Catalytic converter theft is extremely common because they're built with a lot of precious and valuable metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium. Many metal dealers find them to be valuable and can sell them for hundreds of dollars. This type of part is often removed with a saw or wrench and is resold to scrap yards. Unfortunately, it can cost the car owner an average of $2,000 to replace the catalytic converter.
As a car owner, it's important to reduce the risk of the catalytic converter being targeted by a thief. There are a few main habits to develop to reduce the risk of theft, which includes parking in well-lit areas at night. Park in a spot that is less remote and where a lot of pedestrians are walking by to ensure thieves are less likely to attempt to steal the parts because they'll be at risk of getting spotted.
Block the sides of the car with where you park to make it more difficult to access the catalytic converter. It can take thieves less than one minute to remove the part, making it necessary to leave your car parked in a spot where they're more visible and can't hide easily.
Avoid leaving your car parked in a specific area for too long, like at a large parking lot or shopping center. If possible, it's also important to park inside of a garage at your home to prevent anyone from accessing your vehicle.
The catalytic converter can also be welded into the frame to make it more challenging to steal. Most thieves won't have the necessary tools or equipment with them to remove the part if it's welded into the vehicle. You can also engrave the VIN number of the car onto the part to ensure you can verify it's yours and alert a scrap dealer that is looking at purchasing it.
Another useful tactic is setting up your alarm to go off if it detects that vibration is present on the car. If someone attempts to steal the car's parts, the alarm will scare them off and alert anyone in the area of the activity.
What Is A Catalytic Converter Guard?
Many drivers also choose to invest in a catalytic converter guard. This type of product connects to the exhaust and runs along the bottom of the vehicle. It's a steel shield that fits securely over the catalytic converter and requires a lot of effort to remove. You have to use advanced equipment and tools to remove this material to access the catalytic converter. It also takes a lot of time to remove, which is what you need to deter potential thieves who are targeting the car.
Which Cars Are Most Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen?
Taller vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs are often targeted more frequently because they make it easier to access the catalytic converter when lying underneath the car. Fuel-powered cars that are manufactured after 1974 are what thieves target because they're built with the valuable part.
Some of the most common models of cars that are targeted include Toyota Prius, Lexus RX, and Honda Jazz. The Toyota Prius often has this part stolen because it doesn't use it as much since it operates off of a battery most of the time. The converter is in better condition than other models on the road. This is why the Lexus RX and Honda Jazz are also targets for thieves because they're hybrid vehicles that don't use the converters as often as gas-powered vehicles.
Can you install a catalytic converter guard yourself?
If you want to have peace of mind and reduce the risk of theft, you have the option of installing a catalytic converter guard if you choose a product with a cage design. The guard is easy to install yourself without hiring a professional if you feel comfortable handling the different parts. The item is easy to adjust for a secure fit and only takes a few minutes to tie. It's an easy bolt-on installation process because it has split-collar cage ends.
Converter guards that look like a shield can also be installed yourself because many of the products don't require any welding.
3 Catalytic Converter Guards to Consider
The Cat Shield is popular products to use to reduce the risk of theft with your catalytic converter. The Cat Shield is constructed with 304 stainless steel and is difficult to cut. The product is advanced and offers more security with its patented tamperproof screws. It doesn't generate a lot of noise or vibration once it's installed.
Cat Security is available for select makes and models and has a patent-pending design. The product acts as a shield that makes it more difficult to access the catalytic converter. It's a robust aluminum plate that acts as a barrier and has security hardware. The shield utilizes the factory mounting points and features heat extraction holes to promote proper ventilation. The materials are resistant to rust and don't require any welding.
The Catclamp has an award-winning design and has a patented cable cage design. It locks the chassis to the converter up to seven times, which requires a lot of work for the thief to attempt to remove. It fits all shapes of converters.