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July 10, 2020Catalytic Converter Thefts

As we’re only in July and there have been more catalytic converter thefts already than 2019 in total, now has never been a better time to become more clued up on the parts of your car and how to keep them safe.

Treadfirst - Catalytic Converter Thefts

What are catalytic converters?

The catalytic converter cleans the harmful pollutants that a car’s exhausts generates when it’s used. Part of the car’s emission system, the catalytic converter collects the gases produced from the exhaust and reacts with them, breaking them down, making them less harmful. 

Where is my car’s catalytic converter?

Your car’s catalytic converter can be found underneath a car, in a box under the exhaust pipe.

What do thieves want with my catalytic converter?

Thieves steal catalytic converters because they contain metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium, which are precious and can be sold for a high cost. This then leads us to the question: why are they targeting hybrid cars more so than others with catalytic converters? The reason for this is because hybrid cars operate on electric and diesel/petrol which means the catalytic converter is in much better condition, as it processes fewer pollutants. Since a hybrid car is likely to have a catalytic converter that’s much less corroded, the rewards better outweigh the risks of stealing catalytic converters from other non-hybrid cars.

Why are precious metals used to make catalytic converters?

To ensure cars meet all-important emission standards, precious metals have to be used to keep the catalytic converters working as efficiently as possible. 

Catalytic converter stats:

  • 2015 – 867
  • 2016 – 243
  • 2017 – 173
  • 2018 – 1,674
  • 2019 – 2,894 (by June)
  • 2020 – 3,000+ (by June)

Who is at risk of catalytic converter theft?

All cars with catalytic converters face the risk of criminal activity – especially if you have a second-generation Lexus RX 400h model – as they seem to have been the biggest target thus far. This can be extremely concerning if you do indeed have a catalytic converter or a Lexus but we’ve put together our best advice to help prevent this happening to you.

Here are some safety measures you can put into place to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • Install CCTV and alarms
  • If you can, park your vehicle in a locked garage, a well-lit or well-populated area
  • Try to always park your car so your exhaust is closest to a fence or wall, this will make it more difficult for thieves 
  • Mark catalytic converters with a serial number to make it distinctive
  • Cover the catalytic converter with a protective case

How will I know if my catalytic converter has been stolen?

If you notice that your car’s exhaust is a lot louder than usual on starting up, it’s likely that your catalytic converter has been stolen. You can always check by looking underneath the car but only do this if the car is turned off, cool and safe. 

If you’re ever unsure and need an expert opinion when it comes to your car, get in touch with Treadfirst. We’re East Anglia’s largest tyre company providing MOTs, car repairs, servicing and tyre fittings, so if you’re looking for great prices, honest advice and swift services, contact us today.

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