catalytic converter theft

Catalytic Converter Theft: Everything You Need To Know

Theft of catalytic converters has been on the rise, which is why you should take caution as a car owner. The high price of a catalytic converter in scrap metal yards contributes to the growing demand for these accessories.

It’s also an expensive affair to lose a catalytic converter which sometimes costs over $1,000. Car owners are therefore taking caution by adding welding reinforcements or installing anti-theft devices.

Here’s what you need to know about catalytic converter theft. 

Factors That Contribute to Theft of Catalytic Converters

  • Components of a catalytic converter: Thieves steal catalytic converters to sell to scrap metal dealers. High-quality catalytic converters contain the precious palladium metal, which is why it fetches a premium price. The cost of palladium can bring as high as $2,000 an ounce, increasing the demand for scrap catalytic converters. Some catalytic converters can also contain other precious metals like platinum or rhodium. 
  • Leaving the car unattended for long periods: People tend to park their vehicles for an extended time because of economic reasons, loss of jobs, or during travel. The extended duration creates a sufficient opportunity for thieves who can steal the components in two minutes.
  • Global demand: The Chinese government has implemented a strict emission policy on vehicles. Each vehicle will require 30% more palladium per vehicle. Although it’s a problem localized in China, the mining operations cannot fully meet the global demand leading to constant shortages. The global shortage fuels both an increase in price and rising demand for scrap catalytic converters.

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

1. Install a Catalytic Converter Anti-theft Device

A catalytic converter anti-theft device reinforcement made of steel deters a potential burglary. The cost of the device can range from $100, which is a worthy adjustment compared to losing a catalytic converter. An anti-theft device is either made of steel shield, rebar cages, or stainless steel cables. The steel reinforcement makes it difficult for a thief to cut and remove the converter. Besides, it requires special tools and extra time to breach the device.

Most catalytic converters are easy to install, which makes them friendly for car owners. However, it’s advisable to acquire high-quality stainless-steel devices that prevent corrosion or weakening over time.

2. Utilize Unique Security Code Registration

It’s advisable to file a police report after encountering catalytic converter theft. Most police jurisdictions have online filing systems making it easy and convenient. That said, police can use catalytic converters with unique security code registration to conduct an investigation.

Scrap metal dealers hardly buy catalytic converters with unique security codes because police can identify them during a search operation. Although the code doesn’t entirely stop theft, it reduces the chances of theft by a high percentage.

3. Check on Your Car Security

A theft occurs due to a security lapse or lack of measures to deter thieves. As a car owner, you can take safety measures like parking your vehicle in secure parking lots and enhancing your home security features.

Below are a few features that can improve car security:

  • Alarm system: Modify your alarm system to be more sensitive, especially in public areas. You can also request advanced features like sensitivity to tilting or jacking, which is common during catalytic converter theft.
  • Cameras: Use a motion-sensitive dashboard camera that can alert you during a potential theft. In addition, installing a motion-sensitive outdoor camera in the driveway or garage can boost your awareness levels.

Let Us Transform Your Ride

Maintaining a catalytic converter is critical for keeping emission levels and sufficient power under check for your car. It’s therefore essential to take measures that keep your vehicle and catalytic converter safe. Performance Muffler is here to solve all your catalytic converter problems. We’re experts in the repair and installation of catalytic converters and exhaust systems. Contact us to get a quote today.

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