Catalytic Converter Theft (VIDEO)
Connect with us
Close Sidebar Panel Open Sidebar Panel
Advertisement

Video

Catalytic Converter Theft (VIDEO)

In some cases, thieves can remove a catalytic converter in less than one minute. This video is sponsored by AP Emissions.

Advertisement

CC:

Advertisement

Clint Cooper:

Hi, I’m Clint Cooper, the technical expert at AP Emissions. I’m here with Ryan McDonough, our manufacturing product expert, to discuss an important clean air issue. Clean air is important and no one cares about the quality of the air you breathe more than AP Emissions. Our business is focused on producing high quality, clean by design catalytic converters and making sure that technicians have the diagnostic skills needed to fix the real problem first. We make converters that are designed to fit and built to last. We are confident when you put one of our catalytic converters onto your car, it’ll keep the light off. Clean air is our passion. In this past year, we saw a new and rising threat to clean air, catalytic converter thefts.

Advertisement

Clint Cooper:

Over the decade, from 2008 to 2018, there were typically just 1,000 or 2,000 converters stolen each year across the United States. In 2019, we saw a steady rise in converter thefts to about 3,500. But in 2020 and 2021, it really took off. In 2020, there were over 14,000 converters reported stolen. In 2021, we estimate there will be over 50,000 converters stolen. In 2022, we’re estimating close to 100,000 converters will be stolen. AP Emissions is doing everything we can to stop these thefts and we’re here to support you if your converter was stolen. This video will have some helpful information on what you can do to protect your valuable converter and what to do if it was stolen.

Advertisement

Ryan McDonough:

So, Clint, why are thieves stealing catalytic converters?

Clint Cooper:

Well, Ryan, it comes down to the precious metals inside that converter. We’ve got platinum, palladium, rhodium. With rhodium recently trading about $30,000 an ounce, and platinum rising because of the economic sanctions on Russia right now, prices for these things that can be very, very high and that’s why they’re valuable to thieves. Catalytic converter thieves can sell converters to scrappers for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars each, and the scrapper has no way of knowing if the converters are stolen or removed because they were defective and they need to be replaced. Scrappers have always bought defective cats because the converters still have the precious metals in them. Even though they no longer work to reduce emissions, those precious metals are still there so they can get money for them. But now many are unwittingly buying stolen converters. A few bad apples may be willingly buying them knowing that they might be stolen and that’s also a problem.

Advertisement

Ryan McDonough:

I heard that converter thieves can remove a catalytic converter in less than a minute.

Clint Cooper:

It really can be gone in less than 60 seconds, often with very little noise and no one noticing while it’s happening. The thieves go underneath your car to steal your converter, so they’re hard to spot at a quick glance. You just can’t see because they’re underneath your car. They can cut the pipe with a saw or a pipe cutter or simply just unbolt the converter by removing four to eight fasteners. It’s usually a crime of opportunity rather than a targeted planned theft, but occasionally we do see targeted planned thefts as well. Typically, thieves will ride around and stop once they see a vehicle with a valuable or easy to steal converter. Many converted thefts going to happen in broad daylight with plenty of potential witnesses stating that they did not notice a thing. But most happen at night under the cover of darkness.

Advertisement

Ryan McDonough:

Are there specific car types that are more popular with thieves?

Clint Cooper:

Yeah. Thieves like to target hybrid vehicles and large trucks.

Ryan McDonough:

I can understand why they target large trucks. They typically have large catalyzing brick since their engines are bigger and they’re easy to get access to the converter since they’re high off the ground. But why hybrids?

Clint Cooper:

Hybrid converters often have a heavy rhodium loading and they don’t see much wear and tear since they’re only used when the car is running off of its gas engine. Rhodium is often 10 to sometimes 20 times more expensive than platinum and palladium, and those converters are worth a significant amount of money.

Advertisement

Ryan McDonough:

With all those valuable precious metals under the car, what can people do to protect themselves?

Clint Cooper:

Well, there’s a few things, they should park in well lit, visible, high traffic areas. If it’s a parking garage, park in the front where you can be seen. If you’ve got a garage at home, park your car in that garage when it’s unattended. Some people with cars that are frequent targets of theft might go so far as to install an anti-theft device or cage to dissuade thieves from stealing the converter. Anti-theft devices and cages can sometimes double or triple the time it takes to steal your converter.

Advertisement

Ryan McDonough:

So how will people know if their cat is stolen?

Clint Cooper:

Unfortunately, it’s going to be really obvious. The exhaust will be incredibly loud since the muffler’s no longer attenuating the sound. It’ll sound like a race car, but not in a good way.

Ryan McDonough:

All right, well, what should we do if our converter gets stolen?

Clint Cooper:

The converter needs to be replaced right away. This isn’t something you can just drive around with and ignore. So if your converter is stolen, you should consult your technician first to see if they would prefer that you tow the car in or you drive it in to have it replaced. Check under the car to make sure that there’s no exhaust pipes or wired exhaust sensors hanging down that can catch on road obstructions if you choose to drive it to that shop. When it’s time to choose a replacement converter, we suggest you go with a brand name aftermarket catalytic converter. Cheap, off-brand, aftermarket cats often have a low catalyst loading and do a poor job of keeping that check engine light off and cleaning the air.

Advertisement

Clint Cooper:

Our clean by design direct fit catalytic converters come with the needed gaskets and hardware, have a robust, heavy duty catalyst loading that is engineered for your car, are made with stainless steel, and have a 50,000 mile warranty for peace of mind. They are the perfect replacement solution. When they take yours, reach out for ours. Ask for an AP Emissions converter by name when you speak with your service manager.

Ryan McDonough:

Thanks, Clint. That’s a lot of great information regarding converter theft. Hopefully, it helps someone protect theirs.

Clint Cooper:

We make converters that are designed to fit and built to last. We keep the light off.

This video is sponsored by AP Emissions

Advertisement
Click to comment
Connect
Tomorrows Technician