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Catalytic Converter Theft: How to Protect Your Car from Precious Metal Thieves

Updated on December 12, 2011

The next time you start your car and hear a loud rumbling sound, you might be a victim of a stolen catalytic converter. During the night or in a secluded area, thieves go underneath your car and cut the converter from the exhaust system.

The catalytic converter, used to remove harmful pollutants from the car’s exhaust, does not have identifying marks. This makes it an easy car part to steal that is usually resold for around $25 for the content of the precious metal platinum. But with new catalytic converter prices often ten to twenty times higher than price of the platinum content, it may cost the owner hundred dollars to repair the exhaust system.

Many cities are cracking down on this crime by requiring scrap metal dealers keep track of a list of clients which are selling the parts. Unless the client owns a muffler repair shop, it is unlikely that clients will return and repeat the crime for too long without being caught.

Even if you live in a good neighborhood, you may find yourself a victim of this crime since the exhaust system is removed early in the morning when people are sleeping. It only takes a few minutes to cut through the exhaust pipe connecting both ends of the converter.

To protect yourself from this theft, parking your car in your driveway or in a locked garage is advisable. But like all crimes, it is shocking to find your converter missing and that you now need to have your catalytic converter repaired even if it was in good condition.


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  • howardyoung profile image

    Howard Young 7 years ago from California

    onegoaltender, good advice! It should stop the theft and hopefully blow out an eardrum or two.

  • onegoaltender profile image

    onegoaltender 7 years ago

    A good way to combat this is to set the sensitivity level of your alarm system up to highly sensitive. Even though a loud car can come along and set it off, if someone just bumps the car and makes it move the alsrm will sound. This keeps them from completing the crime because they don't want to take the chance of getting caught.