5 Important Things to Know About Catalytic Converters

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Auto Shops, Car Care Tips, NARPRO

With unemployment at an all-time high, theft seems to be on the rise. Did you realize that the catalytic converter on your car is one of the things thieves are going after? Let’s take a look at what a catalytic converter is and how you can protect it.

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gasses and pollutants in exhaust gas. Starting in 1975, most gasoline-powered vehicles are equipped with catalytic converters.

Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

Today, we have stricter car emissions rules around the world. This has sent the demand for the metals used in catalytic converters (platinum, palladium and rhodium) to record highs. In some cases, these metals are worth more per ounce than gold, fueling a black market in stolen catalytic converters.

How do you know if your catalytic converter has been stolen?

Unfortunately, you won’t know your catalytic converter has been stolen until you start your car. Then, it will be obvious that something is not right. Your vehicle will make a loud roaring sound that will get louder as you push the gas pedal. In addition, it may make a sputtering sound and not drive as smoothly.

Once you realize it has been stolen, you should call the police and your insurance company. Also, it’s helpful to make your apartment complex, HOA, or neighbors aware.

How to prevent theft of catalytic converters

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help protect your vehicle from theft.

  • Park in the garage if you can.
  • If you have to park outside, make sure it is in well-lit areas and close to building entrances.
  • Set your car alarm to go off when it detects vibration.
  • Engraving your VIN number on the catalytic converter may alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the owner.

How to get the right repairs

You want to make sure your catalytic converter is repaired correctly. You can get a catalytic converter that will work for $1500 versus one that just fits for $300. If the cheaper version is not a federal converter, it will not last long and it could fail the emissions test.  There is nothing more inconvenient than failing your emissions test.

Contact a NARPRO shop to make sure your catalytic converter is repaired correctly. NARPRO, the Neighborhood of Automotive Repair Professionals, is made up of independent, locally-owned auto repair shops. They will be happy to answer any questions.

Schedule an appointment at one of our local auto repair shops today!

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