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Catalytic Converter Theft a Growing Problem

by | Sep 28, 2021

There’s a hot topic going around in the news these days and unfortunately, it’s absolutely true … There’s been a significant rise in catalytic converter theft. In fact, one of our Tempe auto repair shop customers has had his converter stolen not once, not twice, but THREE times!

It doesn’t look like this issue is going away anytime soon, so let’s look at exactly what the problem is and what you may be able to do about it.


What Are Catalytic Converters and Why Are They Being Stolen?

The catalytic converter is an important part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. Located between the engine and muffler, it converts potential pollutants into harmless gases. In doing so, it plays a big role in your vehicle being able to meet today’s strict emissions standards.

On the black market, catalytic converters can be sold for $800 or even more in some cases. That’s a pretty penny for something that only takes moments to steal. Why do they command such a high price? It’s because of the precious metals inside them, such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium, that metal dealers will pay top dollar for.


Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Tips

While catalytic converter theft may not be able to be prevented altogether, there are some things you can do to make it less likely to happen to you.

  1. Park in a garage whenever possible. Catalytic converter theft requires much more effort if the thief has to break into a building as well.
  2. Park on a well-lit street or in a parking lot with bright lights. The bright lighting may deter a thief altogether, or may make them more easily identifiable if they do steal your converter.
  3. Install a home video surveillance system or park at businesses which use them. Thieves are less likely to strike if they know they’re on camera.
  4. Ask your mechanic about a catalytic converter lock or having your vehicle’s VIN engraved on it. Thieves may be less likely to steal something that requires greater effort to access. And, they may shy away from nabbing a converter that can be traced back to a particular vehicle.
  5. Set your car alarm when you’re not using it. During the process of getting under your vehicle and gaining access to the converter, a would-be thief could set off the alarm and give themselves away.


How Does Catalytic Converter Theft Affect YOU?

The rise in catalytic converter theft has created a shortage of replacement parts. So, if your catalytic converter needs to be replaced for reasons other than theft, you may be left waiting a significant amount of time before the part arrives.

The best course of action is to follow the prevention tips listed above. You may also want to look at your vehicle’s insurance policy to see if catalytic converter theft is a covered expense. If it’s not, you may want to get additional insurance or put aside some extra money into your auto repairs budget in case it’s needed.


While you may not be able to prevent catalytic converter theft altogether, you often can prevent other major repairs simply by following a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Schedule an appointment for routine maintenance today to protect your vehicle and keep it running smoothly!

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Good Works Auto Repair in Tempe offers financing and allows you to make payments on your car repairs.

Shop Hours

Mon – Fri 7:30 – 5:30
Sat 7:30 – 5:30


Our Location

2348 E. Broadway Rd
Tempe, AZ 85282

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