Catalytic Converter Theft
Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem in the US. A catalytic converter is an important device necessary in reducing the toxicity of carbon emissions from an internal combustion system. However, it is not the actual catalytic converter that thieves are after for. It is the material by which the catalytic converter was made of and that would be platinum. A single catalytic converter could fetch as much as $40 to $50 when sold to unscrupulous metal dealers. Thieves don’t get as much though as compared to the metal smiths. It is actually the metal smiths who benefit much because they are the ones who are able to use advanced tools to process and extract the platinum. They would then be able to sell the newly processed platinum at a much higher cost.
How does catalytic converter theft happen?
All that would be necessary in committing catalytic converter theft is a thief with a socket wrench for converters that are bolted on or a reciprocating saw for converters that are welded in. The thief would just need to slide down under the car, locate the catalytic converter, unscrew the bolts holding the converter in place or saw the converter, detach the converter component, slide out from under the vehicle and walk away. An experienced thief would be able to complete the whole process in around 60 to 90 seconds and 2 minutes as the longest time.
Signs of catalytic converter theft
Usually, car owners or drivers would be unaware of the catalytic converter theft until they would be able to start the ignition. The only indication that the catalytic converter had been stolen is when one would suddenly notice a loud, continuous noise that resembles like mufflers being dislodged. A visit to a car dealer or car mechanic would confirm one’s suspicions.
How to prevent catalytic converter theft
Several things that can be done to prevent the catalytic converter theft could include welding the converter onto the car, parking the car at strategic points and investing in a good quality, durable lock. By welding the converter into the car, you would be giving the thief a more difficult and longer time to steal the converter. Still, it can be stolen when a saw would be used instead of the usual wrench. Parking strategically is also a wise idea especially if you park in well lighted areas where stealing is likely to be visible. In addition, converter locks can also be used. The locks are usually around $150 but the converter repair and replacement would cost you at least $1100. It is therefore wiser to invest into the locks than risk catalytic converter theft and having them replaced eventually.
One does not know if one is going to be a victim of catalytic converter theft, therefore, it is advisable that one takes necessary measures that could prevent it from happening because you never know and it would probably cost you more.