How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

In 2018, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported 1,298 Catalytic Converters thefts.

By mid-2021, this surged to a whopping 25,969.

Why is this common auto part such a hot item on the black market lately and what can you do to keep your car safe?

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is a key component of your car’s emission system. It converts harmful emissions into safer, nontoxic gasses using a special filter made of three important metal catalysts: palladium, platinum and rhodium.


Why do thieves want catalytic converters?

Palladium, platinum and rhodium are very valuable — lately, those values are soaring. For example, rhodium was worth $640 per ounce in 2017. In June 2022, the same amount was worth $18,600.
Catalytic converters are also relatively easy to steal. Thieves simply slide under the car and cut the converter away from the exhaust system with a saw, which can take just five minutes from start to finish.


How can you keep your vehicle safe?

1. Install an anti-theft shield. Though it’s not certain how “theft-proof” they are, these cage-like covers undoubtedly make theft more difficult and time-consuming. This is often all it takes for a thief to decide it’s not worth it.

2. Avoid dark, secluded and accessible parking. Look for spaces under street lights or near security cameras when parking outside. Parking near fences or curbs can make it more difficult to access your vehicle’s undercarriage, which is especially helpful for vehicles with raised undercarriages.

3. Etch your VIN, address or license plate number. Catalytic converters with formal identification are easier for authorities to connect to specific thefts. In addition to this increased risk, etched catalytic converters are much harder for thieves to sell.

Want to know more ways to keep your car safe? Just need repairs or maintenance? Reach out today.

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