Within the past two years, catalytic converter theft has been on the rise in various places all around the world. This type of theft is easy to do and easy to go unnoticed, but the damages can be costly. Here are some helpful tips for preventing catalytic converter theft.
Reasons for Catalytic Converter Theft
A catalytic converter is a component that is located beneath the car, in between the engine and the muffler. Although it doesn’t look that appealing, this important item is responsible for filtering out pollutants from the car’s exhaust. They’re valuable parts because they contain precious metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum.
While catalytic converter theft has been happening for decades, their occurrence is becoming more frequent as a result of recent events. Many countries now are beginning to implement stricter car emissions regulations which has increased the demand for converters. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the mining of converter metals, leading to exorbitant prices. According to the New York Times, the price of palladium has gone up from $500 to $2,500 an ounce while rhodium has shot up from $640 to $21,900 an ounce. Both of these prices are significantly higher than the current price of gold which is around $1,800 an ounce today.
Every gasoline-powered car that was manufactured after 1975 has a catalytic converter and in the United States, it’s illegal to drive without one. Even though they are located in a hard-to-reach place, they are quite easy to steal. They’re not attached onto the car very well so thieves can easily slither underneath the body of the car and saw it off, all in under 2 minutes. At a scrapyard, a single converter can earn a thief hundreds of dollars, but the cost of replacing a converter can cost a victim as much as $3,000.
With how high the prices are right now, catalytic converter thefts will continue to happen, but there are some steps you can take to minimize your chance of becoming a victim.
- When parking in public places, park in well-lit areas near entrances or any place where there tends to be more pedestrians to deter thieves.
- Consider welding the converter onto your car’s frame or welding the converter’s bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
- Carve your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the converter so that it’s easier to trace and harder for thieves to sell.
- Look into purchasing a catalytic converter lock device. Even though they are a little costly, it’s better to buy these instead of having to pay more money down the road to replace a stolen converter.
- If you have a car alarm, check to see if you can change the settings to have it go off when vibration is detected so that you’ll know when someone is making an attempt.
- Install motion sensor lights around your home to warn you of any trespassers and discourage theft.
- The best deterrent would be to set up security cameras outside of your home to monitor your vehicle at all times. Make sure that you choose good quality cameras that are suitable for nighttime surveillance and capable of motion detection to immediately alert you of any suspicious activity. Your cameras should also be able to capture faces and license plate numbers clearly for better identification in case the thief was successful. If you need help finding the right security system to prevent your catalytic converter from getting stolen, then please give us a call.