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Catalytic Converter Theft & How to Prevent It

With inflation high, catalytic converter theft has been higher than ever before in 2022. If you know a thing or two about cars, you should know that catalytic converters are not cheap components. They can cost quite a lot to replace. With rampant cases in California, you could be the next victim in a matter of minutes. 

What Is a Catalytic Converter?

To understand the depth of the situation, you should first know what a catalytic Converter is and what it does. This component is an integral part of the exhaust system or emissions system. It is responsible for transforming harmful engine byproducts into safer gasses before emitting them into the air. It is located directly underneath an automobile.


You might be wondering why people would want to steal it – why not just go for the car itself? This is because the “cat” consists of a blend of high-value metals such as platinum, palladium, gold, and rhodium. Thieves tend to steal them and resell them for profit. 


For thieves, catalytic converters are easy money. They can cut the pipes off in a matter of minutes with the right saw or equipment. As more cases have appeared, there’s a trend that catalytic converter theft is more common in vehicles with higher ground clearance, like pick-up trucks, SUVs, and vans. But there’s no stopping a thief from using a car jack to get under a compact vehicle either.

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

The simplest way is to always be wary of where you park your vehicle. When possible, please store your car in a garage or have it in a well-lit area. If you want to go the extra mile, amp up your car’s security system. Some people go as far as installing extra alarms or security cameras. Not only will this protect your cat from being stolen, but it will help prevent break-ins as well. Another effective way to fend off these stealers is to have your license plate number carved into your catalytic converter. It makes the part easier to track if a thief tries to sell it. 


Vehicle exhaust systems are no joke. And they require every part to be present and functional to safely expel gasses from your car. If your vehicle is due for an exhaust system repair, please do not hesitate to bring it to the team at Super Service of Aliso Viejo.