Since 1975, vehicles in the United States have increasingly been fitted with catalytic converters. These are key elements of modern vehicle emissions systems. They are now standard issue components that prevent many of the harmful chemicals created in burning fossil fuels from reaching the air outside the vehicle.
Essentially, these parts are called “converters” because they convert harmful gasses – such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons – into less harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and water vapor. They are essential to modern, clean air standards.
Unfortunately, catalytic converter theft is common – and becoming more so. The issue has become so prevalent that many vehicle owners are investing in a catalytic protector for every car in their driveway.
Why is Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise?
In recent years, the theft of catalytic converters from the vehicles they are installed in has risen sharply. You might not think that you need catalytic converter protection, but if your vehicle spends any time in a driveway, parking lot, or other open space, it is just as susceptible to this crime as any other.
One issue is catalytic converter replacement cost. Each make and model of vehicle may have a different converter model. As such, buying the specific model that your car needs as a replacement is important. This gets more difficult as your car gets older, especially if it is a less expensive car.
In older vehicles – especially those of lower resale value – there is much less incentive to invest in replacement parts that malfunction. It is not financially wise to spend a lot of money on a hard-to-find part for a specific vehicle make or model when the vehicle itself is no longer worth much on its own. As such, used catalytic converters are often sold as replacement parts for these vehicles.
Why does that contribute to the increasing rate of theft for these parts? Because auto body shops and mechanics will pay a fair amount for these parts, thieves seek them out. Once they have taken a converter from another person’s vehicle, they then sell it as a used part to a local mechanic or shop. They pocket the money from that sale, and the original owner is left without a catalytic converter for their car.
Precious Metals Make Theft More Common, Too
Another reason for the rise in theft of catalytic converters is the metals that they contain. These converters use expensive precious metals to accomplish their conversion task. These include platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
People who realize that these metals are sitting beneath so many vehicles in their own neighborhoods may be tempted to steal the converters to cash in on the metals inside.
Preventing catalytic converter theft is a higher priority than it has ever been for vehicle owners. Thankfully, there are several ways to do so – and specialized tools designed for catalytic converter theft prevention.
The Tools You Need for Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
While pulling your vehicle into a garage or other protected area is one way to keep it safe, it can be very difficult to do this consistently. After all, we all must shop at public stores, eat at restaurants, and otherwise leave our vehicles in open, public spaces occasionally.
Some car owners install anti-theft devices over their catalytic converters. One such anti-theft device is a catalytic converter shield which is a steel shield placed over the catalytic converter. Another option is a high-strength steel cage placed over the catalytic converter that is difficult to cut. Other car owners even have stainless steel cables welded from the catalytic converter to the car frame.
While these devices may offer some protection, given enough time and the right tools, they can all be dismantled and your catalytic converter taken. How, then, can you protect your catalytic converter from theft? Your best option is to use a catalytic converter security system.
Trust Us for Your Catalytic Converter Security System
Our catalytic converter guard protection system involves permanently etching the catalytic converter with a registered number. This number is then highlighted by a window decal warning that cannot be removed so that your vehicle and its catalytic converter are easily identifiable. Since auto shops will often refuse traceable car parts, thieves will not take your catalytic converter.
In the unlikely event that our Converter Guard fails, we will pay for a new catalytic converter and any repairs to your exhaust system due to the theft. That is how confident we are that our Converter Guard is the best protection for your catalytic converter. So if you are ready to register your converter or you would like more information on the Converter Guard, contact us today!