Why is Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise?

catalytic converter theft

It might sound like an urban legend, but it’s not: catalytic converter theft is actually happening. The catalytic converter, which processes toxins into byproducts like water and carbon dioxide, is an important part of any vehicle. 

Unfortunately, thieves all over the country are removing catalytic converters from parked cars. Since a car can’t function safely without a catalytic converter, this is a major problem for car owners. 

What gives? And what can you do to protect yourself from becoming a victim?

In this blog we’ll look at what’s causing rising rates of catalytic converter theft in Pensacola and the surrounding areas, and how to prevent it from happening to you.

Let’s dive in. 

Why Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. Both gas and diesel engines emit gases as they burn fuel. Catalytic converters contain rare elements like palladium, platinum, and rhodium to process and neutralize those gases. 

In addition to making the converter effective, those rare elements also make the catalytic converter a prime target for theft. The rare metals within a catalytic converter can be sold for thousands of dollars an ounce. Because of this, thieves may steal catalytic converters to extract and sell the metals within them.

In other cases, a thief might want to re-sell the part. In some markets, converters can sell for more than a thousand dollars.

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

Want to avoid catalytic converter theft for your vehicle? Follow these tips:

1. Mark your parts

This may sound extreme, but it’s effective: etch your license plate number onto your catalytic converter. This will mark it as an owned part and make it less attractive to thieves. If someone does steal your converter, it will make the part traceable and help solve the crime. 

2. Invest in an anti-theft system

As catalytic converter theft has increased, some shops have begun to offer anti-theft systems in response. These systems typically rely on a metal shield bolted over the vehicle frame and cut to fit around the catalytic converter. 

This simple fix prevents thieves from accessing and removing the converter and helps give you some peace of mind. If you’re interested in installing a system like this, talk to your local auto repair mechanic about your options. 

3. Be careful where you park

As much as you can, be careful to park in well-lit, highly trafficked areas. Most theft takes place at night, on quiet, dark residential lots. While parking your car in a garage is the safest option, we recommend parking in a well-lit area and setting your vehicle alarm if you must park outdoors. 

Do You Need Catalytic Converter Repair or Replacement? DeBroux is Here for You!

Catalytic converter theft is an unfortunate reality for car owners in the Pensacola area right now. If you’re having trouble with your converter, due to theft or any other cause, our team is here for you. Offering top-quality auto repair services, we’ll help you keep your car on the road safely and affordably, no matter what your needs may be. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.