Catalytic Converters: Why They Are Stolen And How To Protect Yours

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Catalytic Converters: Why They Are Stolen And How To Protect Yours

Catalytic converters are an important part of your vehicle’s exhaust system that helps to reduce harmful emissions. However, these devices have become a hot commodity for thieves because they contain valuable metal that can be cashed in at junk yards. In this blog, we’ll explain why catalytic converters are stolen and provide tips on protecting yours.

Why are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Catalytic converters contain precious metals like rhodium, palladium, and platinum, which are sold for substantial profit in the scrap metal market. Thieves usually steal catalytic converters from parked cars, SUVs, and trucks because they’re easily accessible and can be removed quickly using simple tools. Vehicles with higher ground clearance are especially vulnerable to catalytic converter theft.

How Can Catalytic Converters Mimic A Bad Transmission?

If your catalytic converter is plugged in, it’ll feel like the transmission is bad, and your vehicle won’t drive very well. All the new transmissions are called “fly by wire,” so they are sensor-focused. If they are off due to the catalytic converter being plugged, the O2 sensors and the throttle position sensors will cut fuel or add air to the engine, which changes the line pressure to the transmission. 

The engine drives the transmission, and when the engine is affected, the transmission reacts accordingly. This is another reason to ensure your catalytic converter operates properly by coming to Town Center Automotive in Clackamas.

How to Protect Your Catalytic Converter

There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of catalytic converter theft:

Park in Well-Lit Areas: Thieves are less likely to target cars parked in well-lit areas where their activities can be easily observed. Consider parking your vehicle in a garage.

Install a Security System: A car alarm system detects vibrations or movement near the catalytic converter. Some systems even notify your phone if someone tries to steal the device.

Engrave Your Vehicle Identification Number on Your Catalytic Converter: Engraving your VIN on the catalytic converter makes it harder for thieves to sell the device in the scrap metal market. You can also use a security marking kit to etch your car’s registration number or postcode onto the device. This wouldn’t be my first suggestion–it’ll still be incredibly difficult to track and may be more effort than it’s worth. 

Install a Catalytic Converter Lock: A catalytic converter lock is a simple and effective device that prevents thieves from removing the converter. The lock is installed around the converter and can only be removed with a unique key.

Consider Replacing Your Catalytic Converter with a Theft-Resistant Model: Some manufacturers offer catalytic converters with theft-resistant features like reinforced steel or advanced locking systems. These devices are more expensive than standard catalytic converters but provide better protection against theft.

Visit Us At Town Center Automotive For All Of Your Vehicle Needs

Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem, especially here in the Portland and Clackamas areas, but there are steps you can take to protect your vehicle. By parking in well-lit areas, installing a security system, engraving your VIN on the catalytic converter, installing a catalytic converter lock, or replacing your catalytic converter with a theft-resistant model, you can lessen the risk of theft and protect your vehicle from harm. 

At Town Center Automotive, we’re here to help you with any questions or concerns about catalytic converter theft. To request an estimate, visit our website. Our two convenient locations are 14725 SE 82nd Drive in Clackamas and 16116 NE Halsey Street in. Portland, Oregon. Our business hours for both shops are Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. We look forward to serving you soon!

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