Both a Chevy Silverado and a Toyota Prius have in common that their catalytic converters are easy to steal. You have certainly heard about it before, but catalytic converters became a highly desirable item on the street during the pandemic. The NICB, the National Insurance Crime Bureau says the theft of catalytic converters across the country has increased by four since the previous year. Whoever is after them, though, how could you save your vehicle from becoming one of their victims? Check out our blog article today to find out!
What is the Mechanism Behind a Catalytic Converter?
The vehicle’s exhaust system uses a catalytic converter. It’s one of the most necessary components of your car. It has been required by law for all automobiles manufactured since 1975. After the law was passed, automakers were given only a few years to develop a plan to cut emissions by 90 percent. Catalytic converters were able to assist automobile manufacturers in achieving this seemingly unachievable goal, despite widespread belief to the contrary. In layman’s terms, rare materials such as rhodium, platinum, and palladium neutralize the toxic chemicals made by the combustion engine, which results in a huge drop in the number of emissions produced by your vehicle.
The Reasons Behind Why Thieves Target Catalytic Converters
Now that you know how a catalytic converter functions, it is essential for you to be informed that the precious metals that should be included inside it are not easy to obtain and come at a high cost. And that is just what today’s crooks are pursuing in this day and age. The price of an ounce of palladium is $2638, and an ounce of rhodium is $17,000. Rhodium price had been $5000 an ounce at the beginning of 2020. Since then, it has increased to almost $25,000 an ounce over the last year. As mines worldwide were closed down, the value of the metal skyrocketed because it had previously been considered a scarce commodity. The engine compartment of a typical automobile does not include ounces of rhodium. Still, the amounts involved are nevertheless sufficient for criminals to make a respectable amount of money by reselling the component. Even used catalytic converters may earn up to $200 to $300 at a scrap yard, while a brand new one might cost as much as $1500 to replace if it is stolen. Every vehicle is a little different so the exact price of replacement will vary.
What to Do When You Lose Your Catalytic Converter?
Because the catalytic converter directs all of the exhaust gas through the remainder of the exhaust system, having it stolen can significantly negatively impact your ability to drive your automobile daily. Without a catalytic converter, the mufflers will not be able to muffle any sound. This will essentially turn your vehicle into a “straight pipe,” which might result in an excessively loud engine. The situation is worse because your catalytic converter is closer to the engine compartment. As a result, exhaust fumes, noise, and severe heat will exit directly beneath your vehicle. This could also damage delicate components, such as melted fuses or cable insulation. If you have been a victim of the theft of one of these from your vehicle, Auto Alternative suggests making an appointment with a repair service as soon as you can.
Why Do Certain Automobiles Become Targets for the Theft of Catalytic Converters?
Do criminals target older vehicles to take the catalytic converter from them? Because a catalytic converter only lasts for roughly ten years, car thieves typically focus on more recent models. Also, a few more elements may come into play. Take, for instance, the car’s efficiency in gasoline use. The Toyota Prius is a well-known target because it uses its engine less frequently than other plug-in hybrid vehicles. It makes the precious metals in the catalytic converter last longer. This is one of the reasons why the Prius has become such a popular vehicle. Consider another vehicle, such as a Ford F-150. It is equipped with a larger catalytic converter than other automobiles due to its larger engine and higher levels of pollutants. Additionally, it contains a greater number of precious metals. Also, because of the riding height of the vehicle, it is quite simple for thieves to gain access to whatever it is they are seeking and remove it.
How Can I Prevent Damage to the Catalytic Converter in My Vehicle?
You may take a few different precautions to safeguard yourself and your vehicle if the catalytic converter from your vehicle has been taken or you are concerned that your vehicle will be targeted. The easiest way to protect your vehicle from being stolen is to lock it in a garage overnight and steer clear of parking it on the street in unfamiliar neighborhoods. However, given that this is not always a viable choice, one possible step is having a cat-shield installed. Your catalytic converter will be protected by this cover made of metal from the bottom up. While doing so, it would be impossible for thieves to physically steal the part from your vehicle, which will keep you, your vehicle, and your wallet all happy. If you are in the greater Lexington region and are thinking about having our expert service specialists install a cat shield for your automobile, it does not matter what brand or type of vehicle you drive; we have got you covered. Click on this link to schedule an appointment right away!