Catalytic converter theft is on the rise. We’ve heard reports that these thefts have surged more than 5,000% in the last two years! So, what exactly is a catalytic converter and how can you prevent crooks from stealing them from your vehicle?
The Appeal of Catalytic Converters
Your catalytic converter turns pollutants emitted from your car’s exhaust into less harmful gases. Not only is it illegal to drive without one, but the resulting gap in your exhaust system can also make your car run poorly until it is fixed. Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise for two reasons:
- The part is quick and easy to remove, especially on SUVs and trucks.
- Thieves then make easy money selling the precious metals inside them on the black market.
Unfortunately, you won’t know that it is missing until you start your car. When you hear the loud rumble, you will immediately know that there is something wrong. But, you will have to have the catalytic converter replaced, and that can cost up to $2,000.
How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
Thieves look for easy targets but there are a few steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a target for catalytic converter theft.
- Pay attention to where you park. Inside your garage is the safest spot. But, if you must park outside overnight, choose a well illuminated area, and make sure you set your alarm. It would also be helpful to install a motion sensor light and security camera.
- Have your license plate number or VIN etched onto your catalytic converter. This will make it harder to sell on the black market. If a thief sees this, they will likely move on to an easier target.
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
- You can also purchase an anti-theft device that goes around your catalytic converter. These are not cheap but if your area has a theft problem, the cost may be worth it.
What To Do If Your Catalytic Converter Is Stolen
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, you’ll need to contact the police and your insurance company. They will advise you on what to do next. If you have security cameras, check to see if the theft was recorded.
You should also contact your trusted auto repair shop. Your catalytic converter will need to be fixed to pass emissions testing. You will also want your car looked over to make sure the theft did not damage your vehicle in any other way.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we care about your safety. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today. Your vehicle will be running and looking better from the inside out every time you visit our auto repair shop!