These are the cars least likely to have catalytic converter stolen:
- Mini Cooper
- Mazda RX-7 or RX-8
- BMW E46 3 Series
- Exotic Sports Cars
- Vehicles manufacturers before 1974
- Vehicles with diesel catalytic converters
- Electric vehicles
If you've been watching the news recently, there is a very common trend of catalytic converter thefts nowadays. This is after the pandemic hit and with more people leaving their vehicles sitting in their homes.
Unfortunately, thieves are targeting catalytic converters because of the precious metals in the converters and because removing the converter is a very simple process in some vehicles.
Most of the recent articles focused on highlighting the vehicles that are most likely to get catalytic converter stolen. However, experts noticed that only some vehicles were targeted similarly. In other words, some vehicles are least likely to have catalytic converter is stolen, which is a great thing.
If you are lucky, you will be an owner of one of these vehicles where the thieves are not targeting them. However, this doesn't mean that you're safe from car theft or catalytic converter thefts, but at least your vehicle would not be the target.
This article highlights a list of the cars least likely to have catalytic converters stolen. Let's read on for more details about all these vehicles and recommendations on preventing catalytic converter theft.
What is the catalytic converter, and why is it the target for thieves?
Before we dive into the details about the cars least likely to have catalytic converter stolen, it is critical to highlight the main purpose of the catalytic converter in your vehicle and the reason why thieves are targeting it.
The catalytic converter is responsible for converting harmful emissions into less harmful gases, so it's released into the environment without causing significant problems. In the old days, vehicles used to release a lot of harmful contaminants impacting the air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency put together requirements for every vehicle to contain a catalytic converter so the harmful gases to the atmosphere are reduced as much as possible.
One might wonder why the thieves would target the catalytic converter and not any other component like the engine or the transmission. The main reason for that is that the catalytic converter is a small component, but it contains precious metals that thieves can make a good amount of money from.
The other thing is that catalytic converters are located underneath the vehicle, making stealing them much easier than stealing any other components without the driver paying attention.
However, only some vehicles are targets for catalytic converter theft because of how it’s designed and how the security systems are put in that vehicles. In other words, thieves target vehicles that are much easier to steal and do not have any notifications to bring the attention that someone is trying to steal a catalytic converter.
Cars least likely to have catalytic converters stolen
While thieves are targeting all catalytic converters, automotive experts notice that there is a very weird trend that thieves are focusing on certain vehicles more than others. In other words, cars are still less likely to have catalytic converter stolen.
Let's see also look at some of these vehicles:
1. Mini Cooper
Interestingly, how the Mini Cooper generation three is designed made it very challenging for thieves to steal a catalytic converter.
In these vehicles, the cattle ticker is located underneath the vehicle, but it's attached to the downpipe, and for the thief to steal it, he must go through multiple steps that make it a little bit challenging.
The thief needs to take out the hood and then unbolt several components simultaneously so he can get access to the catalytic converter. By that time, the thief will be caught, and therefore for thieves, it might not be worth it dealing with the Mini Cooper to get a catalytic converter that will get them a couple of hundred dollars.
That's why many Mini Cooper owners did not complain about any catalytic converter thefts considering the complexity of accessing the catalytic converter.
2. Mazda RX-7 or RX-8
In the case of Mazda, the situation is a little bit different, but it's still one of the cars at least likely to have catalytic converters stolen. Mazda catalytic converter has two important traits that make it challenging for thieves to target it.
According to experts, Mazda RX7 has many issues where the engine might burn the catalytic converter, and the engine might run rich with too much fuel, causing problems with the converter.
Therefore, thieves understand that, in most cases, the Mazda RX7 and RX8 will have some catalytic converter problems. Therefore, it's not worth their time and effort trying to get these out of the vehicle because they're not going to have anything to salvage.
Like Mini Cooper generation 3, most Audis are designed in a way that does not allow easy access to the catalytic converter. That's why it will take a significant effort for the thief to access the catalytic converter.
Even if the thief were smart enough and successful enough to access the converter, he would need significant effort and specific tools to remove the catalytic converter and take it out of the vehicle without causing some damage to the converter.
That's why if you're a current owner of an Audi, you should be in a much better situation than other people who suffer from catalytic converter thefts.
4. BMW E46 3 Series
Interestingly, several BMW vehicles have a specific design that prevents thieves from accessing the catalytic converter. These vehicles have the catalytic converter connected to the exhaust manifold, making it almost impossible to remove the converter without taking out the entire exhaust system.
There are many steps that the thief has to go through, including unbolting several components and removing the cylinders before the thief can access the catalytic converter.
Considering the complexity of accessing and removing the converter, BMW vehicles are the least likely to have stolen catalytic converters.
5. Exotic Sports Cars
Suppose you're driving an exotic vehicle or a luxury sports car. In that case, you shouldn't be too worried because the way these vehicles are designed makes it almost impossible for thieves to steal the converter unless they steal the entire vehicle.
Even if they were able to steal the vehicle, many tracking systems are associated with these vehicles considering their price discourages thieves from trying to steal the catalytic converter or any other component.
6. Vehicles manufacturers before 1974
In addition to this specific vehicle we mentioned earlier, automotive experts indicated that you shouldn't be too worried if your vehicle is old. In other words, if your vehicle was designed before 1974, then it most likely doesn't have a catalytic converter, and that's why thieves will not come to you at all.
That's why your old vehicle that you thought was not worth a lot might be in a safer situation than someone else driving a more expensive car, but it's a big target to thieves that steal the catalytic converter.
7. Vehicles with diesel catalytic converters
Interestingly, exports notice that most thieves are not targeting any diesel catalytic converter. The biggest target is just the gasoline types; therefore, you should be reassured about your diesel catalytic converter.
Again, your vehicle is unsafe because we need to know how smart these thieves get and whether they will be interested in these types of catalytic converters. In other words, you should still look for ways to prevent catalytic converter thefts.
8. Electric vehicles
Finally, if you're a current driver of an electric vehicle, you should be reassured about catalytic converter theft because your vehicle does not have one!
That's why we always like to highlight that electric cars are also part of the cars at least likely to have catalytic converters stolen.
How to prevent catalytic converter theft?
Even if you are feeling better that your vehicle is one of the cars least likely to have catalytic converters stolen come, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't be focusing on protecting your vehicle because no one is safe.
That's why we would like to provide you with some recommendations that automotive experts put together on how to prevent catalytic converter theft:
1. Use a converter lock
The first and easiest thing to do to prevent catalytic converter theft is to use a catalytic converter lock. It is a simple metal wire that makes it extremely hard and challenging for thieves to steal your Catalytic converter because it gets it further connected to your vehicle.
2. Choose your parking area
You don’t always have to install a new component to protect your vehicle from catalytic converter theft. All you need to do is choose your parking area and select locations not exposed to thieves where they can easily access your vehicle and steal a converter.
For example, try parking close to your house and park inside as much as possible. You can also choose a parking area with many cameras and ways to monitor people who have any suspicious behaviors around your vehicle.
3. Lower your vehicle
We mentioned earlier that one of the biggest reasons why thieves are targeting catalytic converters is because it's easy to access. That's why some automotive experts recommended lowering your vehicle and making it hard for thieves to get underneath the car and steal the catalytic converter.
However, the process of lowering the vehicle might be something complex that some can do. They might even impact the vehicle's value and impact functionality of the vehicle.
Therefore, you must evaluate the situation carefully and see whether you can lower the vehicle to protect the converter.
4. Invest in security devices
Finally, if you live in an area where you feel safety is not the best, you might want to invest in certain security devices. There are many devices out there that are designed specifically to protect the catalytic converter theft.
While having many choices to select from is great, it makes the process challenging for inexperienced drivers. That's why we highly encourage you to read through each device’s main pros and cons before making a final purchase decision.
You don't necessarily need to go with the most expensive one because sometimes some of these devices might provide additional services and features you don't need. However, you don't also want to invest in something very cheap, which might not help you in a critical situation like this.
Cars at least likely to have catalytic converter stolen: Final thoughts
The catalytic converter is an expensive component, and the last thing you want to deal with is having someone steal your catalytic converter because it means a lot of money on replacement costs.
Interestingly, while thieves have recently been focusing on stealing catalytic converters, some cars are least likely to have catalytic converters stolen. This article walked you through examples of these vehicles to help determine whether your car is a target.
Keep in mind that even if your vehicle is on the list of cars least likely to have catalytic converters stolen, it doesn't mean that you're safe, and you should pay clear attention to your surroundings and protect your vehicle as much as you can.
If you notice someone stole your catalytic converter, that's not the end of the world because you can always sell your vehicle and buy a better one with a catalytic converter without any problems.
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