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How to know if your catalytic converter has been stolen

A Catalytic converter is a device that aids in reducing harmful emissions from your vehicle as well as reducing fuel consumption. It contains precious metals that are worth a couple of bucks and this makes it a high target for thieves. In this article, we will be writing about how to know if your catalytic converter has been stolen.

 Signs to know that your car’s catalytic converter has been stolen:

  • Your vehicle sounds loud when you start it up: once your vehicle’s catalytic converter is stolen, the sound of your vehicle will change automatically, it will become very loud that in most cases, you might not be able to stand it.
  • Check engine light comes on: latest vehicle with all the sensors still functioning perfectly well will turn on the check engine light to notify you that something happened and the system is not complete.
  • Components are missing under your vehicle: this is the easiest way to know that your catalytic converter has been stolen. Go underneath your vehicle and take a closer look and you might find out that some part is missing. In some cases, they don’t take it completely, they will cut it and steel the content which is popularly referred to as biscuit, take a closer look underneath your vehicle to know if it has been tampered with.
  • Low-end torque: when your catalytic converter has been stolen, it also brings about low-end torque.
  • Increase in exhaust fumes or unusual smells: occupants will notice that exhaust fumes in the cabin are increasing, especially when the windows are down. In most cases, the exhaust fumes are likely to seep up into the cabin from underneath your car.
  • If you smell this exhaust odor, you shut off the car and get out. If you develop symptoms of shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, get into the fresh air and seek medical help for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • The vehicle is sluggish or sputters if you try to drive it: it’s advisable to park your car once you notice that the car is not moving well coupled with a loud exhaust noise. Modern vehicles are designed to have functional, clean catalytic converters, so you can cause substantial damage by driving without one.
How to know if your catalytic converter has been stolen

How to prevent catalytic converter theft

There are ways to reduce catalytic converter theft in your vehicle. A stolen catalytic converter may cost $300 to replace so you should take the following preventive measures:

  • Park in a well-lit area with cameras, or in a locked garage: some car owners park their cars in a less secure environment to cut corners and reduce parking costs. Also remember that if your catalytic converter gets stolen, you will spend X10 of that same money to replace it.
  • Inscribe your vehicle’s VIN on the catalytic converter: it’s always available to inscribe your Vehicle Identification Number on the catalytic converter.
  • Spray paint your catalytic converter: reputable scrap metal dealers are less likely to accept painted catalytic converters because of the likelihood that they are stolen.
  • Always turn on your vehicle alarm sensitivity: this will help scare thieves away but you will also end up with more false alarms it’s worth it.
  • Install anti-theft devices on your catalytic converter: some repair garages will install cages, shields, cables, or other protective devices for under a few bucks to make it harder to remove the catalytic converter.


The current market value of the item makes it a target for thieves who want to steal it at any cost. You must put all the necessary preventive measures in place to make sure that your catalytic converter is not stolen.

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