How can I protect my catalytic converter from theft?
Protecting your catalytic converter from theft is essential to maintaining the performance of your vehicle and saving you from costly repairs. Theft of catalytic converters has become a major problem in many parts of the world, which is why it is important to take steps to protect your vehicle from becoming a target.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) suggests several strategies to help prevent theft of catalytic converters.
1. Etching your license plate number or VIN onto your catalytic converter. This may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the converter if it's recovered.
2. Installing a shield to protect your catalytic converter. These shields, often milled from a single piece of high-strength steel, cover the converter and make it more difficult for a thief to access.
3. Installing an anti-theft device on your catalytic converter. These devices range from steel shields and cages to stainless steel cables welded to the converter and car frame.
4. Painting your catalytic converter with a high-temperature fluorescent orange paint and inscribing your vehicle identification number in the painted surface. This makes it easier to trace if it is stolen.
5. Setting an alarm or camera to catch thieves. You can turn up the sensitivity of your car alarm so that it goes off when thieves jostle your car, or you can install a motion-sensitive dash cam to notify you of a theft in progress or record the license plate of the getaway car.
6. Investing in motion-sensitive lights and parking in your driveway or a closed garage whenever possible.
7. Checking your car insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers stolen auto parts, so make sure you have full coverage insurance.
Aside from taking preventative measures, it is also important to be aware of the warning signs of catalytic converter theft. These include a loud rumbling sound coming from the exhaust, a decrease in engine performance and/or fuel economy, and a check engine light on the dashboard. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take your vehicle to a mechanic right away.
By following the tips outlined above, you can help protect your catalytic converter from theft and keep your vehicle running smoothly. Taking the time to invest in preventative measures now can save you the hassle and cost of having to replace a stolen converter in the future.