.

The thieves also tend to aim for vehicles that are easier to get underneath. So, trucks, vans, and cars that are higher catch the brunt of the thefts. No matter what, no car is safe. So…

How do I know my catalytic converter was removed?

You’ll know as soon as you start your car or truck. As soon as you turn it over, there will be a loud rumbling and the exhaust will stink!

How do I protect my vehicle from catalytic converter thefts?

Here’s the thing: replacing a stolen catalytic converter is COSTLY. It can run from $1000 to $3000 between parts and labor. The good news is that there are some ways to protect your vehicle.

Law enforcement recommends steps such as:

  • Have your license plate number etched into your catalytic converter. Most muffler shops and some police departments will happily provide this service. Having your vehicle’s ID attached to the part makes it harder to sell.
  • If possible, park indoors. While that is not an option for all, there is also parking where security is high. Like.
  • Look for cameras in parking areas. When you find it, make sure it is in a well-lit space.
  • Install a dashcam. I know, I know. Who wants to spend money on more barely used items. But that little cam can offer a deterrent!
  • Finally, install an anti-theft device. Some shops offer shields designed to make removing the piece harder to do in a short amount of time.

What do I do if my catalytic converter gets stolen?

First and foremost, call the police and file a report. Once the report is complete, contact your insurance provider. After that, bring your vehicle in for repair.

Catalytic Converter Replacement at Casey’s Automotive in Sterling, Virginia

Not only is it a massive pain to have to deal with, but having anything stolen from your property can be traumatizing. Casey’s team aims to make those moments a bit better for you by offering perks such as FREE loaner cars, a shuttle, and concierge services. This means, if you do end up a victim of a stolen catalytic convertor, contact our team to get it fixed up!

The best referral you can get is from a neighbor.