Catalyst: Why they want to steal it

Has your car’s catalyst converter been stolen? Have you heard of these kinds of thefts and don’t know why they happen?

The global pandemic, a general lockdown, unemployment and tempting metal prices may be some of the factors that contribute to the theft of catalytic converters all over the world.

In this article we explain why the theft of catalytic converters has increased, which cars are the most attractive and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of this crime. Read on!

What is a catalyst converter?

The catalyst converter is a component responsible for converting the harmful substances coming out of the engine into substances which are harmless to the environment.

Now that you know what the vehicle catalytic converter is, let’s find out what it is for, where it is located and how much converter cost.

What is the catalyst converter used for?

The car catalyst converter filters the gases containing harmful substances and puts them into a chemical reaction that makes them environmentally friendly.


Where is the catalyst converter located?

A car’s catalyst converter is located in the exhaust system, more specifically near the collector, because, to function properly, it must be at high temperatures and, as the collector is the component of the entire exhaust system which reaches higher temperatures, the catalytic converter performs better near it


How much does a catalyst converter cost?

The price starts at 50€ and can exceed 400. This figure varies depending on the vehicle in question.



Theft of catalyst converters

In recent months, police have reported a general increase in catalytic converter theft.

The statistics are not as dramatic as those for other crimes but in a year when many vehicles spend most of their time parked, making them an easy and tempting target for burglars.


What metals does the car catalyst converter consist of?

The car catalyst converter is made up of various metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. These materials allow the toxic emissions from petrol and diesel engines to be filtered and transformed into harmless gases such as H2O, CO2 and/or nitrogen.

As they are attached to the car’s exhaust pipe, the thiefs need to cut it using an angle grinder.


How much can a catalyst converter be sold for?

It is not an easy job to perform, but the value of these catalysts is worth the effort, because these metals can be worth about 6 euros per gram and can be sold for 100 euros.


What should I do to avoid having my catalyst converter stolen?

The best thing you can do is to park your vehicle in a well-closed garage and take out a good car insurance policy.

If you run a workshop, alert your customers to this problem so that they can be equally safe.



Does car insurance cover the theft of catalyst converters?

Some car insurance policies may cover the theft of catalyst converters. You can check these with your insurance agent so that you do not run any risk.

Owners of older vehicles tend to low their insurance damage coverage that could cover this type of theft, because these policies can be more expensive than the cars themselves.

Owners who have auto insurance that covers these types of incidents may also refuse to report their catalyst converter stolen if the total cost of the repair is approximately equal to their deductible to avoid a possible increase in their insurance policy.


Can I sell or install a used catalytic converter on my car?

The sale and installation of used catalytic converters not certified by a manufacturer is prohibited.


Is it possible to exchange a used catalyst converter?

Used catalyst converters must also match the original car equipment and the age of the vehicle may also be a determining factor.

This means that it is illegal to exchange a used car catalyst converter even if it comes from the same car as yours.

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