5 Tips to Prevent a Stolen Catalytic Converter

Tips to Prevent a Stolen Catalytic Converter

When most people think of the word “theft” in terms of their vehicle, they expect it to be something obvious. Whether it’s a smashed window or the car is gone, most vehicle owners expect they’ll know when a theft has occurred. In the case of a stolen catalytic converter, you may not even realize it’s gone until you start your vehicle. Even then, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may be unable to pinpoint the cause of the louder-than-usual noise. Here’s everything you need to know about spotting a missing catalytic convertor and 5 tips to prevent a stolen catalytic converter altogether. 

What’s a Catalytic Convertor and Why do People Steal Them

Catalytic converters are a part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and act as an emissions control device that works by turning pollutants into harmless gases. They’ve been required in vehicles since the 70s and are a staple near most cars’ exhaust manifolds. Catalytic converters are a hot spot for thieves because of the precious metals a catalytic converter is made from– metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium——and the easy access to them beneath your car. Replacing catalytic converters can cost vehicle owners a pretty penny, with the replacement cost ranging from $500 to over $2,000. 

How to Tell if Your Catalytic Convertor was Stolen

Once you start your vehicle, it will be apparent that something is amiss. While there may be no outward sign of theft, there are three telltale signs of a missing catalytic converter.

  1. A loud roaring noise when you start your vehicle. This noise will typically get louder as you hit your gas pedal.
  2. Your car will run rougher and make loud sputtering noises as it shifts gears.
  3. If you check beneath your vehicle, you may see a gaping hole near the exhaust system and torn-away piping.

Tips to Prevent a Stolen Catalytic Converter

To avoid the cost and hassle of replacing a stolen catalytic convertor, vehicle owners should focus on prevention. Here are 5 tips to prevent a stolen catalytic converter.

  1. Park in a well-lit area. Most thieves are opportunistic, so parking in a well-lit area can make the theft more difficult and deter them from targeting your vehicle.
  2. Use video surveillance for areas where you regularly park your vehicle. Sometimes just seeing those cameras can deter thieves. In the worst case, if you do face vehicle theft, the footage may help provide a resource for police to catch the culprits.
  3. When parking in public lots, park close to the building where your vehicle is easily seen. That means more people will walk by, making it more difficult for thieves to steal from your vehicle.
  4. Many homeowners use their garages for storage and park their vehicles in the driveway. However, if you do this, your vehicle may be at risk of being targeted. Instead, make a point to park your car in the garage and keep the door closed and locked as an extra layer of protection against theft.
  5. Engrave your vehicle’s VIN on the catalytic converter. This makes it more difficult for thieves to sell your catalytic converter and may deter them from even taking it.


About Pole Position Auto Body

Pole Position Auto Body Shop has been repairing and restoring vehicles throughout Metro Detroit for over 30 years. Our experienced technicians are I-Car Gold certified, meaning we follow all safety standards and use the best techniques on repairs. We value your time and strive to get all repairs completed three day sooner than other repair facilities.

Call Pole Position Auto Body: 586-775-4825 – Where Excellence is a Habit, Not an Act!