Your catalytic converter is worth a lot, are you properly protecting it?

By Product Expert | Posted in Just For Fun, News, Safety on Monday, June 21st, 2021 at 8:40 pm
A catalytic converter attached to a vehicle's exhaust pipe.

Why do people steal catalytic converters?

Thieves breaking into vehicles has been a problem since vehicles and thieves have overlapped. Most Team Gunther Volkswagen customers in Daphne are very conscious about bringing their electronics in the house with them, because of the potential for data loss. However, there are still a lot of valuable parts and components to modern automobiles that people are willing to take. Catalytic converters are among the most common car parts stolen – especially in the last year or so. So, why do people steal catalytic converters? Obviously, money is the main reason. Also, let’s not forget that catalytic converters are vulnerable and easy targets. Let’s take a closer look at some things you should know. 

READ MORE: What’s new for the 2022 VW Tiguan? 

What makes catalytic converters so valuable? 

Automakers have been required to include catalytic converters with fuel-burning vehicles since 1974. These components actually scrub a lot of harmful compounds out of a vehicle’s exhaust before it is released into the atmosphere. Several varieties of rare metals are used by catalytic converters to do this, and that is what makes them so valuable to thieves. Scrap yards will pay between $150 and $200 for a catalytic converter. Also, an experienced thief can remove a catalytic converter from a car, truck or SUV in only a few minutes using readily available tools.  

How will I know if I’m missing a catalytic converter? 

Most people don’t look under their vehicles for missing parts before they start the engine. A vehicle that is missing a catalytic converter will sound much louder than it normally does. That sound will only get louder when the driver presses the gas pedal. Also, the check engine light will probably activate. The vehicle might also not accelerate or change speeds very smoothly.  

How do I prevent this from happening? 

For the most part, the best way to prevent the catalytic converter from being stolen are the same steps you’d take to prevent a general break-in, park in well-lit areas or keep the vehicle in the garage at night, if possible. Some repair shops will engrave a vehicle’s VIN on the catalytic converter to help in recovery if it’s stolen. Other shops will weld the part in place or place a steel cage around it to make things tougher for thieves.  

If you have any questions about how to take care of your vehicle, make an appointment with Team Gunther Volkswagen today. 

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