Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen?

author-img By Shahnawaz 5 Mins Read February 13, 2023 Last Updated on: August 30th, 2023

which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen

Which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen?

Before buying cars, you should know what catalytic converters are and why to look for a vehicle without a catalytic converter. The canister-like part of the car is valuable and is responsible for managing pollution by transforming the harmful emissions into less poisonous air!

If you have been watching the TV, you would have noticed that the thieves have been stealing catalytic converters recently. This makes cars with a catalytic converter more vulnerable to theft compared to vehicles without one. Such theft has only increased during the covid-19 outbreak. 

So, if you are curious, here is an explanation of why you should look for a car without a catalytic converter and why thieves are stealing them.

What Are Catalytic Converters, And Why Are Thieves Stealing Them?

What Are Catalytic Converters, And Why Are Thieves Stealing Them?
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Catalytic converters are meant to clean toxic exhaust gasses from the vehicles’ engines. These converters are located before the exhaust muffler of the vehicle, which rests under the car. The inside of the catalytic converter consists of two ceramic blocks with a small cell structure. The side parts of the cells are covered with precious metals. 

Palladium, platinum, rhodium are some of the precious metals that layer the tiny cells inside the catalytic converters. When the vehicle’s engine operates, toxic gasses such as – nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide go through the tiny cells and react with the precious metal surface inside. 

Catalyzed by the metals, toxic elements of the gasses split apart, and combine against and release nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen inside the exhaust pipe. 

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Why Do Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters?

Why Do Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters?
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I think you have figured it out by now. During the covid-19 pandemic, the price of different precious metals increased. The price of these metals increased two to three times more compared to the initial price before the covid pandemic. Palladium inside a converter has a price of $2000 per ounce. Its price also increased up to $3000 per ounce recently. 

Each of the converters usually has 0.1-ounce palladium on average. Thieves can sell each converter for $300 in the black market.

It is due to this reason that the National Insujrance Crime Bureau reports that insurance claims by people for Catalytic converter theft have gone up from 16,660 to 64,701 in the last 3 years.

The US has seen a huge rise in catalytic converter theft leading to insurance companies receiving skyrocketing reports. Significantly, the government and the police are looking into the matter but the case is quite weird to even guarantee a solution.

How Does A Catalytic Converter Get Stolen? 

How Does A Catalytic Converter Get Stolen
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For expert thieves ( who are also good at dismantling cars), it is relatively easy to steal a catalytic converter. All they need is an angle grinder and a jack. A thief with experience stealing car parts will take merely two minutes to dismantle the catalytic converters. 

I get it, the catalytic converter is a very specific part to steal and it does seem weird. However, you would not ask the question if you know which metals can be found in this part! Rhodium, palladium and platinum are precious metals found in the car part!

For a thief that is huge money especially when they can earn a couple of hundred bucks. If your car’s catalytic converter gets stolen, you will notice it from the car’s sound. Once the catalytic converter gets stolen, you will see a change in the car’s sound when you start it.

Will my car run without a catalytic converter? Yes, a car will work fine even when the catalytic converter is stolen. However, it will emit toxic and unrefined gas and a terrible sound.

Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen? 

Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen
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When coming to this question, another crucial question arises – do all cars have catalytic converters? Well, after 1974, it was made mandatory for all cars to have a catalytic converter. The converters serve to convert more harmful compounds of gas into comparatively less toxic materials.

What vehicles have the most valuable catalytic converters on them? Yes, catalytic converters of a car are valuable. However, not all of them have the same value making some vehicles more vulnerable to theft compared to others. 

Some American cars, such as Dodge, Chrysler, Ford, and Chevrolet cars have less valuable catalytic converters. Some other cars, such as Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, and Subaru, have a limited amount of precious metal inside the catalytic converter. Some cars use “bead converters,” which thieves don’t have any interest in. 

The catalytic converter is used as a reused car part in many places but not in the US. Mostly, the converters are processed in refineries to acquire the mentioned metal. To steal the car part, the total time that a thief might need is approximately 90 seconds!

It is therefore very common for thieves to attempt stealing the car part in broad daylight! All they need to be is a little brazen and it is done. It is difficult for the police to find the identical converter because it is not the same most of the time.

Tracking the thefts historically is difficult and often, the thieves are never caught. The issue with car owners is that it will take weeks or even months to get the converter replaced. So, if you are planning on buying a car, go for an electric vehicle considering hybrid vehicles and combustion cars, there are catalytic converters.

In some vehicles, converters usually don’t get stolen because the converter is located close to the engine instead of the exhaust pipe. Different cars, such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi, have a design like this. Also, cars manufactured before 1974 don’t have catalytic converters making them a least favorite option for thieves.

Do electric cars have catalytic converters? No, since electric vehicles don’t produce any emissions, they don’t have a catalytic converter. 

Here are some cars thieves find very appealing for stealing the catalytic converter from them –

  • Trucks 
  • SUVs
  • Honda CRV
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Ford F-250

These cars have their converters close to their edges. Also, hybrid cars like Toyota Prius have more expensive catalytic converters making them more precious prizes to thieves. 

How To Protect My Car From Catalytic Converter Thief?

How Does A Catalytic Converter Get Stolen
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Driving without a converter is possible; however, it is illegal. If your car’s catalytic converter gets stolen, you have to replace it, which might cost you from $500-$800.

You can try to protect the catalytic converter from the converter hunters. Here are some tips –

  • Always park your car in the private parking and parking areas with a camera.
  • Avoid parking lots without a guard or a camera. 
  • Use alarms so that they react to the vibration. 
  • Try welding the converter to the bottom of the car. You can also use extra bolts and cables to keep it firmly attached. 
  • Engrave the VIN on your car’s converter so you can identify it.

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Frequently Asked Questions! (FAQs):

I hope that this article was helpful. However, here are some additional questions and answers you might find useful. 

Q1. What Car Has The Most Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Ans: According to the common consensus and the news of stolen catalytic converters, some cars are more prone to such theft. Here are some names – Tacoma, Prius, and Lexus SUVs. 

Q2. Do Petrol Engines Have Catalytic Converters?

Ans: Yes, gasoline engines typically have catalytic converters. The catalytic converter is a crucial component of the vehicle’s exhaust system. It helps to reduce harmful emissions by converting harmful pollutants into less harmful substances before they are released into the environment.

Q3. What Cars Have No Catalytic Converters?

Ans: Cars manufactured prior to the 1980s and some small off-road vehicles and equipment may not have catalytic converters. Additionally, some high-performance sports cars and racing vehicles may have been designed without catalytic converters to improve performance and reduce weight. However, the majority of modern cars manufactured today are required to have catalytic converters to meet emissions regulations.

Final Words

The catalytic converter of your car is a pretty valuable object. It would not be the best decision to leave the converter unprotected. You should try to keep it strongly attached to your car. Especially if you are driving a hybrid car, the catalytic converter on your car is more likely to get stolen. 
So, I hope you have found the answer to your question (which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen?). However, if you have any further queries related to the same, you can leave your questions in the comment section. We will try to reply as soon as possible.

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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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