Since 1992, catalytic converters have been standard equipment on the majority of gasoline vehicles, and since 2001, on diesel vehicles. This small vehicle item has generated a tremendous crime wave in recent years. It seems to have a lot to do with the burgeoning precious metals market. These converter thefts have increased dramatically in recent years, according to insurance providers. People steal catalytic converters due to a variety of reasons which will be discussed here.

What is a catalytic converter?

By using chemical reactions, catalytic converters convert harmful substances in a car’s exhaust gases like carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and hydrocarbons into less harmful chemicals like carbon dioxide and water vapour.

Although the technology isn’t new and can be found in almost every automobile on the road today, there’s no reason why catalytic converters should be on the minds of most motorists. They work in the background, cleaning hazardous gases from your car’s exhaust emissions through chemical processes. There’s nothing to be concerned about unless yours breaks or as has become increasingly common in recent years, someone tries to steal it.

The interior of the ‘cat’ is normally lined with a honeycomb structure, which is then coated with a catalyst – a substance that reacts with the exhaust gases and changes their chemical structure.

Precious metals like as palladium, rhodium, and platinum are frequently utilised as catalysts, and these metals have intrinsic value, making them worthwhile to salvage and recycle when the car is scrapped. Catalytic converters, however, are a target for thieves because of these rich metals.

Why do people steal catalytic converters?

This is due to two basic causes. To begin with, stealing a catalytic converter is a pretty straightforward task requiring only a brazen disdain for the law and other people’s property, a jack, an angle grinder, and a few seconds of your time. Thieves can sneak beneath your truck or automobile in a matter of minutes, steal the cat converter, and then vanish without you even knowing they were there.

Customers phone mechanics in Wilmington every day about replacing one, according to them. A customer had several catalytic converters theft in a single month, according to one witness. The criminals are after the platinum and rhodium contained within the part.

The majority of catalytic converters on modern cars are placed beneath the vehicle, near the exhaust, making them easily accessible to thieves. In a matter of minutes, you can lift the back of a car and cut out the entire unit.

Due to their higher ground clearance, SUVs are more vulnerable. This means such converter is easier to access, and these cat converters contain more precious metals due to the larger engines.

What is the value of a catalytic converter?

A few of the precious metals in your catalyst are more valuable than gold. A ceramic element coated in precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium is found inside a catalytic converter.

This is what appeals to thieves: a cat converter can easily fetch C500 on the black market. Toyota is collaborating with law enforcement and talking to the government about changing the law on scrap metal sales to make it more difficult for criminals to sell stolen catalysts for cash. However, because these are criminal operations, Toyota’s options are limited.

How do I protect my car against catalytic converter theft?

Advancements in efficiency and technology indicate that the latest generations of Toyota catalytic converters contain substantially lower amounts of precious metals while still performing just as well or even better, their value for recycling is very limited and they are not attractive to thieves. It’s a serious problem, and while manufacturers are working to address it, it will take some time for these changes to trickle down to the cars you’re purchasing.

To protect yourself from this catalytic converter theft, you can do one of three things.

  • You can start by etching your license plate number on If your car part is stolen, law enforcement can track it down. Several law enforcement agencies collaborate with local garages to conduct etching sessions.
  • Second, park in well-lit areas at all Placing a bright motion sensor light and setting your vehicle alarm may also help.
  • thirdly, install an anti-theft device, such as a shield or a plate that is mounted to the
  • If you don’t have a car alarm and reside in an area where cat converter thefts are on the upswing (such as big cities) it’s time to get The sound of the alarm will deter any would-be burglars.