Is Honda CR-V a common target for catalytic converter thieves

Honda CRV Catalytic Converter Theft (How Common Is It?)

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that helps neutralize toxic gases produced during internal combustion and turn them into less harmful substances like water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Presently, catalytic converters are installed in all fuel-powered cars to make them as neutral for our environment as possible. In fact, they’re even required by law in most regions of the world.

Unfortunately, catalytic converters have become a common target for thieves due to the precious metals they contain. Not all cars are targeted with the same frequency, though. So, which are the most commonly chosen by thieves?

Let’s take a look at Honda CR-V – a popular Honda model. Is this car a common target for catalytic converter thieves?

Is Honda CR-V a common target for catalytic converter thieves?

There’s some bad news for all Honda CR-V owners: this model is one of the most common targets for catalytic converter thieves. What’s more, some Honda CR-V cars are hybrids, which are an even more popular target for catalytic converter thieves.

As a result, it’s a good idea to be extra careful if you own a Honda CR-V. Luckily, there are many ways you can protect your car from thieves and save money on replacing a stolen catalytic converter.

Do all Honda CR-V cars have catalytic converters?

Honda CR-V Cars
Honda CR-V Cars

Honda CR-V cars are either fuel-powered vehicles or hybrids, depending on the type and year of production. As a result, they are all equipped with catalytic converters.

Fuel-powered vehicles rely on internal combustion, which creates toxic gases like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide as byproducts.

Thanks to the presence of the catalytic converter, though, these gases are neutralized to less harmful substances like water vapor and carbon monoxide.

So, all Honda CR-Vs that are fuel-powered have catalytic converters.

Catalytic converter

On the other hand, Honda CR-V types that are hybrids rely both on fossil fuels and an electric battery. Hybrids drive either using electricity or gas, depending on the method used, and some may even use these two simultaneously.

Since hybrids also rely on internal combustion, even though not all the time, they need to have a catalytic converter as well.

So, in short, all Honda CR-V cars are equipped with catalytic converters.

Why are Honda CR-V cars prone to catalytic converter theft?

Honda CR-V Cars Rear

As mentioned above, Honda CR-V cars are a common target for catalytic converter thieves, and there are several reasons why.

Honda CR-V is an SUV, which means that it’s set much higher from the ground that other compact cars. This gives thieves more room and access to remove and steal the catalytic converter, making this car an excellent and easy target.

In addition, some Honda CR-C cars are hybrids, which have catalytic converters that are very valuable and can be sold for high prices.

The catalytic converters found in hybrids have a much higher content of palladium since they don’t have to work as fuel-powered cars to remove toxins.

Palladium is a precious metal that’s desirable by thieves. That’s because they can make a great profit by selling catalytic converters with a high concentration of this metal.

So, regardless of which type of Honda CR-V you have, you’re more susceptible to having your catalytic converter stolen than if you had a different car.

How many catalytic converters does Honda CR-V have?

All Honda CR-V cars have just one catalytic converter, whether they’re standard or hybrid. Only cars that have a dual-exhaust system have two catalytic converters, one for each exhaust pipe.

So, since all Honda CR-V cars have single-exhaust systems, they need only one catalytic converter.

How can you tell you had your Honda CR-V catalytic converter stolen?

Mechanic under the car

Most people who aren’t experts might find it hard to figure out whether they had their catalytic converter stolen just by looking at their car.

Luckily, though, there are several other ways you can determine if your Honda CR-V is missing this device.

The first sign that your catalytic converter might be missing is a loud, roaring noise when you start your car. This noise might also become louder and much worse when you drive and accelerate.

So, don’t ignore any sudden new noises that your car starts making.

When the catalytic converter is removed, you may also see the “check engine” warning light pop up. This can appear for a wide variety of reasons, but one of them is definitely a missing catalytic converter.

If this light appears as a result of a missing catalytic converter, it’s because the lack of this device triggered oxygen sensors in your exhaust system. So, be sure not to ignore it when it does show up.

Finally, it’s clearly evident your car was a target of catalytic converter theft if it suddenly starts producing much more exhaust that smells bad.

Car Diagnostic

Since the catalytic converter neutralizes toxic gases produced during internal combustion, you can see an increase in exhaust emissions when it’s missing.

If that’s the case, it’s important to react fast. One of the gases created as a byproduct of internal combustion is carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.

So, if you notice that your car produces much more gases and they start leaking into the cabin, get your vehicle checked out by a mechanic immediately.

Can you drive Honda CR-V without a catalytic converter?


Most fuel-powered cars can function normally without a catalytic converter but only for a short period of time. Driving a fuel-powered car, as well as a hybrid, without a catalytic converter isn’t a good long-term solution.

The catalytic convert is part of a car’s exhaust system, helping reduce air pollution by neutralizing toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide and nitric oxide.

Because of that, you may be breaking certain laws if you drive without a catalytic converter for a long period of time.

Some regions of the world consider tampering with or removing the catalytic converter a criminal offense. This means that you can get into a lot of trouble if you drive your car without one.

Because of that, it’s important to report the catalytic converter theft to your insurance company or police department if that’s the law in your region. Also, be sure to get it replaced as soon as possible.

Aside from the law and environmental concerns, driving without the catalytic converter can make your Honda CR-V run less efficiently, both the standard type and the hybrid.

For example, it can reduce fuel mileage, make your car slower, and impair oxygen sensors in the exhaust system.

So, even though it’s costly, it’s important to replace the catalytic converter in a timely manner if you had it stolen.

How can you prevent Honda CR-V catalytic converter theft?

Even though Honda CR-V, both the standard version and the hybrid, is a common target for catalytic converter thieves, there are several ways you can reduce the risk of your car being vulnerable.

The best way to prevent catalytic converter theft is to park your car in a private garage, locked garage structure, or any other place where there’s a minimal risk of unauthorized access.

That way, thieves won’t even have the opportunity to target your car and steal the catalytic converter.

When you’re out shopping or traveling, be sure to park in a well-lit area close to public entrances. Avoid choosing parking spots that are hidden, away from the public, or otherwise secluded.

If you park in a hidden location, thieves will have more time to remove the catalytic converter from your car unnoticed. So, avoid doing that.

In addition, if you live in an area that is known for theft or you know someone living around you who had their catalytic converter stolen, you can consider buying a motion-sensitive alarm or camera.

This type of device can notify you instantly when someone approached your car or tries to tamper with it. What’s more, a motion-sensitive camera can also prevent car theft in general, so it makes for a good investment.

A few more useful ways to prevent catalytic converter theft are in the video below.

Another way to minimize your risk of having the catalytic converter stolen from our car is to install an anti-theft device directly on the catalytic converter itself.

Anti-theft devices for catalytic converters are often made from wire rope that’s very challenging to cut through, even when using power tools. This deters catalytic converter thieves and can save you a lot of trouble and money.

Although this anti-theft device can be pricy, it’s still way cheaper than replacing the catalytic converter itself.

Finally, if you own a Honda CR-V hybrid model, be particularly careful where you park and utilize some of these predictive methods. Hybrids are targeted by thieves more often than fuel-powered vehicles, so keep that in mind.


Unfortunately for all Honda CR-V owners, this car model is a common target for catalytic converter thieves. Because of that, it’s important to do everything possible to deter thieves and protect your cars.

On the bright side, there are many things you can do to avoid having your car’s catalytic converter stolen. So, please take a look at some of the advice mentioned above and utilize them to avoid wasting a lot of time and money on replacing this device.

Sources: Honda, Delaware State Police, Consumer Reports

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