Three ways to protect against catalytic converter theft
- 1) Etch your license plate number onto your catalytic converter. This makes the part identifiable to law enforcement.
- 2) Park in well-lit areas.
- 3) Install an anti-theft device.
- If you are looking to save money on the part: Buy a universal-fit catalytic converter. Keep in mind universal catalytic converters may have a lower ticket price, but the labor that is required to install these is harder to do and many times will require a professional cutting and welding pipes in order to make the part fit on your car.
Can you fix a catalytic converter without replacing it?
If you want the quick answer, Yes, it is possible to fix a catalytic converter without replacing it, but only if the converter hasn’t become so bad that it rattles, is discolored, warped, or has a sulfur smell.
How do you keep a catalytic converter from going bad?
To prevent clogging the catalytic converter, take your vehicle for the occasional highway drive for 15 minutes or more. This will allow the exhaust to sufficiently heat up and burn off all of the deposits builtup in the catalytic converter.
Can I fix my catalytic converter myself?
It’s only rusted bolts or a welded component that make it harder and increase the catalytic converter replacement time. It’s easily a job that a DIY mechanic can handle. Your car’s catalytic converter is an essential component for reducing the toxic emissions that cause air pollution and climate change.
How do you unclog a catalytic converter without removing it?
How to clean your catalytic converter without removing it
- Get Oxicat Catalytic converter cleaner. The easiest way to clean a catalytic converter without removing it is by using a catalytic converter cleaner product.
- Pour the Catalytic converter cleaner into the fuel tank.
- Take your car for a drive.
How can I tell if my catalytic converter is clogged?
Among the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter are:
- Sluggish engine performance.
- Reduced acceleration.
- Dark exhaust smoke.
- The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust.
- Excessive heat under the vehicle.
Does premium gas clean catalytic converter?
Another interesting factoid, albeit one that’s a bit contorted: Premium fuel is good for a catalytic converter. In allowing advanced timing of ignition, the fuel has a longer burn duration.
How long can I drive with a bad catalytic converter?
A Catalytic Converter Can Be Driven Indefinitely In the case that the catalytic converter is totally plugged, it will prevent you from running your vehicle. In some situations, it may come to be completely fused directly or overtime, and it will need to be replaced immediately.
How much is a catalytic converter cost?
For most vehicles, the average cost of a catalytic converter repair is between $945 and $2475 including parts and labor. The catalytic converter cost itself can be up to $2250 of that. That might be close to your car’s value or more!
How much is a stolen catalytic converter worth?
It doesn’t take long for a thief with simple tools to snatch a catalytic converter, the NICB stated, and recyclers usually pay between $50-$250 for one. But the precious metals that come from hybrid vehicles can bring a thief up to $1,500 per catalytic converter.
Will a clogged catalytic converter cause a car not to start?
If your converter is clogged, the exhaust build-up in your car can reduce performance drastically. A car with a clogged catalytic converter can feel like it has no acceleration, even if you’re on the gas pedal, or can even fail to start-up.
How do thieves steal catalytic converters?
Thieves generally steal a catalytic converter by sliding underneath the car and sawing it out of the exhaust system. With a hand-held power saw, the whole operation can take just a few minutes. Thieves target new cars because the concentration of valuable rare metals in a catalytic converter degrades over time.
Can I replace a catalytic converter with a straight pipe?
Originally Answered: Can you replace a catalytic converter with a straight pipe? Yes. However, it will then fail any safety inspection. If your locale does not require testing for exhaust emissions, you should be OK.
Can you drive a car without a catalytic converter?
What Happens When You Drive Without A Catalytic Converter? When facing the recovery costs of a stolen “cat,” many customers wonder, “Can I drive without my catalytic converter?” The answer is both yes and no. Technically, a car can function without a catalytic converter.
Why do people steal catalytic converters?
It’s part of a system that cleans out pollutants and prevents them from entering the atmosphere. And it’s also the reason why thieves across the U.S. are sawing off catalytic converters in order to get their hands on a few precious grams of the world’s most valuable metal.
How to Protect Your Catalytic Converter From Theft
1) Make a permanent etching of your license plate number on the catalytic converter. This makes the component easily distinguishable to law enforcement officers. The theory is that a thief who notices the etching will move on to a less difficult target. In certain places, the police department has partnered with local repair businesses to conduct etching competitions. 2) Make sure you park in well-lit places. In North Carolina, Scott Jones, the manager of Chapel Hill Tire, an auto servicing company, claims that the majority of the theft cases that come through his shop occur in residential parking lots where automobiles are left unattended overnight.
Potential robbers may be deterred from breaking into your home if you install a bright motion sensor light.
Although etching and cautious parking may make your catalytic converter less appealing to thieves, these precautions will not protect the component itself.
His business installs one by mounting a metal shield to the car frame to cover the catalytic converter, which costs approximately $350, including installation, and is available for purchase online.
In Jones’ opinion, you may purchase a unit online for approximately $150 and install it on your own.
‘The most difficult element is locating adequate room under the automobile to do this task.
It’s more valuable than gold
It is not the function of a catalytic converter that makes it a target for theft, but rather what is contained within it. Catalytic converters are made of platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which are precious metals that are more valuable than gold in their own right. For example, rhodium was worth $27,900 per ounce in May 2021, palladium was worth $2,896 per ounce, and platinum was valued at $1,227 per ounce. Because automobile manufacturers are using more precious metals in catalytic converters to further cut emissions, their value has increased in recent years.
According to the National Institute of Catalytic Converters, recyclers often pay $50 to $250 each catalytic converter.
Car types targeted for catalytic converter theft
Catalytic converters used in low-emission cars such as hybrids provide the highest revenue since they contain a greater proportion of the most valuable metals. It is possible that popular hybrids and hybrid models that do not have a corresponding natural gas counterpart are more at risk than others since they are simpler to recognize. In addition to cars and SUVs, thieves may target trucks and SUVs because the higher ground clearance provides for more convenient access to the catalytic converter.
It is his contention that all-electric cars (EVs) are the only ones that are secure from theft since they emit no emissions and do not require the usage of a catalyst converter.
Easy to steal, expensive to replace
Jones claims that thefts are quick and easy to commit. The thief either climbs underneath the vehicle and removes two or three bolts, or he uses a reciprocating saw to cut off the catalytic converter. According to him, ‘the sawing is noisy, but it’s finished in a few of minutes, and the portion simply falls out.’ The cost of replacing a catalytic converter reflects the value of the components that make up the converter. Jones estimates that the cost of replacements completed by his shop is between $2,000 and $2,500, not counting labor.
Theft on the rise
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the average number of monthly thefts increased from 282 in 2019 to 1,203 in 2020, representing a 28% increase. According to NICB statistics, 2,347 catalytic converter thefts were reported to motor insurers in the United States in only one month in December 2020. Theft of catalytic converters has resulted in more catalytic converter replacements in the first four months of 2021, according to Jones, than in the entire year of 2020.
How to save a catalytic converter
If you have a faulty catalytic converter, your initial reaction is that it will be extremely expensive to replace it. This is correct. Using the information in this post, you can preserve a catalytic converter. It is possible for a catalytic converter to fail for a variety of reasons including engine misfiring, oil seeping into the exhaust, antifreeze leaking into the exhaust, high fuel mixes, and so on. This article will provide you with a better grasp of how a catalytic converter works.
Read more: How to save a catalytic converter? (Professionals recommend)
Check out the upstream oxygen sensor
Keep in mind that the upstream oxygen sensor’s role is to provide feedback to the computer on how well it performed in estimating the air/fuel combination. The downstream oxygen sensor (which is located after the catalytic converter) is responsible for informing the computer about how successfully the converter burnt up the surplus gasoline. The driver constantly makes minor adjustments to the throttle in a normal engine with no misfiring or air/fuel problems, and the computer constantly makes adjustments to the air/fuel mixture to compensate for these adjustments as well as changes in engine power as the vehicle travels up or down a hill or down a slope.
- Cross-counting is the term used to describe this quick switching, and the upstream sensor should cross-count 8-10 times per second.
- Because the oxygen sensor is not delivering timely information to the computer, a sluggish oxygen sensor might actually cause damage to a catalytic converter.
- A P0420 catalytic converter efficiency code might emerge as a result of this.
- See this site for instructions on how to determine whether or not your catalytic converter is clogged.
- A simple method of getting it back into working order is as follows: What we’re doing here is purposely inducing a misfire in order to load the overheated catalytic converter with fuel.
- Remove a spark plug wire and connect it to the ground.
- Once you’ve finished, turn off your engine and reconnect your plug before driving your vehicle out on the highway to blow out any remaining debris.
- If the procedure is successful, you will avoid the expense of purchasing a new converter.
It is necessary to replace the catalytic converter in this case. More information on which catalytic converter to purchase can be found in this blog post. 2014, 2014, 2014, 2014, 2014, 2014 Rick Muscoplat is a professional musician. Rick Muscoplat posted a blog entry on
Mechanics offer tips to protect yourself from catalytic converter thefts
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The city of Wilmington is preparing to host the World Cup. Criminals may sneak beneath your truck or automobile in a matter of minutes, steal the catalytic converter, and then go without leaving a trace. You will never know they were even there. Customers in Wilmington phone mechanics every day to inquire about changing a part, according to the company. One client had four catalytic converters taken from him in a single month, according to the witness. The thieves are interested in the precious metals found within the portion, such as platinum and rhodium.
- That owner is now saddled with a bill of their own, amounting to around $600.
- It’s possible to turn around and sell it to a junkyard to make money off of it.
- According to another mechanic, it may take as little as 30 seconds to cut off one side of the converter and replace it.
- ‘As soon as you started up the car, you would surely see indications,’ said Daniel Bostic, manager of Black’s TireAuto.
- There are times when it would nearly sound like the automobile was ready to blow up.’ To be honest, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent the thefts from occurring.
- According to Bostic, the product is known as a Cat Shield and is installed just below the catalytic converter, similar to a splash guard for beneath the car.
- They may cost up to $300 on the internet, and you’ll almost certainly have to get someone to install it for you.
- This involves registering your catalytic converter with the sheriff’s office, etching the vehicle identification number (VIN) or owner applied number (OAN) on the converter, or welding the converter to the car.
- They claim that the best way to avoid theft is to park in a secure area such as a garage or a parking lot with enough lighting.
- Copyright 2021 WECT.
5 Ways to Foil Catalytic Converter Thieves
Theft of catalytic converters is on the rise across the country. In a matter of minutes, thieves may steal this anti-pollution gadget and sell it for several hundred dollars to scrap metal merchants, who will pay a premium for the valuable metals contained within it. According to Colby Sandman, owner of Muffler Tech in Sacramento, California, a stolen catalytic converter may cost as much as $3,000 for the frequently targeted Toyota Prius. Since the lockdowns took effect, he has noticed an increase in thefts.
According to Sandman, such a theft is a ‘crime of opportunity,’ and by removing the obvious entry point, these cat thieves will be forced to look for easier prey elsewhere.
A Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing a Car Find out how to expedite the car-buying process even before you step foot inside a dealership with these simple advice from Nerdy.
1. Know if you’re a target for catalytic converter theft
Sandman recommended that you contact a reputable local muffler shop and inquire as to whether vehicles have been targeted in your region. When I phoned a shop, they confirmed that several vehicles in the area had been impacted, including Ford pickups, Honda Elements, and Jeep Cherokees, all of which had been seen in the shop for catalytic converter replacements on numerous occasions. Sandman claims that ‘the Prius is the most common car used for cat theft’ in the Sacramento region. As an ultra-low-emission car, the Prius is equipped with a catalytic converter that includes higher concentrations of the metals rhodium, palladium, and platinum, which are responsible for rendering pollutants harmless.
Thieves sometimes remove the catalytic converter from the vehicle, but more frequently than not, they just cut the connecting pipes with a battery-operated saw.
2. Install an anti-theft device on your catalytic converter
According to Arantxa Chavarria, public information officer for the Long Beach Police Department in California, investing in a cable locking mechanism is far less expensive than replacing a catalytic converter on a vehicle. Such devices to safeguard the catalytic converter, which is a component of the exhaust system that runs down the bottom of your vehicle, may be found in plenty on the internet. The cost of the anti-theft gadgets installed by Sandman’s company ranges from $250 to $800. Here are a few examples of widely used devices:
- It consists of a steel shield that fits over the catalytic converter and must be removed with special equipment and time. Rebar or other high-strength steel that is difficult to cut is used to construct the cages. From the catalytic converter to the car’s structure, stainless steel wires are soldered together.
Some muffler companies can custom-weld a device like this to your automobile if you bring it in. While connecting a catalytic converter directly to the car’s chassis is a good idea, Sandman warns that it might be noisy because the exhaust system is normally hung from the car by sound-absorbing hangers.
3. Paint your catalytic converter
Some sites advocate painting your catalytic converter with a high-temperature bright orange paint, such as those used on barbecue grills, and then engraving your vehicle identifying number onto the painted surface. The fact that it is traceable means that it may be rejected by a professional scrap metal trader, at the very least in principle
4. Set an alarm or camera to catch thieves
It is possible to increase the sensitivity of your car alarm so that it will sound when robbers jiggle your vehicle. Although that is OK, Sandman points out that the alarm will sound if your cat climbs on the car in the middle of the night. A number of other alarms are designed to sound when the vehicle is tilted, such as when it is being jacked up. Incorporating a motion-activated dash cam into your vehicle can alert you to a theft in progress and perhaps film the license plate of the getaway vehicle.
Additionally, she recommends getting to know your neighbors so that you can identify outsiders who may be scoping out parked vehicles. I looked on Nextdoor.com in my neighborhood and saw over a dozen reports of catalytic converter thefts in the last three months.
5. Check your car insurance
Theft of motor parts is covered under comprehensive insurance. If you have full coverage — liability insurance, as well as collision and comprehensive plans that repair or replace your own vehicle — you are covered, less the amount of your deductible owed to the insurance company. It’s usually necessary whether you’re taking out a loan or leasing a vehicle. For those who drive vehicles that are at high risk of having their catalytic converter stolen, you may want to consider decreasing your deductible amount.
What to do if your catalytic converter is stolen
If you come out of your house in the morning and turn on your car, you will immediately notice that your catalytic converter has been taken due to the loud exhaust noise. You can get back on track by following these simple steps:
- Aftermarket catalytic converters are less expensive, but make sure they are legal in your state before purchasing one. A reputable muffler business should be aware of the legal requirements. In certain circumstances, an aftermarket catalytic converter will make the vehicle less attractive, reducing the likelihood of future thefts. Inquire with your mechanic about whether driving your automobile without the catalytic converter would cause it to suffer more harm. If this is the case, just drive to the repair shop. Get in touch with your insurance provider and take images of the damaged exhaust pipe, which is where the catalytic converter was previously located
- Fill out a police report, which can be done quickly and conveniently online in many areas these days. This will aid the authorities in tracking down such crimes and may even aid in the arrest of those responsible. Inquire with the repair company about installing an anti-theft device while your new catalytic converter is being fitted to help avoid future burglaries.
A Guide to Catalytic Converter Theft
We at Chapel Hill Tire are dedicated to keeping our clients informed about the latest developments in the automobile business. While some weeks we have the opportunity to provide encouraging news, this week we are here to talk about a more severe situation that drivers are facing: catalytic converter theft. What follows is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about this subject and what you can do to protect yourself.
Why Are Catalytic Converters Being Stolen?
Keeping our clients informed about the automobile business is a priority for us at Chapel Hill Tire. Whereas some weeks we have the opportunity to offer uplifting information, this week we will be discussing a more severe topic that drivers are facing: catalytic converter theft, which is a growing problem across the country. What follows is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about this subject and what you can do to keep safe.
Which Cars Are Targeted for Catalytic Converter Theft?
We at Chapel Hill Tire are committed to keeping our clients informed about the latest developments in the automobile business. While some weeks we get to offer information that is uplifting, this week we are here to talk about a more severe situation that drivers are facing: catalytic converter theft. What follows is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about this subject and what you can do to keep secure.
What To Do When Your Catalytic Converter Is Stolen
If you discover that your catalytic converter is missing, you should alert the appropriate authorities immediately. They will investigate area security cameras and attempt to see if they can assist in identifying and apprehending the individual who took your converter. Additionally, a police record may be required in order to maintain your insurance policy’s coverage.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company
Your automobile insurance policy may cover the cost of replacing your catalytic converter, depending on your coverage. In order to find out what your coverage choices are and whether or not you are insured, call your insurance agent.
Step 3: Visit a Mechanic
Finally, you should get your car serviced by a professional technician if possible. An professional can consult with you about your repair alternatives and keep you from being forced to drive without your catalytic converter.
What Happens When You Drive Without A Catalytic Converter?
When faced with the expense of recovering a stolen ‘cat,’ many customers question, ‘Can I still drive if my catalytic converter is missing?’ The answer is yes and no at the same time.
Technically speaking, an automobile can operate without the use of a catalytic converter. However, this is not a long-term solution that can be sustained. Here are some of the issues you may encounter if you do not have a catalytic converter installed in your vehicle.
Loud Vehicle Noises and Missing Catalytic Converter
When a catalytic converter is taken, the first clue that it has been stolen is extremely loud car sounds. When driving without a catalytic converter, you will notice that your car will make a roaring sound, especially when starting or giving it gas, which you should be aware of.
Rough Driving and Acceleration
When your exhaust is not properly controlled, your car will drive more erratically. Normally, your engine drives your exhaust through your catalytic converter to reduce pollution. This powerful exhaust push will result in jarring, uneven acceleration if this component is not there.
Annual Vehicle Inspection Failure
You will fail both your NC safety inspection as well as your NC emissions inspection if you do not have a catalytic converter. You might be perplexed as to why a missing catalytic converter would lead you to fail your safety inspection, despite the fact that the failure of your emissions check is evident. Your yearly safety inspection includes a check of your exhaust system, which looks especially for components that have been removed or tampered with. This comprises your catalytic converter, as well as your muffler, exhaust pipe, PCP valve, and EGR valve, among other components of your vehicle.
More information about exhaust system inspections may be found on our comprehensive list of everything that should be examined during your yearly safety inspection.
Harmful Car Emissions
As the name suggests, your catalytic converter is a device that transforms toxic substances into less hazardous byproducts, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide. Your vehicle will no longer be able to filter and reduce dangerous emissions, such as hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide, if this component is not present. In addition to harming the ecosystem, this can also result in dangerously low air quality levels. When you park in your garage, for example, these harmful contaminants can make their way into your house.
Avoiding a $250 Fine
Not every driver who does not have a catalytic converter is a victim of auto theft, though. Some people prefer to have their catalytic converters removed in order to increase their horsepower output. If authorities discover that you removed your catalytic converter on purpose, you might face a fine of $250 in addition to your other penalties. This does not apply to catalytic converters that have been stolen. The fine is issued ‘forinstructing or permitting a person to tamper with an emission control device of a vehicle in order to render the device inoperative or to cause the device to fail to function correctly.’ However, if your catalytic converter was stolen and you attempt to postpone replacing it by using workarounds, your actions may be compared to those of a motorist who is attempting to tamper with their vehicle’s emissions system.
It is also for this reason that it is critical to notify a stolen catalytic converter as soon as possible.
How Can You Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft?
It’s a good thing that there are a few precautionary actions you may take to reduce the likelihood of your catalytic converter being stolen.
Install a Protective Device
Catalytic converter theft has grown so widespread that firms have begun to market devices to prevent it from happening. Anyone attempting to disconnect your catalytic converter will be unable to do so because of these installations. Unfortunately, high-quality gadgets and their installation will most likely set you back a couple of hundred dollars or more. However, it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in catalytic converter replacement costs in the long run. This video from our specialists explains a bit more about Cat Security, which is one of these protection gadgets.
Some contemporary automobiles are equipped with a security feature that activates the alarm when it detects vibrations. Even the slightest cutting of your catalytic converter will be sufficient to set off these alarms.
When you are at home, you should park in the garage to reduce the likelihood of catalytic converter theft. So what happens while you’re on the move? The following are some parking suggestions to keep in mind if your garage isn’t a viable option:
- Parking beneath street lights or in well-lit areas can assist to discourage theft by making the vehicle appear more visible. Extremely densely populated areas: If the parking lot or garage where you are parking has a high volume of foot traffic, it will be difficult for someone to take your catalytic converter without being discovered
- Security camera: Keep an eye out for security cameras in your parking lot, and try to park in a location that will be visible to the cameras.
At the very least, these precautions can reduce the likelihood of your catalytic converter being stolen. Otherwise, it may aid the police in identifying and apprehending the person who stole your automobile components.
Chapel Hill Tire Catalytic Converter Services
Chapel Hill Tire carries the catalytic converter protecting devices you need to put your mind at ease and your vehicle safe. Contact us now to learn more. These devices, which we offer and install, are designed to assist our drivers in preventing catalytic converter theft. If you believe your catalytic converter has been taken, you should call the police as soon as possible to report the incident. You may also visit Chapel Hill Tire to discuss your repair choices with a knowledgeable staff member.
We also service the neighboring areas, including Wake Forest, Pittsboro, Knightdale, Garner, and other other communities.
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In Under Two Minutes: Catalytic Converter Theft
Thieves may remove a catalytic converter in a short period of time, frequently in less than two minutes, allowing theft to take place even in broad daylight. The only tools a thief will require are a wrench (for converters that are bolted on) and a reciprocating saw (for cutting through steel) (for converters that are welded in). Some robbers bring a creeper from a mechanic’s shop. It’s as simple as sliding under the car, removing the bolts securing the converter, and pulling it out of the way.
Typically, catalytic converters are stolen from automobiles and trucks parked in driveways, strip malls, or parking garages, where they may be easily identified.
SUVs and trucks, particularly late-model Toyotas, are the most often struck vehicles because they sit higher off the ground (allowing attackers better access) and because the bolts that attach the converter are readily taken off the cars.
Rudy Espinoza, wholesale parts manager for Surf City Nissan in Huntington Beach, concurs, citing an increase in inquiries from owners of older-model Nissan Frontiers as evidence of the growing demand.
‘It’s completely insane,’ he says. ‘We get phone calls asking, ‘How much does a catalytic converter cost?’ ‘It was stolen from me!’
Catalytic Converter Theft Crisis: 6 Preventive Measures You Can Take
Catalytic converters are frequently removed from vehicles by thieves using an electric ‘Sawzall’ hacksaw, as was the case for one car owner who documented his ordeal on Flickr. Catalytic converters are rather simple to get to. Robbers roll beneath the car and can cut one out in about a minute if they are quick. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Seth Sawyers. Catalytic converter theft has been a problem in the United States for decades, but the number of documented occurrences has increased dramatically across the country in the last year.
- It is not only inconvenient, but it is also costly to have your converter stolen or lost.
- Your price might be as high as $10,000 in severe circumstances, if a pipe or oxygen sensor is damaged or destroyed.
- Having to bear these expenses on a single vehicle is bad enough, but if a major section of your fleet is targeted, the financial consequences may be disastrous.
- During this presentation, we will discuss catalytic converters, why they are important, and what you can do to keep yours from being stolen.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
Located underneath your car between the muffler and the manifold, a catalytic converter is an exhaust pollution control device that regulates exhaust emissions. One of the primary functions of a catalytic converter is to convert hazardous fuel emissions like as carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and hydrocarbons into less damaging compounds such as carbon dioxide and water vapour.
Why are Catalytic Converters Valuable?
In addition to containing precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium, catalytic converters also include other elements that make them attractive to scrap metal traders. These metals have seen a tremendous increase in value throughout recent years. Palladium rose from less than $500 an ounce in 2016 to a record $2,875 an ounce in 2020, an almost threefold increase. Prices for rhodium increased even more dramatically, rising from $640 an ounce to a record high of $21,900 an ounce in 2021.
With the price of these metals skyrocketing — and a worldwide epidemic putting many people out of work — it should come as no surprise that catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in the last year, as seen in the chart below.
Cities around the country have reported a triple or even quadruple increase in the number of converter thefts in 2020 as compared to the previous year.
Saint Louis and Denver, two of the most impacted cities, recorded increases of 740 percent and 1,600 percent, respectively compared to last year.
Catalytic converters include valuable metals such as rhodium, whose price has risen from $640 an ounce five years ago to a record $21,900 an ounce by 2021, according to the International Rhodium Association. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Kim2480.
What Can You Do to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft?
It takes minutes for a burglar to remove an exhaust converter from underneath a car and then turn around and sell it for several hundred dollars to a scrap yard. In order to avoid this from occurring, you may take a number of steps. These include the following:
- The most effective method of preventing catalytic converter theft is to keep your car in a garage at all times. Due to the fact that this is not always possible, it is advisable to park in well-lit places if you must park outside. You should park as close as possible to the front of a building entrance or an access road if you are utilizing public parking. These regions are more visible and have a larger volume of foot activity, which deters would-be burglars in many cases. There are a variety of security mechanisms available for the prevention of converter theft. Cat Clamps and Cat Straps are two of the most common and efficient types of cat restraints available. These devices perform admirably and are far less expensive than replacing a whole converter. Modify the settings on your automobile alarm so that it will sound when vibrations are detected. If you want to go any farther, there is a gadget called a Cat Eye Sonic Lock that can be attached to a Cat Strap and is designed to be even more intense. When this gadget detects an intruder under your car, it activates a 130-decibel siren, which can be heard for miles. It is far louder than a regular alarm and causes the culprit tremendous discomfort. It immediately deactivates when the individual departs
- If you can afford them, security cameras may be a useful asset in your home or business. Not only may video evidence assist you in catching a thief, but it can also serve as a deterrent if you make it known that the location is under observation. Inscribe your vehicle identification number (VIN) and phone number into the converter. The scrap dealer will be alerted that the item has been stolen, and it will be simpler to identify you as the owner as a result. If you own a big lot with a large fleet of cars, it may be worthwhile for you to engage a nightly security crew to keep an eye on things. Although this is not inexpensive, if your lot is affected on a regular basis, the price of converter replacement can become much more expensive.
How to Know if Your Converter Has Been Stolen
It’s typically not difficult to determine whether or not your converter has been stolen. When you turn on your vehicle, it will emit a loud roaring noise, similar to that of a race car or a Harley Davidson motorcycle engine. As you apply more pressure to the gas pedal, the noise will become much more audible. You should go to the middle of your car and inspect below it if you hear this noise. The presence of a gaping hole in the middle of your exhaust pipe, as well as indications of the piping having been sawed away, indicates that the converter has been taken.
What to Do about It
If something like this happens to you, there are a few things you should do immediately:
- Inform the authorities so that they can properly document the situation. Please provide your VIN number on the converter as well if it is inscribed on the converter. Inform nearby scrap yards about the theft by calling them. An etched VIN and phone number would also be quite helpful in this situation. For further information on whether or not you are protected for catalytic converter theft, as well as how much your deductible is, contact your insurance carrier
- In order to get your converter replaced, look for a manufacturer dealership or a muffler repair business nearby. Make no apprehensions about shopping about to find the greatest deal, but be prepared to pay anywhere from $900 to $2,500 or more
Jake Koester works as a representative for City Rent A Truck, a family-owned truck and van rental company that specializes in assisting businesses with the proper sizing of their fleets, according to their website.
How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing – Is this possible?
For example, you’ve been driving your automobile for several years and have begun to realize that the car is beginning to feel different as time progresses. Your engine isn’t running as smoothly as it used to, and it’s losing power? Despite the fact that everything appears to be in working order, you may get the impression that your automobile is not breathing at all and is desperately striving to remain alive.
- What is a catalytic converter
- What are the symptoms
- How do I fix it
- Should I cut off my cats
- And what is the conclusion
Allow me to assure you that you do not need to be concerned about this matter. When you are experiencing these symptoms, there are only two things that may go wrong. It might be your intake or exhaust system. Or maybe both at the same time. It is essential that you keep these two components clean and properly maintained if you want your automobile to run at its best. The air filter is located at the beginning of the intake system. These filters become clogged after a certain number of miles and must be replaced on a regular basis by your technician, or by yourself if you are mechanically inclined.
- Particularly vulnerable are the catalytic converters, which can become clogged with debris.
- This is especially true if the car is an older model or a diesel.
- The purpose of this essay is to get into the details of how you may resolve this issue without having to replace your catalytic converter.
- So please bear with me.
What Is a Catalytic Converter?
When it comes to internal combustion vehicles, the catalytic converter is a piece of equipment that is fitted in the exhaust system of the vehicle. In the interior, there is a honeycomb structure that is box-shaped. Its primary function is to process all of the gases and fumes that are produced during the combustion process in order to reduce their toxicity. In order to reduce smog and other pollutants that are harmful to the environment as well as us people, the catalytic converter is installed in each car.
- Specifically, they have the potential to induce a variety of disorders that can result in early mortality.
- As a result, addressing this issue as soon as possible is a wise decision.
- It is possible that pressure will build up and cause cracking on the exhaust.
- It can be used as an exhaust brake in a truck, but you don’t want it to happen in your automobile, obviously.
- Although it is possible that the catalytic converter is damaged, this does not necessarily imply that it is defective and that it must be replaced.
And some of these methods will be discussed in further detail later in this essay. But first, let’s have a look at how these converters truly function and how they perform their magic behind the hood.
How Do Catalytic Converters Work?
Catalytic converters were developed in the early 1970s in response to the introduction of stronger environmental restrictions. They were required in order to minimize smog and pollution, as well as to make the air cleaner and safer for the general public to breathe. The way they operate is quite straightforward. The process of generating energy is known as combustion. Fuel, air, and spark are the three most critical factors in the explosions that occur inside the engine. These explosions cause the crank to turn, which in turn produces energy.
- There are various disadvantages to this combustive process.
- Since carbon dioxide (CO2) contains dangerous particles that make the air unhealthy to breathe, it is a major source of pollution in the atmosphere.
- It is at this point that the catalytic converter comes in handy.
- These metals, when coupled with high heat, cause the particles to oxidize, resulting in a significant reduction in emissions.
- However, they are not as harmful as they were before entering the catalytic converter.
- Platinum is a precious metal that is difficult to come by.
- All of this comes at a significant financial cost.
- They can charge up to 2000 dollars for a fresh pair of cats.
- People are stealing them from automobiles and reselling them on the illicit market in order to profit financially.
- Stay away from dangerous neighborhoods.
Symptoms Of A Broken Catalytic Converter
It is possible that your catalytic converter is malfunctioning due to a variety of factors. We’ll go through a few of them in detail. We went one step further and discovered the following six symptoms that are most frequently seen when a catalytic converter fails to function properly:
Check engine light
This is one of the most common symptoms associated with the problem of a faulty catalytic converter, and it occurs in nearly every case. And, if you have a faulty catalytic converter, this light will most likely remain illuminated for some time, causing you to put off your trip to your mechanic so that the diagnostic process can get underway. The O2 sensors that are located in front of the catalytic converters are responsible for this light turning on. These sensors are responsible for monitoring the gases that pass through the exhaust system and providing an estimate to the ECU on how efficiently your car is operating at any given time.
Inaccurate sensor readings cause errors in the car computer because they do not match the required parameters that are considered to be optimal for the car computer.
A computer connection is required in order for it to be properly diagnosed. It is possible to save money by using a scanning tool instead of paying mechanics to complete the task for you, but this is not always the case.
Rotten Egg Smell Coming Out Of The Exhaust
If you get the distinct scent of a rotten egg when revving your engine, stop revving your engine. Clearly, your catalytic converter is no longer functioning properly. Despite the fact that the gasoline includes a minor quantity of sulfur Additionally, during the combustion process, the sulfur is converted to sulfur dioxide, which is odorless and does not emit a foul odor. When your catalytic converter fails, instead of converting carbon dioxide to sulfur dioxide, it produces sulfur dioxide. The sulfur flows through without a hitch, and the foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide escapes through your exhaust.
Failed Emissions Inspection
If your catalytic converter is blocked or damaged, you will most likely not be able to meet emissions standards in your state. In the case of a blocked catalytic converter, for example, the readings will be poor when you go in for an inspection. It will not be the same as the factory standard. The inspector will notice this and will give you a failing grade on your inspection. They will instruct you to fix your converter and bring your car back as soon as possible. Another example is that if the catalytic converter is damaged, the readings will skyrocket to extreme heights.
This will also result in a failure of your inspection, and you will be required to replace your catalytic converter in order to pass the test.
Another symptom that you will most likely notice right away, especially if you have had the vehicle for a lengthy period of time. When you are attempting to pass other cars on the road, you will experience a loss of power and will find it extremely difficult to maintain the momentum of your vehicle. The accumulation of carbon in the catalytic converter is the source of this problem. There is no more room for the gasses to flow through the converter once they have entered it. Due to the buildup of gasses in the manifolds and the resulting heat buildup, the trapped gases function as an exhaust brake.
The fact that your automobile was driven in the city rather than on the highway is the most significant reason why this is occurring to you.
In the worst-case situation, if you do not clean your catalytic converter, you will almost certainly cause harm to your engine.
Bringing it back to its original manufacturing state.
Poor Fuel Economy
If you find yourself in the gas station more frequently than you should, you may have a problem. Then it’s likely that you’re experiencing some difficulties. Catalytic converters that are not functioning properly might result in greater fuel usage, which can be costly in the long term. Having a blockage in your exhaust system might cause your automobile to consume more gasoline than it should be. All of this is due to inaccurate readings from the oxygen sensors. As a result of the lack of appropriate exhaust flow, the engine believes that it must put in more gasoline in order to meet the requirements.
This might end up costing you a lot of money in the long term. The reason for this is mostly because you must disassemble and clean the engine. Additionally, machining work and a variety of additional issues may arise. This is a major problem that you should try to avoid at all costs.
Rattling Noise Coming Out Of The Catalytic Converter
In the event that you notice any rattling noises from your catalytic converter when you step on the gas pedal, this indicates that your catalytic converter is toast. After a few revolutions, the honeycomb is in bits and the interior appears to be reminiscent of a popcorn machine. The noise that a faulty catalytic converter may make will almost certainly wake up your neighbors as well. In this case, replacing your catalytic converter will almost certainly be a lifesaver for your vehicle. If you can’t locate a new one, there are plenty of old ones to be found in junkyards all around the United States.
Clouds Of Smoke Coming Out Of The Exhaust
When your catalytic converters are making rattling noises, you should expect a lot of smoke to come out of your exhaust when you start your car up first thing in the morning. Your exhaust system is no longer performing its function and must be replaced. If your automobile is smoking excessively, you already know what to do. Find a replacement exhaust system for your car by visiting your local mechanic. Your vehicle will be restored to original specifications and will perform as well as new thanks to this revolutionary method.
How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing It?
When it comes to finding a solution to this problem, you have a few of alternatives on the table, and the decision is yours as to which one you will choose. We’ll take a look at a few of them and provide detailed instructions on how to repair a catalytic converter without replacing it:
The Italian Tune Up
If you have a blocked catalytic converter, you have undoubtedly heard of this method of cleaning it. It is not something that the makers advocate, but it does the job well enough. And if your catalytic converter is failing, you should absolutely attempt this method first because it is the quickest and will save you a significant amount of money in the long run as well. When you are driving a car in city traffic, it is possible that your catalytic converters can become clogged with these harmful particles.
- They don’t become hot enough to burn the particles, thus the particles adhere to the inside of the filter, creating blockage.
- On the highway, you may test the theory by driving your car at high RPMs and at high speed for a couple of minutes on the straightaway.
- The optimal temperature range is between 800 and 1832 degrees Fahrenheit.
- At this temperature, some sort of sorcery will occur, and all of the garbage that has accumulated inside your converters will be burned off and disintegrated.
In that scenario, only a thorough cleaning would be beneficial, which we shall describe later. But remember to remain careful while doing so and to avoid obtaining a traffic ticket for driving too quickly. Respect the law, as well as the posted speed restrictions.
Get A Catalytic Converter Cleaning Additive
These additives are inexpensive, and they promise to be effective in alleviating the clogging problem. You will need to follow a few basic procedures in order to make this procedure successful. Start by purchasing acatalytic converter cleaning additive from your local parts store or convenience store. After that, put this additive to your petrol tank and drive away. The final stage is taking your automobile for a test drive on the open road. When driving on the highway, maintain a consistent RPM of 3000 or higher for 15-20 minutes at a time.
This approach is similar to the Italian Tune-Up, but with a slight twist.
If your catalytic converter is beyond repair, for example, you may need to have it completely removed.
Give It a Good Old Fashion Cleaning
It’s probably time to get your hands dirty and do some things that will significantly enhance the health of your catalytic converter if the first piece of advice, which is to run your engine at high RPM for a few minutes, does not provide results. I’m going to describe how you can accomplish this on your own first, and then I’ll offer several services that can complete this task for you afterwards. Please keep in mind that this is a two-person task, so attempting to complete it on your alone would be quite tough.
- If you don’t have access to a lift, you can use a car inspection pit to do the task.
- So, if you have a buddy that possesses one of these two possibilities, they can assist you with this matter.
- Exhaust bolts may be difficult to remove, therefore it’s best to use a blow torch to heat them up before attempting to unbolt them.
- Start with the highest pressure setting on your pressure washer.
- Apply pressure to the object and move it around.
- As soon as you are finished with one side, start over on the other side and continue the process.
- After that, reverse the procedure and attach the exhaust to the vehicle.
- If you do not have access to all of these tools and help, it is preferable to take it to a place where they have the equipment necessary to do the task for you rather than doing it yourself.
However, it is important to remember to drive the car more frequently on the highway in order to maintain the catalytic converters clean and in good working order.
Should I just Cut Off My Cats?
Many individuals who are having problems with their catalytic converters are asking the same issue, and I’m going to provide you with a solution to that question. There are certain advantages to turning off your catalytic converters, but there are also some disadvantages to doing so. The disadvantage is that you will fail the inspection as a result of this. Nobody will let you to drive a car like that, especially if it is a later model that was equipped with a catalytic converter from the factory, as it is illegal.
Especially if you cut your catalytic converters and toss them away, you may come to regret your decision.
You will pay several times more as a result of this error than you would have if you had purchased a high-quality aftermarket exhaust.
How To Fix Catalytic Converter Without Replacing – Conclusion
In this post, we go into great detail on the issues that might arise when it comes to catalytic converters, as well as some helpful advice on how to detect the problem of a faulty catalytic converter in your vehicle. There are several indications associated with a failing catalytic converter, some of which include, as previously said, a foul odor, poor performance, limited power, and so on. We’ve also included some helpful pointers on how to resolve this problem on your own without having to replace the catalytic converters or spend a lot of money doing so.
This will aid in the heating of your catalytic converters, allowing them to burn the obstructing particles more effectively.
These tools have been tried and tested by our experts, and they are suitable for repairing your automobile at your convenience.
Catalytic Converter Thefts are Revving Up, but they can be Prevented
A automobile item meant to limit the amount of pollution left behind by a vehicle is a popular target for people who don’t want to leave behind any pollution at all: thieves. Catalytic converters, which are found in the exhaust system of a car, are responsible for converting toxic emissions into less dangerous gases before they are released into the atmosphere. There are three main reasons why criminals are drawn to this section. 1:
- Catalytic converters are constructed with trace amounts of precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which makes them desirable to scrap metal dealers since they may be sold as scrap. The majority of catalytic converters are not tagged, making it difficult to track them back to a specific car. Due to the ease with which they may be unbolted or cut out from a vehicle’s bottom, they are quite easy to steal. Trucks and SUVs are the most popular targets since they are higher off the ground and hence simpler to get underneath
What is the going rate for this really valuable component? Thieves can often obtain $150 to $200 for the scrap metal, but the component itself can cost up to $2,000 to replace, making it a losing proposition for them. More importantly, when removing the catalytic converter, thieves frequently cause damage to other sections of the car, resulting in the need for further expensive repairs. 2 Theft of catalytic converters is on the rise.
Catalytic converter theft is not a new phenomenon, but according to certain reports, it is on the rise. Following an increase in the price of precious metals over the previous year, numerous Canadian towns have experienced an uptick in gold and silver heists. As an illustration:
- So far in the year 2020, there have been a total of 280 documented occurrences of catalytic converter theft in Calgary. This is an increase from 200 for the full year 2019 and 48 for the previous year. 66 thefts were recorded in Hamilton in only two months, between December 2019 and January 2020, according to the police department. Over the course of six months in 2019, 61 stolen converters were reported stolen, making this a higher total than in 2018. 4
- Since October of this year, there have been 792 catalytic converter thefts reported to the Edmonton police department. 5
Also stated is that during the COVID-19 epidemic, thieves in the Greater Toronto Area and Niagara, Ont. are targeting commercial-use automobiles at firms that have been forced to close as a result of lockdown regulations. 6Whether or not there is a pandemic, business fleets are extremely vulnerable to theft since criminals may target several vehicles in a single spot. Businesses may incur income losses, vehicle downtime, and the expense of hiring replacement cars if this occurs. 7 When the victim of catalytic converter theft starts up their car, they may know something is amiss because the vehicle emits a loud muffler-related noise, which alerts them that something is wrong.
- Vehicles belonging to corporations should be parked in well-lit, secure places wherever feasible. It is also possible to dissuade criminals by installing vehicle alarms and security cameras. Alternatively, cars can be positioned in a way that makes it more difficult to access their underbelly, such as against a wall or surrounded by other lower vehicles. Make use of products designed to dissuade and prevent the theft of catalytic converters if you want to be safe. For example, a wire cage can be placed around the converter and then welded and fastened to the underneath of the automobile to provide further protection. The company also offers another product, a strap composed of Kevlar cloth with steel cables running through it that is fitted under the car and is tough to cut through. As a deterrent, a mechanic might engrave the device with the license plate number or vehicle identification number of the perpetrator. This might make it more difficult for criminals to sell their stolen goods to some scrap yards. 1, 8, and 9
When it comes to commercial vehicle insurance, businesses must ensure that they are in command of the situation. Consult with your insurance broker to see whether or not your current coverage covers theft of a catalytic converter. 1 ‘How to prevent catalytic converter theft,’ according to Motoring Research. Forbes reports on May 11, 20202: ‘Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a problem for automobile owners of all socioeconomic backgrounds.’ 2nd of April, 20193 CTV News & Media ‘Two Calgary salvage yards have been prosecuted after purchasing stolen catalytic converters,’ the Calgary Herald reports.
6th of February, 20205 ‘Three people have been charged in connection with catalytic converter thefts,’ according to the Edmonton Journal.
The 20th of February, 20207 Commercial Fleet: ‘Fleets provided protection against catalytic converter theft,’ according to the report.
’10 ways to prevent catalytic converter theft,’ says Honest John Kit.