With fuel prices on the rise, the last thing you need is to have to shell out for costly repairs to your vehicle. But even if you take excellent care of your car, catalytic converter thieves can send you to the repair shop for a replacement that costs upwards of $2500 in some cases.
Unfortunately, as efforts to make cleaner cars continue to improve, so do the skill sets of catalytic converter thieves. Fortunately, our technicians at Mobile Installation have a few options to help reduce your chance of becoming a victim.
Why Is Your Catalytic Converter Important?
The catalytic converter is an essential part of your vehicle's exhaust. It works as a cleaner and converts chemicals in the system to less harmful vapors before they go back into the environment. They help reduce toxic emissions that can go into the atmosphere, and the catalytic converter helps reduce hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.
It's also illegal not to have one in some states because it can cause the vehicle to fail an emissions test. This means you might not be able to register your car or be able to use it until the problem is resolved.
Which Car Brands Are Targeted for Catalytic Converter Theft?
Thieves know that certain vehicles will be more easily accessible than others for stealing the catalytic converter, and in most cases, it can be removed within minutes. Therefore, there are highly targeted vehicles that are more susceptible to thieves.
The list includes:
● Toyota 4Runner
● Toyota Prius (and other hybrids)
● Toyota Tacoma
● Honda vans
● Honda Element
● Honda Accord
● Lexus SUVs
● Pickup trucks
● U-Haul Trucks
● Late model SUVs and trucks
Signs Your Catalytic Converter Was Stolen
If your catalytic converter is stolen, you’ll know something is wrong almost immediately. Here’s what to look for.
A Loud Noise
Immediately after your catalytic converter has been stolen, your car will sound incredibly loud, almost as if there’s no muffler. And that’s because there isn’t one. When your catalytic converter is stolen, a section of your exhaust system gets removed.
Not only will you know that you’ve got no catalytic converter, but everyone else on the road will too. And because driving without one is illegal, you’re almost certain to get hit with a fine the first time you drive past a patrol car.
Check Engine Light
Depending on the vehicle, it’s highly likely that your “Check Engine” light will come on as a result of a missing catalytic converter. This occurs because with the catalytic converter gone, your car’s oxygen sensor will no longer be working properly.
Although you may notice nothing different in terms of exhaust smell, some drivers with keener olfactory senses can occasionally pick up on a change after their cat is stolen. And instead of going out the rear of your vehicle, the exhaust can end up coming into your cabin where it poses a serious threat to your health.
To be on the safe side, always crack a window if you suspect your catalytic converter has been stolen.
Car Running Poorly
Most vehicles will still get you home after you’ve had your catalytic converter stolen, but driving without one can be hard on your engine. Even if the ride home doesn’t do any additional damage to your engine, you’ll notice that your vehicle is running poorly.
Pay careful attention to how your car responds when you press on the accelerator. Without a cat, your vehicle may idle erratically or have a loss of power.
Options to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
There are a few ways you can help reduce your vulnerability to theft, including:
● Park in secured lots.
● Have a camera installed on the vehicle.
● Install a motion-activated car alarm that can alert you on your handheld device.
● Paint the catalytic converter a bright color or engrave it with the vehicle VIN to make it more easily traceable.
● The daylight isn't going to stop the thief from trying to steal the converter, but it can help reduce the chance of parking in well-lit areas.
● If you see any suspicious behavior, be sure to report it.
● Add a metal plate or cage over the catalytic converter.
● Park near other cars and near entrances or close to the road so people can see your vehicle more easily.
Call Mobile Installation for Brooklyn Park Car Alarms
If you drive a late-model vehicle, a hybrid, an SUV, or a truck, your car is especially vulnerable to catalytic converter theft. Your best bet for protecting your vehicle is a high-sensitivity car alarm.
To learn about options for protecting your vehicle, call Mobile Installation at 612-986-3332 or get a free quote online.
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