The catalytic converter is one of the most expensive and important components of your vehicle. Due to its high price, it is a coveted item for theft. So, a question may arise in your mind, what cars are targeted for catalytic converter theft?
Catalyst thefts have increased in recent years, increasing the probability of being attacked. Catalytic converter theft is a problem in some vehicles. With a strong pull, the thief can easily remove the catalytic converter with an angle grinder that cuts deep into the metal.
Catalytic converters with vital minerals are highly sought after by car thieves with the most catalytic converter thefts. Catalytic converters cost between $1,000 and $3,000, so losing the part could cost you an older car. Some people choose to simply get a replacement but can finance their next vehicle with their old car.
With this significant trend and the rise in catalytic converter theft, automotive experts are focused on identifying which cars are targeted for catalytic converter theft. That way you’ll know what cars are targeted for catalytic converter theft and take extra precautions to protect them.
List Of Most Targeted Cars For Catalytic Converter Theft
Catalytic converters are the crucial component of the vehicles manufactured after 1974 and emit all the harmful gases from car engines.
The most common targets for car thieves in the United States are trucks such as the Toyota Tundra, Prius, Tacoma, Ford F 250, and Honda Element & CRV. Thieves can hide a catalytic converter removal in a noisy parking lot during the day, although most of these thefts happen at night.
So if you own one of the most targeted cars for catalytic converter theft, you need to ensure your car is protected!
- Ford F-Series
- Honda Accord
- Ford Econoline Vans
- Jeep Patriot
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Toyota Prius
- Dodge Ram 2500
- Toyota Tacoma
4 Reasons Why Are Catalytic Converters Targeted For Theft?
If you’re curious why people steal catalytic converters, it’s all about the money and how easy it is. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has also noted a large increase in the theft of catalytic converters during the pandemic.
They explain that a lot of this has to do with supply and demand and limited resources. There are several reasons why thieves target the catalytic converter more than any other part of your vehicle, including:
1. Valuable Metals
Catalysts contain rare earth metals, some of which are worth more than their weight in gold. Palladium, rhodium, and platinum are used to create these expensive pieces. Thieves can sell catalytic converters to a scrap dealer for a few hundred dollars each.
The price increase of a converter’s three valuable metals leads to higher costs for the converter itself and higher values for the converters as scrap, since the metals can be recovered and sold.
The catalytic converter is not a huge component and it was very easy for thieves to transport it from public parking lots without the need for a large team to transport it. The catalyst is something you can hold in your hand without help.
3. Position Of Catalytic Converters
Another factor in theft is the location of the catalytic converters on most vehicles. Regardless of how far forward or backward it is located, it is generally lower than the rest of the chassis.
With nothing more than a hacksaw and 15 minutes undisturbed, someone can remove a catalytic converter and run away with it hidden under their jacket.
4. Unstable Economic
There are several ways an unstable economy can contribute to the problem. Higher unemployment generally leads to higher crime rates and more people looking for a quick buck.
Additionally, more people being unemployed or working from home means more vehicles are left unattended for longer periods of time.
9 Top Cars Are Targeted For Catalytic Converter Theft
Unfortunately, a car’s catalytic converter is one of the most sought-after parts by thieves due to the precious metals it contains. Some cars are more specific than others. In many cases, having your catalytic converter stolen means you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
However, some thieves target private cars that offer easier access or more valuable converters. These are the vehicles where the catalytic converters are most often stolen:
1. Ford F-Series
The most targeted cars for catalytic converter theft are the 1985-2021 Ford F-Series pickup trucks, such as the F-150, F-250, and F-350. Other ford vehicles are also targeted by thieves, either. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline pickups were also targeted by thieves.
Americans buy more Ford F-150s than any other vehicle. So it’s probably not surprising that thieves also steal more Ford F-150s than any other vehicle.
This is because it sits high off the ground and the jack can be easily located and removed on the rear third of the exhaust system. Like trucks, many F-series trucks are work vehicles and don’t go home with their owners, making them a much easier target for thieves.
2. Honda Accord
It is a prime target for catalytic converter theft due to its hybrid systems. Honda autocatalysts are very expensive and fetch a high price in the metal recycling industry when resold.
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The other reason Honda catalytic converters are the most targeted catalytic converters is that they can be easily stolen by thieves who use angle grinders and jacks to remove them. Also, Thieves are trying to steal from Honda due to their larger engines and higher ground clearance, which makes converters easier to transport due to the increased height.
Honda catalytic converters are worth around $1,650 on the black market. Nevertheless, the Accord is one of the best-selling midsize sedans in the world. So there are many Accord targets for thieves to see.
3. Ford Econoline Vans
Today, hundreds of thousands of Econoline vans are on the road. An almost infinite number of companies rely on them as their trusted workhorses every day.
So there is no shortage of them available to thieves. Additionally, many are work vehicles and do not travel home with their owners, making them vulnerable to thieves.
Yet Ford’s Econoline pickup drives exactly as you’d expect an old-fashioned three-ton box to drive. It is more suitable for church mission trips, daycare centers, and handymen carrying tools than everyday transportation.
4. Jeep Patriot
The little Jeep that couldn’t do that, the Jeep Patriot, wasn’t particularly popular with critics or off-road enthusiasts. This is because Jeep only made them with a not-so-powerful little four-cylinder engine, which turned out to be not racy enough for the platform.
Although the Patriot was discontinued in 2017, it was a massive hit for Jeep, selling nearly 2 million units in just 10 years. Most of them are still around today, which is why thieves are still after their catalytic converters.
According to experts, it costs about $1,400 to replace a stolen catalytic converter in a Jeep Patriot. It’s not a cheap solution. Keep your Jeep Patriot safe when you store it.
5. Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most targeted catalytic converters on the market. It’s a popular truck, tough on the outside and stylish on the inside. Silverado has the latest technology built into a robust system.
According to auto experts, it costs about $1,500 to replace a stolen catalytic converter on a Chevrolet Silverado. Trucks are common targets for thieves looking to steal that particular component of a vehicle.
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It use of V8s in the Silverado means that some pretty efficient catalytic converters are required. Combine that with the truck’s ground clearance and you have a relatively easily accessible catalytic converter.
6. Chevrolet Equinox
The Chevy Equinox has always been a good competitor, if not the best in its class. It’ve a large interior, comfortable manners, and a beautiful design. It’s also attractive thanks to a price that slightly undercuts the competition.
It is also the target of catalytic converter thefts. This is because these vehicles are usually lifted off the ground, making it easy for thieves to sneak under the vehicle and easily get the converter out.
It’s a solid choice for a mid-size car, and it’s also a target for thieves looking for catalytic converters. Replacing a catalytic converter on a Chevrolet Equinox costs approximately $1,200. A stolen stock will cost you part of your savings.
7. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is the most frequently targeted vehicle for catalytic converter theft. It is a hybrid car, which means that it runs on gasoline and electricity. It is an excellent commuter vehicle.
Unfortunately, the hybrid feature makes it a popular target for thieves looking for catalytic converters. This is because it contains the most expensive metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum.
Selling Toyota Prius car converter break-ins could cost at least $700 in junkyards alone. However, remember that they can make much more money selling these components elsewhere.
8. Dodge Ram 2500
Next is the Dodge Ram 2500. This powerful pick-up truck is a common choice for those who need excellent towing capacity. It’s one of the best in its class with three V8 engine options for the driver to choose from. It is also a commonly stolen catalyst option.
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It is often targeted because it actually has two catalytic converters to remove emissions, so the components are usually in better condition than another vehicle. These converters tend to be in good condition and fetch a higher price. For this reason, it is important that you shut off your catalytic converter when driving a truck like a Dodge Ram 2500.
9. Toyota Tacoma
Due to their higher ride height, trucks like the Toyota Tacoma are popular targets for converter theft. Thieves don’t need to jack up the vehicle, they just slide under it, turn off the catalytic converter, and go on their merry way.
Older Tacoma catalytic converter replacement parts can also be expensive, making owning one riskier. In extreme circumstances, a catalytic converter thief could damage other vital components, and even destroy the car.
It goes without saying that you do not want this to happen to you. However, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s catalytic converters are mounted near the engine in the engine compartment, not under the truck. This makes it much more difficult for would-be thieves to steal them.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )
What Kind Of Cars Do Thieves Target For Catalytic Converters?
Toyota and Honda vehicles in the US are particularly vulnerable to catalytic converter theft because they contain the highest percentage of hybrid vehicles, which are more likely to keep their catalytic converters intact.
Catalytic converter thieves target Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris, and Honda Jazz due to the high concentration of the ore in the catalytic converter.
Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen?
Cars with the catalytic converter installed in the engine compartment are much less likely to be stolen. Many American and Asian car brands tend to have less valuable catalytic converters.
You can also buy an electric, diesel, or older car without a built-in catalytic converter. Catalytic converters clean gas emissions or diesel fuel. Therefore, in cars that rely on electrical power, there is no catalytic converter.
What Year Are Cars Targeted For Catalytic Converter Theft?
All vehicles manufactured after 1974 are subject to catalytic converter theft. Because they contain a catalyst. Hoping to obtain and sell the metals in high demand, criminals often use a jack and an angle grinder to steal catalytic converters in minutes. Blatant crime comes with high costs for vehicle owners.
Can Your Car Run Without The Catalytic Converter?
The short answer is that you can drive your vehicle without a catalytic converter. One of the first things you will immediately notice when your catalytic converter is stolen is a strange, loud noise.
Of course, this noise will not prevent you from driving your car, but it will be extremely annoying for most drivers. Also, all vehicles must pass annual emissions testing, and one of the first things you’ll notice when driving without a catalytic converter is failing emissions testing.
Because the regulations of every state and government do not allow you to drive your car without passing the tests and ensuring that no harmful gases are released into the environment.
What To Do When Your Catalytic Converter Is Stolen?
You have the right to report the theft of your catalytic converter to the proper authorities. You can investigate the thieves because they are probably stealing other cars in the neighborhood.
Do not move the vehicle immediately after determining that the catalytic converter has been stolen. If you file a claim with your insurance provider, you can wait for the helpful police report instead.
What Are Catalytic Converters Getting Stolen?
The reason for the thefts is simple: catalytic converters are an easy way to get up to three hundred dollars worth of precious metals at a time. That’s from cars with standard internal combustion engines anyway; those of hybrid vehicles could net a thief up to $1,400.
With components made of palladium, rhodium, and platinum, even completely broken catalytic converters retain their value thanks to their ingredients.
Catalyst theft is most common in cars built after 1974, but hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda Accord are also at risk. Because catalytic converters don’t work to their full potential, cars are vulnerable to theft.
Parking in well-lit areas and installing tracking devices on conservators can help prevent catalytic converter theft, but it’s not foolproof.