Theft of a catalytic converter: what's it all about?

The catalytic converter in a car contains rare and expensive metals. For this reason, it is frequently stolen—usually by thugs. —if appropriate safety measures are not taken

Fortunately, if you purchased full coverage for your Lemonade Car, and then had the misfortune of having its catalytic converter stolen, your loss would most likely be compensated for by your insurance policy.

The Definition of a Catalytic Converter

You probably already know this, but vehicles aren't exactly known for their eco-friendliness. Toxic gases and other pollutants produced by an internal combustion engine can be mitigated with the help of a device called a catalytic converter. In the 1970s, they started to be widely used.  

You probably have at least one catalytic converter in your car, truck, or SUV.  

In what ways does the theft of catalytic converters occur?

There are primarily two motivations for stealing catalytic converters:  

The first is that they're a prime target for thieves who lack the initiative or skill to break into safes or plot bank heists because of how simple they are to steal.  

To do so requires only a short amount of time, as well as basic knowledge and equipment. That, plus the fact that converters are crafted from precious metals like palladium, platinum, and rhodium, makes them a tempting steal. The value of these metals is skyrocketing, surpassing that of gold.  

A catalytic converter is simple to remove and sell to a scrap yard or metal dealer, or even on the black market. The value of scrap metal is so high that a thief need only spend a few minutes under your car to make a killing.  

We are not advocating this course of action, but merely laying out the reasons for its prevalence.  

How common is it for a catalytic converter to be stolen from which vehicles?

Some vehicles are more likely to have their catalytic converters stolen than others. For starters, pickup trucks and other high-riding automobiles are prime targets for cannibalization due to the increased ease with which thieves can gain access to their valuable metals.

Theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly common in recent years, and hybrid vehicles like Toyota Priuses and Honda Insights are prime targets. Why The catalytic converter doesn't have to work as hard, so it's usually in better shape than it would be in other vehicles.

Just what steps can I take to avoid theft?

Because catalytic converter theft is so prevalent, you should take precautions to keep yours off the black market. You can protect your car's catalytic converter from theft in a few easy steps.  

The converter must be simple to remove, and the thief must have a few minutes of uninterrupted time with your vehicle.  

A mechanic can install a theft-deterrent catalytic converter aftermarket part for a fee. This anti-theft device, typically in the form of a shield or a cage, makes removing the converter more difficult. Your neighborhood auto parts store may be able to provide you with one if your mechanic doesn't have one on hand. (Despite the theft-deterrent value of such devices, most auto insurers won't pay for their installation. )

It's also a good idea to consider parking your car in more secure areas. When possible, police recommend parking in enclosed garages. If that's not an option, park in a well-lit, busy area, preferably one with surveillance cameras, to reduce the likelihood of your converter being stolen. Do not leave your car in commuter parking lots, as thieves know that many cars there will be unattended all day. They may target a large number of cars in one go.  

Some motorists also choose to have their VIN etched onto the catalytic converter itself in the event that it is stolen and subsequently resold.

Should I avoid any particular methods of theft prevention?

Leave no cute notes on your car, such as "I know you want my sweet, precious metals, but please don't be an asshole" duct-taped to the catalytic converter. "The odds of success for this strategy are lower than 1 in 100. 1%

It's also not a good idea to leave your car parked in a deserted area with the windows rolled up and the engine running so you can wait underneath it with a crowbar and catch a thief removing the catalytic converter.  

If my catalytic converter is stolen, how can I tell?

Avoid checking under your car when you don't have to. Having your catalytic converter stolen is something you'll probably realize the moment you start your car. When this happens, the noise is even more deafening than if the muffler had come loose. When this happens, we at Lemonade refer to it as "the Howling Curse of the Nabbed Catalytic ” 

Will the replacement cost of my stolen catalytic converter be covered by my auto insurance policy?

It depends Theft of a catalytic converter is not covered by a standard liability or collision policy.  

Theft of a catalytic converter, however, is covered if you have comprehensive insurance. However, you should know that your deductible still applies even if your policy covers catalytic converter theft.  

You should report the theft of your catalytic converter to the police and then file a claim with your insurance company. You can rest assured that the loss will be covered by your insurance policy if you have full coverage. Do your best to put off driving your car until you can consult a reliable mechanic. Either they'll tell you to drive it to the shop or they'll suggest having it towed.

I was wondering if you knew of any entertaining catalytic converter-themed films.

Pleased to answer To our knowledge, there is only one film in which catalytic converters play a significant role in the dramatic plot. No Sudden Move is Steven Soderbergh's latest film, and you should watch it right this second (just not while driving).  

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