Why People Are Stealing Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converter theft is the new morden problem as the thieves are getting ever more bolder, some stealing catalytic converters in broad daylight from parked cars.

A catalytic converter is a device that converts pollutants and toxic gases in exhaust gas of an internal combustion engine into less-toxic products. In this post we are not going to look more on how a catalytic converter works but about why people are stealing catalytic converters. Visit this page here if you want to know more about how catalytic converters work.

Catalytic converter

So, why do people steal catalytic converters?

Well, there are two simple reason why people steal catalytic converters:

  1. Its so simple
  2. Your catalytic converter is full of precious metals

Catalytic converters are usually located at the back of the car, under the vehicle which makes them conveniently accessible to thieves. All the thieves need to do is lift the back of a car and do their thing with the angle grinder. In a few seconds they will be walking away with your catalytic converter.

Ok, so why do people really steal catalytic converters

The biggest reason why someone is probably targeting your catalytic converter right now is because of the precious metals hidden inside it. According to Bloomberg, one of the metal more precious than gold is palladium. Guess what, palladium is one of the metals inside your catalytic converter right now.

Inside a catalytic converter there is a ceramic element coated in various precious metals like platinum, rhodium and palladium.

Here are the prices of precious metals as of August 2021:

  • Gold is $1,758.51 per ounce.
  • Palladium is $2,556.00 per ounce.
  • Platinum is only $1,014.00 per ounce.
  • Rhodium is $17,050.00 per ounce.

Which cars are more vulnerable to catalytic converter theft

Thieves often target are hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles have two power sources, which means the catalytic converter is used less frequently, and so the metals are less likely to corrode, meaning they are worth more.

Vans and SUV’s are also most likely targeted, as their ground clearance makes the access to the exhaust system easier.

Why People Are Stealing Catalytic Converters

SUVs also tend to have larger engines, with correspondingly larger catalyst converters that contain more precious metals.

How to protect your catalytic converter against theft

  • Park your precious car close to fences or walls with the exhaust close to the barrier to make the catalytic converter difficult to access.
  • If your catalytic converter is bolted, have a mechanic weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.
  • Install a tilt sensor alarm that activates if someone tries to lift up the back of your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas. Most of the theft cases reported are of cars are parked overnight.

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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