How To Avoid Catalytic Converter Theft in Chicago

Posted on July 15th, 2022 by ncapmanage

Its 2022 and the catalytic converter thieves of Chicagoland have once again changed their game. According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, thefts over this expensive car part have nearly tripled this year alone. Our experts want to help you avoid this, which is why we’ve developed a list of tips below.

Two hands grasp the sides of a catalytic converter under a car.

What Is a Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter is a pivotal part of your exhaust system that removes potentially harmful pollutants from the exhaust gasses before they are released into the air. All vehicles made after 1974 come equipped with a catalytic converter to help reduce air pollution.

This important piece of equipment reduces the emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons, all of which are incredibly dangerous to both the environment and your respiratory tract.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

The simple answer is money. Catalytic converters contain precious metals, including rhodium, platinum, and palladium, which have dramatically increased in value over the years. In 2021, platinum reached $1,100 an ounce while palladium hit a high of almost $2,400 an ounce.

Another valuable element in this car part is Rhodium. This element was averaging about $18,00 an ounce during the same time period. This incredible increase in value has bred a new wave of thieves looking to profit from the parts in your vehicle.

How To Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

Although catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, there are a few tips to help you keep yours safe in the car where it belongs.

  • Be In The Know

Talk to a reputable auto shop in your area to see if there have been other cars targeted around your neighborhood. Plan a meeting with your neighbors to discuss the potential threat and look out for each other. The more eyes in the neighborhood keeping watch, the less chance of your catalytic converter being sold for scrap.

  • Be Mindful Of Where You Park

A locked garage is the safest bet for your catalytic converter, but for folks who don’t have this option, park in your driveway or a well lit area close to building entrances. Most thieves don’t want to operate where they can be spotted by neighbors or pedestrians. Parking in one area for extended periods of time can give thieves more access to your catalytic converter. Be sure to regularly move your vehicle, especially if you use a commuter parking lot or park on the street.

  • Install Motion Detecting Lights & Cameras

These are very effective and fairly inexpensive ways to deter thieves. The lights will turn on whenever movement is detected which will shine light on the threat, literally, more than likely causing them to look for a new victim in a less lit area.

The motion sensitive camera will notify you when movement is detected giving you time to turn lights on to scare the thief away and to alert authorities. Please note that confronting the thief yourself can be dangerous. Always contact authorities to handle the situation.

  • Install An Anti-Theft Device

There are a variety of anti-theft devices available now including a steel shield that fits directly over your catalytic converter, a locking cable that secures the converter to your vehicle, or a protective cage made of rebar or other strong steel material that is incredibly challenging for thieves to cut.

  • Have Your Vin Engraved

Having your VIN (vehicle identification number) engraved on your catalytic converter makes it easier to identify you as the rightful owner. It can alert scrap dealers that this is a stolen part and terminate the potential sale. This can be done with spray paint or a permanent ink of your choosing.

  • Have Your Catalytic Converter Welded To Your Frame

Having your catalytic converter welded directly to the frame of your vehicle can throw a wrench in the plans of a thief trying to steal your part. This makes the removal of the converter more difficult and increases the chances of them giving up and looking for an easier target.

If your catalytic converter has been stolen, immediately call the police and file a report. Next, if you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, be sure to call your insurance company to file a claim.

High Quality and Affordable Used Auto Parts – Chicago, IL

Numerous accidents happen across the Chicago area each day. Instead of buying new parts for a minor fender bender, we want you to save money and purchase used parts from New Cats Auto Parts. If you’re looking to buy used auto parts for affordable prices, then give our friendly customer care team a call. We can help get you and your car back on the road in no time.

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New Cats Auto Parts has been providing both wholesale and quality used auto parts to Chicago and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. Whether you’re looking to sell your junk car or obtain used parts, our team is more than happy to help you.

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