Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

So, why are catalytic converters stolen? A chemical filter known as a catalytic converter requires the usage of rare metals in its production. Catalytic converters are an essential part of your car’s exhaust system. Palladium and Rhodium form a honeycomb in which hot exhaust fumes are routed, preventing dangerous pollutants from accessing the atmosphere. A catalytic converter converts some toxic gases into innocuous gases through chemical processes.

People are stealing catalytic converters because of the high value of the precious metals used in their production.

The following information will help you understand why potential thieves are attracted to various car parts and how you can protect yourself from having your car parts stolen.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Being Stolen?

Why Are Catalytic Converters Being Stolen?

Thieves often steal catalytic converters and sell them off to scrap metal dealers since they are valuable. After all, they contain Palladium and Rhodium.

Aaron Harker, the proprietor of an exhaust company, stated, “What they’re doing is taking their Platinum and Rhodium. You can always get money for it by selling it in a junkyard if you decide that you don’t like it.”

According to Harker, a burglar may take a catalytic converter off a car’s underside within five to ten minutes.

Unless they hear a loud rattling when they start their engines, most individuals have no idea their catalytic converters have been stolen.

Catalytic converters can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 to replace, depending on the model.

Why Are Prius Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Prius Catalytic Converters
Prius Catalytic Converters

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of thefts of catalytic converters across the country increased during the epidemic by more than 325% over a year.

The rise in the value of the precious metals often found within catalytic converters has contributed to an increase in the number of thefts involving these devices. Thieves can make up to $300 by selling a typical catalytic converter. However, because hybrid vehicles use more valuable metals, the catalytic converter taken from one of these vehicles can sell for up to $1,400.

Taking a Toyota Prius’ catalytic converters can be lucrative, as it is with most auto-related crimes. The high cost of catalytic converters is due to the high cost of the metals used in the chemical processes.

These crimes have been rising over the past few years and aren’t slowing down.

The Toyota Prius has two motors: an electric motor and a gasoline motor. Any product that doesn’t hurt the environment is said to be green. Because of this, the Prius has some of the best catalytic converters in commercial vehicles.

The converters in hybrid cars are very popular because they corrode much less than those in regular cars. However, stealing becomes more profitable when the precious metal plating is well preserved.

Rhodium’s value has skyrocketed over the past few years, reaching a value of $14,000 per ounce. Manufacturers frequently use Rhodium in hybrid catalytic converters, which is the cause of this.

You must install a new converter in addition to repairing or replacing the existing one.

Why Are Honda Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Honda Catalytic Converter
Honda Catalytic Converter

Due to the prevalence of hybrid systems in Honda vehicles, these vehicles have become significant targets for the theft of catalytic converters. As a result, the catalytic converters used in Honda vehicles are incredibly pricey. As a result, they will command a high price when resold to the metal recycling sector.

Another reason is that removing them from the vehicle is relatively simple, using tools like angle grinders and jacks. However, there are still many additional kinds of automobiles with a high incidence of theft. Besides Honda vehicles, many makes and models of cars have a high incidence of thieves stealing their catalytic converters. Therefore, when driving a Honda, caution is necessary on your part. Therefore, you can set a preventative mature to guarantee that nobody steals your car’s catalytic converter.

You can partially prevent theft of your catalytic converter by installing a car protector in your vehicle.

Why Are Toyota Catalytic Converters Stolen?

The risk is higher for newer cars than older ones for the same reason; the same goes for Toyota cars.

Thieves will also target vehicles that are easy to crawl under. So, police reports suggest that trucks and SUVs are at increased risk. Why? They are simpler to slide under and are higher above the ground. Thieves have quick entry and exit.

Every Toyota car boasts 1 expensive catalytic converter currently available.

Anyone can slip beneath one of them in a parking lot. Some auto dealers had to install security cameras when thieves broke into truck lots full of brand-new vehicles and made a fortune in Rhodium in hours.

However, no automobile is entirely secure. Catalytic converters from 18 school buses in Connecticut were cut in one night by a resourceful burglar last week.

Which Cars Are Most Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen?

Vehicles targeted by catalytic converter thieves are impossible to identify with any degree of certainty. However, investigators with the FBI and insurance companies claim they’ve noticed a few trends.

One is that hybrid cars appear to be particularly vulnerable. A catalytic converter’s valuable metals decay as they remove contaminants from the exhaust gas. Cars powered exclusively by gasoline emit more pollutants into the atmosphere than hybrids. The metals used in their catalytic converters endure longer.

Manufacturers required many catalytic converters to install in all fuel-powered vehicles made after 1974. Hence, many cars are now on the road that could interest thieves looking to steal catalytic converters. However, thieves frequently target higher vehicles, such as pickup trucks or SUVs, because it is relatively simple to squeeze under the car and gain access to the catalytic converter.

According to Forbes, thieves find hybrid vehicles to be another appealing target for the theft of catalytic converters. For example, catalytic converters in hybrid vehicles produce a more significant amount of precious metals than those in gas-powered vehicles due to the lower operating temperatures.

Below are the most likely cars to have their converter stolen:

Toyota Prius Hybrid cars

Toyota Hybrid car
Toyota Hybrid car

It is most frequent for Toyota Prius Hybrids to have their catalytic converters stolen. This type of catalytic converter is easier to come by. However, because of the high concentration of precious metals it contains, it is more valuable than most. Thieves might take as much as $700 per converter from unscrupulous consumers.

What makes the Toyota Prius Converter so valuable, and why is it at the top of our list of stolen property? This one has a denser gold load than other converters since it frequently transitions from gas to electricity. As a result, a higher loading of precious metals is required to compensate for the absence of heat activation.

The Dodge Ram 

Dodge Ram 
Dodge Ram 

The converter replacement cost for a Dodge Ram 2500 is $53,460.This price reveals the number of precious metals present inside its converter, which many scammers keep an eye out for. The catalytic converter poses a greater threat to theft in pickup trucks than it does in sedans because it is simpler for thieves to get beneath these vehicles and remove the converter.

Now that we know what kinds of converters are most likely to be stolen, it is very important to understand the regions where the majority of these thefts originate. Therefore, it is important to remember that even though converter theft is not common in your region, it is still possible for it to occur.

How Much Is a Stolen Catalytic Converter Worth?

Catalytic Converters
Catalytic Converters

Around $3,000.

For the Toyota Prius, which thieves frequently target, the cost of replacing a stolen catalytic converter can reach up to $3,000. Catalytic converters theft is becoming more prevalent on a nationwide scale.

Many individuals are unaware that the component of their vehicle that is the most desirable for scrap is the catalytic converter. These components, which resemble mufflers, are fastened to the vehicle’s emissions control system and are responsible for reducing exhaust noise. As a result of the presence of platinum, palladium, and Rhodium, thieves have taken an increased interest in stealing them.

These precious metals are responsible for reducing the level of toxicity in the exhaust produced by your car so that it is safer to breathe. Surprising, isn’t it? There is a possibility that your vehicle is hiding precious metals worth thousands of dollars right now.

A catalytic converter stolen from some hybrid vehicles can sell online for as much as $1,500. That’s because it has a higher proportion of the corrosion-resistant metal rhodium, which now sells for more than $15,000 an ounce.

How Can I Prevent My Catalytic Converter From Being Stolen?

Costs for a new catalytic converter might average, reach as high as $3,000. Following these simple guidelines, you can protect your car’s catalytic converter from thieves. Stealing becomes more difficult when the thief has to work a little more, as with most criminal activities. To phrase it another way, you don’t have to go to extremes to protect yourself.

You have three options to choose from to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • To begin, have your license plate number etched into the plate. If a thief steals your car part, the police will be able to find it and the person who took it. Some law enforcement authorities also collaborate with local garages to conduct etching sessions.
  • It’s also important to park in a well-lit location. Setting your car’s alarm and putting on a motion sensor light could also be helpful. When looking for a place to leave your car, look for parking garages or lots with surveillance cameras.
  • Finally, install an anti-theft device that covers the catalytic converter with a shield or a plate fastened to the vehicle.

Final Words – Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen

It is essential to maintain vigilance in this day and age, mainly if you are a resident of the state of California, given the surge in the number of converter thefts.

As the pandemic draws to a close and people start returning to work, we can only hope that the number of thefts will begin to decrease again. In the meantime, keep an eye out for any changes. For example, suppose your vehicle suddenly begins to sound ready for the racing tracks. In that case, you might want to consider bringing it in for inspection.