If you're planning to invest in a catalytic converter anti-theft device, you can choose between the steel shield, the cages, and the stainless-steel cables.
The catalytic converter is a critical element in every vehicle responsible for converting harmful gases into less harmful emissions. Aside from the environmental benefits to the catalytic converter, your vehicle cannot pass the emission test without this component. Therefore, it is very critical for any driver to maintain a perfectly working catalytic converter.
According to recent statistics, there has been a clear trend in catalytic converter theft among many states in the United States. With that, many public concerns were posed regarding how people can protect their vehicles from catalytic converter thefts.
Some of the very common questions we receive from most of our readers are “how to prevent ourselves from catalytic converter theft?” And “are there any catalytic converter anti-theft devices?”
This article walks you through all what you need to know about the catalytic converter theft trend. It also highlights important tips and tricks to help yourself prevent catalytic converter thefts. Finally, we will highlight some expert recommendations regarding catalytic converter anti-theft devices.
What is the catalytic converter, and what does it do?
Since the 1960s, many governmental agencies have focused on the impact of the automobile on air pollution. Therefore, since then, we have issued many regulations to prevent harmful gases from reaching the atmosphere.
Among the different emission control regulations, the catalytic converter was required in all vehicles to help reduce air pollution due to mobile input. The catalytic converter consists of specific elements that help convert harmful gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide into less harmful elements like water and carbon dioxide.
If you look underneath your vehicle, you'll see a big metal box that has two different pipes connected to it. This component is the catalytic converter. All exhaust gases must go through the catalytic converter to get cleaned up and converted into something less harmful to be released into the atmosphere. Likewise, harmful gases need to go through a specific chemical reaction to be converted into other forms to become harmful.
In the world of catalytic converters, there are two common catalysts types within each converter, including:
1. The oxidation catalyst
This component is responsible for converting carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide through an oxidation process by adding oxygen. If you don't already know, carbon dioxide is much safer than carbon monoxide to reach the atmosphere since it's part of the natural composition of air.
2. The reduction catalysts
The second catalyst is a reduction catalyst responsible for converting nitrogen oxide into oxygen and nitrogen gases. Thus, all generated gases from the reduction catalysts are typically used by the oxidation catalyst.
While most catalytic converters do the same job, there are still different catalytic converter types that depend on the vehicle's rent. For example, you might come across the following two types of catalytic converters:
1. The two-way catalytic converter
In the two-week early converter, you get the advantage of only one catalyst, which is the one that converts the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. However, these catalytic converters were discontinued in the United States by 1981 and replaced by the second catalytic converters.
2. The three-way catalytic converter
After 1981, a different type of catalytic converter was installed in vehicles, the three-way catalytic converter. As you might already expect, this converter provides you with the oxidation catalyst that converts the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and writes it with the reduction catalyst that converts the nitrogen oxide into oxygen and nitrogen gases.
Keep in mind that although the three-way catalytic converter does a better job in terms of getting rid of harmful gases, all diesel engines are still equipped with two-way catalytic converters, and these converters are designed in a certain way to take care of diesel exhausts, which is different than gasoline exhaust. The nice thing about the diesel catalytic converters is that they target specific soluble organic elements.
Catalytic converter theft
If you don't already know, come out there is a very clear trend and catalytic converter theft across the United States. According to Kelley Blue Book, catalytic converter thefts were reported about 3,389 times in 2019. However, as of 2020, about 14,433 reports were submitted regarding catalytic converter theft. So, surprisingly, there is more than 25,969 catalytic converter theft reported at the beginning of 2021 only!
Counter converter theft was noticed in some states more than the others. For example, experts warned drivers from catalytic converter thefts in Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, Texas, and California. Therefore, if you live in any of these states, it is recommended that you keep an eye on your vehicle's catalytic converter and look for tips and tricks on Preventing catalytic converter theft, which we will discuss in detail in the following sections.
With that, one might ask why are thieves targeting catalytic converters? The short answer is different factors makes thieves targeting catalytic converters more than any other component in your car, including:
The catalytic converter is one of the very expensive components in your vehicle that consists of precious rare metals Like Palladium and rhodium. According to experts, Palladium only costs about $500 per ounce as of 2016. On the other hand, rhodium costs about $640 per ounce as of five years ago. So we hold him now costs about $17,000 per ounce!
2. Easy to access
As we indicated earlier, the catalytic converter is located underneath your vehicle. Therefore, it does not need any specific skillsets for any thieves to access the catalytic converter.
3. Simple to disconnect
Finally, removing the catalytic converter does not require advanced skill sets and will not pose any warning signs to the driver when it's taken out. Unfortunately, drivers won't know that the catalytic converter was stolen until they drive the car and start dealing with weird symptoms and strange vehicle behaviors.
Are there any available catalytic converter anti-theft devices?
With this trend and catalytic converter theft, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is, are there any available catalytic converter anti-theft devices? The good news is that there are some options you can choose from to help protect your catalytic converter.
Automotive experts recommend investing in a catalytic converter anti-theft device no matter how complicated and how sophisticated this device is. No matter how expensive the anti-theft device will be, it is much cheaper than installing a new catalytic converter, especially if you live in an area with a higher trend of catalytic converter thefts.
In general, most available catalytic converter anti-theft devices are expected to cost between $250 and $800. The device's more expensive, the more complicated it is, and the higher the degree of security you achieve. Of course, you don't have to go with the most expensive one unless your area is extremely dangerous and there's a very clear trend in catalytic converter theft.
Here are the common types of catalytic converter anti-theft devices that you might come across:
1. Steel shield catalytic converter anti-theft device
Steel Shields are not very expensive, and it is a shield that protects their converter and adds another layer of complexity to the thief. Hence, it takes him time and effort to remove the catalytic converter. Thus, you eliminate one common factor that attracts catalytic converter theft switches easy access and simple disconnection.
2. Rubber cage catalytic converter anti-theft device
There are some more sophisticated types of anti-theft devices that you might want to install, including the cage type. This type provides you with the same characteristics as the steel shield bought with more security.
3. Catalytic converter welding
Finally, some mechanics might help you with welding the catalytic converter to the vehicle frame. But, with that, it makes it extremely hard for the thieves to take it away from the car.
However, automotive experts recommended staying away from the custom weld approaches because you might experience loud noises coming from the exhaust system, especially when connected to the suspension system. If you don't already know, typically, you don't experience the loud noise from the exhaust system because of the sound buffering hangers. By welding the catalytic converter directly to your vehicle, you eliminate the advantage of these buffering hangers, which makes the driving slightly uncomfortable.
One of the biggest brand names in the world of catalytic converter anti-theft devices is CatClamp, which provides you with great features and high-quality security to your vehicle's catalytic converter. We advise that you go through their website and familiarize yourself with the characteristic that this security device provides you and understand their prices before investing in such a catalytic converter anti-theft device.
How to protect your catalytic converter from theft?
There are some tips and tricks that automotive experts put together to help you prevent your vehicle from catalytic converter thefts. According to these experts, the following tips and tricks help reduced catalytic converter theft significantly:
1. Check whether your vehicle is targeted for catalytic converter theft
According to some statistics, some specific vehicles are targeted for Celtic converter theft more than others. For example, automotive experts indicated that Ford trucks, Jeep Cherokees, Honda elements, and other vehicles are more targeted for catalytic converter theft than others.
Therefore, it is important that you read through the available news to understand whether your current vehicle is another target for county converter theft around your area. Some cars might be targeted in certain areas but not others.
2. Invest in a catalytic converter anti-theft device
As we indicated earlier, investing in a catalytic converter anti-theft device is a better idea and will save you much more money than installing a new catalytic converter after it's stolen. Therefore, if you confirm that your area is one of the hotspots for catalytic converter thefts, don't hesitate to install such a device.
3. Consider painting your catalytic converter
Some automotive experts indicated that catalytic converter theft might drop if you paint your catalytic converter with a high-temperature fluorescent orange paint. With that, you discourage thieves from targeting your catalytic converter by making it very visible.
4. Install an alarm or a camera
Live in an area with high catalytic converter theft. It might be worth installing an alarm device that warns you whenever a certain abnormal motion happens to your vehicle so you can look from the window or be alerted about potential theft.
Also, you might even want to install some cameras to keep an eye on potential thieves, help investigators locate the thieves and help you make a case to your insurance company if it covers such thefts.
5. Upgrade your insurance
Finally, if you know that there is a very high chance that your vehicle will have a catalytic converter theft, it might be worth investing in upgrading your insurance policy to a plan that covers catalytic converter thefts. Obviously, the higher the plan, the more expensive the rates, which means that you need to spend some time and effort evaluating the situation and seeing if it's worth it or not.
The catalytic converter is a core component in your vehicle responsible for converting harmful gases into less harmful emissions. Without a catalytic converter, your vehicle harms the environment, and your car cannot pass the emission test.
With a clear trend in catalytic converter theft among different states across the United States, people are looking for catalytic converter anti-theft devices. Investing in such a device is much cheaper than installing a new catalytic converter when it's stolen.
The market is filled with many catalytic converter anti-theft devices, including steel Shields, cages, and stainless-steel cables. However, you must protect your catalytic converter as much as possible by implementing some of the recommendations we indicated in this article to help prevent your catalytic converter from theft.
If your catalytic converter was stolen for any reason, it might not be worth installing a new catalytic converter, especially if your car has other major problems. Instead, it might be worth evaluating whether it's the right time now to solely record and use its value towards a better vehicle that doesn't have any problem and doesn't miss the catalytic converter.
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