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Protecting Your Catalytic Converter

anti theft catalytic converter devicesIf you own an SUV, a truck, or a hybrid, you are more likely to fall victim to a catalyst converter theft. This is because the catalyst converter on your vehicle contains large amounts of high value precious metals including palladium, rhodium, or platinum. While these elements are known to make pollutants harmless, they also catch the eye of opportunist neighborhood thieves or seasoned criminals that can target them and sell them for parts. While the Toyota Prius is one of the vehicles at high risk because of the high value of its catalyst converter, no car is truly protected from this threat unless catalytic converter theft prevention tips are put into practice. Due to the rising number of victims of catalyst converter theft that has swept the US, it is essential to know how to secure your catalytic converter using highly efficient and proven protection measures. Our expert locksmiths have prepared a list of recommendations for you. We are going to start with a few general car security tips and continue with our top picks for catalytic converter anti theft devices

1. Engrave the License Plate No or VIN Onto the Catalytic Converter

This tip is especially aimed at owners of SUVs, trucks, and hybrid cars with easy-to-remove catalyst converters or converters made of a larger number of precious metals. By etching or engraving the car’s license plate number or vehicle identification number onto the catalyst converter, law enforcement officers should be able to more rapidly identify the catalyst in case it is stolen and sold for parts. This is usually a good deterrent for some thieves who might want to choose a different victim and lower the risk of being discovered. 

2. Enhance Protection in Your Parking Spot 

If possible, only park in well-lit areas with manned protection and CCTV monitoring. Consider setting up an outdoor monitoring system at home with motion sensors and surveillance cameras installed above the garage, on the patio, and in the driveway to deter potential neighborhood thieves from lurking around. It is also advisable to constantly change your parking space if you do not have a predefined one for your vehicle or only use closed/locked garages if you have access to such an amenity.

3. Consider Painting the Catalytic Converter 

It might also be a good idea to paint your catalytic converter using high-temperature fluorescent paint like the one you would normally spray on a barbecue grill. Bright orange paint covering the converter might suffice to ruin thieves’ plans of selling your converter to most scrap metal dealers.

4. Install Anti-Theft Devices

The best way to prevent your catalytic converter from being stolen is to have a quality anti-theft device installed. Compared to the cost of replacing a stolen converter which ranges between $500 to $3,000, investing in such a device is well worth it.

Our Top Five Catalytic Converter Security Methods

  • Steel Shields

Shielding devices work by putting an additional layer of metal between the road and the catalyst converter. This is done with the help of a few different metal shielding panels that can block off the catalyst from the road and make it a lot harder for thieves to slice the catalyst converters in just a few seconds. You can opt for dedicated catalyst converter shields for your exact car make and model or choose one with a universal fit that is compatible with most vehicles. We recommend opting for a top-quality anti-theft catalytic shield made with 304 stainless steel that relies on stainless steel tamper-proof screws. Some models come with 3D features that guarantee minimal vibration and noise. As a con, this device will require a 1/4" bit driver, and 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm sockets for installation, so professional help may be needed.

  • Catalytic Converter Cages

These devices fit onto the catalytic converter or exhaust system and they work well as a deterrent for most thieves. While they might not be able to 100% stop the catalytic converter from being stolen, they should do a good job at slowing any thieves down. One of the main drawbacks of these devices is the fact that they usually require customization work from car shops or car locksmiths. Nonetheless, custom-fit catalytic converter shield cages also exist on the market for different models of cars and trucks, with special emphasis on Toyota, Lexus, and Honda cars. Most models are normally made of steel rebar and they need to be welded to the frame of the vehicle. Our locksmiths consider these cages to be the best catalytic converter anti-theft device you could invest in for enhanced protection.

  • Catalytic Converter Locks

Thanks to the cables and clamps manufactured with the help of sturdy steel, these locks for catalytic converters add a few extra layers of protection and significantly harden the work of potential thieves. The best devices are built from marine-grade stainless steel that can effectively withstand any tampering attempt. As a minor drawback, these anti-theft devices might also ask for professional help with installation

  • Catalytic Converter Alarms

Thanks to their easy installation, these alarms can be partially strapped to the exhaust pipe with the help of a pair of metal straps. After installation, you will get to easily activate the using your remote. Any attempt of an opportunist thief to cut the catalyst converter and take off with it will cause the alarm to immediately sound off with enough decibels to deter them on the spot. As a con, most of these devices can be easily cut off by criminals. Some models are also not loud enough to draw the attention of passers-by.

  • Anti-Theft Straps for Catalyst Converters

Long adhesive straps are usually made of cables and fiberglass. They are decently stealthy and easy to install and they offer an additional layer of protection against the use of saws on the converters. These devices are encased in high-temperature straps running down the length of the exhaust and converter. 

We recommend you consider using one or several of these anti-theft catalyst converter devices and enhanced protection tips to benefit from more security and peace of mind.