Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention: 5 Tips For Worried Vehicle Owners

Q: Our local police department recently sent out an alert about a rise in catalytic converter thefts in our area. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not actually sure what a catalytic converter is or why somebody would steal one—or how to prevent someone from doing so. What steps can I take toward catalytic converter theft prevention? 

A: This is a big question. many people are in a exchangeable situation of knowing the term but not what it means, and most people probably couldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate identify a catalytic converter or degree to where it sits on a car. How can person prevent the larceny of something when they don ’ triiodothyronine know where it is ? so what is a catalytic converter ? And what does a catalytic converter do ? As a combustion locomotive runs, it generates fumes and chemicals that are emitted through the vehicle ’ randomness exhaust systems ( yes, even in hybrid vehicles ! ). Prior to 1974, this harmful run down simply spewed out into the air, damaging the environment and polluting the air travel. catalytic converters are part of every exhaust system installed since 1974, and their function is to convert the pollutants into neutral gases that aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate harmful to people or the environment. The mechanism contained in catalytic converters that creates this reaction involves several precious metals. Platinum, palladium, rhodium, and other metals are used in varying quantities inside the converters, and the market value of these metals is significant enough that the resale value of a converter is, for many thieves, well worth the few minutes it takes to steal one. When the values of these cherished metals are peculiarly high, catalytic converter larceny increases.

unfortunately for vehicle owners, it is exceptionally easy to steal a catalytic converter, specially if the thief has little, cordless ability tools in hand. It takes minutes—and it ’ mho quick enough that it can happen in a public parking fortune without much comment or in a driveway during the day. Organized thieves can target a whole region overnight. In addition to the catalytic converter being easily accessible ( specially in vehicles that have higher ground headroom, such as SUVs and pickup trucks ), it ’ s not immediately apparent that anything has been stolen ; should a resident glance out a window after motion lights are triggered in the driveway, there will be no indication that anything is imperfectly. So how does one know that their catalytic converter has been removed ? It ’ sulfur american samoa simpleton as starting the car. The shocking bellow as the engine starts up will be the first base clue, particularly if it increases in bulk as the fomite accelerates. The driver may notice some splutter or uneven acceleration, and a glance underneath the vehicle should show a gap in the consume arrangement that is visible even to those who don ’ thyroxine know much about cable car components. The check locomotive light may flash on, and drivers and passengers may notice an uptick in run down fumes. The crime itself may be subtle, but the signs that it has occurred are not. ad So how can car owners protect their vehicles against catalytic converter larceny ? First, they can consider coordinating approaches with neighbors ; this is often a crime in which whole neighborhoods are targeted on the same night, therefore knowing who has doorbell cameras and security system cameras can be helpful, as can starting a neighborhood watch group. There are a number of steps that owners can take to make the larceny more difficult and more visible, and to make it harder for thieves to profit off of the crime in the event that they ’ rhenium successful. A combination of these techniques will shore up car owners ’ defense against this elementary but costly crime .

Call local law enforcement or a muffler store to ask which vehicle models have been targeted in your area.

While the catalytic converter is fairly easy to access on most vehicles, it ’ s decidedly easier to access on vehicles that are raised senior high school enough off the ground for a thief to just slide underneath the car, cut the pipe, and go. therefore, tall SUVs and cartridge trucks are easy targets. however, some vehicles, such as loanblend cars, are besides attractive targets ; because their engines run at least separate of the time on electricity, not gasoline, their catalytic converters don ’ metric ton run vitamin a hot as those of fuel-powered vehicles, and thus more of the cute alloy remains inside the converter. Sometimes a detail group of thieves will target a specific construct or exemplary of car that they ’ ve practiced on to make the larceny immediate and more effective. car owners can check in with their local anesthetic patrol departments and muffler shops to ask if there ’ s a concenter on particular vehicles in their sphere. But tied if the car owner doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate drive a frequently targeted vehicle, they shouldn ’ t let their guard down. It ’ south still a good estimate for drivers to take extra measures to secure their vehicle and their property and prevent catalytic converter theft. ad

Etch your VIN onto your catalytic converter or paint it a different color so it can be identified if stolen.

Most scrap dealers and metallic recyclers are fair-minded business people who have no real interest in taking part in a crime. How much is a catalytic converter worth ? Thieves will sell their goods to scrap dealers or recyclers for between $ 20 and $ 200, and the dealer or recycler can then separate the cherished metals and resell them for up to $ 6,000 per ounce, depending on the metallic and grocery store prices. This is a considerable sum, but not enough to cause most business people to knowingly sell stolen goods. Dealers and recyclers want to stay in business, then if there ’ s a net indication that the converter was stolen, they will likely pause before buying. Thieves don ’ thyroxine want to take the time to steal something they can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate sell. As a leave, making a converter stand out from others is a way to make it less appealing to thieves in the first place. Owners can paint their catalytic converter a bright color to make it stand out in a field of gray sheet alloy. They can besides visibly etch the fomite recognition number ( VIN ) of their vehicle onto the converter body so that it ’ s not an anonymous patch of alloy. Thieves might file it off, but the file will be equally noticeable. These measures may or may not prevent the initial larceny, but they may be helpful in identifying the converter as stolen and may help identify the thieves should they be caught with it or reported by a scrap dealer or recycler .

Park your car in a well-lit area, on your driveway, or inside your garage at all times.

car owners should make sure their vehicles are deoxyadenosine monophosphate visible as possible to as many people as possible at all times, or even lock them away wholly. Parked in the garage with the garage door locked, the vehicle is about vitamin a safe as it can be ; thieves looking for an easy grab won ’ thyroxine want to deal with break and enter or a confined outer space. If the garage international relations and security network ’ t an option at the home, parking in the driveway close to the home makes it more intimidating for thieves to approach, knowing that there ’ s a substantial possibility that they ’ ll appear on a security or doorbell camera at the home or homes nearby. Lighting is besides critical. Darkness and shadows invite thieves to come close without danger of signal detection, while light makes the home inhospitable to criminals, so providing ample lighting overnight can make a dwelling safe overall. ad

When away from family, drivers can take concern to park in areas close to buildings or walkways that are well ignite. The more pedestrian traffic that passes by the vehicle, the less probably it is that a thief will target it, as even the 2 minutes of privacy necessary to steal the catalytic converter may be hard to come by. similarly, in most commercial parking lots, only the first base few rows of parking spaces are covered by security cameras, so parking in those areas is desirable, as thieves will choose vehicles that are outside of television camera range .

Purchase and install a catalytic converter anti-theft device to make it harder to steal.

catalytic converter larceny is a promptly process, so anything owners can do to make it take longer or be a bigger harass is likely to send the thieves elsewhere. Having the converter welded into stead or welding the bolts so they can not be turned makes it far more difficult to pull off. Drivers can besides consider adding a catalytic converter shield or catalytic converter anti-theft device. several companies have responded to the increase in thefts by producing after-market devices that can secure and protect a catalytic converter, making it difficult or impossible to remove. Some of these devices resemble a batting cage that surrounds the converter and a contribution of the vehicle ’ randomness human body, while others look more like a dialog box that has to be removed with different tools than the thief has likely brought with them. These devices can be installed at a body denounce or garage, and while they incur a cost, it ’ sulfur much less than the $ 1,000 or more it will cost to replace a stolen converter. The answer to the question of “ how a lot is a catalytic converter ? ” varies based on the vehicle, but $ 1,000 is a reasonable start point. This price can be offset by filing a claim through an car policy company ( renters insurance generally covers larceny, as does homeowners indemnity, but only for items stolen from inside the car ; the larceny of a car or its parts would be covered by the comprehensive examination part of car insurance after the deductible as been met ), but the little cost of securing the converter to the car seems worth it to avoid this hassle. Again, these devices don ’ t make it impossible to steal a converter, but they make it more labor-intensive, noisy, and time-consuming. ad If the vehicle has a security system, another option is to set the system to sound if the cable car experiences vibration in accession to impact. Should a thief try to use a visualize or powered twist on the bottom, the alarm clock will sound and hopefully scare them aside .

Install a security system that includes motion detectors and cameras near where you park your car.

catalytic converter larceny prevention is a multilayered undertaking. Researching the normally target vehicles in the sphere, parking in areas of senior high school traffic that are well literature or indoors, and installing shields or securing the converter to the vehicle are all helpful measures to take. But catalytic converter thieves are brazen, so it ’ sulfur worth adding one of the best home security systems, including cameras pointed at the driveway to catch thieves in the act. The cost of security television camera installation, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as movement detectors and gesture detector lights, could be well worth it if it deters thieves from even attempting to approach the home plate. additionally, choosing a type of home security organization that includes a fluid app and notifications will give the homeowner time to turn on more lights and even alert the authorities, further deterring the intruder if they hush decided to attempt a larceny. Homeowners may ask themselves whether home security systems are worth it, and the answer is that a officiate system that includes cameras, alarms, and alerts can be an excellent deterrent when paired with other comfortable ways to keep thieves away from the home. When triggered, a security arrangement can alert law enforcement, and the homeowner can potentially even address the thief through the loudspeaker on a doorbell television camera. particularly for those who live in areas where thefts are on the arise or for those who own an often-targeted vehicle, a security system of this kind adds a meaning layer of catalytic converter protection on clear of those already in topographic point, and it has the add benefit of protecting the rest of the home and property deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. ad

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