There is a great rise in the theft of catalytic converters and thus, taking some steps will help you to reduce catalytic converter theft. Most of the cars that run on UK roads are fitted with catalytic converters. Since 1992, most petrol cars are coming with catalytic converters and since 2001; diesel cars are coming with catalytic converters.
Table of Contents
- What is a Catalytic Converter?
- Why do People Steal Catalytic Converters?
- Which Cars are Targeted the most for Catalytic Converter?
- How to find out if Catalytic Converter is Stolen?
- What to do when your Catalytic Converter is Stolen?
- What Happens when you Drive without a Catalytic Converter?
What is a Catalytic Converter?
A Catalytic Converter is a device present in the car that controls the emission of harmful gases from the car’s exhaust system. In simple words, it will just convert the more harmful gases into less harmful gases by using Redox chemical reaction.
Why do People Steal Catalytic Converters?
A Catalytic Converter is a crucial component in your car and it is mainly designed to control the pollutants and toxic gas from the emissions system. This converter uses some precious metals to control these harmful gases. They are
So, now you can get an idea about why people steal such a converter from your car. The reason is these precious metals present in it. People steal this part to sell these precious metals for scraps.
Additionally, it is much easy for thieves to steal this part from your car, as they just need a saw to steal this converter. But this will leave the car owner to pay thousands of dollars to repair.
Which Cars are Targeted the most for Catalytic Converter?
One of the most targeted cars for stealing the catalytic converter is Toyota Prius. Since it is a low-emission car, it contains a lot of precious metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium. On stealing the catalytic converter from this car, thieves can earn almost $700 per converter. Thus, this situation made Prius owners spend $2000 for installing a catalytic converter once again.
Then, other targets for stealing catalytic converters include SUVs and Trucks. Because, these models are parked and raised off the ground, which makes thieves easily go under the vehicle and saw the catalytic converter.
How to find out if Catalytic Converter is Stolen?
Finding out whether the catalytic converter is stolen or not is not rocket science. Below are the techniques which you need to follow for getting an idea about it.
1. Loud Engine
Once the catalytic converter theft happens, you can see only a small pipe attached to the car. When you turn on the engine, you will get an unusual noise and loudness. Most car owners are not getting the thing when the catalytic converter is stolen.
Furthermore, most thieves are not doing anything to prevent the exhaust leak after stealing the catalytic converter.
2. Check Engine Light
If the catalytic converter is stolen, it will turn the engine light. In modern cars, this feature is applicable which means the stolen catalytic converter will enable the check engine code. But old-model cars will not offer this feature. In such models, you have to go underneath the car and check the presence of a catalytic converter.
3. An Open Pipe
This is one of the best ways to identify if your catalytic converter is stolen from your car. In such a situation, thieves will not bother to insert the pipe under the vehicle. When you find the open and small pipe under the car, it is the sign of catalytic converter theft. Thus, the stolen catalytic converter will leave the vehicle with an open pipe.
Additionally, you will get some unusual toxic fumes from the vehicle. Under this situation, you need to inspect the car for sure.
What to do when your Catalytic Converter is Stolen?
1. Contact the Authorities
The first step is to contact the authorities when the catalytic converter is missing from your car. Police officials will check the camera in the nearby location to catch the thief who stole the catalytic converter. Furthermore, a police report is important to get your insurance coverage.
2. Contact your Insurance Company
Based on your coverage, it may help for covering your catalytic converter replacement. If you have any doubt about the insurance policy, you can simply contact the agent to get an idea about the policy coverage options. Then, you will get whether the insurance will cover the converter or not.
3. Visit a Mechanic
The final step is to take your vehicle to the mechanic shop for getting a car service. An expert will recommend you some repair options. He will always recommend you to drive the car after installing the catalytic converter.
What Happens when you Drive without a Catalytic Converter?
Most customers have this doubt ‘Can I drive the car without a catalytic converter?’ The answer is both ‘No’ and ‘Yes.’ One can drive the car without a catalytic converter. However, it is not recommended for the good functioning of the car. Here are the troubles that you face of driving a car without a catalytic converter.
1. Loud Noises
The first sign of catalytic converter theft in your car is the loud noise of the vehicle. While driving the car, it will produce a lot of noise than usual. The loud noise is more especially when you start the vehicle.
2. Rough Driving and Acceleration
Since the exhaust gas gets unregulated, it will make rough driving of the vehicle. Generally, the catalytic converter helps with the emission of gases from the exhaust system. With the catalytic converter theft, it will forcefully push the exhaust gas. This will lead to uneven acceleration and sometimes jarring.
3. Harmful Car Emissions
Since the catalytic converter controls the emission of harmful gases from the exhaust system, it will result in harmful emissions without a converter. Some of the harmful emissions include
- Nitrogen oxide
- Carbon monoxide
Such bad emissions will harm the environment and pollute the air. Even these harmful pollutants will come to your home when you park the car in your garage.
It is better to install a protective device or use a triggered alarm to avoid catalytic converter theft in your car. This will help you to avoid catalytic converter theft and prevent the money that you spent on repairing the car.