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Saffron Walden
Sudbury MOT & Service Centre
Stowmarket
Haverhill
Sudbury Tyre Centre
Bury St Edmunds - Agricultural

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October 5, 2021Protect Your Vehicle From Catalytic Converter Theft 2021

At the start of 2021, catalytic converter theft was rife in the UK, with over 3,000 cases reported in March alone. 

Treadfirst - Catalytic Converter Thefts

This spike in crime was largely due to a rise in the value of the precious metals that are frequently used in catalytic converters, making them more attractive to thieves than usual. To counteract this increase, the British Transport Police put together a task force to deal with the issue. This involved forensically marking over 1,000 vehicles, providing them with a unique serial number that is linked to a national database. 

Doing this increases the likelihood of thieves getting caught, and therefore offering your vehicle additional protection.

At Treadfirst, we’re committed to keeping our customers’ vehicles safe, and on Sunday 17th October we’ll be offering a marking event at our Saffron Walden branch that will help to protect more cars.   

In the meantime, we’ve put together a guide outlining everything you need to know about catalytic converters. 

What are catalytic converters?

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

Where is my car’s catalytic converter?

Your car’s catalytic converter can be found underneath the 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. In early 2021, the prices of these precious metals significantly increased – resulting in a spree in catalytic converter crime. 

Hybrid cars can also be a target because they operate on electric and diesel/petrol. This 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. 

Who is at risk of catalytic converter theft?

All cars with catalytic converters face the risk of criminal activity. The second-generation Lexus RX 400h model seems to be a popular target among thieves, and this can be extremely concerning if you own one. We’ve put together our best advice to help prevent this happening to you.

How to prevent yourself from becoming a target of 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
  • Visit our catalytic converter marking event to learn more about how you can keep them protected

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 or is not working properly. You can always check by looking underneath the car, but only do this if the car is turned off, cool and safe. 

At Treadfirst, we’re keen to help keep our customers safe from catalytic converter theft. This is why we’re hosting our own catalytic converter marking event at our Saffron Walden branch on Sunday 17th October. 

Taking place between 10am-2pm, as well as forensically marking your car’s catalytic converter, we’ll be able to provide you with information on how to keep your vehicle protected, and a whole host of other automotive services. These include everything from MOTs to car repairs, exhausts, servicing and tyre fitting. If you’re looking for great prices, honest advice and swift services, contact us today.

Get in touch today for the best quality advice, competitive pricing and a personal service

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